What is the Battle of Iwo Jima? Where is Iwo Jima?

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This battle was also a textbook example of how the Japanese soldiers in that war fought to the bitter end rather than surrender.  The island itself is relatively small, shaped like a pork chop, and strategically located much closer to Japan.  The airfield on the island was the most important prize of the battle.

The Japanese forces allowed the Marines to land without firing and waited until the landing ships had departed before opening fire.  Today, the island is uninhabited because there is so much remaining unexploded ordinance that it is not even feasible to develop the island for tourism.

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The battle of Iwo Jima was fought in 1945.  It was the first time that the US fought to take an island that had been part of Japan before the beginning of WWII.  The island (which is very tiny) was valuable mainly in that it was a good place for American bombers to land if they were too badly damaged in raids on Japan to be able to return to their bases on Saipan and Tinian in the Mariana Islands.

This battle is most famous for the picture of the US Marines raising the flag on the top of Mt. Suribachi.

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