Sunday, September 8, 2019

Where is Iwo Jima, and what is its significance Essay

Where is Iwo Jima, and what is its significance - Essay Example The little volcanic island of Iwo Jima is situated a little over 650 miles southeast of Japan, about halfway between Tokyo and the American airfields on Guam, Saipan and Tinian in the Mariana Islands. Guam, the biggest island, was a U.S. protectorate, before the Second World War, and the Navy had a communications station there. The neighboring Saipan and Tinian were Japanese colonies. American forces raided the Marianas in mid 1944 and instantly began construction of what came to be the world’s biggest aerodrome for the Super fortress bombers of the U.S. 20th Air Force. The Super fortress bombers were earlier stationed in mainland China, but providing them with enough fuel was a logistic nightmare (Rogers, 1). When Marines saw Iwo Jima for the first time, it was an ugly lump of volcanic sand and clay. It was different from any other island they had ever seen. They saw an ugly lump of volcanic sand and clay, which was treeless, craggy, and blistered with endless sand hummocks rather than palm trees and a white ribbon of beach, or the green cane fields of Saipan and Tinian. Mount Suribachi, at the southern tip, appeared like something out of an inferno; the plateau at the north was a series of hills and ridges. The beach was black instead of white, while the vegetation that grew sparsely was wilted, colorless and burned out (Bradley, 10). Luft adds that Suribachi Mountain was given this name because of its shape which looks like an upturned bowl. Joe Rosenthal captured the iconic photo of the raised Marine flag here on Feb. 23, 1945. Despite the last full-scale eruption occurring in 1727, looking into the center of the crater, steam can be seen rising from a vent while the smell of sulfur f ills every breath (38). Iwo Jima was the step to the Japanese heartland for the 70,000 Americans and to the end of a terrible war. However, for the 22,000 Japanese defenders, Iwo Jima

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