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Battlefield: Destination Okinawa
Battlefield Destination Okinawa
Genres: Educational, Documentary
NR     2008     1hr 44min

The battle for Okinawa, chosen to be the final springboard for an Allied invasion of Japan, claimed more American lives than any other battle in the Pacific campaign. The Japanese had constructed a formidable series of def...  more »

     
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Movie Details

Genres: Educational, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Educational, Military & War
Studio: Cromwell Productions
Format: DVD - Black and White,Color
DVD Release Date: 02/12/2008
Original Release Date: 01/01/2008
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2008
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 1hr 44min
Screens: Black and White,Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Excellent campaign review
J. Brett | USA | 10/12/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Battlefield returned with its same excellent presentation of the preparation leading to the campaign, the campaign itself and the end of the war. The explanations and maps are superb and the commentary presented well. Recommended."
The Bloody Denoument To The Clash of Arms In World War II
givbatam3 | REHOVOT Israel | 05/08/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This film is from the revival of the excellent series "Battlefield" describing the major engagments of the Second World War. As I state in my review of the film about the Battle of Kursk from the same series, the revived series was generally not as of good quality as the original series made 10 years earlier, but this film about the horrific battle of Okinawa is almost up to the level of the original series.

The films of the "Battlefield" series describes the engagment within the context of the entire war and describes it from the point of view of the top decision makers. I would say that these programs are designed for someone with more than just a cursory interest in the War because considerable time is used in describing the run up to the battle, the role of the leaders of the nations in its strategy, the commanders, important weapons used and, after describing how the engagement played out, its consequences in how the war continued (fortunately, in this case, the Atomic Bombs brought a quick end to the War). There are no interviews with experts or participants and no "colorful" descriptions of small-scale actions, just the "big picture".

It was at Okinawa that the Japanese leadership brought their self-destructiveness to its maximum of insanity. It was clear by this point that the Allied onslaught could not be stopped and that Japan would certainly lose the war, yet its leaders still believed in "the decisive battle", along the lines of the 1905 Russo-Japanese War", that would somehow miraculously turn everything around. This would happen, they thought, if they could inflict enough casualties to create a collapse in morale on the Allied side. To do this, they brought large numbers of aircraft to be used in kamikaze suicide raids on the gigantic Allied fleet. They also designed a small single-seat rocket-powered aircraft that was supposed to be lifted by a mother ship and then released to strike the target in a one-way attack. Another example was the insane mission of the largest battleship in the world, the Yamato, which was supposed to wreak havoc on the landing forces, yet which, as anyone could have predicted, sunk by American aircraft before ever getting a chance carry out it it assigned task, with the meaningless loss of thousands of lives.
One thing that is truly remarkable was how the United States Navy was able, within 3 years, to build a gigantic fleet that could put hundreds of thousands of men at sea for long periods of time. Whereas in the decisive Battle of Midway in June 1942, the USN had 3 heavy aircraft carriers to take on 4 Japanese, by the time of Okinawa they had several dozen!
The horrific nature of the battle on the ground on the island is described and the fanatical resistance of the Japanese forces is described. However, in this battle significant numbers of Japanese did surrender, unlike previous bloody battles at Iwo Jima, Saipan and others. Perhaps the realization that the war was lost affected many of the soldiers which would mean that those who did die were forced to by the commanding officers and not because of "fanatical devotion to the Emperor".
There is no doubt that the nature of the battle was a major factor in the decision shortly afterwards to use the Atomic bombs. Many armchair historians claim today that there was no need to use the bombs, Japan would have surrendered anyway, but anyone at the time who saw what happened on Okinawa didn't need much imagination to think that the same thing would occur on an even larger scale should the Americans attempt the landings planned as Operation Olympic on Kyushu and Operation Coronet on Honshu. In the end, according to Richard Frank's book "Downfall", the Americans gave up the idea of a ground invasion of the Home Islands and would have then settled for a long-term blockade of Japan which would have led to mass starvation, epidemics and civil disorder on a mass scale, while leaving the large Japanese forces in the East Indies, China, Manchuria and other places untouched. Thus we see that Okinawa convinced most decision makers that the war had to be ended as soon as possible."
A good treatment of the battle.
JAG 2.0 | IN United States | 03/29/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I found this video, part of the "Battlefield" series, to be a very good video on the subject of the Okinawa campaign. The run-up to the battle and the strategic situation is covered well. The events at sea and on land are covered extensively and well. I was especially glad to hear mention of the British carrier contribution to the Pacific war and the differences between USN and RN carriers.

I think a viewer gets a good picture of the nature of war in the Pacific at that stage in the conflict as well as the inevitability of American victory by that time. The video correctly shows Japanese efforts at that point in the war as futile - even idiotic.

Like other reviewers, I felt that perhaps too much time was spent on the opposing commanders and their subordinates. I felt that this time could have been shortened and better spent on weapons available to the opposing sides. So, I gave it 4 of 5 stars."