Pearl Harbor and D-Day have been commemorated every year since WW II ended. About 150,000 U.S. troops assaulted the beaches at Normandy, assisted with British, French, and troops of other nationalities. U.S. losses were about 10,000 men. Yet Iwo Jima cost more Marine lives than any other engagement in the Pacific Theater; this and heavy loss of lives elsewhere in the island hopping campaign have never been given this recognition.
Iwo Jima is a sulfurous rock of about 8 square miles, one third the size of Manhattan Island. Sulphur is crystalline; it doesn’t stick together, or compact. Foxholes can’t be dug. The beaches were knee deep in it. Where one could dig, going more than a foot down became so hot the soldiers could cook their rations in it. Mt. Suribachi, as well as the rest of the island was honeycombed with tunnels, some more than 30 feet deep leading to their heavy guns, mortars, and machine gun emplacements; though the island was bombed repeatedly for months prior to the invasion, and the Navy bombarded it for three days prior to the assault, this had little if any effect on the Japanese fortifications. Every inch of the areas were registered by the Japanese guns…
From the initial force of 60,000, the cost in Marine lives approached 7,000 men, with another 15,000 injured. These four videos are a collection of personal accounts (both American and Japanese) to show why Iwo was indeed thirty-six days of hell.
This video contains the political events leading up to the beginning of hostilities with the attack on Pear Harbor; and Pacific campaigns culminating in the invasion of Iwo Jima.
ISLAND OF DEATH – This provides a perspective of the tunnel system, and the few survivors of the Japanese who fought there. [a comment made by one of those men indicates the interviews to have been filmed about 1995]
Return to Iwo Jima –
Published on Sep 26, 2014
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VOLUME IV, “Return to Iwo Jima.” The 4th installment in Larry Cappetto’s award winning public television documentary series, “Lest They Be Forgotten.”
“Uncommon Valor Was A Common Virtue.” The bloodiest battle the Marines have ever fought. Hear first hand accounts from the men who landed on this tiny pork chop shaped island, Feb. 19, 1945.
Photo by Louis R. Lowery.
Featuring: World War Veterans, Lloyd Lewis, Wallace Cackler.
Produced & Directed by: Larry R. Cappetto
Music by: Larry R. Cappetto.
Runtime: 66 Minutes
Color, Stereo, Widescreen (16:9)
A Team Heaven and Larry Cappetto Film
© 2014 Shawn/Michael Productions
All rights reserved
IWO POW Taizo Sakai
Published on Feb 17, 2013
The Most Important Prisoner of Iwo Jima – Taizo Sakai – A Japanese Documentary in English
On March 17th, 1945, near Bloody Gorge on Iwo Jima, Two American soldiers, Hutch Harnsberger and Fiorenzo Lopardo, became friends with a Japanese soldier who, unlike nearly all other of his comrades decided committing suicide for the emperor was a terrible idea, so he surrendered in the early morning hours. Hutch and Fio both discovered that he ran the code room for Japanese General Kirobyashi, his name was Taizo Sakai. Both Americans never forgot Taizo. In 1985, Hutch began a fruitless search to find him, but Fio’s son Stephen Lopardo, was relentless conducting a 10 year search he called “The Hunt for Taizo Sakai”. Steve Lopardo story is in this Japanese documentary, Steve Harnsberger, Hutch’s son, joined in the search in its later years. While Fio and Hutch have long since passed away, as had Saikai, the story of their friend, and the most important POW from Iwo Jima lives on.