Battle of Iwo Jima (19 February to 26 March 1945), or Operation Detachment, was a major battle in which the United States Armed Forces fought for and captured the island of Iwo Jima from the Japanese Empire.
The American invasion had the goal of capturing the entire island, including its three airfields (including South Field and Central Field), to provide a staging area for attacks on the Japanese main islands. This five-week battle comprised some of the fiercest and bloodiest fighting of the War in the Pacific of World War II.
After the heavy losses incurred in the battle, the strategic value of the island became controversial. It was useless to the Army as a staging base and useless to the Navy as a fleet base.
The Imperial Japanese Army positions on the island were heavily fortified, with a dense network of bunkers, hidden artillery positions, and 18 km (11 mile) of underground tunnels. The Americans on the ground were supported by extensive naval artillery, and by the complete supremacy in the air over Iwo Jima commanded from the beginning of the battle by U.S. Navy and Marine Corps aviators. American firepower from the sea and the air upon the Japanese troops was enormous. The invasion was the first American attack on Japanese home territory, and the Japanese soldiers and marines defended their positions tenaciously with no thought of surrender.