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Iwo Jima was one of the bloodiest battles in American history. It started with the US. Marines hitting the beeches on February 19, 1945. The Island would not be declared secure until March 26, 1945. It lasted a long 36 days full of some of the nastiest close quarters fighting in history. This would be the first time America captured Japanese soil which was a great dishonor to Japan. Read on if you would like to learn more about this historic battle. Iwo Jima is no bigger than 21 square miles. It was packed with over 21,000 Japanese soldier's. Of this 21,000, less than 1,000 survived the battle. It was great dishonor to be captured for the Japanese, therefor most fought to the death despite no chance of victory. This is not to say that America did not loose a lot of troops themselves, America lost near 7,000 marines with over 20,000 more severely injured. The Japanese spent years fortifying the island much like the Nazis defending Normandy. They had underground bunkers and pillboxes that even days of shelling by battleships could not even dent. The minute the marines advanced up the beach, they encountered machine gun fire from multiple locations very difficult to spot. This kind of fighting continued throughout the entire battle. The Japanese had one major advantage. That was Mt. Suribachi. From inside the Mountain they can hit any point on the island with heavy artillery and machine gun fire. On the fifth day of the battle, Mt. Suribachi was captured and a flag was raised, hence the famous picture of six men (5 marines and one naval Corpsman) raising a flag on a mountain. The fighting continued on after that, ending with one final Japanese 300 man counter attack. The threat was easily eliminated with minimal casualties and the island was declared secure. Now, that kind of casualties were caused on a tiny island. Imagine if we invaded mainland Japan. Dropping the Atomic bombs actually saved more lives than it took. On Feb. 29 when you think that you are having a bad day, think of what the people had to go through that day in 1945. Please leave comments on my answer and contribute to discussion about other famous battles.

It is vital to note that the horrendous Japanese casualty count was due to the Emperor's orders that there could be no surrender. This was cruel and inhumane.

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8y ago
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15y ago

GEN Kuribayashi received orders for his Iwo Jima assignment in June, arriving on the island in July, 1944. With his assessment/evaluations/studies completed, engineer battalions began arriving, and construction started in August 1944. Construction continued thru Jan 1945, with the US Marines landing in Feb 1945.

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11y ago

All I know is that they fought for another 36 days after the flag was raised

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15y ago

It took about 6 months to capture Iwo Jima.

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11y ago

The battle last from Feb.19- March 26, 1945 including leap yr, so 36 days....

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10y ago

It was fought on February 19th - March 26th 1945. That is 36 days.

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11y ago

eight years

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Q: How long did it take to build the tunnels on Iwo Jima?
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