Orvel Johnson’s thoughts on the eve of the 69th Anniversary of the Battle of Iwo Jima
There are many historical documents and websites available to search the details of the Battle of Iwo Jima. The Time Magazine of April 9, 1945 has a full front cover picture of the Marine Demolition team that destroyed the blockhouse that was also a large ammunition storage facility that held enemy troop holdouts within that refused to come out.
A war correspondent providing the caption published at the time, the similarities of the Iwo Jima Campaign and the famous Gettysburg battle of the American Civil War. For their times, the casualties of opposing forces as reported were highest they’d ever been. In a recent issue of Marine Leatherneck quoted 6,821 Marines killed and more than 19,000 wounded and missing at Iwo Jima. At Gettysburg, LIFE reported 4,700 KIA and 15,308 wounded and missing. In both conflicts the opposing forces suffered a similar number of killed and wounded/missing. The LIFE article pointed out another similarity. On Iwo Jima a strategic strong point was Hill 382. In the Civil War, it was Little Round Top. Marines on Iwo Jima took Hill 382 and held the hill against Japanese forces similar determination tried time after time to dislodge the Marines. Both would die rather than give an inch. At Little Round Top, Federal troops captured it and held off savagely attacks by Confederate troops, again both opposing forces fought to the death.
There is also a full article with photos, titled World Battlefronts: BATTLE OF THE PACIFIC: Long Step Nearer.