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The island of Iwo Jima is just five miles long and two and a half miles wide. It lies 625 miles north of Saipan and 660 miles south of Tokyo.

The word Iwo Jima translates to Sulfur Island. At its southern tip lies an extinct 556-foot high volcano, Mt. Suribachi.

Iwo Jima stands as the bloodiest offensive ever carried out by the United States Marines. A convoy of 880 U.S. ships sailed from the Naval Base in Hawaii to Iwo Jima in 40 days. Later, this island was used as an Air Force launching base for offensives carried out on the mainland of Japan.

An estimated 21,000 Japanese troops were not expected. The U.S. Air Force pounded the island more than any other single air offensive in history. "No other island received as much preliminary pounding as did Iwo Jima."(Admiral Nimitz, CINCPAC)

An approximated 110,000 U.S. soldiers poured into the tiny island. On February 19, 1945, the attack began. The Military believed that the assault would be quick and victorious. It turned into a 36-day engagement that would see more Marine deaths than anywhere else.

The Battle ended on March 25, 1945. The U.S. was the victor.


Battle stats:

  • American
  • Wounded: 18,000
  • Dead: 6,000
  • Missing: 500

  • Japanese
  • Dead: 20,000
  • Captured: 1,000