Following up on this post: Veterans of the Battle of Iwo Jima returned to the island recently to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the 36-day battle. Here’s an interesting article by James Brooke in the New York Times. Brooke includes some discussion of the Japanese point of view, which is not particlarly flattering, from my perspective. (Though the article makes no judgements, really — for the NYT, it’s suprisingly evenhanded.) He also points out that, “In the 35-day fight for this eight-square-mile volcanic island, 6,821 marines and Navy personnel were killed, more than four times the number of American troops killed in two years in Iraq.” And in the firebombing of Tokyo on March 9-10, 1945, it’s estimated that more than 100,000 were killed — more than by either atomic bomb, a point also made here. (I’m not sure I completely agree with that article, but it definitely makes some good points.)
War is hell. And it was even more hell then than it is now.