Killing Ground on Okinawa

The Battle for Sugar Loaf Hill

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Overview

A key point in the Japanese defensive line on Okinawa in May 1945, Sugar Loaf Hill was the site of a tenacious seven-day battle that inflicted heavy casualties on the U.S. Marines attacking the hill. In this emotionally compelling account of the fierce fight, James H. Hallas chronicles the extraordinary courage and tactical skills of the 6th Marine Division's junior officers and enlisted men as they captured a network of sophisticated Japanese defenses on Sugar Loaf while under heavy artillery fire from surrounding hills. To give human dimensions to the story, the author draws on his many interviews with participants and skillfully weaves together their individual stories of the sustained close-quarter fighting that claimed more than 2,000 Marine casualties. Pushed to their physical and moral limits during eleven attempts to capture the fifty-foot-high 300-yard-long hill, the Marines' proved their uncommon valor to be a common virtue, and this detailed record of their courage and commitment assures them a permanent place in history.

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