In the World War II, in February 1945, the U.S. attacked Ivo Jima. The goal of the United States was to establish a base near the Japanese coast. By doing this, the U.S. would have an airfield, where damaged bombardiers could land after the attack on Japan. This battle included naval and air bombardment, after which three U.S. marine divisions landed on Ivo Jima. It was defended by the Japanese navy and army troops. There were 23.000 Japanese troops, who used dugouts, tunnels and a network of caves. The Americans that landed on the island had support from naval artillery and a complete air supremacy. This was the only U.S. Marine Corps battle, in which Americans had a higher number of casualties than Japanese Army. Only 210 Japanese soldiers were taken as prisoners. Many others were killed in the action. Roughly 3.000 Japanese soldiers remain in the caves and underground tunnels. Some of them surrender a few weeks after and others died due to injuries.
From the beginning of this battle, the situation was clear. The Americans had superiority in numbers, arms and they had air power. All of this was paired with the impossibility of Japanese reinforcement or retreat. Despite that, both sides had severe casualties. This battle lasted 35 days, after which Japanese troops were defeated. It was immortalized by a photograph, Joe Rosenthal, who took a photo of raising the American flag on Mount Suribachi (166 meters). It was raised by U.S. Navy battlefield Hospital Corpsman and 5 Marines. He also took another photo, that show flag raising in the mountains. Both of them took place on the fifth day of the battle.