Seventy years after the Battle of Okinawa, Yoshiko Shimabukuro still has terrifying nightmares of watching friends and Japanese soldiers die as they hid in caves to escape fierce American shelling. One of 222 female students mobilised as a battlefield nursing unit for the Imperial Army in March 1945, she also suffers deep pangs of guilt for surviving the war while many of her classmates perished in the hell holes that served as military hospitals on the island’s southern tip. ‘We only had basic training in how to put on bandages, but the wounded soldiers they brought in were beyond help,’ Shimabukuro told AFP ahead of a ceremony Tuesday to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of the battle. ‘They had legs ripped off, their intestines were falling out, faces missing. We simply had no idea what to do. I was 17. We all thought we would be back at school in a week.’ Fewer

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