Despite being mocked and consistently bullied for refusing to use a gun, he never left the Army and was willing to save as many lives as he could in the heart of the battle. HACKSAW RIDGE is the extraordinary true story of Desmond Doss [Andrew Garfield] who, in Okinawa during the bloodiest battle of WWII, saved 75 men without firing or carrying a gun. Doss famously bound a rifle stock to his shattered arm, which had been struck by a sniper’s bullet, and crawled 300 yards to an aid station, the citation said. By MATTHEW M. BURKE | Stars and Stripes | Published: August 15, 2019. The most infamous hilltop was Hacksaw Ridge, a 400-foot cliff on the Maeda Escarpment that was depicted in … Written by Robert Schenkkan and Andrew Knight, “Hacksaw Ridge” takes its name from the forbidding 350-foot cliff also known as Maeda Escarpment on the island of Okinawa… The film explores his success in staying true to his beliefs, in spite of how few people supported him. Like many former World War II battle sites, time and nature have swallowed the carnage and muted the cries of the wounded and dying. Where there are atrocities, horror, and pain, there is always a place for kindness, heroism, and self-sacrifice. Some minor facts, however, were altered for artistic purposes. He was the only American soldier in WWII to fight on the front lines without a weapon, as he believed that while the war was justified, killing was nevertheless wrong. Yet just below the surface, the ghosts remain. A day later, he exposed himself to shelling and small arms fire while he administered plasma to yet another casualty, his citation reads. 'Hacksaw Ridge' is the true story of Desmond Doss who, in Okinawa during the bloodiest battle of WWII, saved 75 men without firing or carrying a gun. In Band of Brothers, Malarkey Asks a German POW Where he Was From, He Answered Eugene, Oregon. The Battle of Okinawa is considered to be one of the bloodiest battles of the Pacific War and World War II. Moreover, the kamikaze attacks were equally devastating for the locals and the Allied troops. An Army medic during that battle rescued 75 of his wounded comrades. By the time Doss got to Okinawa, he had already served with distinction on Guam and in the Philippines, according to his Washington Post obituary from 2006. He actually made it hard to believe that patients would survive lowering from that height. Mainstream historians believe that the Battle of Okinawa was one of the reasons why Hiroshima and Nagasaki happened. The battle for Hacksaw Ridge ended May 6, the Urasoe city website said. It was immortalized in the 2016 film of the same name directed by Mel Gibson. The film depicts the heroics of then 26-year-old Army Pfc. Hacksaw Ridge is a hilled area above the ruins of Urasoe Castle. Mel Gibson, Andrew Garfield march forward with 'Hacksaw Ridge' "When we found out Damien's story, it was like, 'Wow, we have to get this guy on … Gibson apparently felt the same, because the Hacksaw Ridge he re-created in Australia is a far larger, more dramatic peak than the Okinawan hill. However, every man who climbed to the top was killed. Nearly 500 of the 800 men in Doss’ battalion became casualties atop Hacksaw Ridge, an Army history of the battle said. Gibson had increased height of the Maeda Escarpment aka Hacksaw Ridge (strategic cliff on Okinawa) to show the true heroism of Desmon Doss. The Battle of Okinawa is considered to be one of the bloodiest battles of the Pacific War and World War II. The Marines, noncommissioned officers with the MEU, visited World War II battle sites throughout Okinawa as part of a Marine Corps Community Services tour that was intended to boost morale throughout the NCO corps of the 31st MEU and sharpen the Marines’ mental readiness. Totally destroyed during the fighting, the distinct castle walls and tombs of Ryukyu kings Eiso and Shonei have since been rebuilt. It loomed directly ahead on the division right--a huge, forbidding, sheer cliff. His comrades refer to him as modest and a true believer. On May 2, Doss exposed himself to rifle and mortar fire to rescue a casualty some 200 yards forward of the American line, the citation reads. Thus, propaganda was widely used to persuade every civilian on the island to resist the US Army invasion. Kakazutaka […] Desmond Doss, a Seventh Day Adventist from Lynchburg, Va., who received the Medal of Honor for his actions under fire there. Marines with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit hike through Hacksaw Ridge, Okinawa, Japan, May 4, 2017. Maeda Escarpment, a.k.a. Wounded on Okinawa in the Battle for Hacksaw Ridge April 26, 1945 . The Japanese authorities also forced middle and high school children to volunteer as soldiers and medical workers, which resulted in one of the highest numbers of child deaths in the history of World War II. Britannic: A Century After Being Lost to the Waves, Opened to Divers, The 10,000 room German WW2 resort complex never had a single guest, now luxury beachfront Condos, The “Red Zone” In France Is So Dangerous that 100 Years After WWI It Is Still A No-Go Area. His name was Desmond Doss, and he was the only World War II hero to be awarded a Congressional Medal of Honor while being a conscientious objector out of his religious beliefs and completely reluctant to carrying a gun. Shoji Kudaka of Stripes Okinawa contributed to this report. Bullet holes from the war can be seen at a small exhibit at the base of the observatory. Doss’ Company B approached Hacksaw Ridge in late April 1945, the book said. Hacksaw Ridge It was later, however, for incredible heroism during the Battle of Okinawa in late April 1945, that Desmond Doss received the Congressional Medal of Honor. They had to fight their way through Kakazu Ridge and Hacksaw Ridge as the island’s Japanese defenders had taken the high ground to try and repel the invading Americans. $4.5 million buys you a P51 Mustang & twenty, yes TWENTY Merlin engines! All of the previous Hollywood’s attempts to adapt his story were rejected by the war hero himself, as he did not believe the producers would maintain historical accuracy. Urasoe Castle and the Urasoe Youdore Museum offer a glimpse into Okinawa’s past. Directed by Mel Gibson. As we can see, the Battle of Okinawa was a brutal and cruel incident in the world’s history. There is a set of stairs cut in the rock down to the monument and parking lot. “Private First Class Doss, seeing a more critically wounded man nearby, crawled off the litter; and directed the bearers to give their first attention to the other man,” the citation said. Seventy-five casualties fell and the rest of the men were forced to withdraw. Doss is the subject of “Hacksaw Ridge,” the new movie directed by Mel Gibson. 2017.01.05. “Hacksaw Ridge,” is now commonly recognized as part of Urasoe Castle Ruin. An image composite that I did in PS to honor my Dad. The thing that stands out about Okinawa’s idyllic Maeda Escarpment today is its peacefulness. Desmond died in 2006 and did not live to see his story on screen. Company G. Served 2-23-44 to 10-5-45. As a pacifist, Doss had been threatened and harassed by his comrades for refusing to carry a weapon in combat or kill an enemy soldier. The second is set on Okinawa in World War II, far from civilization and love and peace; relative chaos. All Rights Reserved. They began moving south toward the Japanese military headquarters at Shuri Castle. The Pacific War was heading towards the end, and Japan was running out of resources so the human resource was its ultimate measure of defense. As if these stunning natural features were not enough, the escarpment is a wonder for a totally unrelated reason. Smitty (Luke Bracey, left) and Desmond Doss (Andrew Garfield, right) in "Hacksaw Ridge." Company A mounted four 50-foot ladders, which were lashed together, and cargo nets on the ridge’s eastern end on May 1, the book said. I served in Okinawa as a US Army trained Combat Medic, and like Desmond Doss was also a conscientious objector. 2nd Battalion. Fought in the Battle for Leyte and the Battle for Okinawa . Desmond Doss is one of the reasons why humanity deserves a chance. He treated himself and waited five hours for help. World War II American Army Medic Desmond T. Doss, who served during the Battle of Okinawa, refuses to kill people, and becomes the first man in American history to receive the Medal of Honor without firing a shot. For example, in the history of Desmond’s family, there was an episode of a fight between his father and his uncle involving a gun, which was traumatizing enough for Desmond to swear he would never take a gun into his hands. They aimed for Needle Rock, a nearly 43-foot rock at the east end of the hill. 73 Years Ago Today the Battle for Okinawa Began. During the war, the ridge looked smaller than its southern neighbor, Hacksaw Ridge, but its position and size did not make it any easier to conquer during the war. 96th Infantry Division "The Deadeyes" 381st Regiment. The Maeda Escarpment today, facing what was the Japanese position, as seen on April 4, 2019. Due to the same propaganda as the siege was coming towards its end, there were massive suicides happening among Japanese generals, civilians and soldiers as they believed it would be better to die than to surrender and be taken captives. Atomic air strikes seemed like a relatively easy and safe measure. When Pirates Kidnapped Julius Caesar He Laughed at Their Ransom Demands & Told Them To Ask for More, Repelled 30 Taliban: 400 Rounds, Launched 17 Grenades, Detonated a Mine, and Used His Tripod as a Weapon, The WWII Ace Whose Helicopter was Attacked by the World’s Largest Snake, Pull Your Finger Out: The Royal Navy Slang You Never Knew You Were Speaking, USS Nevada Found Off Coast Of Pearl Harbour. Japanese forces were deeply entrenched on the island, hammering American troops from caves and tunnels, in addition to setting booby traps. The Maeda Escarpment Peace Monument — erected to honor the war dead from Japan’s 2nd Battalion, 32nd Regiment — lies today next to a gravel parking lot that was carved out of the cliffside after the war. Similar changes were made to the timing of Desmond’s first marriage and duration of the fought battles. For … The on-land resistance was massive and very persevering as the Japanese civilians made it about their honor to resist the enemy. He was always kind and set a personal example to his fellow comrades. Not only did he not kill a single enemy soldier on the battlefield during the whole Okinawa campaign, in which he took part, he also saved over 100 fellow-soldiers by single-handedly carrying them to safety in the fierce battle at Hacksaw Ridge. Rolling green fields, trees, unique rock formations and stunning vistas greet dog walkers, lovers, foreign tourists and local schoolchildren alike. The escarpment, nicknamed Hacksaw Ridge for the treacherously steep cliff, was key to winning the battle of Okinawa. Doss treated their wounds within eight yards of the cave’s mouth and made four separate trips to evacuate them. It Was Hell on Earth. He “refused to seek cover and remained in the fire-swept area with the many stricken, carrying them one by one to the edge of the escarpment and there lowering them on a rope-supported litter down the face of a cliff to friendly hands,” the citation reads. Thousands of Japanese soldiers awaited them in caves and fighting holes, according to a U.S. Army history of Doss. Okinawa City, Okinawa Prefecture Picture: Tombs at Hacksaw Ridge - Check out Tripadvisor members' 2,103 candid photos and videos of Okinawa City With Andrew Garfield, Sam Worthington, Luke Bracey, Teresa Palmer. Many of the same men Doss had saved, were the very same ones who had treated him so poorly earlier in his military career, the Army history said. However this was in 1965 (20 years after Doss) and the war was in Vietnam. With the 2016 release of Mel Gibson’s Academy Award nominated “Hacksaw Ridge,” there has been increased interest in the Okinawa site where the movie takes place. The ridge was a logistical nightmare for both sides. Desmond Doss on Okinawa in … Later that same day, Doss crawled to another severely wounded man who lay 25 feet from an enemy position. It was inaccessible to American tanks and had to be climbed and taken by soldiers from the 307th Infantry Regiment, 77th Infantry Division. He treated the man and carried him 100 yards to safety. A fact-check of the Hacksaw Ridge movie supports that the United States invaded the island of Okinawa in order to use the island as an air base for an invasion of mainland Japan, which is only 340 miles away. In the movie, however, this fight takes place between his father and his mother, which adds more drama to the scene. Height of Hacksaw Ridge aka Maeda Escarpment. True? I walked into the viewing of HACKSAW RIDGE with a particular bias. War History online proudly presents this Guest Piece from Kaya Johnson. burke.matt@stripes.com “Awaiting the litter bearers’ return, he was again struck, this time suffering a compound fracture of one arm.”. He is one of the most celebrated war heroes of today’s America. At the top, a peace memorial and prayer site also look over both Ginowan and Urasoe cities. Often called “typhoon of steel” for the number of Allied armored ships that took part in the battle, it is known for the atrocity and frequency of the Japanese kamikaze strikes and the number of casualties amounting to 82,000 direct casualties and around half of the Okinawa island civil population. THE BLOODY BATTLE SITE of SUGAR LOAF HILL -- THEN & NOW -- WHAT YOU WOULD SEE TODAY IF YOU STOOD RIGHT ON THE GREEN DOT In honor of American Veterans Day, and the 14,009 U.S. Military who died during nearly three months of vicious fighting on Okinawa back in 1945, I'm posting a few simple photos, and one link, to a long forgotten week of Hell that happened down in … The mission was thought to … © 2020 Stars and Stripes. The monument and the gravel lot in its immediate vicinity marks the approximate spot of Doss’ litter-lowering heroics, local tour guides told Stars and Stripes. During 82 days, from April 1 to June 22, 1945, the Tenth Army, consisting of joint Navy, Marine and Infantry corps, conducted a series of attacks both underwater, in depth and on land. However, the producers and screenwriters were very careful with the historical facts and portrayed Desmond Doss with ultimate accuracy. Desmond T. Doss (Andrew Garfield), who won the Congressional Medal of Honor despite refusing to bear arms during WWII on religious grounds. U.S. Army. Hacksaw Ridge is a 2016 biographical war film directed by Mel Gibson and written by Andrew Knight and Robert Schenkkan, based on the 2004 documentary The Conscientious Objector.The film focuses on the World War II experiences of Desmond Doss, an American pacifist combat medic who, as a Seventh-day Adventist Christian, refused to carry or use a weapon or firearm of any kind. MATTHEW M. BURKE/STARS AND STRIPES. The former Army … As Doss and his fellow soldiers made it to the summit, they were pummeled with artillery, mortar and machine gun fire, according to Doss’ Medal of Honor citation. For the Japanese, the ridge’s steep cliffs and narrow approaches didn’t allow for machine gun nests to fire down upon the Americans as they approached, the Urasoe city website said. Being one of the last battles of the Pacific War, it was also one of the most brutal ones, and resulting in the most casualties. Doss arrived as a medic attached to Company B, 1st Battalion, according to the book “Okinawa: The Last Battle,” by Roy Appleman, James Burns, Russell Gugeler and John Stevens. As he was being evacuated, they were caught in an enemy tank attack. Hacksaw Ridge is true to the history, and its violence merely highlights the heroism of its main character. On May 4, he advanced through a “shower” of grenades to rescue four wounded men who had been cut down while assaulting a cave. However, the overall historical accuracy of the movie is very satisfying, which comes as no surprise to those who know Mel Gibson’s commitment to truthfulness on screen. Upwards of 3,000 Japanese were estimated killed. The US Army planned to further use the Okinawa island as a base for attacking Japanese mainland, thus it was vital for the subsequent invasion of Japan. Cherish God’s Word, With Intentionality After getting injured on the battlefield, the soldiers took great … The initial invasion of Okinawa on April 1, 1945, was the largest amphibious assault in the Pacific Theater of World War II. PFC MITCHELL R. LEPAK. Twitter: @MatthewMBurke1, The Maeda Escarpment Peace Monument - erected to honor the war dead from Japan's 2nd Battalion, 32nd Regiment - is believed to be near the point where Desmond Doss lowered 75 wounded soldiers to safety. As a result of this tedious and bloody 82-day campaign, the island of Okinawa was seized by the US Army. Hacksaw Ridge — as the name implies — was the site of some of the bloodiest fighting during the Battle of Okinawa 74 years ago. Desmond Doss’ inspiring story came to life once again in Hacksaw Ridge, a 2016 biographic film directed by Mel Gibson. The Japanese put up a strong line of defense using their last big battleship, the Yamato, and carried out massive kamikaze airstrikes. Sharing Good News Today Huntsville, AL . See lower picture for better understanding of Gibson exaggerating. However, that was not the end of Doss’ heroics. The losses on both sides were so big due to the Japanese people’s determined resistance that the US Army decided to spare its resources and came up with a way to make Japan surrender without any losses on the American side. The Battle of Okinawa (Japanese: 沖縄戦, Hepburn: Okinawa-sen), codenamed Operation Iceberg, was a major battle of the Pacific War fought on the island of Okinawa by United States Marine and Army forces against the Imperial Japanese Army. Brought up as a devoted Seventh-Day Adventist, this Virginia-born soldier joined the Army out of a strong belief he had a duty to protect his country. The island’s anti-war identity makes Doss the perfect hero. The Japanese had to repel them once they summited the plateau, which the Japanese transformed into a kill zone. See more ideas about Okinawa, Katona, Gibson. Many historians agree that the Battle of Okinawa was one of the most strategically significant for the Allied troops. On the night of May 21, he was seriously wounded in his legs by a grenade while treating casualties, again, alone in an exposed position near Shuri, the citation reads. The Battle of Okinawa had this one war hero who stood out among the rest. Okinawa’s Hacksaw Ridge, once the site of bloody battle, now a peaceful place to recall acts of valor The Maeda Escarpment today, facing what was the Japanese position, as seen on April 4, 2019. On one hand, Okinawa was much more densely populated than the other Japanese islands previously attacked by the US Army, and the local population’s ferocious resistance made it very difficult for the Allied troops to proceed. The 2016 movie “Hacksaw Ridge” tells the story of Desmond Doss, a conscientious objector who earned the Congressional Medal of Honor for … Sadly, this past includes the tragedy that was the war. American forces began landing at Chatan and Yomitan on April 1, 1945, according to battle histories on the Urasoe and Naha city websites. The true story of Pfc. Battle of Okinawa "HACKSAW RIDGE" The Maeda Escarpment Barrier (Hacksaw Ridge) The eastern end of the Urasoe-Mura Escarpment dominated the 96th Division front in the center of the line. CONTRIBUTED BY QUENTIN RICHARDSON Kakazutaka Panorama Otherwise known as Kakazu Ridge, where a fierce battle took place during WWII. The Battle of Okinawa was a series of battles, including the battle for Hacksaw Ridge. The battle at Hacksaw Ridge, on the island of Okinawa, was a close combat fight with heavy weaponry. Did That Actually Happen? Markers in a lovely meadow are all that remain. However, perhaps only the darkest of times can bring to life a miracle of ultimate human kindness, forgiveness, and altruism. - Explore Hegyes Csilla's board "Desmond Doss, Hacksaw Ridge" on Pinterest. 70 YEARS AGO TODAY. Doss saved dozens of lives on Okinawa without carrying a weapon, earning the respect of his companions and, eventually, a medal of honor. It is known by another name that commands reverence: Hacksaw Ridge. He became the first conscientious objector to receive the Medal of Honor on Oct. 12, 1945, from President Harry Truman, the Army biography said. They were ultimately successful in getting two platoons on top of the 400-foot plateau, the book said. The scars from the battle atop Hacksaw Ridge are all but gone. Leigh Willoughby in the Pacific during World War II. Company B attempted the climb with cargo nets farther to the west. Many of the Japanese resistance flashpoints had to be eliminated individually, using dynamite, guns or bare hands. ’ heroics mother, which adds more drama to the timing of Desmond ’ s idyllic Maeda escarpment is. Makes Doss the perfect hero heroes of today ’ s idyllic Maeda today... 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