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Flags Of Our Fathers Clint Eastwood

1154 words - 5 pages

"One of the most famous photographs in history was taken by Joe Rosenthal at the battle of Iwo Jima, during the Second World War. The image of six Marines raising Old Glory on Mount Suribachi has been reprinted countless times, and has become an enduring symbol of American heroism. But while almost everyone has seen the photo, few Americans really understood what it represented, and fewer still knew who the men in the photo were.
Writer James Bradley knew that his father, John "Doc" Bradley, had served in World War 2, and had long heard rumors that "Doc" had been some sort of war hero. But his father never wanted to talk about his war experiences, and refused to answer questions about the ...view middle of the document...

The island of Iwo Jima was deemed an important target by the U.S. War Department because Japanese fighter planes took off from its airfields. These planes had already caused extensive damage to the U.S. Navy, and would surely cause more problems when the U.S. invaded the Japanese mainland. Hence, the Marines were sent to capture the island.

The battle of Iwo Jima was the first battle of World War 2 that took place on Japanese soil. Iwo Jima itself was part of the nation of Japan, so the Japanese soldiers stationed on the island believed they were fighting to defend their homeland from foreign invaders. The Japanese had no hope of victory, and they knew it. All they wanted was to inflict massive casualties on the invading Marines- and they had an ideal setup for doing just that. The Japanese forces had built a large network of tunnels throughout the island, which meant they could shoot at the Marines from safe, well-fortified positions. They could also make quick, bloody attacks on isolated Marines and then retreat to the safety of their tunnels. The American Marines on Iwo Jima were fighting an enemy they could rarely see. The only way to defeat the Japanese was to locate the entrances to their tunnels and bunkers, then slowly work close enough to toss in a grenade or stick in the muzzle of a flamethrower. This was slow, gruesome work, and the Marines lost more than 6,000 men before their task was complete.
Early in the battle, on the fifth day, the American forces captured Mount Suribachi, and a contingent of Marines erected an American flag on top of the mountain, and a photo was taken of the flag raising. Shortly afterward, Navy Secretary James Forrestal requested that the flag be sent to Washington as a souvenir. When this flag was taken down, a new one had to be out up. Mike Strank, Harlon Block, Franklin Sousley, Ira Hayes, Rene Gagnon and Doc Bradley were the men assigned to raise this second flag. While they did, photographer Joe Rosenthal took a snapshot. A few days later, Rosenthal's snapshot was published in newspapers all over the United States. Most Americans who saw the photo believed it commemorated a great American victory, but victory was still weeks away. The bloody battle raged on at Iwo Jima, and three of the flag...

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