My grandfather landed on Okinawa (U.S. Army) nearly 2 weeks after the main battles were decided, and according to him (and others as well) the Japanese soldiers still on the Island were continuing to fight. In fact his second day on the Island he was part of a Jeep patrol that came under fire from two different snipers from opposite sides of the “road” they were traveling on, he had to quickly pull the jeep behind some trees and radio for help…they were pinned down for more than 2 hours until reinforcements were able to root out and eliminate the snipers, but one U.S. soldier was killed that day. Barely a week later 2 Soldiers my grandfather became friends with on the transport ship were killed when they were checking out an odd arrangement of tree limbs that wasn’t there the day before, it was a booby trap.
About a dozen or so years ago, I worked for a Jeep, Subaru, Kia dealer. I did a LOT of PDI’s (Pre Delivery Inspection). This was done after the 18 wheeler dropped the cars off, before the window stickers were applied. This included installing antennas, activating memory systems for radio, making sure RKE (Remote Keyless Entry) systems operated, checking fluid levels and affix inspection stickers. It also included a road test to ensure no noises or vibrations in the new cars. Subaru specified that there must be more than 15 miles on the odometer before it was ready for sale. They came in with about 4 miles on them. I had a 13 mile loop around town that allowed top speeds up to 70 mph, included some tight turns and a few other things to put the cars through their paces. Jeep didn’t have a spec on minimum mileage, nor did Kia, but they all got my signature with at least 15 miles on them.
As you can imagine, I had my favorites. WRX and STI models where fun. I liked the SRT Grand Cherokee pretty well too. My favorite however was a Legacy Spec-B. Basically an STI powertrain in a Legay wagon. Grandma car, that would leave ANYTHING sitting at the line wondering what the heck was that.
Keep in mind all of this occurred after the island was “won” and even continued after the official imperial Japanese surrender since Japanese soldiers would keep fighting to the death even after their commanding officers were either killed or retreated back to the mainland. So knowing this, you tell me if the battle was neccessary? It was just as necessary (or senseless depending on your view) as any other battle in the Pacific, Europe or Northern Africa. Japanese soldiers weren’t going to simply stay “bottled up in their own zones” while the enemy used one of their islands as a staging point for the impending invasion of their homeland. As for the invasion itself, Okinawa would have been crucial from a strategic standpoint.