Who knew that the lives of the Okinawans would change suddenly after just a battle? It brought the lives of the citizens to a halt. When Okinawans were struggling, Frantz Fanon came into the picture and blessed many.
As soon as he stepped on the island, he became a brotherly figure to the Okinawan kids. During those days, Frantz was planning to join the Marines. So when he received the training letter, he left for the United States to join the Marines.
When Frantz Fanon went to the United States to become a soldier, the citizens of Okinawa did not feel confident about what to do next because he was always there to guide them.
They still learned many new things and hoped to show them to Frantz after he returned. One fine day, he was on a leave and came back to the island of Okinawa. The neighborhood couldn’t control their happiness and waited eagerly to share what he had missed.
The Okinawans had learned many new things and they happily showed them to Frantz. Frantz was happy as well to see the neighborhood prosper.
The Story Behind How Many Okinawa Kids Frantz Fanon Takes Under His Wing
Frantz Fanon came to Okinawa in 1952. As soon as he arrived, he was shocked by the number of street kids living in slums. So he decided to help these little ones by taking a bunch of them under his wing.
He not only provided them shelter and food but also taught them how to write and read. Later on, Frantz came to know that Okinawa people required help as well as who were living in poverty.
These citizens were facing oppression and discrimination by the Japanese government. So he fought along with them for their rights.
The Battle Of Okinawa
As Hitler was dead, the United States was at peace and war was over. However, their peace was short-lived when the Japanese attacked the US ships in suicide bombing attacks.
On April 1, 1945, more than 60,000 soldiers along with the US Marines of the US Tenth Army stormed ashore on Okinawa Island.
This major battle was fought between the United States and the Empire of Japan. It is said to be the final island battle before winning over Japan.
After the initial advance, US forces soon encountered the defenses of Japan. And the savage battle began at the southern end of the island.
The battle was not easy because the Americans had to also fight the rugged terrain and heavy rains. This slowed their natural defensive positions and swift movement around Okinawa Island.
And nearly for three months, the battle raged via air, sea, and land. Like the killing of Iwo Jima, Okinawa’s bloodshed speculated more deaths could follow in the coming months.
By April 18, after the anticipated invasion of Japan’s home islands, US Marines overcame Japanese defenses in the northern part of Okinawa.
On the other hand, the opposition in the south seemed formidable. The Japanese defense held up the American advances for a good amount of time. But even after anchoring defenses at historic Shuri Castle, they were beaten by the Tenth Army on May 29.
Later on, US Marines seized the Naha airfield through an assault that was held on June 4. On March 26, the Japanese army started suicide plane attacks in the preliminary operations.
At the end of the campaign, they launched almost 2,000 suicide attacks against the Americans. In these attacks, 164 ships were damaged and 26 got sunk.
How Many Japanese Soldiers Were Killed In The Battle Of Okinawa?
Fought between April 1st and June 22nd, 1945, the Battle of Okinawa cost a lot more than just a life. The victory was not so sweet as this battle is said to be one of the deadliest battles during World War II.
The gruesome battle continued for more than three months and it resulted in more than 49,000 American casualties, which also includes about 12,000 deaths.
Moreover, during the final offensive, Tenth Army’s commander, Lieutenant General Simon Bolivar Buckner Jr. was killed by a sniper on June 18. It is being said that he was one of the highest-ranking American generals who died in action during World War II.
Apart from that, around 90,000 Japanese combatants lost their lives fighting in the final stages of the battle. In the end, they did not surrender but chose suicide as the last option.
Some Japanese soldiers jumped from the mountains and some took their lives by exploding hand grenades. But the casualties and death among the civilians are much bigger than the Japanese soldiers.
How Many People Died In The Battle Of Okinawa?
The Battle of Okinawa is the last brutal battle ever that took place at the end of World War II. According to the sources, over 150,000 people died in the battle between America and Japan. And the death of the civilians crossed over 100,000.
Who Won The Battle Of Okinawa?
The American army started a massive invasion of Okinawa, a Japanese-held island. The fierce battle took a very bad turn and many lives were lost from both ends.
In the first two months, around 12,00 American troops lost their lives. On the other hand, the Japanese lost 100,000 soldiers.
The fight was very tough as the southern end of the island held a very strong defense. As the Japanese army began to falter, the winning chances for America grew more and more. But their victory came with a cost and many Americans lost their fellow soldiers.
The Japanese army had created bunkers and tunnels under the island and whenever the Americans would do heavy bombardment, they would go back inside and hide for a while.
They defended their post till the very last but the American troops outnumbered them. The US was always thinking ahead of them and continued to zero in and come closer to their enemy’s location.
The innocent civilian population, also known as Okinawans had nothing to do with this battle but died in the same battle as they had nowhere to go.
The Japanese troops used the Okinawans as human shields to protect them from the soldiers. Some Japanese saw these civilians as a liability and killed them on the spot. By the end of the battle, more than 150,000 innocent Okinawan civilians lost their lives.
When the Americans won over Okinawa island, it paved the way for the invasion of Japan. The Americans also dropped an atomic bomb on Japan to force them to surrender.
But they still chose to fight and in the end, most of the Japanese troops preferred to commit suicide instead of surrendering to the Americans.
How Many American Army Soldiers And Marines Invaded The Island Of Okinawa?
On April 1, 1945, the American soldiers and Marines marched their way to invade Okinawa, which was held by the Japanese troops.
It is considered one of the biggest assaults of the Pacific War. The Japanese army had formed its base on this island to stop the American troops from entering mainland of Japan.
But the US had other plants. They wanted to take over the island and form it as a base. The Japanese were very ahead of the US army as they had formed tunnels and bunkers inside the island. In this assault, more than 180,000 American troops were part of this operation. Among them, over 12,000 soldiers died fighting against the Japanese army.
The battle was one of the bloodiest of the war, with over 100,000 Japanese soldiers and civilians also being killed. The island was finally captured by the Americans after a three-month battle, and it would go on to play a key role in the eventual defeat of Japan.
The Aftermath Of The Battle Of Okinawa
The brutal war between America and the Japanese continued for more than 3 months and even after winning the war, Americans and the Okinawans had suffered heavy damage. The fierce fight came to a halt after three months when America took over the island.
By just reading or hearing about World War stories, we all get goosebumps. But the horrors the Okinawans and Americans had to face were worse.
The soldiers who came back alive were either severely injured or broken mentally. Sources reveal that these soldiers were later diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Aside from this, things did not stop here. The battle between America and Japan had a very lasting impact on Okinawa island.
As the Japanese troops had used this island as a military base, most of the civilians who were the residents of Okinawa were forced to leave their island which had been their home for ages.
The after-effects of the American and Japanese wars can still be seen today by tourists as World War II sites. Many good sources showcase the battle.
There is a book named “Okinawa: The Last Battle of World War II” that shares the details about the war on the island and a film called “Hacksaw Ridge” where the horrors of the war are brilliantly portrayed by one man who gets caught up in this fierce battle.
How Long Did The Battle Of Okinawa Last?
The battle of Okinawa started on April 1, 1945, and ended on June 22, 1945. This brutal battle lasted for almost three months. And over 12,000 Brave hearts of America lost their lives on the Island.
Casualties After The Battle Of Okinawa
As the battle lasted for three months, it was a bit tiring and ferocious for American troops and civilians. Within these three months, there were a lot of casualties which can be compared to any other battle of World War II.
Some Okinawans left their homes, but the others who stayed were left in God’s mercy. The main motive of the battle between Japan and the United States was to take over the post of Okinawa. But this cost a lot and the island lost a lot of its charm in this ugly war.
However, taking over Okinawa island was crucial for the American because it was the nearest location for the American bombers to take a halt before launching an attack. Furthermore, it was the last resort for the United States to reach Japan and make them surrender.
Both the parties suffered heavy casualties and for just one win, many lives were lost. The battle was so bloody that at one point almost the entire land was covered with dead bodies.
Japanese and American lost their soldiers, but the highest casualties were Okinawan residents, who were caught up in the battle and had nowhere to run to on this tiny island. This tragic battle is written in the history books of the horrific wars of World War II.
Significance Of Battle Of Okinawa
The Battle of Okinawa was destructive but it played an important role. This battle resulted in the wounded people and deaths of more than 12,000 American soldiers and more than 100,000 Okinawan civilians. Some Japanese soldiers committed suicide as they did not want to die at the hands of American troops.
Still, this battle was important for many people and is being written in golden words in the history books. The Japanese army was not easy to beat in the first two months, but by the end, American troops defeated them.
However, the deaths and serious casualties led the American forces to work on new ways to defeat Japan. The fierce defense from the Japanese end made it crystal clear that the Japanese were all set to fight with all their might. This led to an eventual decision to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
As the Battle of Okinawa was the last bigger battle of World War II, many countries learned their lessons in a tougher way and also paid a huge price.
The blood spilled by the soldiers on the island, and the lives lost of the innocent civilians will always be remembered by everyone.
Our Final Thoughts
In a nutshell, the residents of Okinawa had to face a lot. It was trapped between two nations’ battles and the effects are still seen today.
They are still not treated equally by the Japanese government, which is really not fair with what they had to go through because of the Japanese army.
Frantz Fanon came like a ray of hope to Okinawans. He is a retired marine who now stays on the island along with the residents of the island. He also has his own blog, which is called Okinawa Dad where he shares about his and his kid’s life on the island.
Frantz has done many things for the people of Okinawa. For the better future of the Okinawa kids, he took them under their wing so they can become better humans tomorrow.
These little ones are facing difficulties in school or being abandoned by their own blood-related parents. So Frantz guides and mentors them to stay on the right path.
This man is living proof that kindness still exists in this world. And we don’t have to be related to needy people who we want to help and in desperate need of care and support.
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