Peleliu 1944 (Praeger Illustrated Military History Series): The Forgotten Corner of Hell

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Equaling Tarawa and Okinawa in scale and ferocity, until recently the battle for Peleliu has been regarded as the Pacific war's forgotten battle, and sadly one that should never have been fought. A massive carrier-based attack some weeks before the invasion destroyed all aircraft and shipping in the area and virtually isolated the Japanese garrison. 1st Marine Division commander, General Rupertus, made extravagant claims that the capture of Peleliu would only take three days--maybe two. But the Japanese fought a ...

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Overview

Equaling Tarawa and Okinawa in scale and ferocity, until recently the battle for Peleliu has been regarded as the Pacific war's forgotten battle, and sadly one that should never have been fought. A massive carrier-based attack some weeks before the invasion destroyed all aircraft and shipping in the area and virtually isolated the Japanese garrison. 1st Marine Division commander, General Rupertus, made extravagant claims that the capture of Peleliu would only take three days--maybe two. But the Japanese fought a bloody battle of attrition from prepared positions an in a struggle of unprecedented savagery a whole Marine Division was bled white.

Equaling Tarawa and Okinawa in scale and ferocity, until recently the battle for Peleliu has been regarded as the Pacific war's forgotten battle, one that with hindsight should never have been fought at all. Originally planned to secure General MacArthur's eastern flank during his invasion of the Philippine Islands, the assault became superfluous after a massive carrier-based attack on the Palau Islands by Task Force 58 some weeks earlier destroyed all aircraft and shipping in the area and virtually isolated the Japanese garrison. The planners may have been influenced by the extravagant claims of the commander of the Marine Corps' 1st Division, General Rupertus, that it would only take three days--maybe two, but as the Japanese defenders abandoned their previous strategy of attempting to repel the invader on the beaches and fought a battle of attrition from carefully prepared positions in the Umurbrogol Hills, the operation became a close-quarters slog of unprecedented savagery in which a whole Marine Division expended itself and had to be replaced by Army units.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

JIM MORAN has written extensively on the uniforms, equipment and history of the U.S. Marine Corps. He is an enthusiastic collector of Marine Corps memorabilia and a member of the 2nd Marine Division Association.

GORDON ROTTMAN entered the U.S. Army in 1967, volunteered for Special Forces and served in Vietnam in 1969-70. A highly respected and established author, Gordon is now a civilian contract Special Operations Forces Intelligence Specialist at the Army's Joint Readiness Center, Ft. Polk.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 6
Chronology 14
Opposing Plans 16
Opposing Commanders 23
Opposing Forces 29
Peleliu Assault 40
Aftermath 89
The Battlefield Today 92
Bibliography 94
Index 95
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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2005

    Navy guns missed the Point

    Japanese heavy guns covered the whole beach from the point. When the tide went out you could have walked 300 yards down the beach on the bodys of dead Marines-The Navy did not fire on the point and because of this White beach #1 was a slaughterhouse

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