Today marks the 65th anniversary of the invasion of Okinawa.
by Victor Davis Hanson
National Review Online, April 1, 2010
Sixty-five years ago, on April 1, 1945, the United States Marines, Army, and Navy invaded Okinawa. The ensuing three months of combat resulted in the complete defeat and near destruction of imperial Japanese forces on the island, just 340 miles from the mainland.
The victory proved the most costly American campaign in the Pacific. Some 50,000 Americans were killed, went missing, or were wounded. The incredible carnage would help persuade the American government to drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, in hopes of avoiding an even more horrific invasion of the mainland.
Okinawa and the war in the Pacific are back in the news these days with the airing of a ten-part HBO series, The Pacific — a companion story to the 2001 series Band of Brothers, which was about the American advance from Normandy across the Rhine into Germany.