Okinawa Campaign

Who Will Rebuild Japan?

Road to a New Life

Is Japan Next?

Solider and Child

The Battle of Okinawa began on April 1st, 1945 on the small island of Okinawa. The fighting raged on for almost three months, and is considered to be one of the bloodiest battles fought in the Pacific Theater during World War II. The island of Okinawa was considered by both the Allied Forces and the Japanese Imperical Army to be of great strategic importance due to being located in close proximity to the Japanese homeland. The Allied Forces wanted to control the island in preparation for "Operation Downfall", or the invasion of the Japanese homeland. The Allied Forces lost over 12,000 men during the battle, while the Japanese lost over 100,000 men. The real tragety of the Battle of Okinawa is the fact that a quarter of the Okinawa citizens lost their lives during this battle.

The Psychological Warfare Branch of the Allied Forces in the Southwest Pacific Area used this battle in multiple ways. As the wave of war moved closer to Japan, the intended audience of these lealfets turned from the Japanese soldiers on the Philippine Islands to the citizens in the Japanese homeland. The leaflets airdropped to the citizens were written with the purpose of driving a wedge between the citizens and the Japanese Militarists. The Allied forces used the battle of Okinawa to illustrate the folley of the Japanese Militarists, as well as to show how close the Allied Forces were to the Japanese homeland. These leaflets also highlighted the lies that the Japanese Militarists were telling the Japanese citizens about the state of the war. Some leaflets included images of American soldiers with Okinawa citizens in friendly poses, to quell rumors about the American propensity for violence against civilians.