The goal of the battle of Iwo Jima was to capture and control the island and it's three airfields in order to start bombing the Japanese mainland during World War 2.
On the 19th of February, the invasion designated Operation Detachment began landing 60 thousand Marines on the beaches. The Japanese had only 21 thousand stationed at the island.
The famous black and White photo "Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima" was shot during this battle and is one of the most iconic photographs of the war. Three of the six marines in this photo where later killed in action.
Left to right: Ira Hayes, Harold Schultz, Michael Strank (†), Franklin Sousley (†), Rene Gagnon, and Harlon Block (†). "†" = killed in Iwo Jima
The aftermath of the battle left 26,000 American casualties (6,800 dead) with Japanese casualties 300 captured and 18,375 dead. The death toll very common for Japanese soldiers with propaganda and tradition demanding death rather then surrendering.