World Battlefronts: Hell's Acre

For all their drama, the air strikes on Tokyo were incidental. They were designed to isolate the battlefield, to pin the Japs' home-based aircraft to the ground, while more Navy plans unfolded at Iwo Jima—also known as Sulphur Island.

Little Iwo, only five miles by three, covering only eight square miles, lay almost exactly halfway between Guam and Tokyo. From its airfields enemy planes had attacked B-29s and their fields at Saipan; its radar station had tattled to Tokyo whenever B-29s were on the way.

The Japs knew how vital it was to U.S....

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