Japanese Prisoner of War Receives a Cigarette on Iwo Jima

US Marine gives a Japanese soldier a cigarette before pulling him out of a shell hole. Armed with a grenade, the soldier was lying in wait for 36 hours. Marines saw him buried in the black sand and were able to knock the grande out of reach. He surrendered, but thinking he might be booby trapped, they approached cautiously. He requested a cigarette and got it; then he was dug out of the shell hole. The 3rd and 4th Marine Divisions broke up the remaining organized resistance on March 16, 1945, the same day this photo was taken. Occasionally individual enemy soldiers armed with demolition charges and grenades raced out against tanks or groups of Marines but were shot down before they could do any great damage to personnel or equipment. Isolated pockets, totaling some 3,000 enemy soldiers, remained around the island. US V Amphibious Corps Command declared Iwo Jima secure at 1800 Hours on MArch 16, but another ten days of fighting remained. Only 216 prisoners were captured between February 19 and March 26, 1945. The US Army's 147th Infantry Regiment would capture another 867 between March 27 and May 1945. A major push by psychological warfare experts to encourage holdouts to surrender on March 17, 1945 netted few results. Japanese Commander Lieutenant General Tadamichi Kuribayashi radioed nearby island ChiChi Jima, "They [the Americans] advised us to surrender by a loudspeaker, but we only laughed at this childish trick and did not set ourselves against them."
Caption Written By: 
Jason McDonald
Date Photographed: 
Friday, March 16, 1945
Iwo Jima