The day the battle of Iwo Jima started – level 3


At the beginning of 1945, it was clear that the Japanese air force and navy were in ruins and couldn’t win the war for the Japanese emperor. Step by step, the Americans conquered one island in the Pacific Ocean after another. Despite all that, the emperor ordered that all soldiers should commit suicide rather than surrender and be taken captive.

In February 1945, the Americans wanted to attack a small Japanese island of Iwo Jima which was located 1,200 kilometers from Tokyo. There was a strategic runway on the island that the Americans wanted to capture in order to bomb Japan in a more effective way.

The Japanese had 21,000 soldiers on the island and they were ready to fight to the last man. They used special tactics to defend the island. They had many hidden places on the island connected by underground passages.

On February 19, 1945, the Americans landed on the island with many of their soldiers and a battle for every meter of the land began. The fighting lasted 5 weeks. 20,000 Japanese and 6,800 Americans died. The Americans eventually gained control over the island.

Difficult words: navy (sea soldiers) commit (to do), surrender (to give up), captive (kept in prison), to fight to the last man(to fight until no one is alive), passage (a way with walls on both sides).

What was the Japanese emperor's decision to order all soldiers to commit suicide rather than surrender and be taken captive?


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