In order to make the strategic bombing runs over Japan more effective, General Curtis LeMay and other USAAF leaders wanted the B-29s to be escorted by fighters. In order for this to happen, the US needed a base much closer to Japan, because no fighter at the time could make it from Saipan or Guam to Japan and back. To meet this need, American military planners decided to launch an invasion of Iwo Jima, which is only 750 miles from Japan. Iwo Jima was only 8 square miles in size and was covered with black volcanic ash rather than sand. More significantly for the American invaders, the Japanese defenders had dug deep into a network of underground caves and tunnels that were impervious to American bombs and shells. The fight would be slow and bloody. Would the Americans be able to root out the Japanese and take the island? Join us and see!
Cite This Article"Iwo Jima (KB 8), Part One" History on the Net
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