Political map of East Asia and the Western Pacific 08 May 1945 (Battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa): By now the United States was ready to advance on the Japanese home islands (Operation Downfall). In February, US forces landed on Iwo Jima (Battle of Iwo Jima) in the Volcano Islands, followed two months later by Okinawa (Battle of Okinawa) in the Ryukyus. In both cases, the Japanese defended ferociously, mounting numerous suicide attacks (Kamikaze). The fighting in Okinawa alone saw over 200,000 deaths, including 95% of the Japanese defenders and as much as half of the civilian population.