During world war two, there was a battle in the Pacific that would come to be known as one of the bloodiest battles of the war. Over 200,000 perished here and more American blood was spilled than the battle of Gettysburg. This was the battle of Okinawa. This is where Marines and the Japanese Imperials faced off. April 1st, 1945 Marines landed on Okinawa and by the end of that day more than 60,000 American military personnel had landed on Hagushi Bay. By the 20th all Japanese resistance had been removed from Hagushi Bay. April 4th, just south of the island the XIV Corps had begun the real battle of Okinawa. The XIV Corps tried to run straight into the Machinato line, but getting past the line wasn't as easy as they thought it would be, thus this brought a halt to their advance. After 20 days of battle the XIV corps finally breached the Machinato line, but after that there was the Shuri line, which slowed down their advance even more. The Americans were experiencing heavy losses outside of the land battle, on sea Kamikazes (Japanese suicide bombers) were attacking American warships and other ships. All together the Kamikazes had sunk 87 ships, (21 American, 66 other). May 3rd, 1945 Ushijima had ordered a counter-attack, but it had failed. As noted by a Marine, "the environment that was lived and fought in was so atrocious, words could not accurately describe it. It required all of the senses to truly understand the horrors of the battle. There were piles of dead bodies at the bottom of every hill and if someone was to slip in the mud and fall down a hill, they were apt to reach the bottom vomiting". Another Marine had said, “I saw more than one man lose his footing and slip and slide all the way to the bottom only to stand up horror-stricken as he watched in disbelief while fat maggots tumbled out of his muddy dungaree pockets, cartridge belt, legging lacings, and the like.” By May 21st, Ushijima ordered a retreat of Shuri line, but the Japanese stood strong and were willing to die before giving up the line. Once it got into June, the Japanese had finally seen their defeat. July 2nd, 1945 Okinawa was secure and as for Ushijima, well he committed suicide a few days before. The American invasion of Okinawa had taken a heavy toll on both sides. For the Americans on land, 7,373 men had died and 32,056 were wounded and for sea, 5,000 died and 4,600 were wounded. For the Japanese, 107,000 died, 7,400 men were taken prisoner, and possibly 20,000 died from being incinerated. As for ship and aircraft wise, for the Americans, 36 ships were lost and another 368 were damaged, and 763 aircraft were destroyed. For the Japanese, they lost 16 ships and 4,000 aircraft were destroyed. Due to all of the losses, the battle of Okinawa as come to be known as one of the bloodiest battles in history.
The front lines is the up close and first hand experience of any human on the battlefront. Also known as the line where two or more opposing armies face each other whether it be air, land, or sea. The front lines is also the place where all the bullets, bombs, etc, are flying. According to merriam-webster the front lines is a military line formed by the most advanced tactical combat units. The Free Dictionary says that it's a region where a battle is being (or has been) fought. Then the book, Up Front, by Bill Mauldin descriobes the front lines as boring, unless there is some action going on.
The topic I have chosen is the front lines of war. I chose this topic, because when most people think of wars they don't think of a human beings perspective, they think of just what their history book says, and just as so that's what i'm going to do; be on the front lines. This is a topic that I know little about, due to most things that you can read about war isn't necessarily in a specific persons perspective, but then again I don't read that much. I hope to learn more about this topic and gain a better perspective on it.