There was reason to believe the battle for Iwo Jima would be even more ferocious than the others, reason to expect the Japanese defender would fight even more tenaciously.
In Japanese eyes the Sulfur Island was infinitely more precious than Tarawa, Guam, Tinian, Saipan, and the others. To the Japanese, Iwo Jima represented something more elemental: It was Japanese homeland. Sacred ground. In Shinto tradition, the island was part of the creation that burst forth from Mount Fuji at the dawn of history…. the island was part of a seamless sacred realm that had not been desecrated by an invader’s foot for four thousand years.
Easy Company and the other Marines would be attempting nothing less than the invasion of Japan.
James Bradley, Flags of Our Fathers: Heroes of Iwo Jima
The fruits of victory are tumbling into our mouths too quickly.
Emperor Hirohito, April 29, 1942
The Americans only know how to make razor blades.
We could do with some of those razor blades, Herr Reichsmarshall.
Field Marshall Erwin Rommel