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  • Archive for the 'Okinawa 65' Category

    Battle of Okinawa 65 Years Later — 05 thru 06 June 1945

    Posted by Trent Telenko on 6th June 2010 (All posts by )

    05 June 1945

    On Okinawa, Japanese forces on the Oroku peninsula strongly resist the US 6th Marine Division which nonetheless captures most of the airfield.

    In the south the forces of the US 24th Corps near the last Japanese defensive line, running from Yuza in the west to Guschichan on the east coast and based on the three hills, Yaeju, Yuza and Mezado.

    Oroku and Yaeju-Dake, 4-11 June 1945

    Oroku and Yaeju-Dake, 4-11 June 1945

    At sea, a sudden typhoon damages 4 battleships, 8 aircraft carriers, 7 cruisers, 14 destroyers, 2 tankers, and and ammunition transport ship, of the US 3rd Fleet.

    Two Japanese Kamikaze attacks cripples both the WW1 era battleship USS Mississippi and the heavy cruiser USS Louisville.

    06 June 1945

    On Okinawa, elements of the US 6th Marine Division advance in the Oruka Peninsula following their landing. Naha airfield is secured.

    Elements of the US 96th Division (US 24th Corps) reach the lower slopes of Mount Yaeju and are halted by intensive Japanese fire.

    Okinawa Background — The T-6 Ritchie Device

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in History, Japan, Military Affairs, Okinawa 65, Uncategorized, USA, War and Peace | 1 Comment »

    Battle of Okinawa 65 Years Later — 04 June 1945

    Posted by Trent Telenko on 4th June 2010 (All posts by )

    04 June 1945

    On Okinawa, two regiments of US 6th Marine Division make landings on the Oroku peninsula in an attempt to outflank Japanese defensive positions.

    The landing of the 6th Mar Div and Elmination of the IJN Base Force

    The battle line on Oroku Peninsula, 4-13 June 1945

    However, this is the base area of the Japanese Navy on Okinawa. The local IJN commander, after at first obeying orders to retreat to the Kiyan line, dislikes his new position. He disobeys orders and has his troops reoccupy their original cave positions at Oroku.

    The 32nd Army papers over the mutiny by sending orders after wards approving this action.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in History, Japan, Military Affairs, Okinawa 65, USA, War and Peace | 7 Comments »

    Battle of Okinawa 65 Years Later — 02 thru 03 June 1945

    Posted by Trent Telenko on 3rd June 2010 (All posts by )

    02 June 1945

    On Okinawa, mopping up continues as the US 6th Marine Division prepares to land two regiments on the Oroku peninsula.

    The US Army 77th Division and it’s supporting 706th tank battalion are pulled out of the line.

    The remainder of the Okinawa campaign will be fought by the 24th Corps 7th and 96th Divisions and the 3rd Amphibious Corps 1st and 6th Marine Divisions.

    03 June 1945

    On Okinawa, Japanese forces are isolated in the Oroku and Chinen peninsula.

    The 7th Division cuts across the base of the Chinen peninsula to the south east coast. It finds the peninsula almost devoid of Japanese troops.

    The Ninth Japanese “Floating Chrysanthemum” aerial suicide attack on American navy radar pickets begins.

    Okinawa Background — The Engineer Special Brigade

    Long time military wargamers — grognards — have long noted that the American military, and the US Army in particular, has always been very good at logistics. In the Cold War this was expressed as “Americans always love a technological solution.” Before the advent of highly technological military aviation, this was better expressed as “Americans always love a material and organizational solutions.”

    In World War 2, this habit of institutional excellence was best expressed in the form of the US Army Engineer Special Brigade.

    One of the little know facts of WW2 — thanks to post WW2 USMC PR campaigns — was that the US Army did more amphibious landings, did larger amphibious landings (See Normandy), faced tougher on-shore opposition (See German tank division counter attacks on beach heads at Sicily, Salerno and Anzio) and faced worse aerial opposition (Luftwaffe guided bombs in 1943 and the Japanese Kamikazes appeared first, with better pilots, lasting longer in worse geographic conditions in the Philippines at Leyte and Lingayen) than the US Marine Corps. More over, the US Army was better than the Marines when it came to providing supplies across the beach!

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in History, Japan, Military Affairs, National Security, Okinawa 65, USA, War and Peace | 4 Comments »

    Battle of Okinawa 65 Years Later — 01 June 1945

    Posted by Trent Telenko on 1st June 2010 (All posts by )

    01 June 1945

    On Okinawa, after the fall of Shuri Castle, General Mushijima orders the Japanese troops to withdraw southward, towards the Oroku peninsula and the hills of Yaeju, Yuza and Mezado in the extreme south of the island. There are reports of discontent among the Japanese troops, something previously unheard of in the Imperial Army.

    Elements of the US 1st Marine Division cross the Koruba river, south of Naha.

    The forces of the US Army 24th Corps pursue the retreating Japanese while elements mop up around Shuri.

    US Tank-Infantry Team in Action

    TANK-INFANTRY ATTACKS marked the battle for the escarpment. An armored flame thrower of the 713th Tank Battalion, protected by infantry against enemy satchel-charge attacks, sprays flame over a knob on the crest of the escarpment

    Okinawa Campaign Background — The Medium Tank Shortage

    Up until this point in the Central Pacific Theater of the Pacific War, the Japanese had only put up scattered 37mm anti-tank guns and 37mm armed Type 95 light light tanks against American M3 Stuart light tanks and M3 Grant and M4 Sherman Medium tanks.

    These operations were small in terms of tanks used and taught US Army Central Pacific tank unit commanders some very bad habits in terms of operating without close infantry support. This became apparent with the veteran 193rd Tank Battalion supporting the 27th Division at Kakazu on 19 April 1945. The 193rd lost 22 of 30 tanks engaged along with it’s battalion commander.
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    Posted in Japan, Military Affairs, National Security, Okinawa 65, USA, War and Peace | 2 Comments »

    Battle of Okinawa 65 Years Later — 30 thru 31 May 1945

    Posted by Trent Telenko on 30th May 2010 (All posts by )

    May 30, 1945

    On Okinawa, American forces reach Shuri, south of the former Japanese positions. Two battalions of US Marines reach the southeast edge of Naha.

    The Japanese withdrawl to the Kiyan Line

    The withdrawal of the 44th independent Mixed Brigade to the Kiyan line, 31 May 1945

    May 31, 1945

    On Okinawa, the US 6th Marine Division (part of US 3rd Amphibious Corps) encounters Japanese rearguards near Hill 46. Japanese forces pull out of Shuri.

    The Shuri Line has fallen!

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in History, Japan, Military Affairs, Okinawa 65, USA, War and Peace | 1 Comment »

    Battle of Okinawa 65 Years Later — 21 thru 29 May 1945

    Posted by Trent Telenko on 29th May 2010 (All posts by )

    The Abandonment of the Shuri Line

    May 21, 1945

    On Okinawa, US 3rd Amphibious Corps reports advances near the Horseshoe, Half Moon and Wana positions, on the western flank.

    On the east-side, US 7th and 96th Divisions (parts of US 24th Corps) attack near Yonabaru.

    Japanese forces begin to pull out of the Shuri Line.

    May 22, 1945

    On Okinawa, American forces enter Yonabaru and capture Conical Hill. Heavy rains begin that hamper offensive operations for the coming weeks.

    The positions on the left and right of the Shuri line are about to fall leaving the main defensive positions flanked. The Chiefs of staff of the 32nd Army’s main combat units hold a meeting that will determine the remainder of the Okinawa Campaign. The three options they discuss are:

    1) Encircle Shuri Castle and prepare a concentrated defense with the 50,000 remaining troops and long range guns. This proposal retained most of the Japanese heavy guns and artillery ammunition, but there are not enough cave positions in this area to shield all the remaining troops from American artillery.
    .
    2) The second option considered was to withdraw east from the Shuri line to the Chinen Peninsula. This was rejected due to poor roads that would hamper the withdrawal and had the same problem of the lack of cave positions plus a lack of stockpiles of food and ammunition.
    .
    3) The third options was to withdraw south and form a line across the Kiyan Peninsula. This option was chosen because there were enough cave positions with stockpiles of food and small arms ammunition to fall back on.

    May 23, 1945

    On Okinawa, after occupying Naha, the US 6th Marine Division (part of US 3rd Amphibious Corps) encounters heavy Japanese resistance to attempts to advance further south.

    Japanese aircraft begin a three-day series of strikes against the Allied naval forces around the island. This is the seventh kikusui or “Floating Chrysanthemum” suicide strike.

    Reverse slope of Warta Ridge, U.S. forces captured this position only 1,000 yards northwest of the Shuri command cave on 21-23 May

    Reverse slope of Warta Ridge, U.S. forces captured this position only 1,000 yards northwest of the Shuri command cave on 21-23 May

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in History, Japan, Military Affairs, National Security, Okinawa 65, War and Peace | 2 Comments »

    The Battle of Okinawa 65 Years Ago Today — Sunday May 20, 1945

    Posted by Trent Telenko on 20th May 2010 (All posts by )

    Sunday May 20, 1945

    On Okinawa, American troops secure Chocolate Drop Hill after fighting in the interconnecting tunnels.

    Elements of the 1st Marine Division, part of US 3rd Amphibious Corps, capture Wana Ridge.

    Elements of the US 6th Marine Division, part of the same corps, begin mopping up operations in the Japanese held caves of the Horseshoe and Half Moon positions. They use flame-throwers and hollow-charge weapons and seal off some Japanese troops.

    Japanese forces counterattack on the Horseshoe position suffering an estimated 200 killed.

    To the east, the US 7th and 96th Divisions, of US 24th Corps, continue to be engaged in the capture of Yonabaru.

    null

    Okinawa Campaign Background — Shuri Line Threatened!

    The American 10th Army is into the tenth day of an offensive it resumed on 11 May 1945. The unrelenting American pressure of the “Blowtorch & Corkscrew” tank-infantry assaults has pushed the Japanese back close to 1/2 mile on the Shuri line over all and the Japanese are threatened with being flanked, if Yonabaru falls on the Okinawan East Coast.

    The failed Japanese general counter offensive by the on 4-5 May 1945 — where the 32nd Army lost 7,000 men out of it’s original 76,000, — has left the 32nd Army’s commander General Ushijima in a crisis and without reserves of troops and artillery ammunition to address it.

    American 10th Army intelligence is unaware of this development.

    Posted in History, Japan, Military Affairs, National Security, Okinawa 65, USA, War and Peace | Comments Off on The Battle of Okinawa 65 Years Ago Today — Sunday May 20, 1945

    Battle of Okinawa 65 Years Later — May 19, 1945

    Posted by Trent Telenko on 18th May 2010 (All posts by )

    May 19, 1945

    On Okinawa, the US 77th Division suffers heavy casualties while fighting for the Ishimmi ridge and withdraws.

    Sherman Flamethrower tank at Okinawa

    Okinawa Campaign Background — Col. Unmacht’s Mechanized Flamethrowers

    One little known US Army Chemical Warfare Service Colonel stationed in Hawaii made the flame throwing tanks of the Pacific War possible. His ad-hoc team of CWS, Ordnance Department, US Navy See Bees, and private contractors designed and produced both main gun and auxiliary weapon mounted flame throwers for 384 US Army and USMC M3 Stuart light tanks, LVT4 amtracs and M4 Shermans in less than a year.

    That compares to a total of five M5A1 “Q” flame thrower tanks and a few dozen M4-5 auxiliary armament flamethrowers the warring Chemical Warfare Service, Ordnance Department and Armored Force bureaucracies managed to get to the Pacific before VJ-Day.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in History, Japan, Military Affairs, Okinawa 65, USA, War and Peace | 5 Comments »

    Battle of Okinawa 65 Years ago today — May 18, 1945

    Posted by Trent Telenko on 18th May 2010 (All posts by )

    May 18, 1945

    On Okinawa, the US 6th Marine Division, part of US 3rd Amphibious Corps, captures most of the Sugar Loaf Hill, as well as parts of the Half Moon and the Horseshoe positions that overlook it, after several days of bitter fighting.

    The US 1st Marine Division continues to battle for the Wana river valley and Wana Ridge but fails to eliminate Japanese resistance, even with flame-throwers and tanks in support.

    Meanwhile, the US 77th and 96th Divisions, parts of US 24th Corps, attack Japanese positions on Flat Peak without success.

    Landing Supplies at Hagushi Beach Okinawa
    Okinawa Campaign Background — Logistics and Priority Shipments

    One of the important things that seems to elude modern historians about the Pacific War is what is now referred to as “Supply Chain Management” by civilian businesses and logistics by the Military. This lack of understanding leaves many Diplomatic and Military histories of the decision to use the Atomic Bomb fundimentally flawed.
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    Posted in History, Japan, Military Affairs, Okinawa 65, USA, War and Peace | 3 Comments »

    Battle of Okinawa 65 Years ago today — May 17, 1945

    Posted by Trent Telenko on 17th May 2010 (All posts by )

    May 17, 1945

    On Okinawa, the US 6th Marine Division, part of US 3rd Amphibious Corps, continues assaulting Sugar Loaf hill have Japanese positions are heavily bombarded by aircraft, artillery and ships.

    Elements of US 1st Marine Division capture the western part of the Wana valley but fail to take the ridge.

    Units of the US 77th Division, part of US 24th Corps, make a surprise attack on Ishimmi Ridge, west of the village, and end up in positions exposed to Japanese fire.

    Campaign Background — Japanese Anti-tank Defense vs M4 Sherman

    A Destroyed M4 Sherman on Okinawa

    One of the keys to understanding the Okinawa campaign is that it was only the second Pacific Island campaign — Iwo Jima being the first — where the Japanese deployed a continuous ground defense with a anti-tank gun line and an integrated doctrine to separate American tanks and infantry. This gun line was based on a weapon able to defeat the front hull of the M4 Sherman, the Japanese 47mm type 01 anti tank gun. The Japanese also, for the first time in the Pacific War, systematically destroyed abandoned M4 Shermans every chance they got.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in History, Japan, Military Affairs, Miscellaneous, Okinawa 65, USA, War and Peace | 4 Comments »

    The Battle of Okinawa — 65 Years Ago today, May 16, 1945

    Posted by Trent Telenko on 16th May 2010 (All posts by )

    May 16, 1945

    On Okinawa, the US 6th Marine Division (part of US 3rd Amphibious Corps) reports heavy casualties in continuing attacks on Sugar Loaf Hill.

    Japanese antitank guns knock out a number of American tanks supporting an advance, by US 1st Marine Division, along the valley of the Wana River.

    Attacks by the US 77th Division to the north of Shuri continue to be unsuccessful.

    The US 96th Division reaches the edge of the village of Yonabaru.

    Love Hill, to the west of Conical Hill, continues to be held by Japanese forces.

    Okinawa Campaign Background — SHINYO! Kamikaze Part Two

    The picture of Kamikaze’s off Okinawa is that of burning Japanese planes crashing into carriers and battleships off the coast. While these were the the majority of Kamikaze attacks, they were not the only ones.

    IJA Suicide Explosive Motor Boat

    The smaller islands of the Ryukyu Island chain that Okinawa was a part of hosted hundreds of explosive motor boats (EMB) of the Japanese Navy’s “Shinyo” (Sea Quake) and Japanese Army’s “Maru-ni” types.

    The invasion of the Kerama Retto anchorage several days before Okinawa proper saved the Okinawa invasion flotilla at Hagushi beach the attack of several hundred EMB the night of 1-2 April 1945. These suicide craft were well hidden and had been completely missed by Navy aircraft.

    The more numerous, nimble and speedy “Brown Water” PT-boats of the US Navy’s 1942-43 Solomons and 1942-1944 New Guinea Campaigns were left in the Philippines by Admirals Turner and Nimitz. This left overworked fleet destroyers, slower destroyer escorts and very slow converted landing craft gunboats of the Pacific “Blue Water” fleet to face the EMB threat alone.

    This was a mistake that would cost hundreds of unnecessary US Navy casualties, as can be seen from the following combat history that is clipped from from http://www.combinedfleet.com

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in History, Japan, Military Affairs, Miscellaneous, Okinawa 65, USA, War and Peace | Comments Off on The Battle of Okinawa — 65 Years Ago today, May 16, 1945

    The Battle of Okinawa — 65 Years Ago today, May 15, 1945

    Posted by Trent Telenko on 15th May 2010 (All posts by )

    May 15, 1945

    On Okinawa, slow American advances and costly Japanese counterattacks continue. Heavy fighting is reported around the Sugar Loaf Hill and Conical Hill positions.

    Marines on Sugar Loaf Hill, elements of US 3rd Amphibious Corps, withdraw because of Japanese fire.

    The US 1st Marine Division advances along the Wana river valley, west of Shuri, against heavy Japanese resistance.

    The US 305th infantry regiment and 77th Divisions, of US 24th Corps, achieve limited progress and have been reduced to 25 percent effectiveness in the fighting.

    See Okinawa Map XXXV: Tenth Army Advances, 11-21 May 1945

    Map XXXV: Tenth Army Advances, 11-21 May 1945

    Campaign Background — Kamikaze!

    According Appleman’s OKINAWA:THE LAST BATTLE:

    Between 6 April and 22 June there were ten organized (aerial) Kamikaze attacks, employing a total of 1,465 planes as shown below:

    Date of Attack…..Total…Navy Planes…..Army Planes
    6-7 April……………355…….230…………….125
    12-13 April………..185…….125………………60
    15-15 April………..165…….120………………45
    27-28 April………..115……..65……………….50
    3-4 May……………125……..75……………….50
    10-11 May………..150……..70……………….80
    24-25 May………..165……..65……………..100
    27-28 May………..110……..60……………….50
    3-7 June…………….50……..20……………….30
    21-22 June…………42……..30……………….15

    TOTAL
    ………………………1465………860………………605

    In addition, sporadic small-scale suicide attacks were directed against the American fleet by both Army and Navy planes, bringing the total number of suicide sorties during the campaign to 1,900.

    Posted in History, Japan, Military Affairs, Okinawa 65, USA, War and Peace | 4 Comments »

    The Battle of Okinawa — 65 years ago today

    Posted by Trent Telenko on 14th May 2010 (All posts by )

    Okinawa 65 Years ago today —

    May 14, 1945

    On Okinawa, 20 American Marines reach the summit of Sugar Loaf Hill. This is the first of several assaults that reach and be pushed off Sugar Loaf before it is finally captured.

    The airfield at Yonabaru is captured.

    ============================

    This is the belated beginning of an occasional 65th anniversary commemorative series on the of the Battle of Okinawa.

    Background to this point:

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in History, Japan, Military Affairs, National Security, Okinawa 65, USA, War and Peace | 11 Comments »