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The Story Of The U.S. Marines On Iwo Jima

Aug 17, 2007
The battle of Iwo Jima took place between the United States and Japan in 1945, but it was no ordinary battle. The Japanese warriors went in knowing they would not come back out alive from the tunnels they had built. Yet each warrior had a specific mission - to kill at least 10 U.S. Marines before they were killed.

The battle took place over the island of Iwo Jima that belonged to Japan. The United States wanted control of it because it was between the bomber bases of the U.S. and Japan. The controversy continues today about the necessity of this battle. But regardless whether the battle was necessary, it was a great victory for the Marines and has become part of American legend.

The Japanese were greatly outnumbered though in the battle of Iwo Jima. 22,000 Japanese were ready to take on the 110,000 U.S. Marines. This was the largest battle of the Marines in the Pacific War. The ground battle lasted for 35 days before the United States was the victor. At the end of it all almost 21,000 of the Japanese were killed or captured. The casualties for the U.S. Marines were approximately 8,200 with almost another 500 reported as missing in action.

It is believed up to 3,000 of the Japanese actually didn't die and that they remained in the caves for approximately six years. Over that time many of them died and others surrendered to the United States troops. Those who did survive reported they were treated compassionately by the U.S. Marines upon their surrender.

As the U.S. Marines were victories, the picture of the survivors placing the United States flag upright on Mount Suribachi was taken. No one could have known then that this particular picture from the battle of Iwo Jima would become such a symbol in the American culture. In fact, it holds the record for the most reproductions of any photograph in the world.

In 1985 a memorial was erected in Washington D.C. in honor of those who gave their life during the battle of Iwo Jima. A ceremony called the Reunion of Honor was held with the survivors from both the United States and Japan in attendance. The ceremony included a monument with Japanese writing on one side and American writing on the other. During the ceremony the two sides shook hands and stood united.
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Check out the Marine Corps Iwo Jima knife from Ka-bar Knives . Buy it today at Thompson Outdoor Supply.
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