Okinawa: 2the Last Battle of World War II

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Viking, 1995 - History - 220 pages
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It began on April Fool's Day, 1945, which was also Easter Sunday. It lasted eighty-four days. In that time the United States lost its commander in chief, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and at the site of the battle itself, lost its most beloved war correspondent, Ernie Pyle. In that time Germany was finally defeated, but when GIs on the island heard the news, they snorted in contempt - "So what?" For these men were fighting for their own lives against a tenacious Japanese force whose goal was to "bleed all over" the Americans and thus drown them in Japanese blood.
To achieve final victory over Japan, Okinawa had to be seized; it would be a catapult for the planned invasion of Japan itself. And so the U.S. Marines and Army attacked Okinawa with 540,000 men and 1,600 seagoing ships, eclipsing even D-Day in troops, tonnage, and firepower. But Japanese troops were hunkered down in a honeycomb of caves and terrain that the U.S. Tenth Army commander, Lieutenant General Simon Bolivar Buckner, called the most formidable fixed position in the history of warfare. And General Buckner asked his men to employ "corkscrew and blowtorch" - explosives and flame - to conquer the island. What he didn't need to ask for was individual heroism. For the last battle of World War II was full of acts of valor that went far beyond the call of duty. At the end, American casualties totaled almost 50,000. But the Japanese were left with 100,000 dead. And Nippon's navy was crushed, 7,800 of its planes lost, many in the last frenzied kamikaze attacks of the war.

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OKINAWA: The Last Battle of World War II

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

This sketchy account attempts to tell the US Marines' version of the story of the Battle of Okinawa. The highly strategic island of Okinawa (only 375 miles from the home islands of Japan) was the ... Read full review

Okinawa: the last battle of World War II

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

On this 50th anniversary of the battle of Okinawa (April to June 1945), we can expect an avalanche of titles about this last major battle of World War II. Okinawa was an epic amphibious-air-sea-land ... Read full review


two Japan at Bay
three The Divine Wind
four The Japanese Samurai

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About the author (1995)

Robert Leckie was born in 1920 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. At the age of 16, he began a career as a sportswriter for The Record of Hackensack. He also later worked as a reporter with the Associated Press, the Buffalo Courier Express, the New York Journal American, the New York Daily News and The Star-Ledger. The day after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Leckie joined the Marines. He became a machine gunner and scout in the 1st Marine Division in the Pacific and participated in all of the Marine campaigns except Okinawa. He was awarded the Naval Commendation Medal with Combat V, the Purple Heart and five battle stars. Leckie was on active duty for three years and participated in six campaigns. It is because of his experience in the war that he chose to write about American military history. Most of his books trace American war history from the French and Indian War to Desert Storm. Leckie's first book was published in 1957, and was a personal narrative of his experiences in World War II. It was entitled "Helmet for My Pillow." His books covered the Civil War in "None Died in Vain: The Saga of the American Civil War," another World War II book called "Delivered from Evil: The Saga of World War II" and his one volume history entitled "The Wars of America." Leckie adapted many of his books for a younger audience and also wrote some fiction books. In 1969, the Leckies founded The Sportstman's Club at Lake Hopatcong, a physical fitness facility in New Jersey. The family owned the club until about eighteen months before Leckie's death. Robert Leckie died on December 24, 2001. He was 81 years old.

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