the largest land-sea-air battle in world history
, it began APRIL 1, 1945, with the most massive amphibious attack by the U.S. in the Pacific war.
60,000 U.S. troops landed on the
Island of Okinawa
in the last major battle of World War II.
Fighting continued for 82 days.
Imperial Japanese kamikaze suicide pilots caused the greatest loss of American ships in U.S. naval history with the sinking of 38 and the damaging of another 368.
There were over 72,000 American casualties.
Imperial Japan lost over 110,000 men, in addition to nearly 150,000 Okinawan civilian casualties.
On April 18, 1945, Pulitzer Prize winning war correspondent
was killed by Japanese machine-gun fire on an island northwest of Okinawa Island.
had been embedded with Army infantry soldiers in Europe, North Africa and the Pacific.
His newspaper columns were turned into the 1945 movie,
The Story of G.I. Joe.
wrote in 1943:
"I love the infantry because they are the underdogs. They are the mud-rain-frost-and-wind boys.
They have no comforts, and they even learn to live without the necessities. And in the end they are the guys that wars can't be won without."
The fierceness of the combat during the
Battle of Okinawa
, with nearly 2,000 kamikaze suicide attacks, led the Navy and Marines to expect over a million casualties if they attempted an invasion of the main Japanese islands.
American Minute - Notable Events of American Significance Remembered on the Date They Occurred
The Battle of Okinawa
Democrat President Harry S Truman
to drop the atomic bomb on the industrial centers of
Hiroshima and Kyoto
in August of 1945.
Secretary of War Henry Stimson argued to spare
as a target.
was then chosen, but on the fateful day cloud cover blocked the crews' visual identification, so the bomb was dropped on nearby
had been the most Christian city in Japan.
was first visited by Jesuit missionary
St. Francis Xavier
in 1549, through whose efforts the powerful
daimyo (lord) Ōmura Sumitada had been baptized
, followed by 300,000 becoming Christian by the end of the 16th century.
Kakure Kirishitan "Hidden Christians"
Mukashi Kirishitan 'Ancient Christians'
passed their faith over the intervening centuries.
Martin Scorsese's movie
(2016) gives the account of missionaries to Japan and the persecutions suffered by Japanese Christians.
finally allowed religious freedom during the
From 1912 to 1926, Japan experienced unprecedented freedom and prosperity during the
Beginning in 1926,
Japan's Shōwa Emperor, Hirohito
, concentrated power politically into a totalitarian, militaristic state.
Imperial Japan entered into a Tripartite Treaty with Benito Mussolini's Fascist Italy and Adolph Hitler's National
Workers Party on September 27, 1940, being referred to as the "Axis powers."
President Franklin D. Roosevelt
had recited the reason the United States entered into war with Imperial Japan in his address to Congress, December 8, 1941:
"The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian Islands has caused severe damage ... lives have been lost ...
... Ships have been reported torpedoed between San Francisco and Honolulu ...
The Japanese Government also launched an attack against Malaya ... Hong Kong ... Guam ... Philippine Islands ... Wake Island ... and Midway Island."
stated January 6, 1942:
... conquest goes back half a century ...
in 1894 ...
in 1904 ...
Fortification of the mandated
following 1920 ...
in 1931 ...
Invading Imperial soldiers massacred over 300,000 in Nanking, China, 1937-1938.
concluded his address:
"We are fighting today for security, for progress, and for peace, not only for ourselves but for all men, not only for one generation but for all generations.
We are fighting to cleanse the world of ancient evils, ancient ills.
Our enemies are guided by brutal cynicism, by unholy contempt for the human race.
We are inspired by a faith that goes back through all the years to the first chapter of the Book of Genesis:
'God created man in His own image'.
We on our side are striving to be true to that divine heritage ..."
"We are fighting, as our fathers have fought, to uphold the doctrine that all men are equal in the sight of God.
Those on the other side are striving to destroy this deep belief and to create a world in their own image-a world of tyranny and cruelty and serfdom.
That is the conflict that day and night now pervades our lives.
No compromise can end that conflict.
There never has been, there never can be, successful compromise between good and evil.
Only total victory can reward the champions of tolerance, and decency, and freedom,