Seventy-five years ago, the largest operation in the largest naval war in the history of the world commenced as Allied forces launched Operation Iceberg—the campaign to conquer Okinawa. The island formed the gateway to the Japanese homeland, and for the Japanese, it was to be a desperate, sacrificial effort to stave off looming defeat. Half a million Allied personnel would partake in the epic battle for Okinawa. It was the culmination of World War II’s long, bloody, island-by-island struggle across the Pacific. And Okinawa itself would prove, both in operational scope and the cold calculus of casualty numbers, to be the ultimate struggle of the Pacific war.
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