Civil War and Historical Art
Iwo Jima

The United States 5th Marine Amphibious Corps pushes it's way inland on the first day of the battle of Iwo Jima.
February 19th 1945

The US 5th Marine Amphibious Corps (Consisting of the 3rd, 4th, and 5th Marine Regiments) pushed it's way inland on the Pacific atoll of Iwo-Jima on the first of over 26 days of savage and sometimes hand to hand combat against Japanese defenders led by Lt. General Tadamichi Kuribayashi. Iwo Jima lay just 760 miles from Tokyo Japan and held three strategic airfields, which if taken, would put U.S. B-29 Bombers well within striking distance of the Japanese mainland.

The invasion of Iwo Jima was preceded by a massive Naval and air bombardment over a period of several months that was meant to soften up the island defenses. Although the Marines were able to gain a solid foothold on the first day of the assault, they encountered light resistance and pushed almost to the other side of the Island, cutting it in two. The dogged determination of the Japanese soldiers to defend their Island became apparent to the Marines quickly. The strategy of the Japanese defenders was to allow the U.S. invasion force to land on the Island and retain the high ground to their advantage. The Island was honeycombed with underground tunnels and well-hidden pillboxes, which were not affected by the U.S. bombardments. Day and night the Marines fought hard, with uncommon valor, over the unforgiving terrain, to defeat the Japanese and gain control of the Island.

One of Iwo Jima’s most distinguishing terrain features was Mount Suribachi. Standing 546 feet tall the eminence was the most imposing feature on the battlefield. Suribachi was also festooned with tunnels and hidden pillboxes that were utilized by the Japanese defenders to rain fire on the Marines on the lower portions of the Island. The task of taking the mountain was given to the 28th regiment of the 5th Marine Division. Led By Colonel Harry B. Liversedge (nicknamed Harry the Horse) The Regiment slowly clawed its way up the mountain using flamethrowers, explosive charges and supported by heavy artillery to dislodge the Japanese.

On February 23rd, 1945 the mountain was finally taken and a few Marines hoisted a small American flag on a length of long pipe used as a flagstaff. When this flag was raised Secretary of the Navy James V. Forrestal uttered, “…The raising of that flag on Suribachi means a Marine Corps for the next 500 Years.” A few hours later, another group of Marines raised a larger US flag that was taken off of LST 779. The raising of this larger flag was seen by many of the Marines below and a cheer broke out all along the island. The event was captured by Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal in a photograph that would come to be known as one of the most enduring images of World War Two and of the U.S. fighting spirit.

Call 800-731-0060

$160 Paper - Image Size 20-1/4 x 16-1/8

$300 Canvas - Size 24 x 18

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