Okinawa

The Last Battle
Narrated by: Joe Barrett
Length: 15 hrs and 42 mins
Categories: History, Asia
4.6 out of 5 stars (24 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

On 1 April, 1945, the largest amphibious assault of the Pacific Theater began. The battle for the island of Okinawa would last for the next 82 days. Through the course of this dramatic battle, over 20,000 Americans would lose their lives, and over 75,000 Japanese were killed in one of the bloodiest clashes of World War II. Okinawa: The Last Battle is a remarkably detailed account of this monumental event by four soldiers who witnessed the action first-hand. They take the listener to heart of the fight explaining the preparations for the invasion, under its codename Operation Iceberg, through to the major conflicts at the beachhead, Ie Shima, breaking through the defenses surrounding Shuri, and overcoming the last-ditch counter-offenses of the Japanese.

This book is a must-listen for anyone interested the Pacific Theater and how the United States Marines and Army were able to overcome the Japanese in the last few months of the war. Corporal Eugene B. Sledge said of the battle: "The Japanese fought to win-it was a savage, brutal, inhumane, exhausting and dirty business."

Okinawa: The Last Battle was written by US Army historians who participated in the Ryukyus campaign as members of a group organized to accompany the American forces to the Ryukyus and secure at first hand the materials for a history of their operations. Maj. Roy E. Appleman was attached to the 27th Division, M/Sgt. James M. Burns and Lt. Col. Stevens accompanied the Tenth Army headquarters, and Capt. Russell A. Gugeler served with the 7th Division on Okinawa. After the war, many of the authors went on to become prominent military historians. Appleman passed away in 1996, Burns in 2014, Stevens in 2001, and Gugeler in 1985. Their work was first published in 1948.

Public Domain (P)2018 Tantor

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Good Okinawa History

This is written right after the war, so details of the campaign/battles were still fresh. The book discusses several battles with great detail without bogging down in useless numbers. It also has numerous stories of individual heroics. I also liked the discussions about logistics, psy-ops operations and managing the local government and population. These hardly ever get discussed in these types of history books. I would recommend reviewing maps of the campaign before listening to better understand all the maneuvers and battle locations.