The scale of it is hard to wrap your mind around. The huge ship, the men, the wounded, the waves — we often don’t get a sense of the scale of war, but this picture says so much. Here you can see U.S. Marines who have been wounded by Japanese fire on the beaches of Iwo Jima, as they are evacuated on pontoon barges by U.S. Navy Hospital Corpsmen to be taken on Landing Ship, Tank (LST). After this, they will be moved to hospital ships, all during the first day of the Battle of Iwo Jima (Operation Detachment). We don’t often think about the practicalities of dealing with wounded, but hospital ships were imperative for invasions like these.

hospital ships

Iwo Jima, Bonin Islands, Japan.

19 February 1945.

Image taken by Joe Rosenthal.

Credit: Anti-Worlds