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Landing beaches on Okinawa

The American invasion of island of Okinawa, codenamed Operation Iceberg, took place 1 April 1945. The Japanese military was determined to inflate a casualty rate so high that the U.S. government would choose not to invade the Japanese home islands. To this end, the southern portion of the island had been covered with the most extensive system of fortifications and fields of fire yet encountered in the Pacific War.

The island was not declared secure until 22 June, a period of 82 days. Lieutenant General Simon Bolivar Buckner became the highest ranking U.S. military officer to be killed in action in the Second World War.

American forces[edit | edit source]

Ground forces commander

Lt. Gen. Simon B. Buckner, USA (KIA)

Marine Corps commanders

Maj. Gen. Roy S. Geiger
Lemuel C. Shepherd as Commandant of the Marine Corps
Maj. Gen. Pedro A. del Valle

Army commanders

Major General John R. Hodge
Archibald V. Arnold as a brigadier general
Andrew D. Bruce as a lieutenant general

US Tenth Army SSI.svg US Tenth Army
Lieutenant General Simon Bolivar Buckner, USA (KIA 18 Jun)
Major General Roy S. Geiger, USMC (18 Jun thru 23 Jun)
Lieutenant General Joseph W. Stilwell, USA (from 23 Jun)

Northern Landing Beaches[1][edit | edit source]

III MEF LOGO.jpg III Amphibious Corps
Major General Roy S. Geiger, USMC
Embarked in Task Force 53
Left Beaches:
6th Marine Division (24,356 officers and enlisted)

Right Beaches:
1st Marine Division (26,274 officers and enlisted)

Southern Landing Beaches[2][edit | edit source]

XXIV Corps SSI.gif XXIV Army Corps
Major General John R. Hodge, USA
Embarked in Task Force 55
Left Beaches:
7th Infantry ("Bayonet") Division (21,929 officers and enlisted)

Right Beaches:
96th Infantry ("Deadeye") Division (22,330 officers and enlisted)

  • Division Commander: Major General James L. Bradley, USA
    • 381st Infantry Regiment – White Beaches
    • 383rd Infantry Regiment – Brown Beaches
    • 382nd Infantry Regiment – Reserve
    • Field Artillery Battalions, 105mm: 361st, 362nd, 921st
    • Field Artillery Battalions, 155mm: 363rd

27th Infantry ("New York") Division (16,143 officers and enlisted)

Western Islands[3][edit | edit source]

Ie Shima, etc.:
77th Infantry ("Statue of Liberty") Division (20,981 officers and enlisted)
Embarked in Task Group 51.1

  • Division Commander: Major General Andrew D. Bruce, USA
    • 306th Infantry Regiment – landed 17 Apr (Green Beach)
    • 305th Infantry Regiment – landed 17 Apr (Red Beaches 1 & 2)
    • 307th Infantry Regiment – landed 17 Apr (Red Beaches 3 & 4)
    • Field Artillery Battalions, 105mm: 304th, 305th, 902nd
    • Field Artillery Battalions, 155mm: 306th
    • One Marine BLT

Japanese forces[edit | edit source]

Lt. Gen. Mitsuru Ushijima

Thirty-second Army[4][lower-alpha 1][edit | edit source]

Lieutenant General Mitsuru Ushijima (seppuku 22 June)
Approx. 67,000 men under arms, incl. 5,000 Okinawan conscripts[5]

  • 24th Division
    • Lt. Gen. Tatsumi Amamiya (KIA 30 June)
    • 22nd Infantry Regiment
    • 32nd Infantry Regiment
    • 89th Infantry Regiment
  • 62nd Division
    • Lt. Gen. Takeo Fujioka (suicide 22 June)
    • 63rd Brigade
    • 67th Brigade
  • 44th Independent Mixed Brigade
    • Maj. Gen. Suzuki Shigeji (died 22 June)

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. A Japanese army was equivalent to a Euro-American corps.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Rottman 2004, pp. 55, 91-92
  2. Rottman 2004, pp. 55, 90-91
  3. Rottman 2004, p. 91
  4. Rottman 2004, p. 93
  5. Rottman 2004, p. 50

Bibliography[edit | edit source]

  • Rottman, Gordon (2004). Okinawa 1945: The Last Battle. Osprey. ISBN 0-275-98274-2. 

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