During the Battle of Okinawa, civilians were caught between 2 major military forces, each determined to fight to the end. More than 120,000 civilians were killed. After the battle, Okinawa served as a strategic base for the US military to attack the Japanese mainland. That fact -- Okinawa serving as a key foothold of the US military -- is unchanged even now. The United States and its Allies launched the massive operation in March, 1945. The Allies considered Okinawa a strategic point for invading Japan's main islands, in the last stages of World War Two. "Okinawa is the crucial battle line. Our Kamikaze troops are striking the enemy," a news anchor said at the time. Japan's military leaders ordered their troops to prolong the battle. They wanted to bide time before the US attacked mainland Japan.

The Battle of Okinawa and After

NHK World Japan

War

49 minutes.

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