Words of Advice:

"Never Feel Sorry For Anyone Who Owns an Airplane."-- Tina Marie

"
If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"
Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It.
" -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot, by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse." -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Tarawa

"With the Marines at Tarawa", which won an Oscar in 1945:


Tarawa was one of the most brutal battles fought by Americans in the war, given that the battle was fought over a small, heavily fortified island (under 400 acres) in three days.

It might have been a loss if the Japanese commander, Rear Admiral Shibazaki, hadn't been killed by shellfire in the opening hours of the battle. Between the death of Shibazaki and the disruption of Japanese internal communications by the pre-invasion bombardment, the Japanese did not mount a night counterattack on the first day, when the Marines still had smallish beachheads.

5 comments:

RJ the paragon said...

My understanding is that Tarawa was also pointless. We did nothing with it after it was taken. It should have been by passed and starved.

J4rh34d said...

The Japanese base on Betio blocked clear communication between Hawaii and the Marshall Islands. The Marshalls were needed for land-based air support to invade the Marianas. Lessons were learned from Tarawaa, just as lessons were learned in the ETO at Dieppe. Ten weeks later, air support was flown from Betio for the invasion of the Marshalls

RJ the paragon said...

Betio blocked nothing. It is far south of the Marshall's, and had no aircraft at the time of the invasion. As long as the convoys stayed out of range of the 4 8 inch guns there, it presented no threat. Marine General Howling Mad Smith said it was not worth the price paid for it. It was a learning experience, like Dieppe, but not worth the tuition.

Comrade Misfit said...

I disagree. Tarawa provided a lot of lessons in invasion preparation, but some of them were not fully implemented (the need for lengthy pre-invasion bombardment.

Borepatch said...

Agree in the bombardment, although the one on Tarawa did disrupt defensive communications as you point out. Whether it was a lucky hit or not, the lesson was clear that more was better.

Of course they did more at Iwo and it's not clear how much it helped.

Maybe the biggest lesson was only to invade the places you absolutely, positively have to. IIRC, we never invaded Truk - we destroyed most offensive assets and then bypassed it. This I think was RJ's point.