The battle for Okinawa claimed more lives than any US campaign against Japan in the Pacific war. Situated between the Ryukyu group of islands north of Formosa and the Japanese home islands, it was chosen as the final springboard for the invasion of Japan itself that was for so long felt vital to bring the war to an end. The Japanese, under Lieutenant General Ushijima, fought for every inch of ground and had constructed a formidable series of defensive lines against the US invasion force. The fighting on the island itself was some of the most savage of the war, while at sea at 700-plane Kamikaze raid sank several US destroyers. The Japanese could not resist the US invasion assault force forever though, and despite seeing their commander General Buckner killed in action, had won victory by June 1945. US casualties were estimated to be 49,000. More than 110,000 Japanese were killed and 7,000 taken prisoner. Within weeks, the atomic bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki had done their work, bringing the war to a sudden end.