By Terry Orr
The Battle of Iwo Jima (19 February – 26 March 1945), or Operation Detachment, was a major battle in which the United States Armed Forces fought for and captured the island of Iwo Jima from the Japanese Empire. The American invasion had the goal of capturing the entire island, including its three airfields, to provide a staging area for attacks on the Japanese main islands. This month-long battle included some of the fiercest and bloodiest fighting of the War in the Pacific of World War II. [Source: Wikipedia]
Why was the Battle of Iwo Jima so important?
The primary reason for taking Iwo Jima was a requirement for an emergency landing for the two aircraft scheduled to deliver the atomic bombs on Japan. The thought of losing one of these weapons into the sea weighed too heavily on the war planners. The cost in lives of taking Iwo Jima was weighed against the possibility of extending the War by at least two years while replacements were manufactured.