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Historical Gamer Town Square

Public Group active 37 minutes ago

General Historical Gaming Discussion Group, where you can discuss anything historical and point visitors to your threads and activities elsewhere on Beasts of War’s Hubs and Forums.

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Historical, WWI, WWII, Review, Event, Community Discussion, *Gamename

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  • Avatar Image blipvertus201p said 5 months, 1 week ago:

    Back in the early 90′s I was stationed at an airbase in Japan. I got to take a C-130 flight to Iwo Jima and take a brief tour around the island. At the time the only thing there was a US Coast Guard navigation station. The island is now run by the Japanese Self Defense Force and is no longer accessible to outsiders except by special permission of the Japanese government.

    This first photo is of the island taken from the cockpit window of the C-130 I was riding in. On the right is Mt. Suribachi. On the extreme left is the single airfield on the island.

    These two photos are a view from the airfield looking toward Mt. Suribachi. The wreck off to the right is about 20 to 30 yards away. You’ll notice the beach is black sand. Mt.Suribachi is an active volcano and all the sand is finely ground lava rock forming the sand.

    This photo is of one of the mudpools on the island. It bubbles due to the heat of the volcano. There have been no recent eruptions but in geological terms, it’s still “active.”

    This is one of the Japanese built tunnels. Due to the vulcanism of the island, the temperature in here soars to over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. (I believe I was told 120 degrees but I don’t quite remember.) I can say from personal experience it’s horribly hot. The walls are hot to the touch. I was bent over nearly double to get in and only had a few inches of clearance on each side of my shoulders. They still find bodies in the caves occasionally. After the official end of the battle, some Japanese remained in the caves. The last to surrender did so in 1949.

    Imagine living in those tunnels, in that heat, all while constantly being bombarded by guns, demo charges and flame throwers.

    This a view of some of the vegetation currently on the island. Here it’s about 8 to 10 feet tall at it’s maximum. At the end of the battle, there was no vegetation at all. What you are seeing was imported and deliberately planted after the war.

    Here are a few photos of one of the Japanese guns and my fat finger. The dogs are pets of the Coast Guardsmen stationed on the island back then. The gentlemen in the blue uniform is one of the Guardsmen and he was driving us around the island. The other folks are also off duty military personnel. There are zero civilians on the island. I believe that during the invasion, there was a very small fishing village. There is no trace of it now.

    Here are a couple of memorials.

    This memorial is on top of Mt Suribachi and commemorates the raising of the US flag.

    These two photos are from on top of Mt Suribachi and show the island in it’s entirety. As you can see, it’s tiny at about 8 square miles. And Mt Suribachi is just over 500 feet tall. I think it’s about 3 miles long but again, I may be wrong

    Here’s the two photos stitched together. I think the initial landing point was on the right hand side near the top, just before the part that just outs further to the right. With the exception of Mt. Suribachi, the whole island is maybe 10 to 20 feet above sea level.

    Keeping that in mind, imagine wading to shore burdened down with guns, ammo, food and water, under fire, with no cover. For 36 days.

  • Avatar Image oriskany12747p said 5 months, 1 week ago:

    @blipvertus – absolutely amazing photos. I remember when Iwo Jima was “closed” and I was mildly upset because as a former Marine, this place has always been on my bucket list to visit.

    The initial landing on Iwo is still the bloodiest single day in the 242-year history of the United States Marine Corps. And there are some bloody days in that book, as I’m sure you know.

    My favorites are those two shots looking straight down off Suribachi onto those invasion beaches to the right. You can see how murderously exposed the first assault battalions would have been to enfilade fire coming off those heights.

    Yeah, IIRC the island is 5 miles long at its longest, 3 across at its widest point, and I think 800 yards are so at its narrowest. Although you would know more than me. :)

    Once all of V Amphibious Corps was finally pushed on the island (3rd, 4th, and 5th Marine Divisions, 72,000 men in all) – plus Kuribayashi’s garrison of 21,000, Iwo Jima was said to be the most densely populated place on earth for the additional weeks the fighting would rage there.

    Insane moment. Haunting pictures. Thanks very much for sharing.

    Tet Offensive in the Vietnam War – 50th Anniversary – Begins January 30, 1968
    Historical Editor – Beasts of War
  • Avatar Image blipvertus201p said 5 months, 1 week ago:

    @oriskany, you’re welcome. That trip was was a once in a lifetime opportunity. The view from Mt Suribachi is a haunting image made more intense by knowledge of the events.

    If anyone has the opportunity to visit a historic battle site, do some homework beforehand. You’ll thank yourself for doing it.

  • Avatar Image avernos1673p said 5 months, 1 week ago:

    fantastic photos there, thanks for sharing

    “Daemons and Shit!” -BoW Lloyd 2017

    Sophia Lives!!!

  • Avatar Image damon253p said 5 months, 1 week ago:

    Thanks for sharing these pictures. Images like this always provoke a ‘stop and think’ moment for me. History comes alive for me when I can see, or better yet, visit the places where it happened.

  • Avatar Image olliep926p said 5 months, 1 week ago:

    Amazing pics @blipvertus thanks for sharing them