The End of the Okinawa Fighting

Okinawa

Hari-kari to end Okinawa

‘The Fall of Japan” by William Craig, excerpt submitted by Rosalinda Morgan who can be found at https://subliblog.wordpress.com/

On the evening of the twenty-first of June, Generals Ushijima and Cho sat down to a sumptuous meal in their home under Hill 89. Overhead the Americans walked on top of the escarpment, where Japanese soldiers continued to resist them by fighting for every rock and tree.

The generals ate quietly. As their aids offered toasts, the two leaders drank to each other with dregs of whiskey preserved for this moment. A full moon shone on the white coral ledges of Hill 89 as a final tribute rang through the cave: “Long live the Emperor.”

At 4:00 A.M. on the morning of the twenty-second, Ushijima, cooling himself with a bamboo fan, walked with Cho between lines of crying subordinates to the mouth of the cave. There Cho turned to his superior and said, “I will lead the way.” The two generals emerged into the moonlight. They were followed by several staff officers.

Outside the entrance a quilt had been laid on top of a mattress. Loud firing sounded on all sides as American infantrymen, no more than fifty feet away, sensed movement. Ushijima proceeded to sit down and pray. Cho did the same.

Ignoring the guns and grenades, Ushijima bowed low toward the ground. His adjutant handed him a knife. The general held it briefly in front of his body, then ripped it across his abdomen. Immediately his adjutant raised a jeweled sword and brought it down across his neck. Ushijima’s head toppled onto the quilt and blood spattered the onlookers. Within seconds, General Cho died the same way.

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Okinawa, The Flag is raised

By 30 June, even the mopping up was completed’

The battle of Okinawa had ended. Over 12,000 Americans and more than 100,000 Japanese were dead and there were 7,401 military prisoners.  The American flag flew only 350 miles from Japan.

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Clearing the post of Naha, 19 June 1945

During the Okinawa campaign, a very strange “armed truce” occurred on a nearby island.  The commander of the small Japanese garrison asked to have time to consult with Tokyo about continuing his pointless holdout.  He later met several American emissaries on his beach and informed them that he was forbidden to surrender – but he would not fire on parties visiting the island for recreational purposes – on the condition that they did not molest his people.  Quite an improvement on the “old Pacific War”.

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Military Humor – 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Farewell Salutes – 

Alan I. Armour – Chicago, IL; US Army, Korean War, Lt., battalion cmdr. 187th RCT “Rakkasans”

Raymond Bonang – Boothbay Harbor, ME; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 880th Airborne Engineers

John Broderick – Pittsbourgh, PA; US Army, 756th Field Artillery Battalion, MSgt.

William Fouty Sr. – Tukwila, WA; USMC, WWII, PTO

G.M. ‘Jim’ Greene – Conway, AR; US Army, WWII, PTO, 7th Cavalry

John McGinnis – NY; US Army, Vietnam, 173rd Airborne Brigade

Chalmers Murray – Ft. Lauderdale, FL; US Army, WWII

Percy Overman Jr. – Newport News, VA; Merchant Marine, aviator

Howard Wildrick – Highland, NY; USMC

Thomas ‘Vic’ Varnedoe – Nashville, TN; US Army, Sgt., 2nd Infantry Division

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About GP Cox

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GPCox is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on August 30, 2018, in WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 91 Comments.

  1. I liked the “armed truce” you mentioned. Sometimes I think there is hope for humanity.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Zoveel doden verschrikkelijk en het blijft maar doorgaan in de wereld..Men zal het nooit leren maar laten we toch niet vergeten waarvoor soldaten hun leven gaven

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So much senseless useless slaughter, and we never learn

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Grim and terrible reading that serves to emphasise the futility of war. We humans never learn, no matter what the cost in human misery. Thank you for your research and sheer tenacity to keep telling the truth.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. thank God
    it’s ended,
    finally 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I think this is still happening GP.

    Like

    • How do you mean? The arguments over the US base on the island?

      Like

      • Just in general I am stating this. Soldiers still follow commands, even bad ones. Kessinger supposedly made a remark (to China ) referencing the post engagement of US troops in Vietnam, that USA Troops just do as they are told. Not an untruth but I guess it was how I perceived it as to presumably whom and how it was said. Thanks G P, but I am not exactly sure of the statement’s source or its entirety.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. What a bloody battle for that island

    Liked by 1 person

  8. What a leader to lead the way… To the death!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Quick note about an addition to your next farewell salute: Henry Sakaida, a Pacific War historian, died on the 28th. More here: https://www.facebook.com/PacificWrecks/photos/pb.27508020381.-2207520000.1535729625./10155741914950382/?type=3&theater

    Liked by 2 people

  10. That was a very sad ending to a battle that was fought harder than anyone would expect. I like the story of the truce.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. As you know I was in the infantry and deployed but I can´t imagine that, too much.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. What a terrible choice they had to make. It was death anyway that you looked at it. Thanks for sharing their story.

    Liked by 1 person

    • A different culture may be difficult to understand of course. The Japanese felt it a dishonor to surrender and live to become a prisoner and yet this country is now having a POW lie in state, honored in Washington DC. Two different ideas of thought.

      Like

  13. Hara kiri, Bushido, kamikaze … I guess one has to be “to the manner born” to properly understand.

    We have a ‘Japanese Garden’ in Queens Park in Invercargill, I go there often to relax and on occasion I sneak into the trees to sit and meditate. It works … but if I were the kind to take offence I’d bleat about the way the stones have been raked lately. But some folks haven’t a clue—and (thank heavens) why should they?

    Liked by 1 person

  14. That last story of the commander of the Japanese garrison is remarkable. He found a neat way to do several things at once: remain obedient to his command, avoid surrendering, reduce bloodshed, and so on. If only we had such creative thinkers commanding our government — things might look a little different than they do.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Not readily assimilated in the mind, this mind boggling to me as a civillian, not in my normal daily experience, to read of it is breathtaking.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Sir Max Hastings called bushido demented and I wouldn’t argue with that. The man on the nearby island had the right idea.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’ve read into the Samurai thought on bushido and found that there are variations, difficult to comprehend it all for this brain. I agree that commander was using logic.

      Like

  17. Although I’d never heard this before, I knew where those generals were heading. You wrote it so beautifully and yet in such a haunting way. What a terrible way to die.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I enjoyed the story of the Japanese commander of that island. He was a realist for sure. The Japanese code of Bushido was a tough one to reconcile in the West. It led to atrocities such as occurred on the Bataan Death March and elsewhere. To surrender was dishonorable. Those that did surrender were dishonored. (including our troops) Super post, GP.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Very true. What they did during the March was unspeakable, but there are some reasons behind it. The enemy never expected so many prisoners which resulted in lack of supplies to feed them all, not enough transportation to move them and the young guards were petrified of the superiors if the line didn’t keep moving. Many a Japanese soldier was killed for NOT being hard enough on the POWs. A terrifying situation for everyone!!

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Millions dead, maimed and murdered.
    Because of the stupidity and evil of a few.
    As always.
    But imagine if you/we hadn’t prevailed?
    May we never take our Freedoms for granted.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Somehow I missed that this was the ending. There was a nobility in this fight. They had to lose but they fought for the right reasons.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Capturing Okinawa was quite an accomplishment for the Allied forces. The closer the Allies got to the Japanese home islands, the harder they fought. What was accomplished in the Pacific in rolling back the Japanese is especially remarkable when we recall that throughout the war the effort in the Pacific was secondary to Europe. Our forces were second in line for supplies and material almost right to the end.

    The “armed truce” on that nearby island is an interesting anecdote. The commander of that garrison found a unique way to surrender – and save himself and his troops.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. What a gruesome way to commit suicide! The honour code of the Japanese army through all the ranks including the generals is very hard for us westerners to understand.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. The way the two generals died is stunning.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Sounds like quite a clever commander of that small Japanese garrison.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Reblogged this on Rosalinda R Morgan and commented:
    I find it difficult to understand the practice of hari-kari.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Thanks for posting this. I love the military humor. I’m reblogging this.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Sir I love the history lessons I get from reading your articles, I am going to reblog this article for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. 112,000 killed taking Okinawa. That’s equivalent to the population of a city. I can only imagine the casualties resulting from an invasion of mainland Japan. Just as well that wasn’t necessary.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Thank you GP! And the humor is fantastic too. 😉 “Yes we can!” – “Impossible to translate!” LoL Michael

    Liked by 3 people

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