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The current time is: 12/14/2017 8:01:47 AM
 (1939-1945) WWII Battles
AuthorMessage
BWilson
, Posts: 3525
November 20, 1943
Posted on: 11/20/2017 12:07:38 PM
... Marines land on Tarawa and eliminate the Japanese garrison in three days of bitter fighting.


Painting by Mort Kunstler.

Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Phil andrade
London, UK
Posts: 2597
Re: November 20, 1943
Posted on: 11/20/2017 2:07:38 PM
A grim, intense and appallingly expensive affair.

At the risk of seeming irreverent, I can't help but notice the seductive figure of that lady behind the second marine....

Regards, Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
Posts: 553
Re: November 20, 1943
Posted on: 11/20/2017 3:12:35 PM
BW,

Don't think there were any natives on Tarawa. Guadalcanal yes Tarawa no. But you gotta love the "Condom Fleet."

---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
Posts: 1451
Re: November 20, 1943
Posted on: 11/20/2017 8:38:06 PM
John R., I had thought that although Betio was largely stripped of Gilbertese, there were still some native communities on the other islands of the atoll. Can't remember where I got that idea, to be honest, but thought Marines ran into them as they swept the atoll clean. Can you help me out with a source for your thoughts?

Cheers
Brian G
---------------
"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly.

"The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.

BWilson
, Posts: 3525
Re: November 20, 1943
Posted on: 11/21/2017 2:20:04 AM

Quote:
A grim, intense and appallingly expensive affair.

At the risk of seeming irreverent, I can't help but notice the seductive figure of that lady behind the second marine....

Regards, Phil
--Phil andrade


Phil,

 You got me on that one ... I was staring at the dead Japanese soldier sprawled out of his tank ... that looks suspiciously like a Sherman! In fairness to K√ľnstler, he is a talented artist. Much of his work was done on demand for pulp magazines ... thus the look we see here. And here:


"Hungarian Resistance Fighter"

Cheers,

Bill
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
Posts: 553
Re: November 20, 1943
Posted on: 11/21/2017 3:32:12 AM
Brian,

I meant none on Betio, on the other 30 plus islands of the atoll without doubt there were natives. I feel kind dumb on this because on another thread I'm telling Dave that it is multiple landings on island groupings and then here I don't specify Betio. The thing is the Japanese defenses were on Betio and I don't believe there weren't any major garrisons left on the other islands. Maybe a few escaped Betio by walking the coral reef.

As for my sources I have I believe 2 books on Tarawa, maybe 3, but its been a while since I read them, years, and I'd have to go looking for them. I also believe it might be in the Official Marine Corps History which can be found online.

Edit Wasn't Makin the second most heavily defended atoll in the Gilberts and there were less than a thousand Japanese on the island and half of them were ground crew for the air strip and construction workers(Koreans).
---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


BWilson
, Posts: 3525
Re: November 20, 1943
Posted on: 11/21/2017 4:39:44 AM
 27th Division landed on Makin IIRC. Took a few days to secure Makin as well.

Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Phil andrade
London, UK
Posts: 2597
Re: November 20, 1943
Posted on: 11/21/2017 8:09:17 AM
In terms of casualty figures, Tarawa has a special prominence : in three days of fighting, the number of Americans killed or wounded was nearly equal to the total of the defensive troops deployed by the Japanese. The number of US killed equated to about thirty per cent of the defending troops.

Iwo Jima cost the US more casualties than the total of Japanese defenders, but that lasted a lot longer than Tarawa. Also, in terms of killed alone, it appears that Tarawa had the edge when assessed relative to the number of enemy troops engaged.

It appears that virtually all the Japanese military personnel at Tarawa were killed.

Regards, Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
Posts: 553
Re: November 20, 1943
Posted on: 11/21/2017 1:55:06 PM
BW,

Wasn't that part of the problem? They landed most of the 2 division committed in effect what was the first wave and kept little in reserve on both islands? Didn't matter on Makin because the defense wasn't coordinated, little or no defensive structures built and maybe 300 total combat troops but on Betio extensive defensive fortifications and Japanese Marines. Add in the fact that most of the amphibious tractors were knocked out on the first day forcing the final reserve battalion to use "rubber boats" to effect a landing on the morning of the second day. Hence the title "Condom Fleet."
---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"