"In the beginning, Iwo Jima was just an unknown island in the north Pacific Ocean. In the end, it was to become the island of death." That grim but accurate appraisal begins The Battle for Iwo Jima: 1945
, a blow-by-blow eyewitness account of one of World War II's most critical--and bloody--conflicts, what author Derrick Wright (A Hell of a Way to Die
) describes as "the greatest battle in Marine Corps history."
By 1945, Iwo Jima had become a linchpin of enormous tactical importance. Victory in Europe was all but assured, and the largest navy ever to set sail had chased Japan's Imperial fleet back to its native shores. But Iwo Jima remained a persistent thorn, giving Japan hours of warning for air raids and allowing Japanese fighters to harass B-29 bomber routes. The Americans were forced to take Iwo Jima, and the Japanese command knew it--and even though they couldn't hold the island, they were determined to make the U.S. pay dearly. "[F]orewarned of the American invasion and resigned to dying at their posts, [the Japanese] were determined to take as many Marines with them as possible. 'Do not plan for my return,' wrote the commander of the island, Lt. Gen. Kuribayashi, in one of his last letters to his wife."
Wright gets on the ground, down and dirty, covering both sides of the conflict, interviewing survivors from both sides, excerpting official documents and letters (including Kuribayashi's), digging up previously unpublished photos, and giving intimate tooth-and-nail (and often grisly) accounts of every engagement, from prelanding prep to D day to D+36. An excellent and engaging piece of work, with enough sketches, maps, photos, and command structure org charts to satisfy the most serious military history buff. --Paul Hughes
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
DERRICK WRIGHT'S interest in the Second World War was stimulated by the many Luftwaffe bombing raids on his native Teesside. He is the author of Tarawa: A Hell of a Way to Die (Windrow & Greene, 1997). Married, with four daughters, he lives on the edge of the North Yorkshire Moors.