Okinawa: The Last Battle

Okinawa: The Last Battle

by Roy E. Appleman

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On 1 April, 1945, the largest amphibious assault of the Pacific Theater began. The battle for the island of Okinawa would last for the next eighty-two days. Through the course of this dramatic battle over 20,000 Americans would lose their lives and over 75,000 Japanese were killed in one of the bloodiest clashes of World War Two. Okinawa: The Last Battle is a remarkably detailed account of this monumental event by four soldiers who witnessed the action first-hand. They take the listener to heart of the fight explaining the preparations for the invasion, under its codename Operation Iceberg, through to the major conflicts at the beachhead, Ie Shima, breaking through the defenses surrounding Shuri and overcoming the last-ditch counter-offenses of the Japanese. 
Okinawa: The Last Battle was written by U. S. Army historians who participated in the Ryukyus campaign as members of a group organized to accompany the American forces to the Ryukyus and secure at first hand the materials for a history of their operations. This group was formed in Hawaii as a section of the 1st Information and Historical Service, which was attached to Tenth Army in January 1945.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9788834146583
Publisher: Arcadia Press
Publication date: 06/26/2019
Sold by: StreetLib SRL
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 194,851
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Major Roy E. Appleman (1904–1992) served in the U.S. Army in both World War II and the Korean War. He is the author (or co-author) of several military history studies, including South to Naktongand North to the Yalu.

Sergeant James M. Burns was the author of Guam, from the American Forces in Action series. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II.

Captain Russell A. Gugeler was the author (or co-author) of several military history studies, including Combat Actions in Korea. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II.

Colonel John Stevens served in the U.S. Army during World War II.

Harry J. Malony (1889-1971) was an American Brigadier General who commanded the 94th Infantry Division in World War II.

Table of Contents

I Operation Iceberg 1

The Strategic Decision 1

Nature of the Target 7

The Plan of Attack 17

Mounting the Attack 36

II Invasion of the Ryukyus 44

Preliminary Neutralization of Enemy Strength 44

Seizure of the Kerama Islands 51

Softening Up the Target 63

III Winning the Okinawa Beachhead 68

The Landing 69

Moving Inland 74

Organizing the Beachhead 79

IV Where is the Enemy? 84

The Japanese Forces 84

The Japanese Plan of Defense 92

Enemy Counterattacks by Air and Sea 96

V Coming to Grips with the Enemy 103

Through the Outposts, 4-8 April 104

Assaulting the Shuri Defenses, 9-12 April 113

The Enemy Takes the Offensive 130

VI The Conquest of Northern Okinawa 138

Drive up the Ishikawa Isthmus, 4-7 April 138

Probing the Motobu Defenses, 7-13 April 141

Closing In on Yae-Take, 14-15 April 144

Conquest of Motobu Peninsula, 16-18 April 146

VII The Capture of Ie Shima 149

Plans and Preparations of the Enemy 150

American Plans and Preparations 153

Invasion of Ie Shima, 16-17 April 156

Stalemate at Bloody Ridge, 18-19 April 163

Capture of Iegusugu, 20-21 April 173

Last Phase 181

VIII The Attack of 19 April on the Shuri Defenses 184

Plans and Preparations 184

Preliminary Attack of the 27th Division, 18 April 190

The General Attack 194

IX Fall of the First Shuri Defense Ring 208

Item Pocket 208

Assaulting the Outer Shuri Defense Ring 219

X Tactics and Tactical Decisions 249

Tactics and Weapons on Okinawa 249

Tactical Decisions 258

XI Assaulting the Second Shuri Defense Ring 265

Stalemate on the West Coast 267

The 7th Division at Kochi Ridge 269

The Maeda Escarpment Barrier 274

XII The Japanese Counteroffensive and Its Aftermath 283

Planning the Offensive 283

The Offensive Under Way 286

Japanese Penetration to Tanabaru, 5 May 294

The Americans Resume the Offensive 302

XIII The May Attack on the Shuri Defenses 311

The Attack in the West 313

The Attack in the Center 332

Opening the East Coast Corridor 351

XIV Battle in the Rain 360

Enemy Air Attacks 360

Stalemate in the Center 364

The 6th Marine Division Occupies Naha 372

The 7th Division Bids for Envelopment 377

XV The Fall of Shuri 383

Exodus From Shuri 387

American Occupation of Shuri 394

XVI Behind the Front 403

Supply Operations 405

Hospitalization and Evacuation 412

Military Government 415

Base Development 419

XVII The Enemy's Last Stand 422

The Push South to the Yaeju-Dake-Yuza-Dake Barrier 422

The Capture of Oroku Peninsula 427

Assaulting the Last Defense Line 434

XVIII The Battle Ends 455

End of Organized Resistance 455

Surrender and Suicide 462

Final Mop-up 471

Victory: Cost and Value 473

Appendix A Major Tactical Units of Tenth Army in the Ryukyus Campaign 475

Appendix B Japanese 32d Army Units in the Ryukyus Campaign 483

Appendix C Statistics of the Ryukyus Campaign 487

Bibliographical Note 503

Index 513


1 Strength of Army, Marine, and Naval Forces of Tenth Army in the Ryukyus Campaign, 30 April-30 June 1945 488

2 Comparative American and Enemy Major Losses in the Ryukyus Campaign, 1 April-30 June 1945 489

3 Casualties Sustained by Tenth Army, 1 April-30 June 1945 490

4 Troops and Supplies Loaded for the Initial Assault on the Ryukyus 492

5 Personnel and Supplies Loaded for Assault and for First Echelon Garrison in the Ryukyus Campaign, by Point of Embarkation 493

6 Comparison of Estimated Capacities for Unloading at Okinawa Beaches and Quantities Actually Unloaded, 1 April-30 June 1945 494

7 Cargo Unloaded at Okinawa Beaches, 1 April-30 June 1945 496

8 Ammunition Expended by Tenth Army Field Artillery, 1 April-30 June 1945 498

9 Ammunition Expended by the U. S. Navy in the Ryukyus Campaign, March-June 1945 500

10 Ammunition Expended by XXIV Corps, by Type of Weapon, 4 April-21 June 1945 501

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