In Post #21, it was suggested that Chichi Jima would have been a better alternative to Iwo Jima. Although lightly defended, Chichi Jima is all hills and mountains and had no airfield. According to Wikipedia, in 2020 the Japanese Government was considering building an airport on Chichi Jima, but it would be a ten year project. In 1945, the only place in the Bonin and Volcano Islands that could accommodate and did have airfields was Iwo Jima.
I think the strategic mistake regarding Iwo Jima was not attacking after the capture of the Marianas. Waiting till after Peleliu, Leyte, and Luzon allowed too much time for the Japanese to reinforce and fortify the island. In "Official Chronology of the US Navy in World War Two" and on the combinedfleet.com website, you can read about Japanese efforts to convoy supplies and troops to Iwo and US air, surface, and submarine efforts to interdict this traffic. There were also air (land and carrier based) and surface bombardments of Iwo. Neither of these efforts were fully successful. The Japanese were given too much time and they knew that sooner or later, we would attack Iwo.
Iwo Jima 1945 One of the fiercest and bloodiest of the Pacific War
Discussions on WW2 in the Pacific and the Sino-Japanese War.
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Re: Iwo Jima 1945 One of the fiercest and bloodiest of the Pacific War
The problem is the capture of Iwo Jima was done against the wishes of Admiral king. He considered it a "worthless sinkhole". It was captured primarily to help the 20th AF, and to have a strategic outpost if we ever invaded the Japanese Main island. It was difficult enough to get him to go along with it with a Feb 1945 invasion date. He never would've agreed to a fall 44 attack, because:Jack Nisley wrote: ↑01 Dec 2021 04:40I
I think the strategic mistake regarding Iwo Jima was not attacking after the capture of the Marianas. Waiting till after Peleliu, Leyte, and Luzon allowed too much time for the Japanese to reinforce and fortify the island.
An operation to capture Iwo Jima would've had to been planned and approved Before the Marianas were captured. This would've delayed the invasion of Leyte or Formosa until well into spring of 1945. It cost more lives, but it made more sense to attack Leyte/Formosa in the fall 1944, and then do Okinawa/Iwo Jima in the Spring 45.