November 2009

Confederates at Shuri Castle

Volume 93, Issue 11

Storming the ramparts

Only the Normandy D-Day invasion surpassed Okinawa in its scope, preparation, and forces employed. More than 548,000 Americans participated in the Okinawa invasion on 1 April 1945, an Easter Sunday. Curiously, there was virtually no resistance as they stormed the beaches. They soon discovered that the Japanese Imperial Army and Navy had literally gone underground, having spent a year forcing Okinawan slaves to dig their underground defenses. Eighty-three days of fierce combat were required to finally defeat the Japanese.

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Maj William H. Sager, USMCR (Ret)