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The US “island hopping” strategy targeted key islands and atolls to capture and equip with airstrips, bringing B-29 bombers within range of the enemy homeland.
With every beach came new terrain with unpredictable challenges, a firmly entrenched hidden enemy, and another desperate battle to establish one more foothold.
Japanese soldiers fought the island landings fiercely, killing many Allied soldiers and sometimes making desperate, last-ditch suicidal attacks.
On Okinawa alone, during 82 days of fighting, approximately 100,000 Japanese troops and 12,510 Americans were killed, and somewhere between 42,000 and 150,000 Okinawan civilians died as well.
At this point, U.S. forces were nearing their position for the next stage of their offensive against the Empire of Japan.
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