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Week 4 - Pulitzer 1945 - Iwo Jima Flag - Joe Rosenthal

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by , 10-23-2008 at 05:00 PM (6071 Views)
This week we have an iconic image. It rates up there with the most reproduced images of all time.

Joe Rosenthal - The Iwo Jima Flag

Camera 4 x 5 Speed Graphic

Film Agfa

Lens 127mm

Shutter & Aperture 1/400 @ f16

Raising the flag on Iwo Jima was a historic moment post a historic battle. Iwo Jima was to be the first Japanese soil to fall to foreign hands in more than a millenia of pride filled history. It is the first place a foreign flag has ever flown over Japanese territory. You can imagine the crushing blow this dealt to the Japanese. Loosing this piece of dirt, which was a part of Tokyo although some seven hundred miles away, had a big impact on the morale of a nation.

Roughly 50,000 American troops stormed the 22,000 strong Japanese. After a month long battle on the 8 square miles of Iwo Jima, 7,000 Americans and more than 20,000 Japanese would die.

Joe Rosenthal was covering the fighting daily, his images of the Iwo Jima landings making the rounds on newspapers and magazines around the world. Five days after landing Rosenthal heard that Marines were raising a flag on top of Mount Suribachi. Moments after nearly losing his life in an overboard incident he climbed the volcano with two Marine photographers. Half way up he ran into Lou Lowery, photographer of the original flag raising.

Atop Suribachi Rosenthal captured an image of the the second flag raising we all know of today. The one that won him a pulitzer and was seen around the world, sold millions of stamps, raised money for the war effort, was the centre of controversy and cemented his name in history books. The story behind the photo has been researched by many people, discussed on message boards, in newspapers and numerous books. There are websites dedicated to the photo, statues, tv shows and even two movies directed by Clint Eastwood.

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  1. jd callow's Avatar
    Thanks two40
  2. benjiboy's Avatar
    To me one of the most amazing facts about Iwo Jima is that of the 22,00 Japanese who defended Iwo Jima only about a dozen surrendered.



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