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This book tells the story of the Marines spearheading the thrust through the Japanese outer ring of defences and recounts the brutal and important island-hopping Pacific campaign at its most gripping following the bloodbath at Tarawa.
Contains 97 photos and 16 maps and charts.
“As 1943 drew to a close, Marines had retaken Tarawa and portions of the Solomons from the Japanese invader, but the formidable enemy bases studding the vast Pacific, bases which had been built during the preceding 25 years, were as yet untouched by our amphibious forces.
In early 1944 the first penetration of this prewar enemy territory was accomplished with the assault and occupation of Kwajalein and Majuro Atolls in the Marshall Islands. These were quickly followed by the seizure of Eniwetok Atoll. The major role in these over-all operations was undertaken by Marine units working in close coordination with elements of the Army, Navy, and Coast Guard. That they acquitted themselves with distinction is reflected in the rapidity with which they accomplished their missions. Operations in the Marshall Islands clearly indicated that Japanese bases in the Central Pacific could be by-passed. The way was now open for the neutralization of Truk and the assault on the Marianas, the next great step in the drive toward Japan.”-LEMUEL C. SHEPHERD, JR., GENERAL, U. S. MARINE CORPS, COMMANDANT OF THE MARINE CORPS