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In case you’ve wondered about the context

“Okinawa was declared captured by U.S. forces. The commanding general of the Japanese defenders, Lieutenant General Mitsuru Ushijima, committed suicide. Thus ended the 81-day campaign in which the Americans suffered their heaviest losses of the Pacific war. In securing the island considered essential for the invasion of Japan proper, 12,520 U.S. soldiers and marines were killed, and 36,631 wounded. About 110,000 Japanese were killed (90 percent of the number involved) and 7,400 were captured. Okinawan action virtually eliminated Japanese home air defenses as 7,830 planes were destroyed or lost in kamikaze attacks. Eight hundred Allied planes were downed. The U.S. Navy lost 4,907 men and 36 ships—none larger than a destroyer. About 180 Japanese vessels—including the largest battleship in the world, Yamato—were sunk. U.S. officials were alarmed by the ferocity of the Japanese on Okinawa and feared even greater resistance on the Japanese home islands. Okinawa was a key consideration, as a result, in the decision to use atomic bombs against Japan.” – Robert Goralski, “June 22, 1945,” World War II Almanac: 1931-1945

Published inThe Second World War

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