World War II Pacific Island Guide: A Geo-Military Study

World War II Pacific Island Guide: A Geo-Military Study

World War II Pacific Island Guide: A Geo-Military Study

World War II Pacific Island Guide: A Geo-Military Study

Synopsis

Provides a detailed source of information on virtually every geo-military aspect of the Pacific Theater in World War II.

Excerpt

While researching U.S. Marine Corps World War II Order of Battle, the companion to this volume, the author found it to be surprisingly difficult to find many facts and details regarding the islands of the Pacific on which military operations occurred or military bases were established. While every official military history of specific operations discusses the island objective to some degree, the coverage is uneven and frequently incomplete. In order to obtain complete geo-military and other pertinent information on a given island sometimes up to a dozen references need be consulted. This book is essentially a compilation of data and materials from a broad range of reference sources, both contemporary and modern. Its aim is to provide historians, researchers, academicians, veterans, wargamers, and those generally interested in World War II in the Pacific a single complete reference on each island. While the principal focus is on ground action, supporting and related naval and air operations are addressed as well.

The land area on which World War II in the Pacific theater was fought covers an area significantly less than that in the European-Mediterranean theater. In fact, the total land area of the Pacific islands will fit nicely into Western Europe. However, the Pacific Ocean spans almost a third of the earth’s circumference covering more of the earth’s surface than the total combined land surface, and stretches from the sub-Arctic Aleutian Islands south to Antarctica. The Pacific is almost eighteen times the size of the continental United States and abuts five continents. Colonial empires, ancient cultures, and modern world powers clashed in a region of greatly varied geographic, climatic, and political environments.

Any study of the Pacific War naturally focuses on the myriad of islands scattered across this immense ocean. While there were similarities between islands within specific regions, no two were exactly alike. There were vast differences between many providing a constantly changing combat environment as the Allies advanced across the Pacific. The Allies found that inshore waters, the beaches, the terrain ashore, vegetation, climate, and health hazards were varied and required a high degree of adaptability and flexibility of commanders and men.

The campaign histories, biographies, and memoirs of the war tell of battles and un-

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