The Battle of Okinawa, 1 April to 22 June 1945, is known to English language|
readers through a variety of accounts, both official and commercial.
Some of these works focus on operations, and some provide personal
perspectives, so that most major features of the American experience on
Okinawa are thoroughly known. However, another whole dimension of the
Okinawa struggle is not as well known: Japan's Okinawa. To staff and
line soldiers of the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA), the events of Okinawa
appeared quite differently than they did to their American counterparts.
For the Japanese, the operational problems were different, the solutions were
different, and the perceived results from day to day were different. American
combat experiences on Okinawa teach us something about the lethality of
modern warfare; Japan's experiences on Okinawa may teach us still more.