Sunday, April 1, 2012

Remembering: The Battle of Okinawa

Cornerstone of Peace Memorial
April 1, 1945 fifty thousand US troops invade the Japanese island of Okinawa. The largest amphibious landing in the Pacific Theater during WWII, in it's eighty-two days it would go on to become the bloodiest battle of WWII in the Pacific.

Japanese troops relied very heavily upon kamikaze attacks, as well as dug out caves, that were nearly impenetrable to artillery, naval, and aircraft bombing.

Because of the ferocity of the defense, as well as the mass suicides amongst the native population, the US government decided to attempt the use of nuclear bombs on the Japanese mainland, instead of risking an even bloodier invasion.

In 1995, the Okinawan government erected the Cornerstone of Peace Memorial. The memorial holds the name of every one who died because of the Battle of Okinawa, whether they be Okinawan civilians, Japanese military, or Allied troops. Last updated in June of 2008, it holds 240,734 names.