Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
February 20, 2005
HISTORY: Courageous and Fanatical

As you may have seen elsewhere (see here, for example), yesterday was the 60th anniversary of the beginning of the 36-day battle for Iwo Jima, one of the critical battles of the final stages of encircling Japan, and setting up air basis that could run bombing raids on the Japanese mainland unimpeded, in preparation for the planned invasion of Japan. (As such, among other things, the nature of the resistance by the Japanese at Iwo Jima is both a critical part of the moral calculus of Hiroshima as well as a window into the obstacles we faced in turning postwar Japan into a civil democracy at peace with its neighbors and with us).

The resistance put up by the Japanese at Iwo Jima has few parallels in military history, and is staggering to the imagination: some 21,000 Japanese soldiers stood to defend Iwo Jima, and only 1,083 of them were taken alive; the other 20,000 fought to the death rather than surrender. 6,821 Americans died overcoming that resistance. Rest in peace.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 3:33 PM | History | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
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