In the first section of , the Allies planned to seize Iwo Jima, a spoon shaped island about 8 kilometers long and 4 kilometers wide.
It is a volcanic island unsuitable for human life.
The surface of the whole island is covered by black volcanic ash, and the lower part is volcanic rock.
Black smoke mixed with water vapor and sulfur dioxide often occurs on the island.
Sulfur seeps everywhere in the sand.
There is little groundwater.
Only bananas and pineapples can grow on the ground.
There are no other plants, so it is almost barren land.
Since it did not belong to any country, in 1890, Japan declared it Japanese territory, with about 1000 residents on the island.
Since the Allied forces captured Saipan, Guam and Tinian, and the U.S. B-29 bombers have attacked Japan’s land bases, this little-known desolate island has become a strategic place fiercely contested by Japan and the allies because of its important geographical location.
The two sides fought desperately on this island.
Iwo Jima is located between Saipan and Tokyo, more than 1000 kilometers away from Tokyo and 1167 kilometers away from Saipan.
It can be called the sentry post at the main gate of Tokyo.
The US B-29 plane must pass Iwo Jima on the way between Tokyo and Saipan.
When the US plane passes over it, the surveillance radar on Iwo Jima can timely inform Tokyo of the information, which is a great threat to the US plane’s bombing of Japan.
In order to successfully bomb Japan, this nail must be pulled out.
In addition to removing obstacles, there is more important significance.
First, when the B-29 bombed Japan, the escorting 0-51 fighter could not escort effectively because of its limited endurance.
If the airport of Iwo Jima is used as the base, the 0-51 fighter can escort the B-29 aircraft in the whole process, which greatly improves the bombing efficiency.
Secondly, if the B-29 bomber flying over Japan is injured, it can quickly fly back to Iwo Jima, make an emergency landing and repair it in time.
In addition, Iwo Jima plays an inestimable role in aircraft refueling, personnel rescue and additional radio wave observation.
With Iwo Jima, the U.S. military is even more powerful, and the B-29 aircraft can fly freely in the Japanese sky.
For the US military, in order to further create favorable conditions for Japan’s landing operations, Iwo Jima is bound to be fought and occupied.
For Japan, although the aircraft, ships, soldiers and materials to resist are insufficient, and there are no risks to defend on the isolated island.
It clearly knows that it can never defend, but it is difficult to disobey the military order.
It can only resist desperately and never surrender.
On October 3, 1944, the US Joint Chiefs of staff issued an order to general Nimitz five stars to attack and occupy Iwo Jima.
Nimitz appointed admiral Raymond Spruance, who was famous in the midway and Mariana naval battles, as the General Commander.
Under his command, lieutenant general Turner commanded the joint expeditionary force, under the jurisdiction of landing assault formation and amphibious support formation, and Lieutenant General Smith commanded 75000 people from the third, fourth and fifth divisions of the amphibious Fifth Army to undertake the main landing task.
The original plan was to start the general attack in early December 1944.
At this time, Japan and the United States were engaged in fierce fighting in the southern Philippines, so it was postponed to February 3, 1945 and later to February 19.
During this period, the fourth and fifth divisions of the Navy scheduled to undertake landing conducted intensive training in Hawaii, and the third division conducted landing exercises in Guam.
The plan stipulates that the rapid aircraft carrier task force under Spruance will serve as support, and the 58th mobile force is an assault formation.
The two teams have 17 aircraft carriers, 8 battleships, 4 heavy cruisers, 11 light cruisers, 77 destroyers and 1170 carrier aircraft.
The 52nd mobile force has 11 escort aircraft carriers, the 54th mobile force has 7 battleships, 4 heavy cruisers and 15 destroyers, with a total of 495 ships of all sizes.
The gray ships form a semicircle and stretch out 7 miles.
They began to attack on February 10, 1945.
On February 16, the containment force dispatched a group of bombers from the sea about 200 kilometers south of Tokyo to carry out a major containment air attack on Japanese airports and harbors in Japan’s Kanto region and Hokkaido region.
Unlike in the past, this war was conducted in Japan’s airspace, territorial sea and territory.
Without sea and air support, the Japanese army only relied on the Ogasawara regiment dominated by the first ninth division and the third brigade of the army to fight.
There were more than 15000 troops in the army and more than 7000 in the Navy, with a total of 23000.
Lieutenant General Li linzhongdao served as the commander.
The Japanese defense plan is to build Iwo Jima into a fortress.
Considering that the U.S. military may land in Weng bang and Ergen bang on the south coast and qianniaohang on the west coast, 135 blockhouses were originally planned to be built at the water side of these places.
Due to the lack of cement, only 24 were completed, and others have begun to take shape.
The main defensive position is an underground position, which adopts the mole tactics of drilling into the ground.
All troops are hidden underground and become an underground corps, waiting for the opportunity to destroy the landing US troops.
The combat headquarters of the Corps is located in the basement of the northern hill, about 20 meters from the ground, and the basement about 45 meters below is the main communication room, which can accommodate 20 wireless motors.
The top cover of the basement is built with concrete, with a thickness of about 3M.
It was originally planned to build an underpass connecting the folding bowl mountain in the south of the island and Yuanshan in the north, so as to connect the underpass in the island into a network.
Due to insufficient strength, it was not completed.
Only 13 kilometers of tunnel positions, more than 3 kilometers of traffic roads and 1 square kilometer of storage warehouse were built.
More than 400 bunkers and fire points have been built like beehives in the folding bowl mountain area with an elevation of 169 meters in the south of the island, and reinforced concrete heavy fire shelter positions have been built.
Between the entrances and exits, about 6km long tunnels or tunnels have been built, and many foxholes, anti tank trenches and so on have been equipped in depth.
It is conceivable that the soldiers have to bear the hardships of building such a large-scale underground fortification.
The most difficult thing is that the engineering geological and hydrogeological conditions are too bad.
There is geothermal energy everywhere in the island.
The underground temperature is as high as 49 degrees Celsius.
In addition, the sulfur smell is too strong.
The officers and soldiers can only wear gas masks for operation, so the tunnel operation can only work for five or six minutes in a row.
There is a serious shortage of drinking water on the island, so we can only rely on rainwater collection.
In addition to storing rainwater in iron cans, the troops also came up with a special way to collect water, that is, set up several wooden stakes where sulfur and water vapor are emitted, cover them with straw mats, and recycle the dripping water with iron cans.
Although there are still in this waterThe first line of defense is still opened by heavy tanks.
It is unstoppable to resist the bombardment of Japanese 47cm rapid fire shells, infantry guns and field guns with thick decks, and destroy bunkers and block fortresses with blazing flames.
In order to stop the US attack, the Japanese army organized “death squads” to hold bombs in an attempt to stop the attack of armored vehicles.
However, these “death squads” were burnt to black bodies by fire before they reached the near side of the tank.
The second line of defense of the Japanese army was soon torn open, like a dam that broke the embankment and collapsed soon.
In the evening, most of the 1700 Japanese soldiers died, most of the positions were lost, and all the forts were destroyed.
They had to hide in the trenches and wait for the night attack.
On the 21st, the Japanese army fought with the US Army in a casual war.
Because the Japanese army was in the dark and the US Army did not know the tunnel transportation network, many officers and soldiers died under cold shots.
On the 22nd, the US Army used tanks to block the entrance and exit of underground trenches.
The flame thrower spewed out a long hot tongue and licked the head and body of Japanese soldiers.
After the flame sprayed into the Japanese underground trenches, the rocks in the cave radiated high temperature like charcoal, and the cave was as hot as fire, while the dying Japanese army still fought hard.
On the 23rd, the US military raised the star spangled banner on the top of the folding bowl mountain, the highest peak of Iwo Jima.
Under the command of commander Li Lin, the remaining 300 Japanese troops are still waiting for an opportunity to fight back in the cave, and the battle is still continuing.
In the third section, the Japanese army carried out suicide defense.
The Japanese army lost the folding bowl mountain, and the general trend of the Japanese army is gone.
Commander Li Lin should have ordered the remnant to surrender if he recognized the general situation and sympathized with the lives of his subordinates.
However, the stubborn militarist leader insisted on forcing officers and soldiers to die for the emperor in vain, which increased the number of casualties in the US military.
On February 28, the 10th day after the US military landed, it had occupied the southern half of Iwo Jima, qianniao airport and Yuanshan airport.
The Japanese army could not be seen on the surface position of the whole island.
On March 1, the U.S. military adopted the strategy of attacking key problems in folding bowl mountain, drove the garrison of yumingshan into the deep hole, then drilled and blasted with a rock drill, and poisoned the remnants with yellow phosphorus or smoke bombs.
In the Japanese garrison, 10% of those who wanted to surrender were executed, 6% committed suicide in despair, only 5% were captured alive, and the rest were killed in battle.
On March 7, the Japanese army, completely trapped in the encirclement, mixed into the second brigade with more than 1500 people, rushed out of the deep hole with pistols, light machine guns and rifles, shouted “Viva” and “Viva”, and carried out a suicide attack on the US Army, which had an absolute advantage.
All of them were killed.
On the night of March 9, more than 1600 remnant Japanese soldiers of the Qiantian brigade also rushed to the ground in a howl of “long live”, and none survived.
The last counterattack was organized on March 27th.
In the early morning, more than 300 US troops fought hand to hand in front of the camp.
The US Army woke up in sleep and rushed to fight, while the Japanese army sought life after heavy mental and physical damage.
Counting after the battle: 44 US soldiers died and 88 were injured, 9 of the Fifth Engineering Brigade died and 31 were injured.
262 Japanese soldiers died.
In desperation, commander Li Lin of the Japanese army attempted to commit suicide by caesarean section at the entrance of the trench.
Staff officer Nakasone hacked him to death with a military knife, and then Nakasone himself shot himself.
The attack and defense war on Iwo Jima lasted 38 days, with 22000 Japanese killed and more than 1000 captured.
5500 US troops were killed and 19000 wounded.
On an island less than 30 square kilometers, so many people were killed and injured, which shows the cruelty and intensity of the war.
In this battle, 40 aircraft and 15 heavy bombers of the Japanese “kamikaze” special attack team attacked the US mobile forces, the US escort aircraft carrier “Bismarck Sea” was sunk, the giant aircraft carrier “Saratoga” was seriously injured, and one battleship, two cruisers and nine destroyers were slightly damaged.
Many American soldiers who participated in the battle said it was a “war in hell”.
The whole battle can only be described as “bloody”.
Both sides are extremely hard.
The US military completely ended the battle with its advanced military equipment.
The victory of the US military can be said to have opened the last door for attacking Japan.
Since then, the Japanese have always been in danger of being bombed.