Show 10: Clearing Hell – The Battle of Iwo Jima part 3

“Among the Americans who served on Iwo Island, uncommon valor was a common virtue.” — U.S. Navy Fleet Adm. Chester W. Nimitz, March 16, 1945

Join Chris and Luke as they guide you through one of the bloodiest battles in American history: the Battle of Iwo Jima. In this episode the marines will drive across the island in savage fighting, clearing the death-jigsaw of Japanese Mastermind Tadamichi Kuribayashi strongpoint by strongpoint. The planners in Hawaii had thought tanks would do the hard fighting. Kuribayashi anticipated this threat by creating a series of mutually supporting strongpoints in a position called the “Meat Grinder.” Tanks could hardly operate in the Meat Grinder. The Marines cleared it with hand grenades and flame throwers. They took heavy casualties. The Japanese fought to the last man. It was a fight through hell and we’re taking you there tonight on the world’s premier podcast about warfare: Battlecast. So grab a chair, grab a beer and get ready for battle.

Beer this episode is Kirin Ichiban, 3 bullets out of 5.

Download link: Download

Map of Pacific Theater:


Map of Battlefield:



Iwo Jima by Bill Ross

Into the Rising Sun edited by Patrick K. O’Donnell

Mishima by John Nathan

I was a Kamikaze by Ryuji Nagatsuka

Reaping the Whirlwind by Nigel Cawthorne

War without Mercy by John W. Dower

Hell in the Pacific by Jim McHenry and Bill Sloan

Sun and Steel by Yukio Mishima

War at Sea by Marcus Faulkner

The West Point Military Atlas of Modern War edited by Thomas E. Griess

The West Point Military History of The Second World War Asia and Pacific edited by Thomas E. Griess

Hagakure by Yamamoto Tsunetomo and William Scott Wilson (trans.)

A History of Japan by R. H. P. Mason and J. G. Caiger

The Rising Sun: The Decline and Fall of the Japanese Empire, 1936-1945 by John Toland

The Second World War by John Keegan

Contemporary Japan: History, Politics, and Social Change by Jeff Kingston

The Laughing Heart by Charles Bukowski

Music References:

Paint the Sky Red

“While we Sleepwalk”




“Sakura, Sakura”

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