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30 May 2014

Charles Rivers Editors: The Greatest Battles in History: The Battle of Okinawa

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The deciding bloody battle of the Pacific War
It has been some time since I have read one of the many short novellas about key events in history. This one didn't disappoint me as it added something to my knowledge of world history.

Okinawa was the deciding battle in the Pacific war when the Japanese fought to the death to prevent a US invasion of the Japanese mainland. It was the fiercest battle in that war with nearly 60,000 US and over 100,000 Japanese soldiers killed. During the battle tens of thousands of Japanese civilians were also slaughtered. This battle also heralded the start of Kamikaze suicide attacks on US ships. It also heralded the start of the cult of suicide bombing for a cause that has been taken up by modern day terrorists.

The most important deciding impact of this fierce battle was a clear indication that hundreds of thousands on both sides would be killed if the US invaded the Japanese mainland and was a key element in President Truman's decision to use the Atomic Bomb. "More Japanese died on Okinawa than in both atomic bombings combined."

These short historical novellas are always a great, quick read to extend one's historical knowledge.

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