Organization of Japanese defensive units in Okinawa

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Organization of Japanese defensive units in Okinawa prior to the American invasion.

The defense of Okinawa Island was weakened when the 9th Division was transferred to Taiwan. Ground forces on the island ended up with only the 24th and 62nd Divisions and the 44th Independent Mixed Brigade as the core of the Thirty-second Army commanded by Lieutenant General Mitsuru Ushijima

Commander of Okinawan defensive forces[edit]

Deployable land units[edit]

Air Squadrons in the area[edit]

Japanese Navy[edit]

Japanese Army[edit]

For the Okinawa campaign, the Army planned to commit a total of 970 planes:

  • Homeland (Kyushu, Shikoku)
    • Sixth Air Army—220
    • Tokko units—300
  • Taiwan Area:
    • 8th Air Division—200
    • Tokko units—250

Japanese Special Forces in Okinawa[edit]

Later elements of the Giretsu (Heroic) Airborne Unit were dropped upon North and Central Airfields, engaged in hand-to-hand fighting, and for a time seized control of both strips.