I can't Post the Image but you can search it in Google type "raising of the flag"
Image: This picture was taken by Joe Rosenthal. In the picture there are six soldiers raising the flag. From (left) in the Front are Ira Hayes, Franklin Sousley, John Bradley and Harlon Block. The back two are Michael Strank and Rene Gagnon. “Strank, Block and Sousley would die shortly afterwards. Bradley, Hayes and Gagnon became national heroes within weeks after the picture was published in the newspapers”.
Pictures can win awards not wars, but that is exactly what this picture did for the U.S in 1945. In 1945 on February 19th U.S has launched attack on Japan. It was the first time the Japan Emperor had been attacked on its own soil by a foreign country. The land of the battle is known as Iwo Jima, it is a small island, about 8 square miles large. The Mission for the American soldiers was to capture the airfields on island, so they could be used in the impending bombing of Tokyo. The mission for the Japanese soldiers was for each soldier to kill ten Americans before they themselves are killed. You must not expect my survival," “General Kuribayashi” said to the Japanese Soldiers. The Battle of Iwo Jima lasted 36 days, which was a little over a month, from February 19, 1945 to March 26, 1945. In 36 days there were nearly twenty-six thousand US casualties, nearly seven thousand Americans soldiers had been killed in action. Almost all Japanese soldiers were killed out of the twenty two thousand that had been fighting. When the American soldiers reached the top of the hill six of the soldiers decided to raise the American flag to show victory. Joe Rosenthal who was the only photographer at Iwo Jima who took the picture which would later become known as “Raising of the Flag”
In 1945 the U.S had declared war on Japan after the Japanese had attacked Pearl Harbor. The U.S could not attack Japan directly, because they were on an Island. They were too far away for an Air attack and Naval attacks were unsuccessful. At the time Japan was still at war with other countries, while defending their land against America. America wanted to attack something that would make it difficult for the Japanese to defend and they found the perfect place to attack them. Iwo Jima, a small island about 8 square miles large and 650 miles away from Tokyo on Japanese soil. This island was going to decide the outcome of the war
Iwo Jima was the main reason Japan lost and U.S won. Japan was too far way for America to efficiently strike Japan with their B-29 bombers. So to attack Japan U.S had to use long range Missiles which were not very effective because of the distance. When America tried to get closer to Japan they would be attacked and defeated. America could not go toe to toe with Japan so they changed their strategy. Instead of attacking Japan directly they were going to attack a specific place ‘Iwo Jima”. Benefits of attacking Iwo Jima were that they already had 2 Japanese Airfields. The Distance was much shorter and they could refuel using the Japanese Airfields and B-29s were much more effective at that range.
Japanese also knew the importance of Iwo Jima. They knew that American bombers at that range would destroy them. But for Japan it was their homeland and “No foreign army in Japan's 5000 year history had successfully trod on Japanese soil”. So they wanted to keep it that way, they sent General Kuribayashi. To defend against the assault to come within the days, he was one of their best Generals
The Americans knew the Japanese were expecting them for an assault on the Iwo Jima. Before the battle itself, For 70 days the US sent in air and sea bombers to weaken the Japanese defense and make the actual assault much easier, “the massive display of fireworks merely made a small dent in the defenders' numbers”. The bombers had no effect on the Japanese soldiers, because they were hidden underground. Their strategy to weaken the Japanese defense before the actual assault had failed. Due to the failure U.S had to send more marines then they expected. The U.S sent 110,000 marines in 880 ships to Iwo Jima from Hawaii. This was the most marines sent by U.S for a battle, this was also one of the biggest battles the U.S had fought at the time.
How the US was going to Attack the Hill?
General Kuribayashi had a very unique way of defending against the assault. In most warfare’s when the attack in coming below you and you are on top. You put your machine guns and snipers on top and pick a part your enemy, but General Kuribayashi decided to fight through caves.” The Japanese didn't fight above ground. They fought the battle entirely from beneath the ground. They dug 1,500 rooms into the rock. These were connected with 16 miles of tunnels”. This was a great strategy as the American bombers had no effect on the assault. The Second strategy was for "no Japanese survivors." When you know you are going to die you don’t fear death you embrace it. Their third strategy was to kill 10 Americans before they are killed in action.
How the Japanese were going to Defend the Hill?
On February 19, 1945, the actual attack on the island begun. The attack began again with bombers and again they were unsuccessful. The American soldiers suffered many casualties on the first day as they landed in open fire. The volcanic ash was everywhere due to constant bombing by the Americans before and after the attack. This caused a concern as the American soldiers were target practice for Japanese snipers. While the casualties were raising high for the Americans they continued to move toward the Island. To the Marines' relief, tanks finally arrived on the second day of the invasion. Shielded by the thick armor, the American troops could finally advance under cover as they moved to the base of the mountain. Marines slowly started to advance toward south of Mt. Suribachi and north to the airfields. The marines were eventually going to capture the island, but the Japanese were hiding under ground, the marines had to check and clear every whole before they could move up. The marines used liquid gas, napalm, and hand grenades to clear out Japanese soldiers. By the Fifth day the marines had taken over Mount Suribachi and one of the most famous photograph in America’s military history was taken of the Flag Raising on Suribachi. The U.S had successfully completed its assault and had taken over the Island on March 26, 1945. When the battle was over almost all Japanese soldiers were dead, 212 were taken prisoners. American soldiers were mainly wounded, but most American soldiers died on the first day of the assault. Total of 6,800 marines were killed in the assault
This island had lot of effect on outcome of the not just the battle but the war. The Americans learned that the Japanese were smarter and stronger. The Japanese had total of 22,000 soldiers while the Americans had 110,000. It took almost 4 month to take over a island when they had the Japanese outnumbered 5 to 1. America was initially going to use B-29 bombers to attack Japan, but after what they seen Japan do at Iwo Jima they wanted to end the war fast. Instead of B-29 America used Atomic bombs and ended the war.