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The battle has been referred to as the "typhoon of steel" in English, and tetsu no ame ("rain of steel") or tetsu no bōfū ("violent wind of steel") in Japanese.
The nicknames refer to the ferocity of the fighting, the intensity of Japanese kamikaze attacks, and the sheer numbers of Allied ships and armored vehicles that assaulted the island.
TF 56 was the largest force within TF 50 and was built around the 10th Army.
The army had two corps under its command: the III Amphibious Corps, consisting of 1st and 6th Marine Divisions, and the XXIV Corps, consisting of the 7th and 96th Infantry Divisions.
The 2nd Marine Division was an afloat reserve, and the 10th Army also controlled the 27th Infantry Division, earmarked as a garrison, and the 77th Infantry Divisions. Hiromichi Yahara The Japanese land campaign (mainly defensive) was conducted by the 67,000-strong (77,000 according to some sources) regular 32nd Army and some 9,000 Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) troops at Oroku naval base (only a few hundred of whom had been trained and equipped for ground combat), supported by 39,000 drafted local Ryukyuan people (including 24,000 hastily drafted rear militia called Boeitai and 15,000 non-uniformed laborers).
It was planned that General Buckner would report to Turner until the amphibious phase was completed, after which he would report directly to Spruance. The Japanese had used kamikaze tactics since the Battle of Leyte Gulf, but for the first time, they became a major part of the defense.
The United States Navy's Task Force 58, deployed to the east of Okinawa with a picket group of from 6 to 8 destroyers, kept 13 carriers (7 CVs and 6 CVLs) on duty from March 23 to April 27 and a smaller number thereafter.
Until April 27, a minimum of 14 and up to 18 escort carriers (CVEs) were in the area at all times, and until April 20 British Task Force 57, with 4 large and 6 escort carriers, remained off the Sakishima Islands to protect the southern flank.
We forgot self for the moment as we groped hopelessly for the thought of that other man up there.Their mission was to neutralize Japanese airfields in the Sakishima Islands and provide air cover against Japanese kamikaze attacks. The 9th Division was moved to Taiwan before the invasion, resulting in shuffling of Japanese defensive plans.Most of the air-to-air fighters and the small dive bombers and strike aircraft were US Navy carrier-based airplanes. Primary resistance was to be led in the south by Lieutenant General Mitsuru Ushijima, his chief of staff, Lieutenant General Isamu Chō and his chief of operations, Colonel Hiromichi Yahara.The ordinances mobilized the student as a volunteer soldier for form's sake.
In reality, the military authorities ordered schools to force almost all students to "volunteer" as soldiers.The battle was one of the bloodiest in the Pacific, with approximately 160,000 casualties on both sides: 75,682 Allied and 84,166-117,000 Japanese, In the naval operations surrounding the battle, both sides lost considerable numbers of ships and aircraft, including the Japanese battleship Yamato.