Marines landing on Iwo Jima, February 19, 1945.
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A firey, dark image of a battle.

Credit: Image donated by Corbis-Bettmann

Navy and air force planes bombed the island of Iwo Jima for more than two months before the American Marines came ashore on February 19, 1945. Silent the first few hours of the American landing, the Japanese then launched a withering fire. More than 26,000 Marines were killed or wounded securing the island, advancing yard by yard against its dug-in defenders. This photo, selected as one of the best pictures of the war taken by a military photographer, shows Marines as they hit the beach at Iwo Jima on February 19, 1945. Flown to Guam, and then transmitted by radio, it appeared in U.S. papers within fifteen hours of its creation.

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