The Capture of Makin: (20 November-24 November 1943)

By Harold W. Nelson; United States. War Dept. | Go to book overview

Conclusion

THE COST OF CAPTURING MAKIN in casualties among Army personnel was not great; 58 killed in action, 8 died of wounds, 150 wounded in action, and 35 injured, but not in combat.1 At Tarawa, losses were much more severe among the more numerous assault forces: 913 killed and missing, and 2,037 wounded, among the Marines; 26 killed and 48 wounded, among the Navy. At Makin, moreover, the Navy losses greatly exceeded those of the Army. During the preparatory bombardment on D Day, a turret fire on the Mississippi killed 40 men and injured 9. In the boat crews and the beach parties, seven were wounded or injured, while three died of wounds. Combat and operational losses on 8 carriers, not including the ill-fated Liscombe Bay, totaled 7 killed and 18 injured. The submarine Plunger, on rescue patrol, while picking up a flier from the Lexington, was strafed by Japanese planes, and six of its crew were wounded. Finally, when the Liscombe Bay went down, 702 men were lost and her 257 survivors were taken aboard the transports in various stages of injury, principally from burns. Besides the loss of the carrier itself and 19 planes based on it, 9 other planes were lost in combat and 35 in operational mishaps. Consolidated naval casualties were, then, 752 killed or died of wounds, 291 wounded or injured, 63 planes lost, and one escort carrier sunk.

For this expenditure at Makin, and by the battle of Tarawa and the unopposed seizure of Apamama, the American forces obtained strategic advantages which had been anticipated. Shorter lines to the Southwest Pacific could now be maintained and Japanese interference with them could be more readily neutralized. A base was gained for operations against the Marshall Islands.

____________________
1
Army casualties were distributed as follows: infantry, 178; tank corps, 25; engineers, 21; medical corps, 9; field artillery, 6; coast artillery (AA), 3; signal corps, 3; air corps, 1; unidentified, 5.

-132-

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The Capture of Makin: (20 November-24 November 1943)
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Foreword to Cmh Edition iii
  • Foreword iv
  • Contents vii
  • Introduction 1
  • Preparing the Attack 6
  • The Assault from The Western Beaches 29
  • Taking the West Tank Barrier 51
  • The Drive Eastward 93
  • The End of the Makin Expedition 125
  • Conclusion 132
  • Annex No. 1 136
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