Friday, April 23, 2010

Americans invade Okinawa

Source: On War

In the Ryukyu Islands... On Okinawa, American forces launch Operation Iceberg, the invasion of Okinawa. Two corps of the US 10th Army (General Buckner) land in the area of Hagushi, in the southwest of the island. US Task Force 51 (Admiral Turner) provides the 1,200 transports and landing ships with over 450,000 Army and Marine Corps personnel embarked. The troops landed are from US 3rd Amphibious Corps (Geiger) with US 6th and 1st Marine Divisions, on the left or northern flank, and 24th Corps (Hodge) with US 7th and 96th Infantry Divisions, on the right or southern flank. On land, US forces encounter almost no resistance on the first day and establish a beachhead three miles deep and nine miles wide. (Okinawa is 70 miles long and a maximum of 10 miles wide.) Kadena and Yontan airfields are captured. Japanese forces on the island, consisting of the 130,000 troops of the Japanese 32nd Army (General Ushijima), are entrenched in concealed positions and caves, mostly to the south of the American landing area along the Shuri Line. (There are also 450,000 civilians on the island.) At sea, US TF58 and TF54 as well as the British Pacific Fleet conduct air and naval bombardments. Japanese conventional and Kamikaze air strikes hit the battleship USS West Virginia, and the carrier, HMS Indomitable, along with eight other ships.

On the Western Front... The US 1st and 9th Armies link up at Lippstadt, cutting off the German forces in the Ruhr which consist of 325,000 men mostly from German 15th Army and 5th Panzer Army of German Army Group B (Field Marshal Model). Other elements of US 1st Army capture Paderborn while US 9th Army units take Hamm. To the north, forces of British 2nd Army have crossed the Mitteland Canal near Munster and are advancing to Osnabruck.

On the Eastern Front... Soviet forces of 3rd Ukrainian Front capture Sopron in western Hungary, to the south of Vienna, in a continuing advance. The 2nd Ukrainian Front, to the north, also continues to advance. On the Oder River, German resistance at Glogau is eliminated by elements of 1st Ukrainian Front.

In the Philippines... The US 158th Regiment (General MacNider) lands at Legaspi in the southeast of Luzon and takes the town and nearby airfield. Elsewhere on Luzon American forces are beginning to advance toward the southeast of Manila after much hard fighting against the Japanese forces of the Shimbu Group (General Yokoyama). Forces of the Japanese 14th Army (General Yamashita), in the north of the island, have also engaged by American and Filipino forces.

In Italy... British Guards and Commando units attack over the River Reno between Lake Comachio and the sea.

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