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Bloodbath in the Bonins
Iwo Jima was a critical point on the flight
path of US bombers from their Saipan bases to their Japanese targets. The
island would be a refuge for malfunctioning or damaged bombers coming or going.
An obvious target for a US amphibious assault, the Japanese had reinforced the
garrison and dug miles of tunnels the length and breadth of the island. Their
goal was to inflict maximum casualties on the Americans to force them to
reconsider the seemingly inevitable invasion of Japan. The resulting battle was
brutal, even by the standards of the Pacific War.
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