Heroes of Iwo Jima — The image of US marines raising the flag over Iwo Jima is the most reproduced photograph in history. The image became an icon and a symbol for the American commitment and fighting spirit. It lifted the ... more »morale of a home front whose sons were sacrificing their lives in the killing fields of the Pacific, and a rallying point for sustained economic and spiritual support. The image anchored war bond drives and American tenacity. But what is behind the image? Who were the men who fought to wrest the rocky island from the Japanese, inch by inch? Who were the men who sacrificed their youth, peace of mind, and all too frequently, their lives to obtain the strategic island? This History Channel presentation takes a look at the men and the battle behind the flag and the photograph. Heroes of Iwo Jima would be useful for classes on American History, American Culture, world History, Media Studies, Geography and Military History. It is appropriate for middle school and high school.
Students will learn about the battle for Iwo Jima and the Pacific Theater in World War II. They will explore the costs and consequences of the battle and the role of imagery in wartime America. They will examine how the controversy of the photograph has reached almost mythic portions, and how a culture chooses what it will accept and reject.
NATIONAL HISTORY STANDARDS
Heroes of Iwo Jima fulfills the following National Standards for History for grades 5-12: Chronological thinking, historical comprehension, historical analysis and interpretation, historical research capabilities, historical issues-analysis and decision-making for Eras 8 and 9
1. The image of the marines raising the flag over Iwo Jima is the most reproduced photograph in history. Why is this image so famous? Why did it become so popular so quickly?
2. The Iwo Jima image is one of the many images of history that are part of the world' s collective photo album. What other images of history are famous and easily recognizable? Why have these images become part of the collective photo album?
3. How did Americans react when they first saw the picture? Why did the picture have such an impact? What was the picture's role in the war effort?
4. American military forces fought World War II on two fronts, the European theater and the Pacific theater. What were the causes of the war? Why were Americans fighting in the Pacific? Why were they fighting in Europe? Who were their enemies?
5. The Iwo Jima picture has long been a topic of controversy. Why?
6. Why are the image of the flag raising and the story of Iwo Jima the tale of two flags?
7. There were two flags raised above Iwo Jima. Why was it necessary to replace the first flag?
8. Why was there confusion over whether or not the first flag raising had been photographed?
9. The image of the flag raising is the most famous example of the documenting of World War II. Discuss how technology in the twentieth century made World War II the most documented war in history up until that time.
10. Discuss how marine Michael Strank reflected the ambitions of millions of American immigrants in the early to mid twentieth century.
11. What was the "curse of Bouganville?" How did affect the marines at Iwo Jima?
12. Iwo Jima is a tiny, rocky island. Why was this island so crucial to victory in the Pacific?
13. Discuss the Japanese system of defense on the Iwo Jima.
14. Discuss the role of friendship and camaraderie in war.
15. The image of the marines raising the flag is frozen in time and history. What did the marines do after they raised the flag? Did they know they were making history?
16. The famous picture was a product of more than a photographer's lucky shot. How was the final picture a product of fate?
17. How was the photograph used in the war effort, especially on the home front?
18. Gold Star mothers did their part for the war effort. What were Gold Star mothers?
19. What was the burden of Iwo Jima for the flag raisers that survived? What price did they pay for being the heroes in the photograph?
20. How did marines train for battle in the Pacific? Where did they train? How did the military simulate conditions?
21. How long did the battle last? What were the costs of the battle?
22. Discuss some of the many heroic feats of the conflict.
1. Go to Iwo Jima, http://www.iwojima.com/index.cfm to view the picture. What does this picture evoke? How do you feel about the picture? What story does the picture tell?
2. Imagine that you are a marine in the battle for Iwo Jima. Write a letter home to your family telling them about your experiences.
3. On a map of the Pacific. Locate the island of Iwo Jima. What are the island's characteristics? Where is it situated? How does the map illustrate the island's strategic importance in World War II?
4. Design a monument or memorial for the veterans of Iwo Jima.« less
Donald T. from CHEROKEE, IA Reviewed on 1/22/2011...
I liked it.
Image that will last forever...
Charles W. Adams | Adel, Iowa USA | 02/08/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This extraordinary documentary reviews the two famous flagraisings on Iwo Jima in context with the heroic deeds of the United States Marines in their struggle to capture the island in February and March, 1945. Producers were extremely fortunate that the Marines signal corps filmed the invasion of Iwo Jima in color, leaving a wealth of footage to edit with interviews conducted at the turn of the century, as well as, key interviews filmed in the 1980s. One important feature that places this documentary above many that are aired on cable television are snapshot/photo inserts. During the narration, interviews, battle scenes, etc., the filmmaker inserts recognizable photos of the key historic personalities (flagraisers) as they're being discussed and/or quoted.Viewers who have read James Bradley's bestseller, "Flags of Our Fathers," have the opportunity to see a couple of comments by author's father, filmed in 1985. Of course, Joe Rosenthal who snapped the famous flagraising, actually the second of what was two famous flagraisings that occurred atop Mt. Suribachi during the fifth day of the battle. Highly recommended for any and all documentary and World War II DVD collections."
Iwo Jima Should Always Be Remembered
Mr. David W. Calcott | Sydney Australia | 10/15/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have just finished viewing Heroes Of Iwo Jima and was deeply moved by such an outstanding documentary . I live in Sydney Australia ,down under, and have always shown a great interest in American Service Men with their campaign's during the second world war . This would have to be one of the best scripted and visual viewing I have ever seen . I thoroughly give it five stars (it deserves more ) and every American and Australian home should purchase a copy , for the suffering and misery these men had to endure . I mention Australian homes as we were comrades in arms at earlier Pacific Locations . Please everbody , acquire a copy of this , it is very compelling viewing . What more can I say , except , God Bless America "
Heroes of Iwo Jima
rdkoos | Cottage Grove, Minnesota United States | 01/11/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is wonderful, intense, and emotional.
I had read the book "Flags of Our Fathers" and felt James Bradley had done a exceptional job with keeping the un-educated reader interested in the true element of war. I then decided to purchase this movie, so I could have the faces with the history. For many who may not understand the couragious acts of these men, Gene Hackman, keeps the natoration, easy to follow,and with the utt-most repect. I can appreciate the actual footage, along with the veterans stories of that give a honest, tearful, and emotional journey into the past. A must have, for any History collector. Even one, which the school room should make part of their history agendas. Harsh but reality."
War IS Hell!
Phillip E. Matthews | Memphis | 01/24/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you doubt that statement just view this "Heroes of Iwo Jima" DVD. Hosted by Gene Hackman, a former Marine, it gives you actual color footage of the actual battle. It is like you are there! The second flag raising on Mt. Suribachi has left an indelible imprint on me since I was a child. I never knew there were actually two flag raisings. The first was celebrated by the entire island and the ships offshore, rallying the troops to carry on. The second, was not even noticed, except by Joe Rosenthal and Hank Hansen. Rosenthal shot the actual picture and Hansen shot the motion picture of the event. Rosenthal's picture became the image we all know today. Lou Lowery shot pictures of the first flag raising, but his pictures were squashed by the Marine Corp when Rosenthal's picture was published first. The DVD gives you insight in to the men who rose the flags and tells their story. Survivors who actualy knew them and fought on Iwo Jima tell very interesting stories of the battle. One note I want to inject here about the flag raisers here is the fact that initially, due to mass confusion of battle, some of the flag raisers were mis-identified. For example, Harlon Block, the man at the base of the second flag raising was initially identified as Hansen, who took the motion picture of the event! Also, now that the first flag raising photo has surfaced, Raymond Jacobs, was mis-identified, and to this day has not gotten proper credit for his part in the first flag raising. He is the radioman and you can go to iwojima.com to read his story. This DVD shows that war IS Hell and stands as a tribute to the men who fought that 23rd day of February, 1945. All of us today owe a great deal to what they endured almost 60 years ago, fighting for our freedom. I for one, shall forever be indebted to them!"
One of the best WWII videos made.
Preston J. Ritter | Canyon Country, CA United States | 02/15/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you read the book, "Flags Of Our Fathers" or saw the movie version, this is a must have video to add to your collection. In fact, I wish everyone could have and view this video. I have shown it to family and friends and everyone that I've shown it to wants their own copies to send to others as well!"