A Pictorial Record
By late March 1945, the pathway to invasion of the southernmost major island of the Japanese archipelago, Kyushu, had been secured but for one necessary stepping stone American forces required to support their tactical air effort leading up to and overhead the projected invasion of Japan, set to begin in the autumn of 1945. The seizure of Okinawa and its airfields was vital to the land-based strategic bombing campaign that would precede and support the invasion of Japan and for close-in basing of the scores of Marine and U. S. Army Air Forces tactical air units that were slated to guard the approach of the Kyushu invasion fleet and operate over the beachheads and inland battlefields in the face of anticipated fanatical Japanese air defenses.
Marines of the veteran 1st and 6th Marine divisions and tens of thousands of battle-tested soldiers of the U.S. Army’s XXIV Corps assigned to seize Okinawa beginning on April 1, 1945, saw nothing but weeks or even months of heavy fighting ahead as they sailed to confront the largest Japanese defense force deployed on any island Americans invaded in the Pacific.
Telling the tale of the brutal Okinawa campaign in crisp, to-the-point prose illuminated by 467 gripping photographs taken by U.S. Marine Corps combat photographers, veteran military historian Eric Hammel provides an engrossing pictorial account of the final Marine Corps island conquest of World War II.
In 1948, when the newly founded nation of Israel came under siege from a coalition of Arab states, a band of volunteer airmen from the United States, Canada, Britain, France, and South Africa arrived to help. They were a small group, fewer than 150. Many were World War II veterans; most of them knowingly violated their nations’ embargoes on the shipment of arms and aircraft to Israel. The airmen risked everything—their careers, citizenship, and lives—to fight for Israel. The saga of the volunteer airmen in Israel’s war of independence stands as one of the most stirring—and little-known—war stories of the past century.