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Events as they occurred at Okinawa in a stirring and personal war saga of heroism, death and sacrifice from both the American and Japanese points of view, most especially Japanese Colonel Hiromichi Yaraha who set up the defense for the island.
Love Day, April 1, 1945, April Fool’s Day, U.S. Marines and the Army launched an invasion of Okinawa with some 540,000 men and 1,600 ships. Gathered was a landing force greater in numbers than the US Normandy landing on D-Day earlier in Europe. It is anticipated that these landing forces would lose up to 80% but surprisingly came ashore standing up with but few loses to Japanese snipers. Not known at the time this was to become the closing battle of World War II lasting eighty-three days until June 21, 1945.
The story follows the Sixth and First Marines from beginning to end and is developed from actual diaries from two Sixth Marine veterans and several books by First Marine veterans. In addition it presents the Japanese side developed from a translated book by Colonel Hiromichi Yaraha, who set the attrition defenses for the Japanese defense of the island. It portrays the horrors of the bloodiest and costliest last battle in the Pacific for both sides. But also provides some comic relief by those Marines who served and survived but didn’t know if they would live the next day or even the next minute.
The central part of the island was taken in two days and the northern part in twenty days. But the southern part was met with heavy resistance as Japanese forces, using caves, tombs, a castle and entrenched fortifications, fought a war of attrition. Eighty-three days later, after fighting for every yard of ground gained, much of it in mud and rain, American forces defeated the Japanese who fought basically to the last man with over 100,000 losses. Meanwhile at sea US Naval forces faced the Japanese Devine Wind in desperate Kamikaze attack after attack reigning death and destruction on the invasion fleet until the last plane.
This is the actual story as it happened of arguably the most important and definitely most costly battle of all the Pacific island battles in WWII, never before filmed in its entirety. The Japanese defeat opened the door to an anticipated land invasion of Japan’s homeland itself and directly led to the atomic bombs being dropped to finally end the war. This is their story, both American and Japanese. Told for those who lived it to survive and those who died there.
In the end President Truman looks out the window from the oval office, hands clasped behind his back, with the American Flag standing straight out in the wind, saying “after all these years of war, death and destruction to our young men and women I look forward to peace. Finally! I really didn’t want to kill all those kids with more war”.