Marines taking cover as American dive-bombers fly overhead, Okinawa, April 1945
Photograph, World War Two, Far East (1941-1945), April 1945.
American marines landed on Okinawa in the Japanese Ryukyu Islands on 1 April 1945. After a bloody battle that lasted nearly three months they secured the island for use as an air base for attacks on the Japanese mainland.
The intense fighting and heavy casualties sustained on Okinawa convinced the Americans they would pay a high price for invading the mainland. This influenced their decision to drop the atomic bombs as a way of ending the war before any invasion took place.
From a collection of 650 photographs compiled by the Commando Association.
NAM Accession Number
National Army Museum, London
National Army Museum, Study collection
Browse related themes