Batalha de Tarawa

Batalha de Tarawa

O grupo de ilhotas de Tarawa, cerca de 2.400 milhas a sudoeste do Havaí, foi mantido pelos japoneses de 1941 a 1943 durante a Segunda Guerra Mundial, e caiu para os fuzileiros navais dos EUA da Segunda Divisão após uma batalha sangrenta de 76 horas. atravesse o Pacífico central até as ilhas filipinas.A Batalha de Tarawa foi em parte um produto do planejamento pobre dos EUA, uma batalha na qual os fuzileiros navais vadearam incessantemente até a costa - na maré baixa - sobre corais afiados como navalhas sob um poder de fogo fulminante. Os fuzileiros navais também tentaram evitar os disparos de franco-atiradores japoneses desembarcando de barcos de assalto mais distantes da costa e alguns se afogando em águas profundas com o peso de seus cintos de munição. Arame farpado protegendo um campo de aviação, ocupado pela principal concentração de suas forças, de 4.700 soldados e operários da construção. Logo após as 5h, o primeiro tiro na costa de Betio foi disparado de navios americanos. O poder de fogo dos navios era tão rápido que parecia para alguns uma rajada de metralhadora.Depois que os fuzileiros navais testemunharam a saraivada de fogo, muitos concluíram que pouco poderia ser deixado do inimigo. Em seguida, eles ouviram um rugido no ar e viram dezenas de torpedeiros, bombardeiros de mergulho e caças chamados para encenar outro ataque, que não atraiu nenhuma resistência perceptível do solo. Enquanto as embarcações de desembarque Higgens faziam seu caminho, eles chegaram a uma parada abrupta em um recife. Enquanto a primeira onda de fuzileiros navais vadeava pela água até a praia, apenas alguns conseguiram chegar à costa. Depois de perceber que os japoneses tinham uma força maior do que o previsto, os americanos enviaram mais e mais homens em um esforço para estabelecer um cabeceira da praia. Com esses reforços, eles conseguiram proteger parte da praia a apenas 100 metros de comprimento e 6 metros da beira da água. Enquanto isso, os japoneses haviam perdido suas comunicações, mas foram doutrinados a lutar no local até a morte ou cometer suicídio. Com essa determinação, lutaram ferozmente contra os americanos. Os japoneses despacharam um hidroavião, equipado com bombas sob as asas, para atacar as embarcações de assalto presas no recife. Essa única aeronave tornou-se um grande trunfo para os japoneses, pois facilmente jogou bombas nos patos sentados abaixo, causando a maior parte dos danos.Às 6 horas da manhã, esses 450 homens abriram caminho para o interior da base aérea, que assumiram e de onde continuaram a lutar. À medida que a maré da manhã começou a subir, as embarcações de desembarque conseguiram passar por cima do recife e trazer muitos tanques. Ele decidiu por um grande ataque contra os japoneses. No dia seguinte, o Primeiro Batalhão do major e os Sexto Fuzileiros Navais lutaram duramente na costa sul. Os principais ataques durante o resto do dia foram os atiradores inimigos e as caixas de comprimidos restantes que lhes deram tantos problemas no dia anterior. Naquela noite, as tropas japonesas fizeram um ataque final contra o Sexto Fuzileiro Naval, Companhia B - uma acusação suicida Banzai . Os bravos homens mal conseguiam manter suas posições contra as ondas de soldados que atacavam.O contra-ataque da noite de 22 foi o último esforço dos japoneses na ilha Betio. A batalha acabou depois de mais de três dias de combates infernais. Os fuzileiros navais sofreram quase 3.000 baixas. Sua disposição de lutar até o último homem augurava a natureza de outras batalhas que viriam.


Pedágio pesado nas praias de Tarawa

Uma força considerável de 4.700 soldados japoneses estava estacionada em Betio protegendo um campo de aviação e em 20 de novembro, destróieres e navios de guerra dos EUA encenaram um ataque pesado na ilha de três milhas de comprimento. À medida que a batalha avançava, uma nave de desembarque dos Estados Unidos avançou na ilha e ficou presa em um recife por causa da maré baixa. Isso deixou a nave a apenas 150 metros da costa e sob fogo japonês. Dos 800 fuzileiros navais que tentaram invadir a ilha, apenas 450 conseguiram chegar à costa. O inimigo ficou quieto esperando os momentos oportunos e muitos dos fuzileiros navais que saíram vadeando para a costa foram abatidos por tiros.

Mais reforços foram trazidos pelos americanos e a batalha começou a se inclinar em sua direção com isso e a perda de comunicação que os japoneses sentiram. Os japoneses foram ensinados a lutar ou cometer suicídio, então eles voltaram todas as suas atenções para atacar os fuzileiros navais no dia seguinte. Os fuzileiros navais pediram reforços que não conseguiram, mas conseguiram resistir ao ataque e vencer.


Aterrissando em Betio

Os 2ª Fuzileiros Navais, que chefiariam os desembarques no dia 20 de novembro, acreditaram que a missão ia ser moleza. Eles não poderiam estar mais errados.

Na noite do dia 19 de novembro, as coisas começaram a dar errado. Fortes correntes criaram o caos à medida que as tropas eram transferidas para suas embarcações de desembarque. Os ataques aéreos noturnos não haviam destruído as baterias da costa como deveriam. No navio de comando, o USS Maryland, as vibrações dos canhões do navio tiraram o equipamento de comunicação, interrompendo a coordenação entre os ataques navais e aéreos e reduzindo sua eficácia.

O contra-almirante Hill havia calculado que os Amtracs alcançariam a costa em quarenta minutos, mas isso se mostrou otimista. Como o bombardeio da costa parou para evitar atingir as tropas, elas ainda estavam no mar e expostas.

Fuzileiros navais em Tarawa

Às nove e dez da manhã, as primeiras tropas chegaram à ilha. Enfrentando pouca resistência, eles subiram as praias até a barreira da parede de troncos. Todo o bombardeio havia terminado dez minutos antes e os japoneses tiveram tempo para se recuperar. Agora enfrentando defensores prontos, a maioria dos americanos ficou presa do lado de fora do muro.

Os recifes cercavam muitas das praias a 800 a 1.200 metros de distância. A água acima deles era mais rasa do que os americanos esperavam, e a maioria dos Amtracs ficou presa. Os soldados tiveram que desembarcar e chegar à costa sob o fogo inimigo, alguns deles desaparecendo em buracos no recife e se afogando. Oficiais e sargentos abriram caminho e a maioria foi morta, deixando as tropas sem liderança. O equipamento de comunicação encharcou e falhou. As tropas foram espalhadas pelo fogo japonês.

Um dos problemas da operação era a falta de meios de transporte. No momento em que a segunda leva de homens estava pousando, e com eles os primeiros tanques, os Amtracs estavam sendo enviados de volta para buscar mais homens. Os números que deveriam ter dado aos americanos uma grande vantagem só chegaram tarde.


Tarawa é uma antiga forma de Gilbertese para Te Rawa, que significa "A Passagem" (da Lagoa), porque Tarawa é um atol único em Kiribati com uma grande passagem de navio ou canal para a lagoa. [6] Mas na etimologia popular, devido à mitologia de Kiribati, Nareau, o Deus-aranha, distinguia-se Karawa, o céu, de Marawa, o mar, de Tarawa, a terra.

Tarawa tem uma grande lagoa, amplamente aberta ao oceano, com uma grande passagem de navio, 500 quilômetros quadrados (193 milhas quadradas) de área total e um amplo recife. Embora naturalmente abundante em peixes e crustáceos de todos os tipos, os recursos marinhos estão sendo prejudicados pela grande e crescente população. A seca é frequente, mas em anos normais as chuvas são suficientes para manter a fruta-pão, o mamão e a bananeira, bem como o coco e o pandano.

Tarawa do Norte consiste em uma série de ilhotas de Buariki, no norte, a Buota, no sul. Os ilhéus são separados em alguns pontos por canais largos que são melhor atravessados ​​na maré baixa, e existe um serviço de balsa entre Buota e Abatão. [7] Apenas Buota está conectada por estrada a South Tarawa, através de uma ponte.

Em South Tarawa, a construção de calçadas criou agora uma única faixa de terra de Betio, no oeste, a Tanaea, no nordeste. [8]

Edição de clima

Tarawa apresenta um clima de floresta tropical (Af) segundo a classificação climática de Köppen. O clima é agradável de abril a outubro, com ventos predominantes de nordeste e temperaturas estáveis ​​próximas a 30 ° C (86 ° F). De novembro a março, os vendavais ocidentais trazem chuva e ciclones ocasionais. [2] [9] [10]

A precipitação varia significativamente entre as ilhas. Por exemplo, a média anual é de 3.000 mm (120 pol.) No norte e 500 mm (20 pol.) No sul das Ilhas Gilbert. [9] A maioria dessas ilhas estão no cinturão seco da zona climática oceânica equatorial e sofrem secas prolongadas. [10]

Dados climáticos para o Aeroporto de Tarawa (South Tarawa)
Mês Jan Fev Mar Abr Poderia Junho Jul Agosto Set Out Nov Dez Ano
Registro de alta ° C (° F) 35.0
(95.0)
33.0
(91.4)
35.0
(95.0)
34.5
(94.1)
34.5
(94.1)
33.5
(92.3)
34.5
(94.1)
34.5
(94.1)
34.5
(94.1)
35.0
(95.0)
35.0
(95.0)
35.0
(95.0)
35.0
(95.0)
Média alta ° C (° F) 30.7
(87.3)
30.6
(87.1)
30.7
(87.3)
30.7
(87.3)
30.8
(87.4)
30.8
(87.4)
30.9
(87.6)
31.0
(87.8)
31.1
(88.0)
31.2
(88.2)
31.3
(88.3)
30.9
(87.6)
30.9
(87.6)
Média diária ° C (° F) 28.2
(82.8)
28.1
(82.6)
28.1
(82.6)
28.2
(82.8)
28.4
(83.1)
28.3
(82.9)
28.2
(82.8)
28.3
(82.9)
28.4
(83.1)
28.6
(83.5)
28.5
(83.3)
28.2
(82.8)
28.3
(82.9)
Média baixa ° C (° F) 25.3
(77.5)
25.3
(77.5)
25.2
(77.4)
25.3
(77.5)
25.5
(77.9)
25.3
(77.5)
25.1
(77.2)
25.2
(77.4)
25.3
(77.5)
25.4
(77.7)
25.4
(77.7)
25.3
(77.5)
25.3
(77.5)
Registro de ° C baixo (° F) 21.5
(70.7)
22.5
(72.5)
22.5
(72.5)
22.5
(72.5)
21.0
(69.8)
21.0
(69.8)
21.0
(69.8)
21.5
(70.7)
22.5
(72.5)
22.0
(71.6)
22.5
(72.5)
22.0
(71.6)
21.0
(69.8)
Precipitação média mm (polegadas) 271
(10.7)
218
(8.6)
204
(8.0)
184
(7.2)
158
(6.2)
155
(6.1)
168
(6.6)
138
(5.4)
120
(4.7)
110
(4.3)
115
(4.5)
212
(8.3)
2,052
(80.8)
Dias de precipitação média (≥ 0,3 mm) 15 12 14 15 15 14 16 18 15 11 10 17 172
Umidade relativa média (%) 81 80 81 82 81 81 80 79 77 77 79 81 80
Média de horas de sol mensais 220.1 192.1 207.7 201.0 229.4 219.0 229.4 257.3 243.0 260.4 240.0 189.1 2,688.5
Média diária de horas de sol 7.1 6.8 6.7 6.7 7.4 7.3 7.4 8.3 8.1 8.4 8.0 6.1 7.4
Fonte: Deutscher Wetterdienst [11]

O atol de Tarawa tem três subdivisões administrativas: Conselho Municipal de Betio (ou BTC), no Conselho Urbano da Ilhota Betio Teinainano [it] (ou TUC), de Bairiki a Tanaea e Conselho Eutan Tarawa (ou ETC), para Tarawa do Norte ou Tarawa Ieta, consistindo em todas as ilhotas do lado leste de Buota para o norte. [12] O significado de Teinainano é "baixo do mastro", aludindo à forma de vela do atol. [ citação necessária ]

Tarawa do Sul hospeda a capital da República de Kiribati e também foi a sede central das Ilhas Gilbert e Ellice desde 1895. A Casa da Assembleia fica em Ambo e a Casa do Estado em Bairiki. Os escritórios dos vários ministérios do governo vão de Betio, no extremo sudoeste, a Nawerewere (em uma ilha ao leste de sua cadeia), perto de Bonriki (Aeroporto Internacional) e Temwaiku. Os assentamentos em North Tarawa incluem Buariki, Abaokoro, Marenanuka e Taborio.

Edições de missões diplomáticas

Existem três missões diplomáticas residentes: a embaixada da China (fechada em 2003, reaberta em 2020) e as altas comissões da Austrália e da Nova Zelândia.

Na mitologia de Kiribati, Tarawa era a terra quando a terra, o oceano e o céu ainda não haviam sido cortados pela aranha Nareau. Assim, depois de chamar o céu karawa e o oceano marawa, ele chamou o pedaço de rocha que Riiki (outro deus que Nareau encontrou) se ergueu quando ergueu o céu como, Tarawa. Nareau então criou o resto das ilhas em Kiribati e também Samoa.

Os gilbertenses chegaram a essas ilhas há milhares de anos, e há migrações de e para Kiribati desde a antiguidade. [13]

Evidências de várias fontes, incluindo datação por carbono e análises de DNA, confirmam que a exploração do Pacífico incluiu o assentamento das Ilhas Gilbert por volta de 200 aC. O povo de Tungaru (nome nativo dos gilbertenses) ainda é um excelente marinheiro, capaz de fazer travessias oceânicas em embarcações de fabricação local utilizando técnicas tradicionais de navegação. [14]

Thomas Gilbert, capitão do navio da Companhia das Índias Orientais Charlotte, foi o primeiro europeu a descrever Tarawa, chegando em 20 de junho de 1788. Ele não pousou. Ele a batizou de Ilha Matthew, em homenagem ao proprietário de seu navio Charlotte. Ele chamou a lagoa de Charlotte Bay. [15] Os esboços de Gilbert de 1788 sobreviveram.

A ilha foi pesquisada em 1841 pela US Exploring Expedition. [16]

Charles Richard Swayne, o primeiro Comissário Residente decidiu instalar a sede central do protetorado das Ilhas Gilbert e Ellice em Tarawa em 1895. Os Correios de Tarawa foram abertos em 1 de janeiro de 1911. [17]

Sir Arthur Grimble era um oficial administrativo cadete baseado em Tarawa (1913–1919) [18] e tornou-se comissário residente da colônia das Ilhas Gilbert e Ellice em 1926. [19]

Durante a Segunda Guerra Mundial, Tarawa foi ocupada pelos japoneses e, a partir de 20 de novembro de 1943, foi palco da sangrenta Batalha de Tarawa. Naquele dia, os fuzileiros navais dos Estados Unidos desembarcaram em Tarawa e lutaram contra soldados japoneses que ocupavam posições entrincheiradas no atol. Os fuzileiros navais capturaram a ilha após 76 horas de intensos combates que mataram 6.000 pessoas em ambos os lados.

A violenta luta foi o tema de um documentário produzido pelos Fotógrafos de Combate da Segunda Divisão da Marinha, intitulado Com os fuzileiros navais em Tarawa. Foi lançado em março de 1944 por insistência do presidente Roosevelt. Foi a primeira vez que muitos americanos viram em um filme soldados americanos mortos. [ citação necessária ]

O governo de Kiribati iniciou um projeto de restauração de estradas financiado em parte pelo Banco Mundial em 2014 para revestir a estrada principal entre Betio no oeste e Bonriki no leste, [20] melhorando a estrada principal que passa por Tarawa de uma estrada de terra. A partir de 2018, só faltava concluir deste projeto a selagem da Calçada Japonesa, ligando Bairiki e Betio, feita em 2019.


Centenas não foram identificadas e não foram contabilizadas

Por causa das condições ambientais, os restos mortais foram rapidamente enterrados em trincheiras ou sepulturas individuais em Betio, que tem cerca de meia milha quadrada de tamanho e, no momento da batalha, apenas cerca de 10 pés acima do nível do mar em seu ponto mais alto.

Os marinheiros de construção da Marinha também removeram algumas lápides enquanto construíam apressadamente pistas e outras infraestruturas para ajudar a avançar pelo Pacífico em direção ao Japão.

O Serviço de Registro de Túmulos do Exército dos EUA veio após a guerra para exumar os restos mortais e devolvê-los aos EUA, mas suas equipes não conseguiram encontrar mais de 500 militares e, em 1949, o Gabinete do Intendente Geral do Exército declarou esses restos "irrecuperáveis", dizendo às famílias que essas tropas foram enterradas no mar ou no Havaí como "desconhecidas".

Nos últimos 16 anos, no entanto, Betio, agora parte de Kiribati, produziu algumas das maiores recuperações de restos mortais de militares americanos.

Esse trabalho foi liderado pela History Flight, uma organização sem fins lucrativos com sede na Virgínia e parceira da Defense POW / MIA Accounting Agency que se dedica a encontrar e recuperar membros desaparecidos do serviço americano.

"O History Flight foi iniciado em 2003 e temos pesquisado o caso de Tarawa desde 2003, mas começamos a trabalhar lá em 2008", disse Katherine Rasdorf, pesquisadora da History Flight, ao Business Insider na quinta-feira. "Tivemos que fazer toda a pesquisa e análise antes de sairmos lá."

O primeiro indivíduo foi encontrado em 2012. Em seguida, veio um cemitério perdido em 2015 e mais dois cemitérios grandes em 2017 e 2019, disse Rasdorf.

Em 2015, o History Flight encontrou 35 conjuntos de restos mortais em um local, incluindo os do primeiro tenente da marinha dos EUA Alexander Bonnyman Jr., que recebeu a medalha de honra por suas ações durante a batalha.

Em julho de 2017, a organização entregou 24 conjuntos de restos mortais para a Defense POW / MIA Accounting Agency para identificação.

Neste verão, os túmulos do que se pensava serem mais de 30 fuzileiros navais e marinheiros mortos durante o último dia de combate foram encontrados em Betio.

Essas são as maiores recuperações de pessoal de serviço americano desaparecido desde a Guerra da Coréia.

Usando sensoriamento remoto, cartografia, fotografia aérea e arqueologia, a History Flight recuperou os restos mortais de 309 militares de Tarawa, onde a organização mantém um escritório e presença o ano todo, disse Mark Noah, presidente da History Flight, a um comitê da Câmara na audiência de supervisão e reforma em 19 de novembro.

Setenta e nove dessas descobertas foram feitas durante o ano fiscal de 2019, disse Noah, acrescentando que as recuperações da History Flight representam 20% das identificações anuais do DoD.

"Muitos deles estavam debaixo de edifícios, estradas e casas", disse Noah aos legisladores sobre os restos mortais em Betio, observando que eles são frequentemente descartados, cobertos e acidentalmente desenterrados - os primeiros dois fuzileiros navais que sua organização recuperou em Tarawa em abril de 2010 foram exibidos na varanda da frente de um guia turístico no campo de batalha.

Hoje, 429 militares mortos em Betio permanecem desaparecidos, disse o contra-almirante Jon Kreitz, vice-diretor do DPAA, quando pelo menos 22 militares retornaram aos Estados Unidos em julho.


ยุทธการ ทา รา วะ (Batalha de Tarawa)

20 พฤศจิกายน 1943 ยุทธการ ทา รา วะ (Batalha de Tarawa) กองทัพ สหรัฐอเมริกา ยก พล ขึ้น บก เกาะ แนว ปะการัง ทา รา วะ การ รบ เป็น ไป อย่าง ดุเดือด 3 วัน ทหาร อเมริกัน จึง ยึด เกาะ ได้ สำเร็จ แม้ การ ยก พล ขึ้น บก จะ เกิด เป็น ไป อย่าง ดุเดือด 3 วัน ทหาร อเมริกัน จึง ยึด เกาะ ได้ สำเร็จ แม้ การ ยก พล ขึ้น บก จะ เกิด ความ ผิด พลาด ใน การ สื่อสาร ยุทธการ ทา รา วะ การ ยก พล รุก ครั้ง แรก ใน แปซิฟิก กลาง ของ กองทัพ สหรัฐอเมริกา

กองทัพ สหรัฐ อ เม ริา ริา กองพล สะเทินน้ำสะเทินบก สะเทินน้ำสะเทินบก จาก ฐานทัพ รัฐ แคลิฟอร์เนีย ก่อน การ โจมตี เคลื่อน กำลัง มา รวม กัน ที่ ฐานทัพ เรือ เพิ เพิ ร์ ล ฮา ร์ เบอร์ ใน ใน ช่วง เดือน กันยายน 1943 หน่วย บัญชาการ นาวิกโยธิน และ กอง เรือ ที่ 5 กองทัพ เรือ สหรัฐอเมริกา เรือ 5 เครื่องบิน เครื่องบิน ลำ หรือ ประจัญบาน 3 ลำ เรือ ลำเลียง พล และ เรือรบ อีก เป็น จำนวน มาก รวม กำลัง พล ทั้งหมด ที่ ที่ สหรัฐอเมริกา ใช้ โจมตี เกาะ ปะการัง ทา รา วะ ประมาณ 53.000 นาย

กองทัพ จักรวรรดิ ญี่ปุ่น ทราบ ข่าว ข่าว การ มา ถึง ของ กองทัพ กองทัพ สหรัฐอเมริกา ล่วงหน้า แต่ ด้วย ความ ขาดแคลน กำลัง รบ ทาง ทหาร และ การ ผสาน กำลัง รบ ทาง เรือ ทำให้ เหลือกำลัง พล ป้องกัน ป้องกัน เกาะ ปะการัง ทา รา วะ ประมาณ 5.000 นาย เกือบ ครึ่ง หนึ่ง เป็น แรงงาน ชาว ญี่ปุ่น และ แรงงาน เกาหลี ที่ ถูก ทหาร ญี่ปุ่น บังคับ ให้ มา ใช้ แรงงาน รถ ถัง 14 คัน ปืน ใหญ่ ขนาด ต่าง ๆ ประมาณ 50 กระบอก

เกาะ แนว ปะการัง ทา รา รา วะ มี ลักษณะ เป็น เกาะ ปะการัง ปะการัง มี น้ำเค็ม น้ำ ตื้น ขนาด ใหญ่ อยู่ ตรง กลาง ล้อม รบ ด้วย เกาะ เกาะ ๆ มากมาย เกาะ แนว ปะการัง ปะการัง ทา รา วะ ทั้ง เกาะ เป็น ส่วน หนึ่ง ของ หมู่ เกาะ กิ ล เกาะ เล็ก มากมาย มากมาย เกาะ แนว ปะการัง ทา รา วะ ทั้ง เกาะ เป็น ส่วน หนึ่ง ของ หมู่ เกาะ กิ ล เบิ ร์ ต ห่าง เรือ พิ ร์ ล ฮา ฮา เบอร์ ประมาณ ประมาณ 3.900 กิโลเมตร กองทัพ ญี่ปุ่น วาง กำลัง รับ และ สร้าง สนาม บิน ไว้ บริเวณ เกาะ เล็ก เล็ก ๆ ด้าน ตะวันตก ริม สุด ของ ของ เกาะ แนว ปะการัง ทา รา วะ ชื่อว่า เกาะ เกาะ ทิ ตู (Ilha Betio) ซึ่ง เป็น เป้าหมาย หลัก ของ ยก พล ขึ้น บ ใน ครั้ง นี้ ของ กองทัพ สหรัฐอเมริกา

กองทัพ สหรัฐอเมริกา แบ่ง เป้าหมาย บน บน ชายหาด ของ เกาะ เบ ทิ ตู เอา ไว้ เป็น 3 กลุ่ม ประกอบด้วย ชายหาด ด้าน ทิศ เหนือ Vermelho 1-3 ชายหาด ด้าน ทิศ ตะวันตก Verde 1 และ ชายหาด ด้าน ทิศ ใต้ Preto 1-2 ส่วน ทิศ ตะวันออก ของ เกาะ เบ ทิ ตู เป็น เพียง สันทราย ทอด ยาว ไม่มี ที่ ตั้ง ทาง ทหาร ของ กองทัพ ญี่ปุ่น

20 พฤศจิกายน เวลา ประมาณ 06,00 น. ก่อน การ ยก พล ขึ้น ขึ้น บก กองทัพ สหรัฐอเมริกา ได้ ใช้ ใช้ เครื่องบิน ประมาณ 17 ลำ บิน ทิ้ง ระเบิด ใส่ แนว ป้องกัน ของ กองทัพ ญี่ปุ่น บาง รายงาน ระบุ ระบุ มี เค เค รื่ อ่ ง บิน จาก เรือ บรรทุก เครื่องบิน USS Enterprise ที่ ประจำ ตำแหน่ง อยู่ บริเวณ เกาะ มาคิน (Ilha Makin) ทาง ทิศ เหนือ ของ เกาะ เกาะ แนว ปะการัง ทา รา วะ เข้า เข้า ร่วม สนับสนุน ผสม การ ใช้ ปืน ใหญ่ จาก กอง เรือ หลาย สิบ ลำ ลำ ยิง ถล่ม อย่าง ไม่ หยุดหย่อน หยุดหย่อน นาน หลาย ชั่วโมง พล เรือ ตรี ไค จิ ซิ บา ซา กิ ผู้ ลำ ระดม ถล่ม ถล่ม อย่าง ไม่ หยุดหย่อน นาน หลาย ชั่วโมง พล เรือ ตรี ไค จิ ซิ บา ซา กิ ผู้ บัญชาการ ทหาร ญี่ปุ่น บน ทิ โอ เสีย ชีวิต ใน เช้า วัน แรก ระหว่าง การ ถูก ยิง ถล่ม จาก ปืน ใหญ่ ใหญ่ ของ กองทัพ เรือ สหรัฐอเมริกา

เวลา ประมาณ 09,00 น. กองทัพ เรือ สหรัฐอเมริกา ปล่อย ทหาร ทหาร นาวิกโยธิน ลง เรือ สะเทินน้ำสะเทินบก เคลื่อน เคลื่อน เข้า สู่ เบ ทิ ตู (Ilha Betio) แม้ จะ ไม่ พบ กับ การ ต่อต้าน ต่อต้าน นัก แต่ การ ยก ยก พล ขึ้น บก เป็น ไป อย่าง ยาก ลำบาก เรือ ไม่ สามารถ เข้า จอด ริม ชายหาด Vermelho 1- 3 ได้ เนื่องจาก ระดับ น้ำ ใน ทะเลสาบ ตื้น เกินไป ทหาร ทหาร นาวิกโยธิน พยายาม วิทยุ ไป รายงาน ความ คืบ หน้า ยัง กอง บัญชาการ แต่ ไม่ สำเร็จ จึง จึง พยายาม เคลื่อน พล ไป ยัง ท่าเรือ ท่าเรือ แนว หิน ยาว ยื่น ออก มา ไกล ไกล จาก แนว ชาว หาด เมื่อ ทหาร ญี่ปุ่น เห็น ทิศทาง การ การ ของ ทหาร สหรัฐ จึง ระดับ ยิง ไป ยัง แนว ท่าเรือ ดัง กล่าว ทหาร นาวิกโยธิน จำนวน มาก จึง ติด ติด อยู่ บริเวณ ท่าเรือ แห่ง นั้น

อย่างไรก็ตาม มี หน่วย ทหาร นาวิกโยธิน บริเวณ Vermelho 1 มอง เห็น จุด ที่ กองทัพ ญี่ปุ่น วาง กำลัง ป้องกัน ไว้ น้อย ด้าน ริม สุด ของ บริเวณ Vermelho 1 จึง เข้า โจมตี บริเวณ จุด นั้น จน สามารถ ยก พล ขึ้น บก ได้ สำเร็จ ส่ง ผล ให้ แนว ป้องกัน ป้องกัน ส่วน อื่น ๆ ญี่ปุ่น ญี่ปุ่น เริ่ม แตก และ ทหาร นาวิกโยธิน นาวิกโยธิน สหรัฐ เริ่ม เข้า สู่ บริเวณ สนาม บิน บน เกาะ เบ ทิ ตู ได้ ได้ ใน เวลา เวลา แรก ของ การ ยก พล ขึ้น บก

อย่างไรก็ตาม ด้วย การ วาง กำลัง กำลัง รบ ที่ เหนียวแน่น และ เตรียม เตรียม การ ตั้ง รับ มา เป็น อย่าง ดี เนิน ทราย สูง บน เกาะ ที่ ทหาร สหรัฐอเมริกา มอง เห็น แท้จริง แล้ว เป็น ป้อม ป้อม ปราการ ที่ ถูก ฝัง ก ลบ ด้วย ทราย และ ต้น มะพร้าว เพื่อ ตบตา สหรัฐอเมริกา มอง แท้จริง แท้จริง แล้ว เป็น ป้อม ปราการ ที่ ถูก ฝัง ก ลบ ด้วย ทราย และ ต้น มะพร้าว เพื่อ ตบตา ทหาร สหรัฐอเมริกา การ การ ปราการ แต่ละ แห่ง ต้อง ใช้ ใช้ เวลา หลาย ชั่วโมง ผสาน การ การ โจมตี ด้วย ปืน ใหญ่ จึง สามารถ ตี ป้อม ให้ แตก ได้ ทหาร ญี่ปุ่น หลาย นาย ตัดสินใจ ฆ่า ตัว ตาย แทน แทน การ ถูก จับ เป็น เชลย เกาะ เบ ทิ ตู (Ilha Betio) ถูก ตี แตก ทั้ง เกาะ เกาะ เกาะ ที่ 22 พฤศจิกายน และ ใช้ เวลา เวลา เค เค รี ย พื้นที่ เกาะ เล็ก ๆ อื่น ๆ ทั้งหมด จนถึง วัน ที่ ที่ 23 พฤศจิกายน เกาะ แนว ปะการัง ทา ทา รา ทั้งหมด ทั้งหมด จึง ถูก ยืด โดย ทหาร สหรัฐอเมริกา ได้ อย่าง สมบูรณ์

การรบในยุทธการทาราวะเกิดขึ้นหลังจากกองทัพจักรวรรดิญี่ปุ่นโจมตีเพิร์ลฮาร์เบอร์ ประมาณ 2 ปี การรบยุทธนาวีที่มิดเวย์ประมาณ 1 ปี 4 เดือน การรบในพม่าช่วงที่ญี่ปุ่นเริ่มแพ้อังกฤษประมาณ 10 เดือน ประมาณ 8 เดือนหลังจากสหรัฐอเมริกาสังหารจอมพลเรือ อิโซโรกุ ยามาโมโตะได้สำเร็จ และหลังจากญี่ปุ่นแพ้ในการรบที่กัวดาคาแนลประมาณ 9 เดือน สาเหตุที่เรียงลำดับช่วงเวลาเนื่องจากอยากให้เห็นภาพว่าเป็นการรบในช่วงท้าย ๆ ของสงครามเป็นช่วงเวลาประมาณ 2 ปีกว่า ๆ ที่กองทัพจักรวรรดิญี่ปุ่นตกเป็นฝ่ายพ่ายแพ้และไม่เหลือหนทางแห่งชัยชนะในสงครามโลกครั้งที่ 2


Battle of Tarawa - History

Assault Preparations

As replacement troops began to pour into New Zealand, General Smith requested the assignment of Colonel Merritt A. "Red Mike" Edson as division chief of staff. The fiery Edson, already a legend in the Corps for his heroic exploits in Central America and Guadalcanal, worked tirelessly to forge the amalgam of veterans and newcomers into an effective amphibious team.

Intelligence reports from Betio were sobering. The island, devoid of natural defilade positions and narrow enough to limit maneuver room, favored the defenders. Betio was less than three miles long, no broader than 800 yards at its widest point and contained no natural elevation higher than 10 feet above sea level. "Every place on the island can be covered by direct rifle and machine gun fire," observed Edson.

The elaborate defenses prepared by Admiral Saichiro were impressive. Concrete and steel tetrahedrons, minefields, and long strings of double-apron barbed wire protected beach approaches. The Japanese also built a barrier wall of logs and coral around much of the island. Tank traps protected heavily fortified command bunkers and firing positions inland from the beach. And everywhere there were pillboxes, nearly 500 of them, most fully covered by logs, steel plates and sand.

The Japanese on Betio were equipped with eight-inch, turret-mounted naval rifles (the so-called "Singapore Guns"), as well as a large number of heavy-caliber coast defense, antiaircraft, antiboat, and field artillery guns and howitzers. Dual-purpose 13mm heavy machine guns were prevalent. Light tanks (mounting 37mm guns), 50mm "knee mortars" and an abundance of 7.7mm light machine guns complemented the defensive weaponry.

The 2d Marine Division at Tarawa

Troops of the 2d Marine Division debark down cargo nets from a troop transport during amphibious training. Department of Defense Photo (USMC) 63751

Major General Julian C. Smith's utmost concern when he assumed command of the 2d Major Division on 1 May 1943 was the physical condition of the troops. The division had redeployed to New Zealand from Guadalcanal with nearly 13,000 confirmed cases of malaria. Half the division would have to be replaced before the next campaign. The infantry regiments of the 2d Marine Division were the 2d, 6th, and 8th Marines the artillery regiment was the 10th Marines and the engineers, pioneers, and Naval Construction Battalion ("Seabees") were consolidated into the 18th Marines. These were the principal commanders as the division began its intensified training program leading to Operation Galvanic:

Other officers who would emerge in key roles at Tarawa included Brigadier General Leo D. Hermle, Assistant Division Commander Lieutenant Colonel Presley M. Rixey, commanding 1/0, a pack-howitzer battalion supporting the 2d Marines Lieutenant Colonel Alexander B. Swenceski, commanding the composite 2d Tank Battalion Major Henry C. Drewes, commanding 2d Amphibian Tractor Battalion Major Michael P. Ryan, commanding Company L, 3/2 and First Lieutenant William D. Hawkins, commanding the Scout Sniper Platoon in the 2d Marines. Altogether, 18,088 Marines and sailors of the division participated in the assault on Tarawa Atoll. About 55 percent were combat veterans. Unlike Guadalcanal, the Marines at Tarawa carried modern infantry weapons, including Garand M-1 semi-automatic rifles, Browning automatic rifles, and portable flame throwers. Assault Marines landed with a combat load consisting of knapsack, poncho, entrenching tool, bayonet, field rations, and gas masks (quickly discarded). Many of those carrying heavy weapons, ammunition, or radios drowned during the hectic debarkation from landing craft under fire at the reef's edge.

The Japanese during August replaced Saichero with Rear Admiral Meichi Shibasaki, an officer reputed to be more of a fighter than an engineer. American intelligence sources estimated the total strength of the Betio garrison to be 4,800 men, of whom some 2,600 were considered first-rate naval troops. "Imperial Japanese Marines," Edson told the war correspondents, "the best Tojo's got." Edson's 1st Raider Battalion had sustained 88 casualties in wresting Tulagi from the 3d Kure Special Naval Landing Force the previous August.

Admiral Shibasaki boasted to his troops, "a million Americans couldn't take Tarawa in 100 years." His optimism was forgivable. The island was the most heavily defended atoll that ever would be invaded by Allied forces in the Pacific.

An LVT-1 is lowered from a troop transport during landing rehearsals. Some of the Marines shown here are wearing camouflage utilities while the others are in the usual herring bone twill. Note that the sea appears unusually calm. LtGen Julian C. Smith Collection

Task Force 53 sorely needed detailed tidal information for Tarawa. Colonel Shoup was confident that the LVTs could negotiate the reef at any tide, but he worried about the remainder of the assault troops, tanks, artillery, and reserve forces that would have to come ashore in Higgins boats (LCVPs). The critical water depth over the reef was four feet, enough to float a laden LCVP. Anything less and the troops would have to wade ashore several hundred yards against that panoply of Japanese weapons.

Major Frank Holland, a New Zealand reserve officer with 15 years' experience sailing the waters of Tarawa, flatly predicted, "there won't be three feet of water on the reef!" Shoup took Holland's warnings seriously and made sure the troops knew in advance that "there was a 50-50 chance of having to wade ashore."

In the face of the daunting Japanese defenses and the physical constraints of the island, Shoup proposed a landing plan which included a sustained preliminary bombardment, advance seizure of neighboring Bairiki Island as an artillery fire base, and a decoy landing. General Smith took this proposal to the planning conference in Pearl Harbor with the principal officers involved in Operation Galvanic: Admirals Nimitz, Spruance, Turner, and Hill, and Major General Holland Smith.

The Marines were stunned to hear the restrictions imposed on their assault by CinCPac. Nimitz declared that the requirement for strategic surprise limited preliminary bombardment of Betio to about three hours on the morning of D-Day. The imperative to concentrate naval forces to defend against a Japanese fleet sortie also ruled out advance seizure of Bairiki and any decoy landings. Then Holland Smith announced his own bombshell: the 6th Marines would be withheld as corps reserve.

All of Julian Smith's tactical options had been stripped away. The 2d Marine Division was compelled to make a frontal assault into the teeth of Betio's defenses with an abbreviated preparatory bombardment. Worse, loss of the 6th Marines meant he would be attacking the island fortress with only a 2-to-1 superiority in troops, well below the doctrinal minimum. Shaken, he insisted that Holland Smith absolve him of any responsibility for the consequences. Isso foi feito.

Major General Julian C. Smith, USMC

MajGen Julian C. Smith, USMC, right, commanding general, 2d Marine Division, escorts MajGen Holland M. Smith, USMC, commander, V Amphibious Corps, on Betio. Department of Defense Photo (USMC) 70729

The epic battle of Tarawa was the pinnacle of Julian Smith's life and career. Smith was 58 and had been a Marine Corps officer for 34 years at the time of Operation Galvanic. He was born in Elkton, Maryland, and graduated from the University of Delaware. Overseas service included expeditionary tours in Panama, Mexico, Haiti, Santo Domingo, Cuba, and Nicaragua. He graduated from the Naval War College in 1917 and, as did many other frustrated Marine officers, spent the duration of World War I in Quantico. As were shipmates Colonel Merritt A. Edson and Major Henry P. Crowe, Smith was a distinguished marksman and former rifle team coach. Command experience in the Fleet Marine Force (FMF) was limited. He commanded the 5th Marines in 1938, and he was commanding officer of the FMF Training School at New River until being ordered to the 2d Marine Division in May 1943.

Smith's contemporaries had a high respect for him. Although unassuming and self-effacing, "there was nothing wrong with his fighting heart." Lieutenant Colonel Ray Murray, one of his battalion commanders, described him as "a fine old gentleman of high moral fiber you'd fight for him." Smith's troops perceived that their commanding general had a genuine love for them.

Julian Smith knew what to expect from the neap tides at Betio. "I'm an old railbird shooter up on the marshes of the Chesapeake Bay," he said, "You push over the marshes at high tide, and when you have a neap tide, you can't get over the marshes." His landing boats were similarly restricted as they went in toward Tarawa.

Smith was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for Tarawa to go with the Navy Cross he received for heroic acts in Nicaragua a decade earlier. The balance of his career was unremarkable. He retired as a lieutenant general in 1946, and he died in 1975, age 90. To the end of his life he valued his experience at Betio. As he communicated to the officers and men of the division after the battle: "It will always be a source of supreme satisfaction and pride to be able to say, 'I was with the 2d Marine Division at Tarawa.'"

David Shoup returned to New Zealand to prepare a modified operations order and select the landing beaches. Betio, located on the south western tip of Tarawa near the entrance to the lagoon, took the shape of a small bird, lying on its back, with its breast facing north, into the lagoon. The Japanese had concentrated their defenses on the southern and western coasts, roughly the bird's head and back (where they themselves had landed). By contrast, the northern beaches (the bird's breast) had calmer waters in the lagoon and, with one deadly exception (the "re-entrant"), were convex. Defenses in this sector were being improved daily but were not yet complete. A 1,000-yard pier which jutted due north over the fringing reef into deeper lagoon waters (in effect, the bird's legs) was an attractive logistics target. It was an easy decision to select the northern coast for landing beaches, but there was no real safe avenue of approach.

Looking at the north shore of Betio from the line of departure within the lagoon, Shoup designated three landing beaches, each 600 yards in length. From right to left these were: Red Beach One, from Betio's northwestern tip (the bird's beak) to a point just east of the re-entrant Red Beach Two, from that juncture to the pier Red Beach Three, from the pier eastward. Other beaches were designated as contingencies, notably Green Beach along the western shore (the bird's head).

Julian Smith had intended to land with two regiments abreast and one in reserve. Loss of the 6th Marines forced a major change. Shoup's modified plan assigned the 2d Marines, reinforced by Landing Team (LT) 2/8 (2d Battalion, 8th Marines), as the assault force. The rest of the 8th Marines would constitute the division reserve. The attack would be preceded by advance seizure of the pier by the regimental scout sniper platoon (Lieutenant William D. Hawkins). Landing abreast at H-Hour would be LT 3/2 (3d Battalion, 2d Marines) (Major John F. Schoettel) on Red One LT 2/2 (2d Battalion, 2d Marines) (Lieutenant Colonel Herbert R. Amey, Jr.) on Red Two and LT 2/8 (Major Henry P. Jim Crowe) on Red Three. Major Wood B. Kyle's LT 1/2 (1st Battalion, 2d Marines) would be on call as the regimental reserve.

(click on image for an enlargement in a new window)

General Smith scheduled a large-scale amphibious exercise in Hawkes Bay for the first of November and made arrangements for New Zealand trucks to haul the men back to Wellington at the conclusion in time for a large dance. Complacently, the entire 2d Marine Division embarked aboard 16 amphibious ships for the routine exercise. It was all an artful ruse. The ships weighed anchor and headed north for Operation Galvanic. For once, "Tokyo Rose" had no clue of the impending campaign.

Most of Task Force 53 assembled in Efate, New Hebrides, on 7 November. Admiral Hill arrived on board Maryland. The Marines, now keenly aware that an operation was underway, were more interested in the arrival from Noumea of 14 new Sherman M4-A2 tanks on board the dock landing ship Ashland (LSD 1). The division had never operated with medium tanks before.

The landing rehearsals at Efate did little to prepare the Marines for Betio. The fleet carriers and their embarked air wings were off assaulting targets in the Solomons. The Sherman tanks had no place to offload. The new LVT-2s were presumably somewhere to the north, underway directly for Tarawa. Naval gun ships bombarded Erradaka Island, well away from the troops landing at Mele Bay.

The Japanese Special Naval Landing Forces

The Japanese garrison on Betio conducts pre-battle training. Photo courtesy of 2d Marine Division Association.

Tarawa was the first large-scale encounter between U.S. Marines and the Japanese Special Naval Landing Forces. The division intelligence staff had forewarned that "naval units of this type are usually more highly trained and have a greater tenacity and fighting spirit than the average Japanese Army unit," but the Marines were surprised at the ferocity of the defenders on Betio.

The Japanese "Imperial Marines" earned the grudging respect of their American counterparts for their esprit, discipline, marksmanship, proficiency with heavy weapons, small-unit leadership, manifest bravery, and a stoic willingness to die to the last man. Major William K. Jones, whose 1st Battalion, 6th Marines, engaged more of the enemy in hand-to-hand combat on Betio than any other unit, said "these [defenders] were pretty tough, and they were big, six-foot, the biggest Japs that I ever saw." Major Lawrence C. Hays reported that "their equipment was excellent and there was plenty of surplus found, including large amounts of ammo."

The Japanese used Special Naval Landing Forces frequently in the early years of the war. In December 1941, a force of 5,000 landed on Guam, and another unit of 450 assaulted Wake Island. A small detachment of 113 men was the first Japanese reinforcing unit to land on Guadalcanal, 10 days after the American landing. A 350-man SNLF detachment provided fierce resistance to the 1st Marine Division landings on Tulagi and Gavutu-Tanambogo early in the Guadalcanal campaign. A typical SNLF unit in a defensive role was commanded by a navy captain and consisted of three rifle companies augmented by antiaircraft, coast defense, antiboat, and field artillery units of several batteries each, plus service and labor troops.

Japanese on Betio conduct field firing exercises before the battle. The film from which this picture was developed came from a Japanese camera captured during the assault. Photo courtesy of 2d Marine Division Association.

The Japanese garrison on Betio on D-Day consisted of the 3d Special Base Force (formerly the 6th Yokosuka Special Naval Landing Force), the 7th Sasebo Special Naval Landing Force (which included 200 NCOs and officers of the Tateyama Naval Gunnery School), the 111th Pioneers, and the 4th Construction Unit, an estimated grand total of 4,856 men.

All crew-served weapons on Betio, from 7.7mm light machine guns to eight-inch naval rifles, were integrated into the fortified defensive system that included 500 pillboxes, blockhouses, and other emplacements. The basic beach defense weapon faced by the Marines during their landings on the northern coast was the M93 13mm, dual purpose (antiair, antiboat) heavy machine gun. In many seawall emplacements, these lethal weapons were sited to provide flanking fire along wire entanglements and other boat obstacles. Flanking fire discipline was insured by sealing off the front embrasures.

Admiral Shibasaki organized his troops on Betio for "an overall decisive defense at the beach." His men fought with great valor. After 76 hours of bitter fighting, 4,690 lay dead. Most of the 146 prisoners taken were conscripted Korean laborers.

Only 17 wounded Japanese surrendered.

One overlooked aspect of the rehearsal paid subsequent dividends for the Marines in the coming assault. Major William K. "Willie K." Jones, commanding LT 1/6, took the opportunity to practice embarking his troops in rubber rafts. In the pre-war Fleet Marine Force, the first battalion in each regiment had been designated "the rubber boat battalion. The uncommon sight of this mini-flotilla inspired numerous cat calls from the other Marines. Jones himself was dubbed "The Admiral of the Condom Fleet."

The contentious issue during the post-rehearsal critique was the suitability of the naval gunfire plan. The target island was scheduled to receive the greatest concentration of naval gunfire of the war to date. Many senior naval officers were optimistic of the outcome. "We do not intend to neutralize [the island], we do not intend to destroy it," boasted one admiral, "Gentlemen, we will obliterate it." But General Smith had heard enough of these boasts. In a voice taut with anger he stood to address the meeting: "Even though you naval officers do come in to about 1,000 yards, I remind you that you have a little armor. I want you to know the Marines are crossing the beach with bayonets, and the only armor they'll have is a khaki shirt!"

Col David M. Shoup pictured in the field. The clenched cigar became a trademark. Department of Defense Photo (USMC) 87675

While at Efate, Colonel William Marshall, commanding Combat Team Two and scheduled for the major assault role at Betio, became too ill to continue. In a memorable decision, General Smith promoted David Shoup to colonel and ordered him to relieve Colonel Marshall. Shoup knew the 2d Marines, and he certainly knew the plan. The architect was about to become the executor.

Once underway from Efate, Admiral Hill ordered the various commanders of Task Force 53 to brief the troops on their destination and mission. Tarawa came as a surprise to most of the men. Many had wagered they were heading for Wake Island. On the day before D-Day. General Julian Smith sent a message "to the officers and men of the 2d Division. In it, the commanding general sought to reassure his men that, unlike the Guadalcanal campaign, the Navy would stay and provide support throughout. The troops listened attentively to these words coming over the loudspeakers:

A great offensive to destroy the enemy in the Central Pacific has begun. Our Navy screens our operation and will support our attack tomorrow with the greatest concentration of aerial bombardment and naval gun fire in the history of warfare. It will remain with us until our objective is secured . . . . Garrison troops are already enroute to relieve us as soon as we have completed our job . . . . Good luck and God bless you all.

As the sun began to set on Task Force 53 on the evening of D-minus-one, it appeared that strategic surprise had indeed been attained. More good news came with the report that the small convoy of LSTs bearing LVT-2s had arrived safely from Samoa and was joining the formation. All the pieces seemed to be coming together.


Operation Galvanic (1): The Battle for Tarawa November 1943

Edson and Shoup decided to attack on D+2 in three phases. Jones' 1/6 would pass through Ryan's force and attack eastwards along the southern edge of the airfield to link up with the elements holding the southern shoreline. Hays' 1/8 would attack westwards from Red Beach 2 to reduce the stubborn pocket of resistance at the junction of the two beaches. Finally, the 2/8 and 3/8 (under 'Jim' Crowe) would advance eastward from the Burn-Philp wharf. The plan was audacious, particularly as only the 1/6 were fresh, although the 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines (3/6) under Lt Colonel Kenneth McLeod were finally allowed to land on Green Beach after being kept at sea by a series of contradictory orders.

The 1/6 attacked at 08.00 with C Company and some light tanks in the lead. Resistance was fairly light and they had reached the southern pocket by mid-afternoon. With support from carrier aircraft, the 1/6 pressed eastwards, clearing a cluster of pillboxes and bunkers. Hays' 1/8 attacked at 07.00 on the formidable stronghold between Red Beaches 1 and 2. They were supported by M3A1 (Stuart) light tanks but had advanced only some 100 yards when they met stiff opposition from a complex of pillboxes made from palm logs and covered with sand who had mutually supporting fields of fire. The Stuart tanks attempted to clear a path but while they met with some success, their 37mm guns did not really have the firepower to do any serious damage. They were replaced with two SPMs (M3 half-tracks with 75mm guns), which were more successful but did not have the armour protection of the tanks and had to be withdrawn. By the end of the day, the pocket had not been cleared and would in fact be the last position on the island to fall.

Major 'Jim' Crowe's force started to push east towards the end of the runway but came up against a major obstacle, that of a steel pillbox, a coconut log machine gun emplacement and a concrete bunker. All three were mutually supporting. The Marines attacked with a mortar barrage, one shell of which landed in an ammunition dump and devastated the machine gun emplacement. A Sherman tank then assaulted the pillbox, which was finished off by engineers with grenades and explosive charges. The bunker held out much longer and it eventually fell to a group of engineers who used demolition charges and flamethrowers to clear it out. With this, Crowe's men advanced rapidly and joined Jones' 1/6 at the end of the runway. The majority of the western two-thirds of the island now lay in American hands. With this the task of clearing up the large number of dead bodies began with Marines being buried in temporary graves while the Japanese dead being put in mass graves or buried at sea.

The Marines settled into defensive positions for the night and were subjected to two counterattacks, the first starting at 19.30 with a small group of around fifty Japanese probing the front of 1/6, a move that developed into a fierce hand-to-hand fight. The other came at 03.00 with a large group of rikusentai attacking 1/6 and the Marines only fighting this off with the support of naval gunfire from the destroyers Schroeder and Sigsbee.


Tarawa, Battle of (1943)

Tarawa, Battle of (1943). In June 1943, the Joint Chiefs of Staff ordered Adm. Chester W. Nimitz, Comandante-em-chefe, Áreas do Oceano Pacífico / Frota do Pacífico, invadirá as ilhas japonesas Gilbert com uma data-alvo de 15 de novembro. O objetivo imediato da Quinta Frota seria o Atol de Tarawa, com a Ilha Betio alvo. A Quinta Força Anfíbia, sob o comando do contra-almirante Richmond Kelly Turner, transportaria e apoiaria o V Corpo Anfíbio (VAC) sob o comando do Major General Holland M. Smith. A força de desembarque seria a 2ª Divisão de Fuzileiros Navais. Betio tinha três quilômetros de comprimento, 500 metros de largura na parte mais larga e não ficava a mais de três metros acima do nível do mar. A maior parte dele era preenchida por uma pista de pouso, o resto era composto por fortificações e mais de 200 canhões, incluindo dois rifles navais britânicos de oito & # x2010 polegadas. O comandante da guarnição de 5.000 homens na ilha era o contra-almirante Keichi Shibasaki. Os Estados Unidos decidiram desembarcar três batalhões lado a lado no lado norte, ou lagoa, da ilha. Os transportes teriam que ficar fora do atol, haveria uma longa aproximação de dez milhas para a embarcação de desembarque, e era questionável se haveria água suficiente sobre o recife para permitir que eles chegassem à praia. Como resultado, os fuzileiros navais teriam que depender de tratores anfíbios de pele fina & # x2010, ou amtracs, mal testados em Guadalcanal. Apenas 100 estavam disponíveis, o suficiente para as três primeiras ondas. No assalto estiveram os 2 ° Fuzileiros Navais, reforçados pelos 8 ° Fuzileiros Navais, também um regimento de infantaria. O 6º Fuzileiro Naval, o terceiro regimento de infantaria da 2ª Divisão, foi mantido na reserva do corpo de exército. H & # x2010horas eram 8h30, 20 de novembro. As primeiras ondas atingiram a costa às 9h14. Atrás deles, embarcações de desembarque comuns foram paradas na borda do recife e os fuzileiros navais a bordo tiveram que vadear meia milha sob fogo pesado. Ao anoitecer, os fuzileiros navais mantinham um perímetro raso em forma de caixa & # x2010 com elementos de quatro batalhões, e outro batalhão mantinha uma pequena cabeça de praia na extremidade oeste da ilha. O batalhão de assalto restante ainda estava flutuando além do recife. Na manhã de 21 de novembro, os fuzileiros navais saltaram no ataque e, à noite, chegaram ao lado sul da ilha. Em algum momento durante o dia, o almirante Shibasaki morreu em seu bunker. Na extremidade oeste da ilha, um novo batalhão foi desembarcado. Na noite de 22 de novembro, os fuzileiros navais detiveram os dois terços ocidentais de Betio. No dia seguinte, outro batalhão anteriormente não comprometido continuou o ataque para o leste. O major-general Julian C. Smith, comandante da 2ª Divisão de Fuzileiros Navais, declarou a ilha protegida. Sua divisão, que havia começado a batalha com 18.600 fuzileiros navais, contou 990 mortos e 2.391 feridos. Quatro fuzileiros navais foram agraciados com a medalha de honra, três deles postumamente. A operação Tarawa foi o primeiro ataque na Guerra do Pacífico contra uma ilha fortemente defendida, e muitas lições foram aprendidas com ela, incluindo a necessidade de muitos mais amtracs. A operação foi amplamente gravada em um filme de notícias de 35 mm, posteriormente exibido nos cinemas de todo o país. Tiros de fuzileiros navais mortos flutuando ao longo das praias de Tarawa trouxeram a guerra de volta ao povo americano.
[Ver também Corpo de Fuzileiros Navais, EUA: 1914 & # x20131945 Segunda Guerra Mundial: Curso Militar e Diplomático.]

Joseph H. Alexander, Across the Reef: The Marine Assault of Tarawa, 1993.

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Batalha de Tarawa - História

O significado de Tarawa

Os custos da apreensão forçada de Tarawa foram duas vezes: a perda de fuzileiros navais no próprio assalto, seguida pelo choque e desespero da nação ao ouvir os relatos da batalha. Os ganhos a princípio pareciam pequenos em troca, a "pequena ilha fedorenta" de Betio, a 8.000 milhas de Tóquio. Com o tempo, as lições práticas aprendidas na complexa arte do ataque anfíbio começaram a superar a publicidade adversa inicial.

Os números finais de baixas para a 2ª Divisão de Fuzileiros Navais na Operação Galvânica foram 997 fuzileiros navais e 30 marinheiros (pessoal médico orgânico) mortos, 88 fuzileiros navais desaparecidos e presumivelmente mortos e 2.233 fuzileiros navais e 59 feridos. Total de vítimas: 3.407. A campanha de Guadalcanal custou uma quantidade comparável de vítimas da Marinha ao longo de seis meses, as perdas de Tarawa ocorreram em um período de 76 horas. Além disso, a proporção de mortos para feridos em Tarawa era significativamente alta, refletindo a selvageria da luta. A proporção geral de baixas entre os fuzileiros navais envolvidos no ataque foi de cerca de 19%, um preço alto, mas "aceitável". Mas alguns batalhões sofreram perdas muito maiores. O 2º Batalhão de Trator Anfíbio perdeu mais da metade do comando. O batalhão também perdeu todos, exceto 35 dos 125 LVT's empregados em Betio.

Manchetes assustadoras & # 151 "As Praias Sangrentas de Tarawa" & # 151 alarmou leitores de jornais americanos. Parte disso foi obra dos próprios fuzileiros navais. Muitos dos correspondentes de combate convidados para a Operação Galvânica compartilharam o pior do inferno de Betio nas primeiras 36 horas e simplesmente relataram o que observaram. Esse foi o caso do Sargento Técnico Mestre do Corpo de Fuzileiros Navais James C. Lucas, cujos relatos da luta receberam cobertura de primeira página tanto no The Washington Post quanto no The New York Times em 4 de dezembro de 1943. O coronel Shoup ficou furioso com Lucas durante anos depois disso, mas foram os redatores das manchetes de ambos os jornais que causaram o maior dano (The Times: "Grim Tarawa Defense uma Surprise, Eyewitness of Battle Revela Fuzileiros Navais Entraram Rindo, Para Encontrar Uma Morte Rápida Em Vez de Conquista Fácil.").

Nem comentários extemporâneos à mídia por alguns dos fuzileiros navais mais antigos envolvidos na Operação Galvânica ajudaram a acalmar as preocupações do público. Holland Smith comparou o ataque do Dia D ao ataque de Pickett em Gettysburg. "Red Mike" Edson disse que a força de assalto "pagou o preço mais alto em vida humana por metro quadrado" em Tarawa do que qualquer outro combate na história do Corpo de Fuzileiros Navais. Evans Carlson falou graficamente de ter visto 100 homens Hays abatidos na água em cinco minutos em D + 1, um exagero considerável. Não ajudou muito quando o Quartel-General do Corpo de Fuzileiros Navais esperou até 10 dias após a batalha para divulgar as listas de vítimas.

A atmosfera tanto em Washington quanto em Pearl Harbor era particularmente tensa durante esse período. O general MacArthur, ainda ressentido com o fato de a 2ª Divisão da Marinha ter sido tirada de seu Comando do Sudoeste do Pacífico, escreveu ao Secretário da Guerra reclamando que "esses ataques frontais da Marinha, como em Tarawa, são um massacre trágico e desnecessário de vidas americanas". Uma mulher escreveu ao almirante Nimitz acusando-o de "assassinar meu filho". O secretário da Marinha, Frank Knox, convocou uma entrevista coletiva na qual culpou "uma mudança repentina no vento" por expor o recife e impedir o pouso de reforços. O Congresso propôs uma investigação especial. Os fuzileiros navais tiveram a sorte de ter o general Alexander A. Vandegrift em Washington como o recém-nomeado 18º comandante. Vandegrift, o veterano amplamente respeitado e altamente condecorado de Guadalcanal, tranquilizou o Congresso, apontando que "Tarawa foi um ataque do início ao fim". Os relatórios de vítimas provaram ser menos dramáticos do que o esperado. Um editorial atencioso na edição de 27 de dezembro de 1943 do The New York Times elogiou os fuzileiros navais por superar as defesas sofisticadas e a guarnição fanática de Tarawa, alertando que futuros ataques aos Marshalls poderiam resultar em perdas maiores. "Precisamos nos preparar agora para pagar esse preço."

Um correspondente de combate dos Fuzileiros Navais designado para a operação Tarawa entrevista um fuzileiro naval da 18ª Divisão de Engenheiros, 2ª Divisão de Fuzileiros Navais, durante o curso do combate. Coleção LtGen Julian C. Smith

A controvérsia foi agitada novamente após a guerra, quando o General Holland Smith afirmou publicamente que "Tarawa foi um erro!" Significativamente, Nimitz, Spruance, Turner, Hill, Julian Smith e Shoup discordaram dessa avaliação.

O almirante Nimitz não vacilou. "A captura de Tarawa", afirmou, "derrubou a porta da frente das defesas japonesas no Pacífico Central." Nimitz lançou a campanha Marshalls apenas 10 semanas após a apreensão de Tarawa. Aviões de foto-reconhecimento e ataque dos campos de aviação capturados em Betio e Apamama forneceram um apoio inestimável. De maior importância para o sucesso nos Marshalls foram as lições aprendidas e a confiança adquirida com a experiência Tarawa.

Henry I. Shaw, Jr., por muitos anos o historiador-chefe do Corpo de Fuzileiros Navais, observou que Tarawa foi a cartilha, o livro-texto sobre ataques anfíbios que guiou e influenciou todos os desembarques subsequentes no Pacífico Central. Shaw acreditava que as análises imediatas e altruístas que se seguiram imediatamente a Tarawa foram de grande valor: "A partir dos relatórios analíticos dos comandantes e de suas avaliações críticas do que deu errado, do que precisava ser melhorado e de quais técnicas e equipamentos foram comprovados em combate, veio uma enorme quantidade de lições aprendidas. "

Todos os participantes concordaram que a conversão de LVTs logísticos em embarcações de assalto fez a diferença entre a vitória e a derrota em Betio. Houve ainda um consenso de que os LVT-1s e LVT-2s empregados na operação eram marginais contra fortes incêndios defensivos. Os crocodilos precisavam de mais blindagem, armamento mais pesado, motores mais potentes, bombas de esgoto auxiliares, tanques de gás autovedantes & # 151 e tampões de madeira do tamanho de balas de 13 mm para evitar serem afundados pelas metralhadoras pesadas japonesas M93. Acima de tudo, precisava haver muito mais LVTs, pelo menos 300 por divisão. Shoup queria manter em segredo o uso de LVTs como veículos de assalto para cruzar recifes, mas havia muitos repórteres na cena. Hanson W. Baldwin divulgou a história no The New York Times já em 3 de dezembro.

Tarawa é um dos poucos campos de batalha do Pacífico que permaneceu essencialmente inalterado durante o meio século que se seguiu à Segunda Guerra Mundial. Os visitantes da Ilha Betio podem ver facilmente tanques americanos destruídos e LVTs ao longo das praias, bem como as ruínas de posições de armas japonesas e caixas de comprimidos. O imponente bunker de concreto do almirante Shibasaki ainda está de pé, aparentemente tão imune ao tempo quanto aos canhões dos navios de guerra da Força-Tarefa 53. Os "Singapore Guns" ainda repousam em suas torres com vista para os acessos à ilha. Alguns anos atrás, os nativos desenterraram um LVT enterrado contendo os esqueletos de sua tripulação do Corpo de Fuzileiros Navais, um deles ainda usando crachás.

O general David M. Shoup foi chamado de volta da aposentadoria para o serviço ativo por nove dias em 1968 para representar os Estados Unidos na dedicação de um grande monumento em Betio, comemorando o 25º aniversário da batalha. Como Shoup disse mais tarde ao National Observer: "Minha primeira reação foi que Betio encolheu muito. Parece menor na paz do que na guerra." Enquanto percorria as fortificações em ruínas, Shoup lembrou-se da luta selvagem e desesperada e se perguntou "por que duas nações gastariam tanto por tão pouco". Quase 6.000 japoneses e americanos morreram na pequena ilha em 76 horas de combate.

Vinte anos após a cerimônia de inauguração de Shoup, o memorial americano estava em ruínas, de fato, corria o risco de ser demolido para dar lugar a um frigorífico para pescadores japoneses. Uma longa campanha da Associação da 2ª Divisão da Marinha e do jornalista de Long Beach, Tom Hennessy, levantou fundos suficientes para obter um novo monumento mais durável, um bloco de granito da Geórgia com nove toneladas com a inscrição "Aos nossos companheiros fuzileiros navais que deram tudo de si". O memorial foi inaugurado em 20 de novembro de 1988.

Betio agora faz parte da nova República de Kirbati. As instalações turísticas estão sendo desenvolvidas para acomodar o grande número de veteranos que desejam retornar. Por enquanto, a pequena ilha provavelmente se parece com a forma como era no Dia D, há 50 anos. O autor americano James Ramsey Ullman visitou Tarawa anteriormente e escreveu um elogio adequado: "É uma ironia familiar que os antigos campos de batalha sejam muitas vezes os mais silenciosos e gentis dos lugares. É verdade para Gettysburg. É verdade para Canas, Chalons, Austerlitz, Verdun. E é verdade para Tarawa. "

O apoio ao tiroteio naval recebeu críticas mistas. Embora os fuzileiros navais estivessem entusiasmados com a resposta dos destróieres na lagoa, eles criticaram a extensão e a precisão do bombardeio preliminar, especialmente quando ele foi encerrado tão prematuramente no Dia D. Na avaliação do Major Ryan, a lacuna significativa na Operação Galvânica "estava em superestimar os danos que poderiam ser infligidos em uma posição fortemente defendida por um bombardeio naval intenso, mas limitado, e em não enviar as forças de assalto logo após o bombardeio." O Major Schoettel, relembrando os golpes que seu batalhão havia recebido de posicionamentos dentro do paredão, recomendou fogo direto contra a praia por canhões de 40 mm de destróieres próximos. Os disparos apressados ​​e de saturação, considerados suficientes pelos planejadores em vista da necessidade de surpresa estratégica, provaram-se essencialmente inúteis. Ataques anfíbios contra atóis fortificados precisariam, acima de tudo, de fogo contínuo, deliberado e direcionado.

Enquanto ninguém questionou a bravura dos aviadores que apoiaram o ataque Betio, muitos questionaram se eles estavam armados e treinados adequadamente para um alvo tão difícil. A necessidade de uma integração mais estreita de todas as armas de apoio era evidente.

As comunicações durante o ataque a Betio foram terríveis. Apenas a engenhosidade de alguns operadores de rádio e a bravura de corredores individuais mantiveram o ataque razoavelmente coerente. Os fuzileiros navais precisavam de rádios à prova d'água. A Marinha precisava de um navio de comando anfíbio dedicado, não um grande combatente cujos grandes canhões derrubassem as redes de rádio a cada salva. Essas naves de comando, os AGCs, começaram a aparecer durante a campanha dos Marshalls.

Outras revisões da doutrina anfíbia foram imediatamente indicadas. A natureza e a prioridade de descarregar suprimentos devem, doravante, se tornar o chamado do comandante tático em terra, não o comandante da força-tarefa anfíbia.

Betio mostrou a necessidade crítica de nadadores subaquáticos que pudessem avaliar e relatar furtivamente as condições do recife, da praia e do surf para a força-tarefa antes do pouso. Esse conceito, idealizado pela primeira vez pelo profeta da guerra anfíbia Major Earl "Pete" Ellis na década de 1920, rapidamente se concretizou. O almirante Turner tinha uma nova equipe de demolição subaquática disponível para os Marshalls.

Os temas subjacentes ao legado duradouro de Tarawa são: a maré que fracassou os veículos de assalto tático que tiveram sucesso em um alto custo em homens e material que no final significou a vitória no Pacífico Central e uma estrada que levou a Tóquio. Foto do Departamento de Defesa (USMC) 63843

Os fuzileiros navais acreditavam que, com o treinamento adequado de armas combinadas, os novos tanques médios seriam ativos valiosos. O futuro treinamento de tanques enfatizaria operações integradas de tanques, infantaria, engenheiros e artilharia. As comunicações da infantaria de tanque precisavam de melhorias imediatas. A maioria das baixas entre os comandantes de tanques em Betio resultou de indivíduos tendo que desmontar de seus veículos para falar com a infantaria ao ar livre.

O lança-chamas de mochila ganhou aclamação universal dos fuzileiros navais em Betio. Cada comandante de batalhão recomendou aumentos na quantidade, alcance e mobilidade para essas armas de assalto. Alguns sugeriram que versões maiores fossem montadas em tanques e LVTs, pressagiando o aparecimento de "tanques Zippo" em campanhas posteriores no Pacífico.

Julian Smith resumiu humildemente as lições aprendidas em Tarawa, comentando: "Cometemos menos erros do que os japoneses."

Os historiadores militares Jeter A. Isely e Philip A. Crowl usaram diferentes palavras de avaliação: "A captura de Tarawa, apesar dos defeitos de execução, demonstrou conclusivamente que a doutrina anfíbia americana era válida, que mesmo a fortaleza da ilha mais forte poderia ser apreendida."

Os pousos subsequentes nos Marshalls empregaram essa doutrina, modificada pela experiência dos Tarawa, para atingir objetivos contra alvos semelhantes com menos baixas e em menos tempo. Os benefícios da Operação Galvânica rapidamente começaram a compensar os altos custos iniciais.

Com o tempo, Tarawa se tornou um símbolo de coragem crua e sacrifício por parte de atacantes e defensores. Dez anos depois da batalha, o general Julian Smith prestou homenagem a ambos os lados em um ensaio no Naval Institute Proceedings. Ele saudou o heroísmo dos japoneses que escolheram morrer quase até o último homem. Em seguida, ele se voltou para sua amada 2ª Divisão da Marinha e seus companheiros na Força-Tarefa 53 em Betio:

Para os oficiais e homens, fuzileiros navais e marinheiros, que cruzaram aquele recife, seja como tropas de assalto, ou carregando suprimentos, ou evacuando feridos, só posso dizer que pensarei neles para sempre com um sentimento de reverência e o maior respeito.


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