Leaving Sugar Loaf
Sugar Loaf Hill was a small, insignificant-looking mound, barely 50 feet high and about 300 yards long, situated on the southern end of Okinawa. It was part of a triangle of strongpoints set up by the Japanese defenders designed to delay and damage the attacking American forces. The other two points of the triangle were the higher terrain of Shuri Heights and an irregular-shaped set of hills that Marines called the Half Moon.
The Sixth Marine Division was given the task of taking the mound called Sugar Loaf, and it would prove costly. By the time the area was considered secure, 1,656 Marines would be dead and another 7,429 wounded. Regiments were reduced to company strength, and companies to platoon size. Platoons and squads simply ceased to exist in some cases. It took 11 tries during a 12-day period and ate up most of three regiments before the hill was taken.
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