Immediate Pre-Invasion, SECRET Map Showing the Landing Beaches (Blue No. 2 through Brown No. 4) and Defenses on Okinawa.
Fantastic color-printed map "prepared at the request of 10th ARMY" showing the west coast of Okinawa and the extent of the U.S. landing beaches on the island. The map was produced by the U.S. Navy Photographic Interpretation Squadron Two (Interpron Two) with revisions to March 14-19, 1945. The base map is AMS-2 Revised to January 1945, the defenses shown were updated through March 1, 1945.
The map shows Katena (Kadena) Airfield and the American landing beaches Blue No. 2, Yellow Nos. 1-3, Purple Nos. 1-2, Orange Nos. 1-2, White Nos. 1-3, and Brown Nos. 1-4.
The map is classified SECRET, with the typical declaration that it would become RESTRICTED in the combat zone.
The legend relays the immense diversity of defensive impediments:
- Heavy AA 75MM - 80MM
- Heavy AA Position (Empty)
- AW 20MM - 40MM
- AW Position (Empty)
- Machine Gun
- MG Position (Empty)
- Mortar Position
- Covered Artillery Emplacement
- Artillery Emplacement
- Fire Trench
- Anti-Tank Trench
- Rifle Pit
- Trench with Rifle Pits
- Underwater Barrier
- (Dotted Symbols Indicate Possible Installations)
This is the middle sheet from a three-sheet set, which we have had only once before: https://raremaps.com/gallery/detail/63667
Very Rare. We locate no copies of any of the sheet from this set in OCLC, nor any sale databases, nor in general Google searches.
The United States Army and Marine Corps landed on Okinawa on April 1, 1945 as the specially-created 10th Army; the landing would be the largest amphibious assault in the Pacific Theater. The Battle of Okinawa, codenamed Operation Iceberg, lasted for 82 days after the landing, to June 1945 and claimed the lives of over 14,000 American and over 77,000 Japanese personnel. In addition, more than one hundred thousand Okinawans perished during and after the battle.
Okinawa was seen as the final island to overrun before the invasion of the Japanese homeland in Operation Downfall. This would be the closest American troops would get to the homeland prior to the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Scholarship suggests that capture of the island was a motivating factor Japanese surrender, as it made a successful, though costly, invasion of the homeland inevitable.
The occupation of Okinawa would present unique challenges to the American army, as it represented the first time that the US would have to deal with a significant population that was (by most accounts) ethnically Japanese. Many Okinawans were initially very opposed to the Americans, and the Japanese army encouraged and forced mass suicides prior to the invasion. Despite this, the occupation was, for the most part harmonious. Okinawa remained under US military control until 1972, when it was returned to Japan.