April 21, 1945 – Mutual – Report From The Pacific – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
April 21, 1945 – While the Allies were making major strides on the way to Berlin. On Okinawa in the Pacific it was down to hard fought gains; sometimes by feet and yards.
Since the initial invasion on April 1st, American troops encountered the stiffest resistance in the war, as Okinawa was considered the last major hurdle on the way to Tokyo but the cost was ultimately the heaviest, and reports for this broadcast on the 21st told of the push to the city of Naha and on this day the big news was the gain of some 1,000 yards toward that goal.
The elements of the 10th Army that had moved south toward the main population centers of Naha and Shuri encountered the fiercest kind of resistance. As on Iwo Jima, the Japanese fought with great tenacity and succeeded in making the Americans expend heavy casualties for small gains. The Japanese force defending the Naha-Shuri area numbered about 60,000, and by May 1 these troops were confined to an area of about 90 square miles (about 230 square km) at the island’s southern tip. Combat in this sector was positional; both sides used fixed lines, and defenders held the clear advantage of fighting from prepared positions. The Japanese also made extensive use of Okinawa’s caves, which afforded excellent shelter against American bombardment.
And while the Battle of Okinawa was raging and far from over, news of the gathering of International delegates in San Francisco for the first meeting of the United Nations was a cause for optimism. Although the war in Europe wouldn’t be over for a few more weeks, looking forward to the possibilities of peace was on everyone’s mind as dignitaries arrived and preparations were underway.
And that’s a little of what happened, this April 21, 1945 as reported by Mutual and their weekly Report From The Pacific.
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