Pacific Victory: Tarawa to Okinawa 1943-1945
- Publish Date: 2005-04-21
- Binding: Hardcover
- Author: Derrick Wright
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The American 'island-hopping' campaign in the Pacific during the Second World War was a crucial factor in the eventual defeat of Japan in 1945. The assault and capture of these seemingly unimportant islands meant US bombers and their fighter escorts could now reach mainland Japan, eventually crippling Japan's war economy. In November 1943, Tarawa tested the doctrine of seaborne assault to the limit in a 76-hour battle in which Marines waded ashore from the surrounding reefs in the face of murderous enemy fire. Peleliu in September 1944 was the 'unknown battle', where a combination of poor planning, dubious leadership and a major change in Japanese defensive strategy turned what was expected to be a three-day battle into one of the most savage battles of the war. Iwo Jima in February 1945 was a titanic struggle that eclipsed all these battles, as three Marine divisions struggled in appalling conditions against an enemy for whom surrender was not an option. That April a massive Marine/Army operation against Okinawa was a foretaste of what could be expected in the proposed assault on the Japanese mainland. These battles were all characterized by savage fighting and heavy casualties on both sides. Employing archive color and black & white photographs, maps and first-hand accounts, the author relates these pivotal battles to the wider struggle against the Japanese in the Pacific.