Spence numbers are wonderful, but almost NEVER tell the whole story. Otherwise accountants would rule the world. (Or mathematicians rule the forum, but that's another story).
As someone who has climbed all over the battlegrounds of that island, let me tell you that there were many terrain features where 10 men could hold thousands. (Take that Spartans!). None of the Marianas are easily taken, as they are filled with cliffs,reefs,overlooks, reversed slopes and many other features favoring the defenders, who had nearly 3 years to fortify them. And the Japanese did that , and defended them well. Numbers and weapons would help, but the only way to take those islands foot by foot, inch by inch. Accept that, and the courage it took , or you DO denigrate those men. As well as the Chamorro's who did their best and risked their lives to help the Americans.
[You have been there Steve!? Got any pictures???]
Well put sir. The sheer guts and determination of the Marines always makes me admire their achievements.
One also admires the martial prowess and guts of the IJA, but there is always left in the back of one's mind,
a lingering horror to the unnecessary brutalities inflicted on PoW's and civilians alike.
Every Army in history has inflicted hardship and brutal reprisals on the PoW's and civilian populations under their control, but nearly all were localised or down to a few individuals and were not official policy.
The IJA have blotted their copybook in history, because they went so far off the dial, and made it an official policy sanctioned by the Military.
Bushido has many concepts and ideas that one can admire, and many one cannot.
The Americans in the Pacific on the other hand, did, on the whole, show enormous courage against a determined (bordering on the fanatical in many case's ), disciplined and sheer downright bloody-minded foe.
Our lives may be more boring than those who lived in apocalyptic times,
but being bored is greatly preferable to being prematurely dead because of some ideological fantasy. - Michael Burleigh