Bloody Tarawa: The 2D Marine Division, November 20-23, 1943

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On the morning of Saturday, November 20, 1943, the 2d Marine Division undertook the first modern amphibious assault against a well-defended beachhead. The objective was tiny Betio Island, Tarawa Atoll, and the going was supposed to be easy--a target already ""pounded into coral dust"" by a massive naval and air bombardment. But what the Marines discovered was an island garrison alive and well, the Japanese defenses intact and manned by foes who would rather die than surrender. The battle that followed--three full days of ...

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