General Kuribayashi

Price: $42.50


Thomas Gunn Miniatures

General Kuribayashi was the garrison commander of the Japanese forces at Iwo Jima. The USMC expected to capture Iwo Jima within 5 days, it actually took 36 days thanks to the inspired leadership and defensive planning of Kuribayashi.
In June 1944 Kuribayashi took physical command of Iwo Jima, a vital stepping stone for the US forces in the conquest of Japan. He undertook the building of a series of bunkers and tunnels that his men could shelter within and also bombard the American forces from. However even at this stage 6 month before the Americans landed, the Japanese were running low on rations and by the end of 1944 were forced to eating seaweed, with fresh water only obtained by what they could save from rainfall.
When the Americans landed in February 1945 there were no defending forces to meet the Americans, they simply waded ashore much to their surprise. It was only later that Kuribayashi ordered his troops to start mortaring and firing at the American forces on the beaches. Banzai charges by the Japanese were forbidden by Kuribayashi. This surprised the attacking American General Holland Smith, who had expected the Japanese defenders to throw their lives away in this manner.
Moving inland, slowly but surely the Americans pried the Japanese out of their defensive positions, using flamethrowers and phosphorous gas to remove them from their underground chambers. The Americans were stunned to find surviving Japanese soldiers some weighing only 70 pounds after months of water and food deprivation, yet still the Japanese kept fighting on.
By 16th March the American forces had reported the whole of the island was in their possession, except for a fortified gorge where Kuribayashi was holding out with 400 of his men. Determined to fight to the death, the body of Kuribayashi was never recovered. It is believed that he died during an early morning assault on American positions, but speculation still surrounds the manner of his death to this day.
For America, Iwo Jima was a costly battle with 26,000 casualties, the Japanese lost 21,000 men with another 1000 surrendering or being captured.
This rendition of Kuribayashi has him decked out in his full imperial uniform with Katana as he would have appeared prior to the final battle.

Limited Edition of 100.

Additional figures sold separately.