The Smithsonian Channel premieres its new special Battle of Okinawa in Color on Sunday, June 25 at 8 p.m. ET/PT to mark the 72nd anniversary of the conclusion of this battle.
The Battle of Okinawa was the last battle of World War II and the bloodiest of the Pacific war. It was also the longest. The fact that Japanese troops held on for three months played a large part in Truman's decision to drop atomic bombs on Japan.
The battle started when U.S. Marines invaded the island of Okinawa on Easter Sunday 1945 in order to set up a staging point for their massive invasion of Japan. Initially, they met little resistance but Japan struck back four days later and kicked off an 82-day 'rain of steel' that exacted a high cost for both sides.
This one-hour special includes stories from such veterans as First Lieutenant Charles Kirkpatrick, Second Lieutenant David Strauss and other officers and soldiers. There's also compelling footage captured in color by military cameramen who risked their lives to document the battle with unblinking eyes and uncommon valor.
Check out two clips from the special below: