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brettd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Okinawa was one of the last major battles of World War II, represented actual Japanese territory, and they threw everything they had into defending it, including Kamikaze attacks and 100,000 troops with orders to fight to the last man.

Very few were taken alive, and American casualties were horrendous.  Along with other battles we had fought against similar tactics with similar losses, resistance during the battle for Okinawa contributed in part to Truman's decision to drop the atomic bomb rather than invade Japan's home islands with conventional forces.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Battle of Okinawa was fought, not surprisingly, on the island of Okinawa.  This was the only battle that was fought on populated Japanese territory during the war.

This battle was mainly important strategically because it took Okinawa for the US.  The US could have then used Okinawa as staging area for an invasion of the Japanese home islands.

This battle showed how bloody an invasion of Japan would have been.  Huge numbers of American soldiers were killed as were practically all the Japanese defenders and thousands of Japanese civilians.