Seizure of the Gilberts and Marshalls

Seizure of the Gilberts and Marshalls

Seizure of the Gilberts and Marshalls

Seizure of the Gilberts and Marshalls

Excerpt

This volume tells the story of the launching of the Central Pacific drive against Japan in late 1943 and early 1944. Specifically, it deals with the amphibious operations against five Central Pacific atolls -- Makin, Tarawa, Kwajalein, Majuro, and Eniwetok. It was in these battles that American amphibious doctrine received its first critical test in the Pacific war, and the victories achieved made possible a continuation of the highly important drive against Japan's perimeter of island defenses in the Carolines, Marianas, Volcano Islands, and Ryukyus.

Numerically speaking, the Army's contribution to the forces responsible for the capture of these atolls was not as great as that of the Marine Corps. Yet the Army's role was a major one and is here set forth in minute detail. If the activities of other participating U.S. services receive less attention in these pages, it is only because this volume is by definition a part of the history of the U.S. Army in World War II.

For a variety of reasons this book has been a long time in preparation. A draft was prepared by Mr. Edmund G. Love, then set aside, to be taken up later by the undersigned for extensive revision, correction, and elaboration. The authors' debts for aid and assistance are too numerous to acknowledge in detail. Dr. Louis Morton and Dr. John Miller, jr., during their respective tenures as Chief of the Pacific Section, Office of the Chief of Military History, read every page with care and discrimination and offered invaluable guidance. In addition, Dr. Miller prepared a separate study of the strategic background of the operations which was used as the basis for the first and part of the second chapter. Dr. Kent Roberts Greenfield, Chief Historian, Department of the Army, gave liberally of his time and advice. To Maj. Gen. Orlando Ward, formerly Chief of Military History, Col. George G. O'Connor, Chief of War Histories Division, and the military members of their staff a great debt is owed for their sympathetic interest, technical assistance, and supervision of the publication of the volume.

Mr. Wsevolod Aglaimoff and Mr. Charles von Luettichau not only prepared the maps but offered many important suggestions regarding tactical details. Mr. Thomas Wilds did a distinguished job of piecing together the complicated and often obscure story of Japanese defensive preparations and battle operations. Miss Margaret Plumb checked all the footnotes of the original draft for accuracy. Miss Mary Ann Bacon edited the manuscript and prepared the index with imagination as well as meticulous care, and Mr. Allen R. Clark was . . .

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