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Okinawa: The Last Battle

By: Roy E Appleman (588/35869)
Publisher: BDD Special Editions ISBN: 0792458591
(From the John Laffin Library)

As the LCT's plowed their way through the sea toward the island of Okinawa, the fears of the soldiers and marines crouched behind the armoured bulwarks were exacerbated by the silence of the Japanese shore batteries.

For the defense of Okinawa the Japanese abandoned the tactics of fighting the marines on the beach. Instead, they built a strong defensive ring of concentric circles around Shuri Castle, hoping to contain the invasion and then counterattack and throw the invaders back into the sea. Against these defenses the American advances would be measured in yards.

The Battle for Okinawa would be the last fought in the war against Japan; it would also be the costliest in the loss of life and material. 13,000 soldiers, sailors and marines were killed and the Navy lost 36 ships sunk and 368 damaged. These losses would later make a forceful argument for the dropping of the atomic bomb on Japan.

June 2008

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