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Victory and Occupation: History of U.S. Marine Corps Operations in World War II (Volume V, Part II)


Victory and Occupation (Volume V) is presented in two parts. Part 1 ends with page 471. Part 2, a separate book, begins with page 472, the “Occupation of Japan,” and ends on page 945. This book is Part 2. This book represents the final work in the five-volume history of Marine Corps operations in World War II. The story of the Okinawa campaign, told earlier in a separate monograph, has been reevaluated and rewritten to detail events in proper proportion to each other and in a correct per­spective to the war as a whole. New material, particularly from Japanese sources and from the recorded interviews conducted with senior Marine Corps officers who participated in the Marine Corps Oral History Program, has been included to provide fresh insight into the Marine Corps’ contri­bution to the final victory of the Pacific War. These pages cover Marine Corps activities in the Okinawa invasion and the occupations of Japan and North China as well as the little-known story of Marine prisoners of war. The book relates the Corps’ postwar demobilization and reorganization programs as well. By 1945, amphibious warfare doctrine and techniques had become highly developed. While new and improved weapons were employed in the Okinawa campaign, the landing operation itself realistically demonstrated the soundness of funda­mental amphibious doctrine developed over the years by the Navy and the Marine Corps. Again, as at Guadalcanal, the battle for Okinawa clearly reemphasized the fact that basic Marine Corps tactics and techniques were sound. An outgrowth of the lessons learned at Okinawa was the establish­ment of a balanced air-ground amphibious force in readiness which has become the hallmark of the present-day Marine Corps. Many of the senior officers and commanders at Okinawa were prewar teachers and plan­ners who had participated in the early operations of the war in the Pacific. The successful application at Okinawa of the knowledge, expertise, and experiences of these individuals against a fanatic foe fighting a last-ditch battle to protect his homeland was a vital factor in the final victory over Japan. The assault and capture of Okinawa represents the most ambitious joint Army-Navy-Marine Corps operation in the history of the Pacific War. Statistically, in comparison to previous assaults in this war zone, the numbers of men, ships, and planes as well as the tons of munitions and supplies employed in this campaign stagger the imagination. But, had the enemy not capitulated in face of the American victories in the western Pacific and as a result of the atom bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the personnel and logistics figures reflecting the requirements for the planned assault on Japan would have been even more overwhelming. Fortunately for both sides, the war ended before more blood was shed.

474 pages

Categories: All Books, World War II


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