Monday, January 31, 2005

On this day in military 1944

On this day in military 1944. US Marines invade Kwajalein Atoll during Operation Flintlock. Following the invasions of Tarawa and Makin in the Gilbert Islands, the next step in the US "island-hopping" campaign against the Japanese was the Marshall Islands group. The Marshall Islands consist of 29 atolls and 5 isolated islands. Three of the more famous atolls are Kwajalein, Eniwetok and Bikini. The US wanted to use these islands to support landings in the Mariana Islands (Guam, Saipan and Tinian).

The landings were much easier than the previous landings at Tarawa due to improved tactics and the small size (800 meters from side to side) of the island. The Japanese also had not quite learned that trying to stop the landings at the beach was basically useless due to the US superiority in firepower. They later changed their tactics from beach defenses to defense in depth which causes the later invasions of Guam, Saipan, Peleliu, Iwo Jima and Okinawa to be much more bloody.


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