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About This Project

image IwoJimaHistory was first conceived by Ray Backstrom, way back maybe a hundred years ago when GeoCities was a popular internet destination.

A short history lesson

GeoCities was originally founded by David Bohnett and John Rezner in late 1994 as Beverly Hills Internet (BHI). In 1999 GeoCities was acquired by Yahoo! and at that time it was the third-most visited Web site on the internet. Ten years later, after Yahoo! bought GeoCities, it shut down the United States GeoCities service in of 2009. At that time, there were about 38 million user-built pages on GeoCities, IwoJimaHistory being one of them. Ironically, Yahoo! GeoCities still exists as a web hosting service, but currently available only in Japan.

Our Technology: From PHPNuke to Joomla to This

Sometime in early 2009, Ray and Kase became remote friends and was moved into an early CMS called PHPNuke which lasted about a year before it was migrated to one of the first releases of Joomla

A few months ago, we began to ponder what to do next. We toyed with the idea of a fresh copy of some CMS like Joomla or Drupal, but that seemed like an overkill. So instead, we had our friend Brian go hunt down a tiny HTML/CSS template called 287_ancient from a place called The template consists of five HTML files, one CSS and a handful of images.

We couldn't come up with a good reason to export data from the old Joomla tables, so we left them as-is and wrote some PHP scripts to populate 287_ancient. We realize that 287_ancient is not a responsive design, so apologies if you're cursing while trying to read this on your phone.

Our Sneaky Ulterior Motive

While Iwo Jima is absolutely the reason for this website, it's not without some other objectives which we will enumerate here:

  1. Funding
  2. Seeking stories before it's too late
  3. Selling maps and CDs
  4. Making new connections
Details of each of these will appear here tomorrow.

Our Team (which you are welcome to join)

Ray Backstrom
Project Lead/Cartography Expert

Ray Backstrom joined the Marine Corps in 1972 and retired Marine Master Sergeant in 1992, and has completed his bachelors and masters degrees in cartography at the University of Montana. He is currently working as a cartographer for the federal government. This work is a byproduct of his thesis which used the battle of Iwo Jima as a model to demonstrate the usefulness of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) as a means of distributing historic battlefield information.

Each year the goal is to add a little bit more, last year was the KML files. Plans are in place to add the 5th Amphibious Corps reports and rosters, along with some vector based PDF maps of the battle.

Internet Technology, System Design and Brainstorm Meteorologist

Kase, Director of Security Operations, brings a vast global and cross-functional business IT knowledge, and is a voracious reader who learns, not to be confused with plagiarism, by observing others' success. He's virtually designed thousands of enterprise-class computer-enhanced business systems. He's able to recruit and motivate teams in the 11th hour because of an intense entrepreneurial spirit.

He continues to build computer systems and slings HTML/CSS/PHP for the pure joy of creating useful things he hopes might one day be useful.

This part is 100% real: His connection to Iwo Jima was via Don Kasemodel, a Marine in the 3rd Division who was KIA on D+21. Don was brother to Robert E Kasemodel, Kase's father.

Brian Steinhagen
WWII Historian, Author, Mathematician and Philosopher

Brians's focus has included traditional battle-by-battle coverage of conflict, experience of the individual, historical causes of military events, technological change in warfare, military strategy, and challenges of leadership. His focus was mainly for the educated non-specialist reader because he believed that was the audience that might be most receptive to his perspectives. His histories of war include those of the First and Second World Wars and his work examined warfare throughout history, including human prehistory and the classical era; however the majority of his work concentrated on modern conflict of the 20th and 21st Centuries.

In one of his most acclaimed efforts, Brian detailed the development and limitations of warfare from prehistory to the modern era. It looked at various topics, including the use of horses, logistics, and "fire". One key concept put forward was that war is inherently cultural In the introduction, he rigorously denounced the idiom "war is a continuation of policy by other means", rejecting on its face "Clausewitzian" ideas. Brian's discussion of Clausewitz was, however, heavily criticised as uninformed and inaccurate, by writers like Peter Paret and Robert Yu. In another controversial position, Brian claimed that cultural forces, not technology, produced the enhanced mayhem of the World Wars. Specifically, Brian stated that mandatory public education created a homogenised populace that was more willing to accept conscription and other governmental demands.

Cathia (a.k.a., "Kitty Cat" )
Apprentice Webmaster and Social Media Maniac

Cathia is a Glock-packing, animal-loving, US Constitutional fanatic who is a proud member of the #bitterclingers. She is Pro-Death for thugs and when she's not maintaining this website, she's often found in the gym where she enjoys inflicting damage on heavy bags. While we have not yet taken the social media plunge here, you can find lots of her handiwork at dlmReport. Oh, and she wanted you to know this: I never tweet about muffins or cute babies. On an unrelated and important note, anyone who mistreats someone who is weaker, I will invite you to a head-butt/knee-strike party that will leave a TBI mark in the morning.