The sources used for this volume are of three main types: (1) manuscript histories of the major Army and Marine units taking part in the action; (2) interviews; (3) official records, including Japanese records and prisoner of war interrogations. By far the largest part of the narrative of combat on Okinawa is based on the histories of the combat divisions written by combat historians in the field. This central body of combat narrative has been expanded by resort to records of Army, corps, and division headquarters and by interviews with senior Army, Navy, and Marine commanders and staff officers. Official records of the major Marine units engaged in the campaign were used to verify and elaborate material in the combat histories of Marine divisions. The account of the Navy's participation is based on naval planning and intelligence records and action reports. Information on Japanese plans and actions was drawn from a great body of enemy intelligence material found in the G-2 records and reports of Army, corps, and divisions, and from enemy interrogations. The capture of high-ranking Japanese officers enabled historians to secure first-hand information as to enemy plans and operations; in some cases the aid of the captured officers was even enlisted in reconstructing engagements at the scene of action. All this material on the enemy has made it possible to describe the tactics and operations on both sides of the fighting line on Okinawa to a far greater extent than in any other battle in the Pacific. For the general background of the campaign and for high-level decisions, the main sources are the records of the joint Chiefs of Staff and the published reports of the Chief of Staff, U. S. Army, and the Chief of Naval Operations, U. S. Navy.
The manuscript histories of participating corps and divisions were written by combat historians attached to the units during the campaign. The combat historians relied heavily on systematic interviews with commanders, from the highest to the lowest echelons, and with groups and individuals who took part in the various actions. These interviews supplied information on details of
combat that are seldom recorded in official documents and made clear the reasons why decisions were made. The division historians also participated in critiques of small actions, often held within forty-eight hours after the action occurred, and in critiques of the campaign as a whole. Whenever necessary, the facts were checked against regimental and battalion journals and message files, together with other records kept by divisions in combat. Often the historians themselves observed the actions at first hand; and they walked, rode, and flew extensively over the terrain. All of the histories were written under the direction of the Tenth Army historian, Lt. Col. John Stevens. The manuscript histories used, which are on file in the Historical Division, WDSS, are as follows:
- Maj. Roy E. Appleman, The XXIV Corps in the Conquest of Okinawa (1 Apr-22 Jun 45), 4 vols., Dec 45.
- Capt. Donald Mulford and 1st Lt. Jesse Rogers, The 96th Division on Okinawa, 4 parts, n.d. Captain Mulford wrote Parts I, III, and IV.
- Capt. Russell A. Gugeler, The Operations of the 7th Infantry Division on Okinawa, 1 April to 22 June 1945, 3 vols., n.d.
- Capt. Edmund G. Love, The 27th Division on Okinawa, n.d.
- 1st Lt. Paul R. Leach, Narrative of the Operations of the 77th Division on Okinawa, 3 vols., n.d. Vol. I covers the Kerama Islands; Vol. II, Okinawa; and Vol. III, Ie Shima.
For the coverage of Marine Corps actions, the following two manuscript histories were used:
- Capt. Phillips D. Carleton, USMC, The 6th Marine Division on Okinawa, 2 parts, n.d.
- Capt. James R. Stockman, The First Marine Division on Okinawa, 1 April-30 June 1945, published by the Historical Division, Headquarters, U. S. Marine Corps, 1946.
Interviews constituted one of the most important sources for the account of the Okinawa campaign. The extent of this use may not be fully indicated in the footnotes as reference is often made to the division histories, which are based largely on interviews. Numerous interviews which cover issues not touched
on in the division histories are, however, referred to directly. In particular, interviews with the commanding general and staff officers of Tenth Army were used in constructing the broad framework of the narrative. These were supplemented by notes of Tenth Army staff meetings made by the Tenth Army historian, by written statements supplied to the historian by the staff officers in answer to questions, and by notes of press conferences made by the historian. All facts adduced by interview or written statement have been carefully checked against available documents. These interviews and notes are recorded in diaries and journals kept by the Army, corps, and division historians, which contain also details of crucial actions as related by participants while the events were freshly remembered. The diaries and journals of the historians are on file in the Historical Division, WDSS.
U. S. ArmyThe most important Army records used are listed below according to major headquarters. These records were consulted in the field and in the Historical Division, WDSS. They will be deposited with the Historical Records Section, War Department Records Branch, Adjutant General's Office, Washington, D. C.
U. S. ARMY FORCES, MIDDLE PACIFIC
Participation in the Okinawa Operation, 2 vols.,15 Mar 46. History of G-5 Section, n.d. G-2 Study of Okinawa Gunto, 1 Feb 45. Administrative History of Medical Activities in the Middle Pacific, Block 18f: The Okinawa Operation, 1 April to 30 June 1945, 2 vols., n.d.
Action Report Ryukyus, 26 March to 30 June 1945 3 vols., 3 Sep 45. The first volume contains the text of the report; the other two, the map and pictorial supplements. The history is generally reliable but of little use for combat action. It contains good summaries of staff section activities, particularly those concerned with logistics.
Tentative Operations Plan 1-45, 6 Jan 45. The Army over-all plan for the initial assault.
Operations Orders 2A-45 to 16-45, 26 Mar-21 Jun 45.
Field Orders Nos. 9-59, 21 Apr-3 Jul 45. Concerned with attachment of units.
Administrative Orders Nos. 1-3, 28 Apr-20 May 45. Supplements to Operations Orders.
Operational Directives Nos. 1-12A, 1 Jan-1 Jun 45. Broad logistical procedures.
G-1 Journal and Messages, Daily Reports.
G-2 Journal, Message File, Periodic Reports.
G-2 Weekly Summary Nos. 2-3, 5, 28 May-25 Jun 45. Good general expositions of enemy order of battle and weapons.
G-2 Intelligence Monograph, 5 parts. Excellent studies of enemy plans, defenses, order of battle, and weapons. Based on interrogations of prisoners, captured documents, and ground reconnaissance after the battle.
G2, Combat Intelligence Collecting Agency Subsection, Prisoner of War Interrogation Summaries Nos. 1-19, Jul-Aug 45. Excellent and accurate summaries of hundreds of interrogations of Japanese prisoners. Fuller and more accurate than the G-2 Intelligence Monograph.
G2 Prisoner of War Interrogation Reports, Nos. 9-28, 8 Jun-6 Aug- 45. Individual interrogations. Nos. 27 and 28 of Colonel Yahara and Mr. Shimada are the most important.
G-2, Combat Intelligence Collecting Agency Subsection, Translations Nos. 4-308, 17 Apr-11 Jul 45. Translations of captured documents.
G3 Journal and Message File, Periodic Reports. The most important Tenth Army journal. Valuable for naval operations. Almost all important staff documents will be found in the G-3 Journal file.
G-4 Journal and Message File, Periodic Reports.
Other staff section periodic reports and papers. Those of the Artillery, Engineer, and Antiaircraft Sections are particularly useful.
Military Government Section, Operations Report, 1 Aug 45. A brief narrative with a good documentary appendix.
After Action Reports of the numerous combat and service units attached to Tenth Army. The most important are those of 713th Armored Flame Thrower Battalion, 53d AAA Brigade, 144th Coast Artillery Group, and 20th Armored Group.
Island Command Okinawa, Action Report 13 Dec 44-30 Jun 45, 30 Jun 45.
Tactical Air Force, Action Report, Phase I, Nansei Shoto, 8 Dec 44 to 30 Jun 45, incl., 12 Jul 45.
Action Report Ryukyus, 1 Apr-30 Jun 45, n.d. This report contains a good digest of combat intelligence, but there are some important omissions. It is particularly useful for logistical activities and the general course of the campaign.
Chief of Staff Journal. This journal contains many significant entries but is incomplete and fragmentary in many places.
Field Orders Nos- 45-53, 45-53, 8 Feb-22 Jun 45.
Administrative Orders Nos. 10-17, 10 Feb-19 Jun 45.
G-1 Journal, Periodic Reports.
G-2 Journal and Message File.
G-2 Summary Nos- 4-15, 12 Apr-26 Jun 45. A weekly review of enemy intelligence with good order of battle discussions.
G-2 Intelligence Service Organization, Prisoner of War Interrogation Reports Nos. 68-206, 15 Apr-19 Jun 45.
G-2 Intelligence Service Organization, Translations, Batch Nos. 2-624, 7 Apr-23 Jun 45.
7-3 Journal, Periodic Reports.
G-4 Journal and Message File.
Other staff section journals and reports, including Signal, Ordnance, Military Government, Engineers, Chemical Warfare, Surgeon, and Artillery. Those of Artillery are rather voluminous.
After Action Reports of combat and service units attached to XXIV Corps. The most important are those of 419th and 420th Field Artillery Groups, 97th AAA Group, and 20th Armored Group.
7th, 27th, 77th, and 96th Divisions. Action Reports and supporting documents of division and subordinate headquarters. These include reports of staff sections of division headquarters and files of journals, messages, periodic and special reports, orders, maps, and overlays maintained by division, regimental, and battalion headquarters.
U.S. NavyThe naval records used include the operation reports of naval commanders, their operation plans, and important intelligence records. These are on file in the Navy Department, Office of Naval Records, Washington, D. C.
Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Amphibious Operations-Capture of Okinawa, 27 March to 21 June 1945 (OPNAV 34-P-0700), 22 Jan 46.
A composite and general account consisting of extracts from the operational reports of the Army and Navy commanders.
Civil Affairs Handbook, Ryukyu (Loochoo) Islands (OPNAV 13-31), 15 Nov 44.
Commander in Chief, U. S. Pacific Fleet and Pacific Ocean Areas (CINCPAC-CINCPOA), Operations in the Pacific Ocean Areas during the Month of . A monthly report, used for the period from October 1944 to June 1945 for coverage of naval operations.
Operation Plan 14-44, serial 0001193, 31 Dec 44.
Joint Staff Study ICEBERG, serial 000131, 25 Oct 44.
Base Development Plan LEGUMINOUS, serial 000221, 10 Feb 45.
Okinawa Gunto, Second Supplement to Information Bulletin No. 161-44. (Bulletin No. 53-45), 28 Feb 45.
Information Bulletin Okinawa Gunto (Bulletin No. 161-44), 15 Nov 44.
Translations Interrogations Nos. 28, 32, 35, 37 (Bulletins Nos. 107-45, 147-45, 170-45, 186-45), 14 May-24 Jul 45.
Joint Intelligence Center, Pacific Ocean Areas, Report of Psychological Warfare Activities, Okinawa Operation, 15 Sep 45.
Commander Fifth Fleet, Operations Plan 1-45, 3 Jan 45.
Commander Amphibious Forces Pacific Fleet, Operations Plan A1-45, 16 Feb 45.
Commander Task Force 51 (CTF 51), Commander Amphibious Forces U. S. Pacific Fleet (COMPHIBSPAC), Report on Okinawa Gunto Operation from 17 February to 17 May 1945, 25 Jul 45-
Commander Task Force 58, Action Report 14 March to 28 May 1945, 18 Jun 45.
Commander Amphibious Group One, Commander Task Force 52, Action Report Okinawa, March-April 1945, 1 May 45.
Commander Amphibious Group Four, Pacific Fleet (CTF 53), Report of Participation in the Capture of Okinawa Gunto, 20 Jul 45.
Commander Amphibious Group Twelve, Commander Task Force 55, Report on the Capture of Okinawa Gunto, Phases I and 11, 14 March-9 June 1945 31 Jul 45.
Amphibious Group Seven, Action Report of Commander Western Islands Attack Group for Capture of Okinawa Gunto, 9 March 1945 to 2 April 1945 26 May 45.
Commander Fifth Amphibious Force (CTF 511 and 311), Report of Capture of Okinawa Gunto, Phases I and II, 117 May 1945-21 June 1945, 4 Jul 45.
Commander Second Carrier Task Force, Pacific, Commander Task Force 38, Action Report 28 May-11 July 1945 7 Jul 45.
U. S. Marine CorpsThe use of Marine Corps documents has been limited to the action reports of the major participating units. These may be consulted at the Historical Division, Headquarters, U. S. Marine Corps, Washington, D. C.
III Amphibious Corps Action Report Ryukyus Operation Phases I and II, 11 Jul 45, with Appendices. Appendices 8 and 9 contain G-3 Periodic Reports and Operation Orders.
1st Marine Division Special Action Report Nansei Shoto.
6th Marine Division Special Action Report Nansei Shoto.
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