What If the Marines Had Bypassed Iwo Jima?
In late September 1944, three of the U.S. Navy’s top admirals met in San Francisco to discuss the next phase of operations in the Central Pacific theater. Adm. Chester W. Nimitz recommended the capture of Okinawa in Ryukyu Islands. It had both the land area and anchorages necessary to serve as a staging base for the final assault on Japan. As a prelude to its capture, Nimitz also recommended the seizure of Iwo Jima, a small volcanic island about 650 miles east of Okinawa.