MCOR 384 Presentation Okinawa

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Information about MCOR 384 Presentation Okinawa

Published on February 26, 2008

Author: Mertice


Okinawa, 1945:  Okinawa, 1945 Captain Jose A. Nicolas Amphibious Warfare MCOR 384 Learning Objectives:  Learning Objectives The student will comprehend/explain the political and strategic considerations, significance, and consequences of the Okinawa campaign. The student will comprehend/explain the key operational factors in planning the Okinawa invasion. The student will comprehend/explain the conduct of the landings and subsequent operations ashore. The student will comprehend/explain the small-unit tactics employed by Marines and Japanese during the battle ashore. General Significance:  General Significance This was the largest joint amphibious operation of the Pacific theater in World War II. Total troops committed, including the 2d Marine Division, came to 541,866! This included all services. There were 1,213 ships in support of the landing. Videos:  Videos Landings on Okinawa 09 APR 1945 0:50 – 1:35 Finals Days on Okinawa and Flame Thrower Technology 1:25 – 2:27 Orientation :  Orientation JAN – APR 1945 PL: Philippines and Marianas OBJ: Kyushu (Japan proper) NOV 1945 DOA Southern Approach: Luzon 9 JAN 1945 Central Approach: Iwo Jima 19 FEB 1945 Factual Background:  Factual Background Key personnel Admiral Spruance (OIC of entire Ryukyu campaign) Vice Admiral Turner (Commander Joint Expeditionary Force) Lieutenant General Buckner (Commander Expeditionary Troops) Major General Geiger (3d Amphibious Corps) Major General Hodge ( 24th Army Corps) Factual Background (cont.):  Factual Background (cont.) Chronology 3 October 1944: JCS direct Admiral Nimitz to invade Ryukyus (Operation Iceberg) two months following Iwo Jima operation 26-31 March 1945: 77th Infantry Division assaults and captures Kerema Retto and Keise Shima 1 April: Tenth Army, comprised of III Amphibious Corps and XXIV Corps, makes unopposed landing on Okinawa; Yonton and Kadena airfields secured Factual Background (cont.):  Factual Background (cont.) Chronology 11 April: Heavy Kamikaze attacks mounted against TF 58 22 April: Phase II of Iceberg completed with end of all organized major resistance in northern Okinawa and Ie Shima. Phase I continues 25 May: JCS directs the invasion of Japan, Operation Olympic, with a target date of 1 November 1945 Factual Background (cont.):  Factual Background (cont.) Chronology 18 June: General Buckner killed in action; General Geiger assumes command of the Tenth Army 21 June: Organized resistance ends on Okinawa Okinawa Facts:  Okinawa Facts Largest amphibious invasion of the Pacific campaign Okinawa had the most: ships used troops put ashore supplies transported bombs dropped naval guns fired against shore targets (3,800 tons of shells in first 24 hours, tetsu no bow - “storm of steel”) Last major campaign of the Pacific War Okinawa Facts Con’t:  Okinawa Facts Con’t Bloodiest battle of the Pacific War 34 allied ships and craft of all types had been sunk (mostly by kamikazes) versus 16 Japanese ships sunk 368 ships and craft damaged versus 4 Japanese ships damaged 763 aircraft lost versus 7,830 Japanese Aircraft lost Casualties 39,420 Americans wounded and 12,281 killed or missing 26,211 Non-battle casualties 110,071 Japanese and Okinawan conscripts killed 7,401 Japanese and Okinawan conscripts captured 100,000 Okinawan civilians who perished in the battle. More people died during the Battle of Okinawa than all those killed during the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Political Considerations:  Political Considerations This is hopefully the last island for U.S. troops to take in order for Japan to surrender. If Okinawa is unsuccessful, Operation Olympic is being planned for the invasion of Japan Strategic Considerations:  Strategic Considerations The strategic objectives were numerous sites for airfields from which planes of almost any type could easily reach the industrial areas of southern Japan The indented coastline offered some of the best fleet anchorages in the western Pacific The size and location of Okinawa would make an excellent staging base for further operations against the Japanese homeland Strategic Considerations (cont.):  Strategic Considerations (cont.) Okinawa was situated as to permit American naval and air power to control the East China Sea and its adjoining waters, which include approaches to Korea, Manchuria, Formosa, and the North China coast Strategic bombing is possible from air bases established on Iwo Jima and in the Marianas Operational Considerations:  Operational Considerations Adjacent islands to Okinawa (Kerama Retto and Keise Shima) are captured to place supporting artillery and protect the flanks of the landing assault forces Central Pacific Task Forces:  Central Pacific Task Forces Task Forces:  Task Forces Task Force 57: Aerial search and reconnaissance, antisubmarine warfare, and fleet logistic groups. Task Force 58: Fast carriers were tasked with neutralizing Japanese air strength. Task Force 51: Joint Expeditionary Force (Army, Navy, and Marines) was directly charged with the capture and development of Okinawa and other islands in the group. Task Forces Con’t:  Task Forces Con’t Task Force 56: Shipping and supporting naval and air units. Task Force 52: Direct naval and air support for Task Force 51 Task Force 54: Gunfire and Covering Force (old battleships, cruisers, destroyers) Task Forces 53 and 55: The transports and tractor units of the Northern Attack Force (TF 53) and Southern Attack Force (TF 55) were to land the ground troops in the main assault on the Okinawa beaches, while a number of task groups were assigned the task of transporting the troops for subsidiary landings and the float­ing and area reserves. Task Force 51 also included a transport screen, a service and salvage group, and several specialized naval units. Expeditionary Troops:  Expeditionary Troops Japanese Leadership:  Japanese Leadership Commander: Lt General Mitsuru Ushijima Calm, take charge officer Chief of Staff: Lt General Isamu Cho Aggressive, hot tempered officer Pushed his subordinates to the limit Senior Staff Officer in Charge of Operations: Colonel Hiromechi Yahara Admiral Fukudome – commanded army and navy air forces on Okinawa Japanese Troops:  Japanese Troops Despite the removal of the 9th Division, Ushijima still had some 110,000 troops available to him. This included: 62nd Division - 14,000 veteran troops under Lt General Takeo Fujioka 24th Division - 15,000 well-trained soldiers under Lt General Tatsumi Amamiya Slide24:  US Forces Tenth Army Army Personnel: 102,250 XXIV Army Corps: 88,415 7 Division: 21,929 27 Division: 16,143 77 Division: 20,981 96 Division: 22,330 Non-Divisional Artillery: 38,000 Service Troops: 9,000 Marine Personnel: 88,500 III Amphibious Corps: 85,247 1 MAR: 26,274 2 MAR: 22,195 6 MAR: 24,356 Corps Troops: 12,422 Navy Personnel: 18,000 Total: 209,000 Troops 154,000 in 7 combat divisions 116,000 in 5 divisions committed to Landing 1213 Ships and Craft employed in the Amphibious Stages of this Operation 88 Ships of Task Force 58 22 Ships of Royal Navy’s TF 57 95 Ships in ADM Beary’s Logistic and Support Group Japanese Forces 32d Army Headquarters: 1070 Total Infantry: 38,310 24th Division (triangular): 14,360 62d Division (square): 11,723 44th Independent Mixed Brigade: 4,485 1st-3rd,26th-29th Indept Bns: 6,252 223rd, 224th, 225th Spc. Garrison Cos: 600 3d, 4th Commando Units: 900 Artillery and Automatic Weapons: 11,476 Shipping and Engineers: 4,465 Air Force (Ground): 6,936 Line of Communication Troops: 7,333 Naval Units: 3,500 Misc. Units: 3,359 Total Strength: 77,199 Weapons and Capabilities:  Weapons and Capabilities US Forces Submarines RADAR (defense against Japanese air attack) NGFS Carrier Air Forces Close Air Support (CAS) Incendiary Bombs Flame Throwers Artillery Tanks Japanese Forces Kamikaze (“Divine Wind”) Baka Bombs Kikusui (“floating chrysanthemums”) Pillboxes Indirect Fire Mortars Grenades Satchel Charges Tunnels Japanese Weapons:  Japanese Weapons Regimental gun companies tended to have: (4) 75mm Model 41 infantry guns (4-6) 37mm Model 94 antitank guns Battalion machinegun companies usually consisted of: (8-12) 7.7mm Model 92 heavy machineguns (tripod-mounted) Gun companies had: (4) 70mm Model 92 infantry guns or 81mm Model 97 mortars instead Rifle companies: (3) rifle platoons (3) 13 - 15-man sections (with a Model 11, 96 or 99 bipod-mounted light machinegun 50mm Model 89 grenade dischargers - 'knee mortars') 13 - 15-man grenade discharger section with three 'knee mortars'. Strengths and Weaknesses:  Strengths and Weaknesses US Forces Strengths Mass Fire Support Initiative Experience Weaknesses Incorrect METT-T Planned for heavily opposed landing and rapid concentration of forces for counterattack Long supply lines Faced difficulty of keeping themselves supplied in a campaign of maneuver on a large land mass Japanese Forces Strengths Home Field Advantage Defense Ideology (Bushido) Weaknesses Misallocation of Troops 9th Division moved to Formosa Lack of Resources Insufficient air and naval resources MISSION:  Task Seize and develop the island of Okinawa and the establish control of the sea and air in the Ryukyus. In Order To Carry the war to the threshold of Japan Cut the enemy's air communications through the Ryukyus Flank his sea communications to the south. Okinawa was, moreover, in the line of advance both to the China coast and to the Japanese home islands MISSION Japanese Delaying Action:  Japanese Delaying Action When the enemy penetrates the defense zone, a campaign of attrition will be initiated to reduce his preponderance in ships, aircraft, and men, to obstruct the establishment of advance bases, to undermine enemy morale, and thereby to seriously delay the final assault on Japan…Preparations for the decisive battle will be completed in Japan proper in the early fall of 1945. In general, Japanese air strength will be conserved until an enemy landing is actually under way on or within the defense sphere. Execution:  Execution Operation ICEBERG based upon three assumptions: B29s flying from the Marianas The seizure of Iwo Jima Continued carrier strikes on the Home islands would concentrate most of the available Japanese aircraft there. Joint Operations Landing Forces composed of Army, Navy, and Marine Corps US Navy and Royal Navy fleets destroy most of Japan’s operational aircraft and provide heavy NGFS and CAS Slide31:  Execution Scheme of Maneuver 6 MAR 1 MAR 7 Infantry 96 Infantry Seizure of Key Terrain Keise Island Yontan and Kadena Airfields Ishikawa Isthmus Ie Shima Kuba Suki Action, Reaction, Counter-Action US lands unopposed IIIAC moves north Meets heavy opposition in Montobu Peninsula 4 JUNE 4th MAR conduct shore to shore Amphibious Operation as a means of envelopment XXIV moves south Japan launches counter-attack 4 MAY US secures island by 22 JUNE Tactical Considerations:  Tactical Considerations Okinawa was the largest and most costly amphibious operation in the Pacific campaign. There were 110,000 enemy troops, over 100,000 were killed; 7,830 Japanese planes were lost Total American battle casualties were over 49,000 (13,000 Marines) of which 12,500 were killed or missing. Thirty-six American ships were sunk and 368 damaged. A total of 763 planes were lost Although supporting arms helped, the key value to victory on Okinawa was the infantryman working with his supporting tanks Technical Considerations:  Technical Considerations Okinawa proved to be the largest amphibious operation of the Pacific which could be completed only because of superior logistical support. The logistics program was almost twice that of the Marianas campaign Tanks proved to be the weapon of choice to support the infantry Cave warfare was once seen again, as on Iwo Jima; blast and burn techniques proved again, successful Conclusions:  Conclusions Okinawa was an amphibious operation of the grandest scale which proved the value of joint operations more than any operation in the Pacific. Army and Marines worked successfully side by side to defeat the Japanese With the capture and the development of airfields on Okinawa, Army, Navy, and Marine Corps bombers and fighters were brought within easy range of the China coast, Korea, Shikoku, Kysushu, and Honshu which brought the Japanese shipping in these waters to a standstill Outcomes :  Outcomes US Forces achieved their goals Force unconditional surrender of Japanese forces on Okinawa Created a major staging area for Army and USMC units to invade mainland Japan US military bases remain on the island (III MEF) Lessons Learned Hagushi beaches were the right choice for landing Difficult to predict enemy intentions Limits to massed firepower Limits to target acquisition Casualty rates in supporting fleets Joint operations in Amphibious Operations Levels of War:  Levels of War Strategic:  Strategic Strike industrial heart of Japan Last stop to Japan Operation Downfall Kyushu Honshu Operational:  Operational Operation Iceberg Phase 1: Southern Okinawa Phase 2: Ie Shima (Codename Indispensable) Phase 3: Additional islands for further ops Tactical:  Tactical Air Superiority Naval guns mass fire on the beachheads Hagushi beaches MCDP-1:  MCDP-1 Risk vs. Reward Expected to be bloodiest battle yet Already had airfields close to Japan Why Okinawa? Launching point for navy and ground supports Emergency landing base MCDP-1:  MCDP-1 Friction Japanese didn’t strike at the landing Fought persistently Terrain Rough features Bad Weather Mud “We had awfully tough luck to get the bad weather at the identical time that things broke out.” Gen Buckner, USA MCDP-1:  MCDP-1 Combat Power Navy Ground Tanks, guns, artillery, flamethrowers, the list goes on . . . Air support MCDP-1:  MCDP-1 Momentum Smooth transition and constant attack on the Japanese MCDP-1:  MCDP-1 Human Dimension MOOSEMUSS:  MOOSEMUSS Mass The largest amphibious operation of the Pacific campaign Objective To take the island Purpose of the Defense:  Purpose of the Defense NOT to defeat an enemy attack Delay and attrite the American forces Disrupt American “advance by fire and maneuver” To gain time to prepare for other operations Drive off fleet, isolating landed forces To retain key terrain/prevent the enemy’s capture of key terrain Slide51:  Enemy Defense in Depth/Sector Shaping the battle Japanese choose location of their last stand Defensive Considerations:  Defensive Considerations Preparation Caves, pillboxes, blockhouses, emplacements Reverse and forward slopes fortified Integrate obstacle plan with fire plan Concentric lines around Shuri, integrated with terrain Mutual Support Mutually supporting strong points Artillery and mortars in caves Purpose of the Offense:  Purpose of the Offense Destroy enemy forces and equipment Seize airfields, destroy air and sea capability Deprive the enemy of resources Shrink the Japanese imperial sphere further Adm Spruance: Bypass Formosa “giant stride taken to Japan’s doorstep” CNO King relents, due to European situation Themes of the Amphibious Assault:  Themes of the Amphibious Assault The landing itself is rarely the key problem Unopposed, virtually no losses 1 APR Large-scale maneuver Boeitai at Hagushi delay, destroy airfields, retreat Feint in SE to pin down reserves Slide55:  Problems of the Tadpole and Inherent Chaos AVOIDED NGFS coordinated well, troops land on time Consolidated & massed combat power ashore Assault troopsTanksSupport troops & supplies Themes of the Amphibious Assault Slide56:  The amphibious operation as a form of envelopment Strategic: Iwo Jima and Okinawa in tandem Operational: second landing 4 June Oriented attack with supporting artillery Naha linked with peninsula for logistical support Themes of the Amphibious Assault Slide58:  Themes of the Amphibious Assault The amphibious invasion is a means to an end, not an end to itself Unopposed landing allows use of full combat power Protracted ground campaign supported by Navy Nimitz complains about losing “a ship and a half a day” at the pace that the front advances Aftermath:  Aftermath Cost and duration “hinted at far worse ordeals to come” idea of ‘1,000,000 casualties’ European theater forces insufficient Japan even tougher terrain than Okinawa 35% casualties at Okinawa Truman “hoped there was a possibility of preventing an Okinawa from one end of Japan to the other” Air Force and Navy prefer close-range strategic bombardment from Chinese coastal bases (more amphibious assaults) New tactics: “low-level drenching” w/ incendiary bombs at night Japanese cities burn easier than Europe’s Army and MacArthur insist on invasion General LeMay’s devastation of Japan ineffective <1500 calories ration, civilians collect pine roots distilled for aviation fuel 16 July atomic bomb tested; 21 July Truman and Churchill agree to use Slide60:  QUESTIONS?

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