Operation Iceberg: The Invasion and Conquest of Okinawa in World War II--An Oral History

Gerald Astor, Author Dutton Books $24.95 (512p) ISBN 978-1-55611-425-0
On April 1, 1945, a combined Army-Navy-Marine force landed on Okinawa for what turned out to be the last major battle of WWII. In Astor's panoramic overview, nearly 100 American and Japanese survivors recall the fighting, each voice bearing out the author's contention that ``the savagery of combat on Okinawa over a period of three months epitomized war at its worst.'' By June 20, 1945, General Simon Buckner's Tenth Army had conquered the island, though Buckner himself had been killed two days before. Statistics alone convey the epic scale of the battle: 12,520 American and 110,071 Japanese killed; 763 U.S. and 7700 Japanese planes destroyed. In this first-rate account of the tactical ebb and flow, Astor (Battling Buzzards) brings into focus the bitter rivalry between the Army and Marines during the campaign. And he incidentally tells the story of the last days of Ernie Pyle, the war's most celebrated correspondent, including details of Pyle's little-known sojourn with the Marines. Pyle was killed by a sniper on April 18, 1945. Photos. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/03/1995
Release date: 04/01/1995
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