75th Anniversary of Battle of Iwo Jima
Today (February 19, 2020) marks the 75th anniversary of the start of the Battle of Iwo Jima. A major victory for the United States Army in the war in the Pacific, the five week battle was spearheaded with the goal of capturing the island from the Japanese Army. Despite the relatively small size of the island, the campaign consisted of some of the most brutal fighting of the entire Pacific Theater of World War II. Led by Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz and classified as Operation Detachment, the original objective was to capture the island and use it as a base of operations for invading the main Japanese islands. However, the battle was marked by extensive casualties on both sides, and soon the overall value of Iwo Jima was brought into question. Some believed that the purge of resources when it came to capturing a tiny island was unnecessary. In total, nearly seven thousand American soldiers lost their lives in the battle, compared to the nearly twenty thousand on the Japanese side.
The image below of American soldiers raising the flag over the island represents one of the most iconic images of not just World War II and the War in the Pacific, but of American valiantry.