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Good evening I'm Oliver North and this is war stories.
How do you fight an enemy so dangerous so desperate he's literally willing to kill himself in order to destroy you.
The fight to the -- that's.
On the island of Okinawa that's exactly what the soldiers sailors and Marines did.
In the gut wrenching final showdown -- Japanese forces in the spring of 1945.
This is the story of what was to be the last battle of World War II.
The bloodiest conflict in the present.
-- over 121600.
Americans killed 45000.
Where a 100000.
Japanese soldiers and an equal number of Okinawan civilians -- This will become Japan's war the last thing.
-- -- ferocious fighting between American ships and suicidal kamikaze pilots killed more sailors than any other battle.
Including Pearl Harbor.
And on land one soldier pulled the battleground the most -- corner of -- He'd ever witnessed.
And tied -- returned but it wasn't over yet.
One year earlier it normally allied forces invaded putting Hitler on the defensive in Europe.
What they're finding remains to be done but the beginning has successfully been made.
Across the Pacific -- you're -- time was also running out there fighting the allies for three years have taken every poll on the Japanese army navy and air force.
Marines raised the flag and won't serve but you do you would you.
A bloody victory costing almost 7000 American lives and air base near mainland Japan was secure.
OK good -- lending in the.
Back at home the war effort was in full swing.
Women were on the job filling in for the sixteen million American men in uniform.
And a decision be.
These are long.
America was waging war on two fronts against the deadly axis powers both Germany and Japan.
To give -- casualties -- over a million Americans were dead or wounded.
But but those who think it's over.
-- -- -- Armed forces desperately needed reinforcements and young Americans lined up to serve.
It's seventeen and I decided there.
That was -- -- -- -- -- world when I was gonna have to somehow be part of it by volunteered for the ravens with my surprise there except the bit.
Didn't Barton's two older Brothers were -- 1943.
He continued to family tradition and became a marine raider.
Fighting an enemy sunset couldn't be beaten -- -- -- willow -- -- but many people telling me that.
-- you're going to control -- what could be good job and blurring the loose he joined the navy and request CD.
-- nineteen high school friends had been killed in North Africa and my high school mind it was killed themselves.
Herman buffing and celebrated his nineteenth birthday with a 96 infantry division I own my birthday a fox told the -- troll network set up and sang happy birthday.
These young men boys really would join hundreds of thousands of others for the fight of their lives the and an island 360 miles off the coast of Japan.
Pocono the emperor's -- It was the door to to -- and and they know that this -- even better that we.
The Japanese government room after the fall into.
And news the Americans were obviously constructed okay now.
They also knew that one -- itself fell it was only a matter of time before the vision thing and.
And -- the most strategic point invaded thus far.
Its proximity to Japan's main islands and its airfields made Okinawa strategically critical to the allied plan.
Get an unconditional Japanese surrender even if they had to go all the way to Tokyo and get it.
The island -- sixty miles long populated with farmers it's hilly terrain honeycomb caves tunnels and tombs.
Because of the large civilian -- -- it.
-- the island for centuries.
-- back -- made of stone.
That's part of the Okinawan culture their burial -- General Simon boulevard but some of the confederate general would leave the -- army's massive amphibious assault of open out.
Operation -- He was physically.
-- -- he could take and take -- did take exercise.
His toughest male it's not.
Entirely different when -- hurt -- fans here.
Had a great deal of concern from.
And they like to.
An avid outdoorsman barker and his young son bill what -- the last fishing trip before the war.
We were close.
As close as you can be is awfully busy around -- -- glorious fishing trip the other end last.
In 1941 just before war.
Huge rainbow Trout on the other side leading the Japanese 32 army in Okinawa general -- what was she -- A senior member of imperial headquarters and -- -- assembled one of the most effective combat teams in Japanese history.
You know was a very capable commander.
Small in stature.
And he was type of leader that would allow his.
Its staff to prepare plans and so forth and then he would ratified.
-- American troops are to land here preceded by an -- bombardment.
Tax relief here and -- soften up the opposition and open up.
American naval gunfire and bombing is so intense the Japanese call -- a -- steel.
Over 14100 ships carrying hundreds of thousands of men across the vast Pacific.
A logistical nightmare for general -- Logistics were huge problems.
And their nose and his staff says we can't do it and -- -- told us you can't take that position.
Maybe -- Larry to -- he was aboard one of the ships the US -- -- of the strike.
Warship traveled all the way from Norman who -- -- You go for days and days and days don't see anything but water.
Yes it's big.
Army private first class -- -- Clinton was amazed at the size of the armada.
What -- were on board -- pulled out third day it they had so many -- player it -- black case city.
As far as you can actually if you.
They're leaders were brutally honest at least another Pacific battles the men were told to expect horrific casualties life to -- we had very involved.
88 year old kid and and that war.
F enough if we had grown up our will.
That's Ernie -- on board the -- war correspondent who spent much of the war in Europe with the troops.
Now -- -- with Marines the night before the invasion.
April 1 1945.
Easter Sunday April Fool's Day and filled that moving day for operation -- I spoke to marine historian best friend -- was there with the first Marines.
When you're making win in the world now.
It turned out to be blessed me to.
But it wasn't thought that it was going to be was.
I didn't know when I was gonna go home I fully expected when -- now who's done we're gonna go on to Japan.
And which case I didn't think that come home alive.
Playing music it was Easter Sunday.
And -- you folks don't remember that there -- on the Easter parade.
And the football.
And I remembered when we got in landing craft.
Which started in the pages and -- it here as long as you possibly could just got weaker and weaker.
And no -- on Null on Wednesday night fluently Japanese weren't sure when it was and they knew it was going to happen they were aware that it was coming.
And they were developing their contingency plans according.
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