On November 20, 1943, the 2d Marine Division hit the beach on tiny Betio Island, Tarawa Atoll, expecting that its defenses had been "pounded into coral dust" by naval and air bombardment. They found instead that the Japanese had survived and held largely intact defenses. Three days of intense fighting secured the island at the cost of one thousand dead Marines and more than two thousand wounded.
By early 1944 the Americans' westward drive across the Pacific required airfields in the Marshall Islands at Kwajalein and Eniwetok atolls. In late January, the 4th Marine Division and U.S. Army troops wrenched control of Kwajalein Atoll in three days of fighting. Then, beginning on February 18, the 22d Marine Regiment landed on three islands in Eniwetok Atoll. The newly rebuilt airfields would support future operations in the Mariana Islands as the Marines continued their island-hopping campaign to victory in the Pacific.
Military historian Eric Hammel has delved deeply into the government photo archives and discovered a treasure-trove of rare, many never-before-published combat photos taken during these campaigns, unearthing hundreds of images.Product Details
Hardcover: 160 pages
Publisher: Crestline Books (August 15, 2013)
Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 9.5 x 10.8 inches