Rare Top Secret-rated map of Iwo Jima from immediately prior to the U.S. landing on the island.
Iwo Jima, whose name translates as "Sulfur Island", was an important midway point between South Pacific bomber bases that were already in the hands of the Allies and the Japanese home islands. 700 miles from Tokyo and 350 from the nearest U.S. airbase, with a central plain suitable for building large runways, American planners viewed it as a valuable target. The battle for the island was among the bloodiest of the Pacific Theater of the Second World War. In total, 6,800 U.S. Marines lost their lives and 26,000 were wounded, while a staggering 18,000 Japanese defenders died.