Geskiedenis Podcasts

Foto- en kaartgalery vir die Slag van Peleiu

Foto- en kaartgalery vir die Slag van Peleiu


Geskiedenis & Kultuur

Die vroeë geskiedenis van Palau is steeds grotendeels bedek met geheimsinnigheid. Waarom, hoe of wanneer mense op ons pragtige eilande aangekom het, is onbekend, maar studies dui aan dat die huidige Palauane verre familie is van die Maleisiërs van Indonesië, Melanesiërs van Nieu -Guinee en Polinesiërs. Wat die datum van hul aankoms betref, plaas koolstofdatering van artefakte vir die oudste bekende dorpsterreine op die Rots -eilande en die skouspelagtige terrasse van Babeldaob die beskawing hier al so vroeg as minstens 3500 vC.

Die eerste aangetekende buitelandse kontak het in 1783 plaasgevind toe die vaartuig Antelope, onder bevel van die Engelse kaptein Henry Wilson, op 'n rif naby Ulong, 'n rots -eiland tussen Koror en Peleliu, verniel is. Met die hulp van Ibedul, hoofhoof van Koror, het Wilson en sy manne drie maande lank gebly om sy skip te herbou. Sedertdien het baie buitelandse ontdekkingsreisigers 'n beroep op Palau gedoen, en die eilande is blootgestel aan verdere Europese kontak.

Buitelandse regering van ons eilande het amptelik begin toe pous Leo XIII in 1885 die regte van Spanje oor die Caroline-eilande bevestig het. Twee kerke is gestig en onderhou deur twee kapucynse priesters en twee broers, wat gelei het tot die bekendstelling van die Romeinse alfabet en die uitskakeling van interdorpe. oorloë. In 1899 verkoop Spanje die Carolines aan Duitsland, wat 'n georganiseerde program opgestel het om die natuurlike hulpbronne van die eilande te verhandel.

Na die nederlaag van Duitsland in die Eerste Wêreldoorlog, is die eilande formeel aan die Japannese oorgedra ingevolge die Verdrag van Versailles van 1919. Die Japannese invloed op die Palauese kultuur was geweldig, aangesien dit die ekonomie en eiendomsbesit van die stam na individue verskuif het. In 1922 word Koror die administratiewe sentrum vir alle Japannese besittings in die Suidelike Stille Oseaan. Die stad Koror was 'n stylvolle metropool met fabrieke, winkels, openbare baddens, restaurante en apteke.

Nadat Japan in die Tweede Wêreldoorlog verslaan is, het die Carolines, Marianas en Marshall -eilande die Verenigde Nasies se Trustgebiede geword onder die Amerikaanse administrasie, met Palau as een van die ses eilanddistrikte. As deel van sy mandaat moes die VSA die infrastruktuur en onderwysstelsel van Palau verbeter sodat dit 'n selfonderhoudende land kon word. Dit gebeur op 1 Oktober 1994, toe Palau sy onafhanklikheid verkry het toe hy die Compact of Free Association met die Verenigde State onderteken het.


Die Slag Oor Peleliu: Eilandbewoners, Japannese en Amerikaanse Oorlogsherinneringe

Die ekspansionistiese Japanse ryk het die bewoonde argipel van Palau in 1914 geannekseer. Die vliegbasis wat op die eiland Peleliu gebou is, het 'n teiken geword vir aanvalle deur die Verenigde State in die Tweede Wêreldoorlog. Die Slag oor Peleliu: Eilandbewoners, Japannese en Amerikaanse oorlogsherinneringe bied 'n etnografiese studie van hoe Palau en Peleliu verander is deur die stryd teen groot moondhede en ondersoek verder hoe hulle konflik anders onthou word deur die drie mense wat hierdie ervaring gedeel het.

Skrywer Stephen C. Murray gebruik mondelinge geskiedenis van Peleliu se oudstes om die lewenswyse van die eiland voor die oorlog te rekonstrueer, en bied 'n fassinerende verduideliking van die rol van land en plek in die eilandkultuur. Vir Palauans word die geskiedenis geografies bedink, nie chronologies nie. Grond en landmerke is beide die inhoud van die geskiedenis en die mnemoniese snellers wat die verlede herinner. Murray bied vervolgens 'n gedetailleerde weergawe van die Amerikaanse inval van 1944 teen gevestigde Japannese magte op Peleliu, 'n veldtog van vier en sewentig dae wat dorpe, plase, begraafplase, voorouers, strande en woude verwoes het, en daarmee saam baie van die belangrikste geheue-nodes en identiteit.

Murray ondersoek ook hoe Eilandbewoners se herinneringe aan die stryd, wat hul lewenswyse verpletter, radikaal verskil van die manier waarop Japannese en Amerikaners die betrokkenheid in hul geskiedenis, herinneringe, fiksie, monumente en toere deur Peleliu onthou. Vasbeslotenheid om die oorblyfsels van 11 000 Japannese soldate uit die grotte van Peleliu te haal, het hoë profiel burgergroepe van regoor die Japannese politieke spektrum na die eiland gedryf. Die hedendaagse Japan debatteer steeds oor pasifiste, regse verskonings en ander interpretasies van sy aggressie in Asië en die Stille Oseaan. Hierdie geskille word na Peleliu uitgevoer en omskryf subtiel hoe Japannese herdenking die geveg in klip en ritueel uitbeeld. Amerikaners, oorwinnaars in die geveg, keer in baie minder getalle terug na die argipel. Vir hulle bly die konflik kontroversieel, maar word dit meestal ondergedompel in die verhaal van 'die goeie oorlog'.

Die Slag oor Peleliu is 'n studie van die openbare geheue en die maniere waarop drie mense in konflik gesukkel het om 'n algemene begrip te skep van die tragedie wat hulle deel.


Besoekers aan die Stille Oseaan -eiland Peleliu kan nie beweer dat hulle nie gewaarsku is nie. Op die bord by die hawe staan ​​'Welcome to Peleliu - Land of Enchantment', maar as die boot die kaai nader, word 'n tweede bord sigbaar. "Onthou dat die Tweede Wêreldoorlog nog steeds gevaarlik is en kan beseer of doodmaak!"

Die water glinster in verskillende skakerings van turkoois, die sand op die strande is fyn soos stof en 'n sagte briesie verlig die tropiese hitte. Maar die skoonheid is bedrieglik. Die "Land of Enchantment", wat aan die eilandland Palau behoort, was die toneel van een van die bloedigste gevegte in die Stille Oseaan tydens die Tweede Wêreldoorlog. Geroeste granate en gewere lê steeds gestrooi oor die eiland. Verwoeste oorlogsvliegtuie en tenks skuil in die welige groen plantegroei. Niemand het hulle beweeg nadat die skietery opgehou het nie. Baie van die strydpuin bly dodelik.

"Die Amerikaners het op 15 September 1944 hier op Orange Beach geland," sê Des Matsutaro. Die 36-jarige gids het die groep toeriste by die kaai gaan haal en na die strand geneem. Sy onderneming Peleliu Adventures bied toere uit die Tweede Wêreldoorlog aan. Hy verseker besoekers dat hulle veilig is as hulle naby hom bly.

Gevang in swaar kruisvuur

Matsutaro wys na die see en wys 'n swart-en-wit foto van die strand bedek met dik rook en met amfibiese voertuie wat die oewer nader. 'Die Amerikaners is vasgevang in 'n swaar Japannese kruisvuur,' verduidelik hy. 'Die stryd om Peleliu sou slegs 'n paar dae duur, maar die geveg het amper drie maande aangehou.'

Uiteindelik het die Amerikaners gewen. 'N Totaal van 10 700 Japannese soldate en 2300 Amerikaanse mariniers is dood in die stryd om hierdie tropiese stukke land. Skattings wissel effens. Die eiland was 'n strategiese teiken vanweë sy vliegveld.

Matsutaro se groep is nie alleen nie. Verskeie Japannese is ook hier. 'N Bejaarde man met 'n gehoorapparaat vul met bewende hande sand in 'n plastiekbottel. 'N Vrou wat 'n groot sonhoed dra, hurk in die skaduwee van 'n palmboom en staar na die see. Amerikaanse veterane en hul afstammelinge kom ook hierheen om byvoorbeeld gedenkdienste by te woon.

Terug op die hoofweg slaan Matsutaro rem. 'Almal uit,' sê hy. Die teerpad is bedek met bosse. Die gids verdwyn deur 'n gaping. Die groep volg hom na 'n hoop roesmetaal 5 meter (16 voet) van die pad af. Die oorblyfsels van 'n kajuit kan gesien word, saam met die onderstel en rooi verf op die romp. Die ou oorlogsvliegtuig is nie gevaarlik nie, maar die ammunisie wat daar rondom lê, is wel.

Ordonnansie wat mettertyd destabiliseer

"Na byna 60 jaar roes die veiligheidsmeganismes stadig weg," waarsku Steve Ballanger. Die voormalige Britse soldaat bestuur 'n span vir die verwydering van ammunisie genaamd Cleared Ground Demining, wat hard aan die werk is op Peleliu. Sedert einde 2009 het die span ongeveer 6500 gewere en ander wapens verwyder - altesaam 9 ton. Ballanger maan toeriste om nie in die oerwoud te gaan rondloop nie.

'N Oopgemaakte pad lei 300 meter deur Death Valley na Bloody Nose Ridge, wat die grootste slagoffers beleef het. Op die heuwel sê 'n lid van Ballanger se span, 'n Amerikaner genaamd David McQuillen: "My oom is hier dood in 'n mortieraanval." Hy het gesê dat hy besluit het om by die span aan te sluit ter nagedagtenis aan sy oom.

Vir die eilandbewoners is die Tweede Wêreldoorlog 'n verre abstrakte gebeurtenis wat drie geslagte gelede gebeur het. Daar is skaars ooggetuies hier oor. Vir McQuillen gee dit die puin van die veld nog groter betekenis. "As ek op Peleliu is, voel ek die oorlog. Dit is onmoontlik om die stryd te verstaan ​​as jy nie in hierdie oerwoud was nie," sê hy.

Die eilandbewoners is voor die geveg ontruim en herken nie hul vaderland toe hulle terugkeer nie. Die plantegroei is tot op die grond afgebrand, hul dorpe is platgeslaan. "Die Amerikaanse vloot het 'n sonbril versprei omdat die kaal gesteentes die lig so helder weerkaats het," sê die voormalige Marine McQuillen.

Die terugkerende eilandbewoners, die meeste van hulle vissermanne, het tonynvis en vleis ingemaak. Dit het lank geneem om die landbou te hervat. Omdat die gevegte alle tekens en grondafbakeninge verwyder het, was dit onduidelik wie wat besit, en geskille oor grondbesit bly tot vandag toe.

Aan die begin verkoop die eilandbewoners oorlogsmateriaal vir afval. Motore en vliegtuigonderdele is gestroop, met beton gemeng en gebruik om 'n kaaimuur te bou. En voordat dit onwettig gemaak is om artefakte van die eiland af te neem, het Japannese en Amerikaanse toeriste vertrek met allerhande items in hul bagasie. Sommige inwoners versier hul huise met ou oorlogstoerusting.

Vandag is die fokus nie net daarop om die eiland veilig te maak vir sy 500 inwoners en die besoekers nie, of om te laat groei tenks as toeriste -aantreklikhede. Die owerhede wil Peleliu bewaar as 'n gedenkteken en 'n opelugmuseum. En geleidelik begin jonger geslagte meer belangstelling toon in die geskiedenis van die eiland, sê McQuillen, wat vrywillig is by 'n plaaslike laerskool.

Matsutaro het sy toergroep veilig na die kaai teruggebring. Die span van Clear Ground Demining het saamgekom en waai terwyl die groep vertrek. Terwyl die palmbome in die verte terugtrek en swerms vlieënde visse langs die boot spring, lyk dit asof hierdie tropiese eiland werklik betower is.

Maar die sneeuwit strande en die heerlike sonsondergang kan die gruwels van sy verlede nie verberg nie.


Tweede Wêreldoorlog databasis


ww2dbase Palau -eilande was van 1899 tot die einde van WO1 onder Duitse beheer. Na die WO1 het Japan die mandaat van die groep eilande gekry. Terwyl Douglas MacArthur van SOWESPAC gevorder het deur Morotai te neem, het Chester Nimitz van CINCPOA dieselfde dag sy intrek in sy teater gemaak deur General Geiger 's III Marine Corps op Peleliu van die Palau -eilande te beland. In die middel van September was die weer warm en vogtig, selfs met gereelde reën; die temperatuur bly aanhoudend op 115 grade Fahrenheit.

ww2dbase Die voor-inval bombardement op Peleliu was relatief nutteloos, die skulpe wat op die eiland gereën het, kon nie die goed ingegrawe Japannese raak nie. 'N Skutoffisier het opgeteken dat sy bemanning vyf salvo's van 8-duim-skulpe op 'n kusgeweer wat deur harde koraal beskerm is, afgevuur het net om die Japannese te vind wat die kusgeweer terugstoot om die Amerikaners terug te skiet. Nietemin het die marine -offisier William Rupertus, wat toesig gehou het oor die invalsbedrywighede, steeds 'n optimistiese siening. Ons gaan 'n paar ongevalle hê, maar ek kan u verseker dat dit 'n kort een sal wees, 'n vinnige, en hy het gesê. Dit het geblyk dat dit nie die geval sou wees nie.

ww2dbase Die Amerikaanse mariniers het die oggend van 4 September 1944 met 'n LST -landingsvaartuig vanaf Pavuvu na Peleliu vertrek. Toe hulle by Peleliu aankom, vind hulle die landingstrande 'n vreeslike skouspel. Groot geisers water styg om die Amtracs voor ons toe hulle die rif nader. Die strand is nou langs sy lengte gemerk deur 'n deurlopende vlam wat deur 'n dik rookmuur gesteun word. Af en toe vlieg artillerie -skulpe agter die lyne in, stuur fragmente oral en kry soms treffers op Amerikaanse landingsvoertuie. Deur hierdie mees vyandige natuurskoon het die Amerikaners 'n strandkop verseker om hul operasies te bevorder.

ww2dbase Die Japannese het nou besef dat die strategie wat luitenant -kolonel Naoyuki Kuzume op die eiland Biak gebruik het, die doeltreffendste was om verdere Amerikaanse vordering oor die Stille Oseaan te ontmoedig. Dit was 'n uitputtingsoorlog. Na Biak was Peleliu die eerste geveg waar gevegte uit die dieptes van ingewikkelde grotte die amptelike leerstelling was. Die Japannese troepe is aangesê om diep te delf, vuur te hou tydens die aanvanklike landings en slegs aan te val as hulle teenaanvalle kan binnedring en Amerikaanse lyne kan infiltreer. Op Peleliu het die Japannese net die bevele gevolg, en die Amerikaanse offisiere het hulle gehelp deur arrogant en sorgeloos te word na hul onlangse oorwinnings. Die Amerikaners het egter baie vinnig geleer dat hulle nie meer grotte kan opruim deur plofstof in te gooi of vlammenwerpers te gebruik nie, aangesien die Japannese ook hul grottegrafietegnieke verbeter het, sodat skuins ingange die beskadigde deur sulke wapens veroorsaak het. As gevolg hiervan het die 11 000 Japannese troepe twee en 'n half maande lank uit hul labirintiese grotte geveg en teenaanvalle gekry wanneer hulle die geleentheid gehad het. Een van die meer opvallende teenaanvalle op die Amerikaanse mariniers was 'n teenaanval onder leiding van 13 ligte tenks en 'n groep mans. Die uiters goed gekoördineerde tenk-infanterie-aanval het die Amerikaanse omtrek oortree en oor Peleliu se hoofvliegveld beweeg, en die Amerikaanse magte daar byna in twee verdeel. Hulle is uiteindelik op die laaste erf gestuit deur goed gemikte 37 mm-tenkgeweer en die aankoms van 'n duikbommenwerper. As hulle nie die vliegveld geneem het nie, het Japannese mortiere en artillerie die Amerikaners gestraf. "Om deur groot artillerie en mortiere beskut te word, is absoluut skrikwekkend," het die veteraan van die United States Marine Corps, Eugene Sledge, wat op Peleliu geveg het, gesê. van almal wat dit nog nie beleef het nie. "

ww2dbase Namate die Japannese krag effens begin afneem, is 'n nuwe taktiek in werking gestel. Hulle verdediging van Peleliu het 'n streng vuurdissipline geword. Daar was tye dat dinge so stil was dat dit vir 'n oomblik gelyk het of die oorlog verby is, maar sodra 'n klein groepie manne bymekaarkom of iemand hul kop sorgeloos bo die punt van die krater beweeg het, het Japannese mortiere en gewere het lewe gekry. As gevolg hiervan kon die Japannese maksimum ongevalle veroorsaak met die minste hoeveelheid vuur, wat ook die opsporingstempo deur die Amerikaners tot die minimum beperk het.

ww2dbase Een van die moeilikste gebiede op Peleliu vir die Amerikaners was die Umurbrogol -berg. Geen Amerikaanse Marine het dit in plaas daarvan die regte naam genoem nie; die naam "Bloody Nose Ridge ", soms eenvoudig "Bloody Nose ", is gebruik. Die harde rots is ontneem van die klein plantegroei wat daar was deur vlootbomaanvalle, en toe die Amerikaners die rant bereik, besef hulle dat die bombardement soveel rotsfragmente geskep het dat dit die doeltreffendheid van Japannese mortier en artillerie vermeerder deur die hoeveelheid granaat wat in vlieg, te verhoog die lug. Die vooruitgang van Bloody Nose Ridge het die Amerikaanse eerste mariene divisie se drie maatskappye 538 ongevalle uit 'n totaal van 612 gekos toe hulle versterk is deur peloton van die 7de mariene afdeling, hulle het gevind dat die pas aangekom onmiddellik vasgemaak is net soos hulle was , neem ongevalle onmiddellik op.

ww2dbase Die geveg by Peleliu was die wreedste, met albei kante op die gewelddadigste manier. Sledge het gesê dat die mariniers met die grootste haat teen die Japanners in hul harte baklei. Dit sou wees om hierdie haat te ontken of daarvan lig te maak. 'n leuen ", het hy gesê.

Die gesamentlike houding, Marine en Japanese, het gelei tot woeste, woeste gevegte sonder grense. Dit was nie die hartstogtelike moord wat op ander fronte of in ander oorloë gesien is nie. dit was 'n wrede, primitiewe haat, net so kenmerkend van die verskrikking van oorlog in die Stille Oseaan soos die palmbome en die eilande.

ww2dbase Op 28 September 1944 klim American Marines op amtracs en ry 500 tot 700 meter vlak water na die nabygeleë Ngesebus -eiland, waar die Japannese artillerie gevestig was. Die landing by Ngesebus is uitsluitlik ondersteun deur mariene vliegtuie. Die Corsair van die Marine Fighter Squadron 114 het hul bomme en vuurpyle op die Japannese posisies afgelaai en daarna alles wat beweeg het, bestraf. Intussen het een slagskip ondersteun deur kruisers en vernietigers gebiede in die binneland gebombardeer om die verdediging verder te versag. Die gevegte was taai in die rante en grotte van die eiland, maar die mariniers kon die ongevalle tot die minimum beperk. Toe die eiland 'n paar dae later beveilig is, het die Amerikaners 15 mense gedood en 33 gewond. Die Japannese het egter 470 slagoffers gely weens groot vuurkrag.

ww2dbase Op 3 Oktober het die mariniers die Five Sisters aangeval, 'n groep koraalheuwels met vyf hoë pieke. Die mariniers het geleidelik gevorder, maar die Japannese sluipskutter was so sterk dat die slagoffers baie hoog was vir die Amerikaners. Baie gou het die Japannese besef dat dit voordelig was om die draagbaars te skiet, want dit sou die Amerikaners dwing om ten minste twee mans opsy te sit as draagbaar om die neergeslaan man terug te bring. Weereens het die Japannese uiters goeie vuurdissipline beoefen en slegs geskiet toe hulle maksimum ongevalle kon veroorsaak. " Toe hulle skiet, het iemand gewoonlik geraak. " Snags was dit egter 'n ander geveg. Japannese infiltreerders het voortdurend die voorste linies getoets, stil in jakkalse ingeglip en soms kele van niksvermoedende mariniers ingeklits. Om hierdie nag -taktiek teë te werk, het die Amerikaners hul eie goeie dissipline beoefen. Niemand mag in die donker rondbeweeg om vriendelike vuur te verminder nie, terwyl twee-man jakkalsgate gegrawe is sodat die een kon slaap terwyl die ander een waak. Tog het Japannese soldate steeds 'n ernstige bedreiging ingehou en die Amerikaanse moraal in stilte weggedra met die nagaanvalle.

ww2dbase Op 12 Oktober het die Amerikaners verklaar dat die aanrandingsfase van Peleliu voltooi is. Daar is protes van die voorste linies ontvang. Iemand uit die afdeling CP moet hiernatoe kom en vir die verdomde Nips sê die aanval is verby, en#34 brom een ​​man soos deur Sledge onthou. Nog 'n paar weke se geveg het voor hulle gebly voordat die laaste Japannese sak van verset verslaan is. Trouens, 'n paar Japannese het aanhou baklei ver nadat die oorlog verby was, en eers 11 jaar later oorgegee.

ww2dbase Toe die soldate van die 2d Bataljon van die 321ste Infanterieregiment van die 81ste Divisie van die Amerikaanse Weermag op 15 Oktober 1944 vir hulp kom, is hulle hartlik verwelkom deur die uitgeputte Marines. Alhoewel die mariniers teen daardie datum reeds die Japannese weerstand tot 'n oppervlakte van 400 tot 500 meter breed in die Umurbrogol -berg verminder het, het die manne van die 81ste afdeling 'n vyand so hard gekonfronteer as die mariniers op die eerste dag van die landing. Die Japannese veggees was so fel dat generaal -majoor Roy S. Geiger van die Marines herhaaldelik opgemerk het dat Peleliu die moeilikste stryd van die hele Stille Oseaanoorlog was. Die meeste veterane van die geveg, selfs die paar ouer manne wat in die wrede loopgrawe van die Eerste Wêreldoorlog gevegte gesien het, was dit eens.

ww2dbase Die inval op die eiland Angaur het plaasgevind twee dae nadat Palau geland is, op 17 September. Gelukkig vir die 81ste afdeling van die Amerikaanse weermag wat die taak gehad het om beheer oor die eiland te neem, het slegs 237 mans verlore gegaan voordat die strandkop volledig beveilig is, 'n heel ander situasie as die operasie op Peleliu. Selfs terwyl die Amerikaanse indringers besig was om die berge van die oorblywende Japannese troepe skoon te maak, was 'n vliegveld in aanbou wat later die Leyte -veldtog sou help.

ww2dbase Toe die Slag van Peleliu verby was, het die Amerikaners meer as 10 000 slagoffers gely, met 2,336 van hulle dood. Die Amerikaanse 1ste mariene afdeling het die grootste slagoffers gely met 6,526 mans, met 1,252 sterftes. Alhoewel die 81ste afdeling van die weermag eers 'n maand na die landing aangekom het, het die Japannese steeds 3,278 slagoffers onder hulle veroorsaak, met 542 dood. Die Japannese het na raming 10 695 mans op die eiland verloor, met slegs 302 wat as gevangenes oorleef het. Van die 302 gevangenes was slegs 19 Japannese vegters, die ander was konstruksiewerkers van verskillende etnisiteite.

ww2dbase Alhoewel die Palau -eilande waardevol was vir die daaropvolgende Filippynse operasies, beweer baie historici dat die algehele operasie nutteloos was in die groot plan van die oorlog. Die Japannese op hierdie eiland kon aan die wingerdstok laat verdor sonder om die verloop van die Stille Oseaanoorlog op enige manier te verander, het William Manchester aangevoer. Trouens, so 'n idee bestaan. William Halsey het aan Chester Nimitz die radio gestuur dat die operasie in Palau gestaak moet word en dat die magte eerder op Leyte, Filippyne, moes konsentreer. Nimitz, terwyl hy die siening van Halsey onderskryf, het steeds die operasies teen die Palau -eilande voortgesit.

ww2dbase Behalwe die belangrikheid van Peleliu, was 'n ander rede waarom die Peleliu-operasie een van die minder bekende gevegte van die Stille Oseaanoorlog was, die Amerikaanse vloot en die Amerikaanse marinekorps, oorspronklik gedink dat dit 'n maklike operasie sou wees. Generaal -majoor William H. Rupertus het voorspel dat Peleliu binne vier dae beveilig sou word. As gevolg van die voorspelling, het slegs 6 van die 36 joernaliste by hom die moeite gedoen om aan wal te gaan, en op sy beurt het baie min berigte oor Peleliu in Amerikaanse koerante gekom.

ww2dbase Nadat die oorlog geëindig het, het die Palau -eilande tot 1994 onder Amerikaanse beheer gebly.

ww2dbase Ulithi -eilande
23 September 1944

ww2dbase Op 21 September 1944, gesien die relatiewe gemak van die Angaur -gedeelte van die operasie op die Palau -eilande, het William Halsey die manne van die Amerikaanse 81ste afdeling wat oorspronklik as reserwes aangehou is, na Angaur gelei vir 'n ekstra operasie teen Ulithi -eilande. Ulithi -eilande was in die noordooste van die Palau -eilande, onder die westelikste van die Caroline -eilande. Die Ulithi -eilande was vroeg in die oorlog 'n Japannese radio- en weerstasie, en deur die loop van die oorlog is die strandmeer ook as 'n ankerplek gebruik. 'N Tyd in 1944 het die Japannese die eilande ontruim ten spyte van die oorweldigende Amerikaanse druk.

ww2dbase Op 23 September 1944 het 'n Amerikaanse leërregiment onbestrede op die Falalop -eiland van die Ulithi -eilande geland. 'N Paar dae later arriveer 'n US Navy Construction Battalion, "Seabees ", saam met die opnameskip AGS-5 Sumner. Die bou van 'n nuwe vliegveld op Falalop -eiland het byna onmiddellik begin, en teen die tyd van die Filippynse Eilande later daardie jaar is die strandmeer opgebou om meer as 600 skepe gelyktydig te bedien. Die burgers van Falalop is verplaas na die Fedarai -eiland, ook van Ulithi, en het eers na die einde van die oorlog teruggekeer.

ww2dbase Bronne: American Caesar, Goodbye Darkness, the Pacific Campaign, Wikipedia, With the Old Breed.

Laaste groot opdatering: September 2007

Interaktiewe kaart van die Palau -eilande en Ulithi -eilande

Tydlyn vir die veldtogte van die Palau -eilande en Ulithi -eilande

30 Maart 1944 USS Portland het vlootdraers gekeur toe hul vliegtuie vyandelike installasies op die Palau -eilande, Caroline -eilande, tref.
31 Maart 1944 USS Portland het vlootdraers gekeur toe hul vliegtuie vyandelike installasies op die Palau -eilande, Caroline -eilande, tref.
1 April 1944 USS Portland het vlootdraers gekeur toe hul vliegtuie vyandelike installasies in die Woleai, Caroline -eilande, raakloop.
29 April 1944 As deel van die US Navy Carrier Task Force 58, het USS Portland draers gekeur wat teen Truk in die Caroline -eilande begin het.
30 April 1944 As deel van 'n cruisetaakgroep onder admiraal Jesse Oldendorf, het Portland deelgeneem aan die bombardement van Salawan -eiland in die Carolines.
12 September 1944 USS Portland en Cruiser Division 4 begin met pre-inval bombardement van Peleliu in die Palau-eilande. Bombardemente het drie dae voortgeduur totdat die Amerikaanse 1ste mariene afdeling op die eiland geland het.
12 September 1944 USS Hoel het begeleidingsvervoerders gekeur wie se vliegtuie voor bombardemente van Peleliu op die Palau-eilande gevlieg het.
15 September 1944 Die Amerikaanse mariniers het Peleliu op die Palau -eilande binnegeval in die oortuiging dat die eiland slegs ligtelik verdedig word. Trouens, daar was ongeveer 12 000 Japannese wat op die eiland versteek was om hul hand te onthul. Binne 'n week sou die mariniers ontsaglike slagoffers opdoen. Die 1ste Mariniers eindig op die helfte van hul gevegskrag, en in die 5de en 7de Marines is meer as vier uit elke tien manne wat aan wal gestuur is, óf dood óf gewond. Vir die rekord was Peleliu net ses myl lank en twee myl breed en was van twyfelagtige strategiese waarde.
15 September 1944 Die escort carrier USS Petrof Bay het haar eerste aanvalle geloods ter ondersteuning van die Amerikaanse mariene landings op Peleliu, Palau -eilande. Petrofbaai en Composite Squadron 76 het 112 aanvalle oor 14 dae geloods ter ondersteuning van hierdie operasie.
28 September 1944 USMC het op Ngesebus van die Palau -eilande geland om 'n Japanse artillerieposisie uit te skakel.

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Besoekers ingedien kommentaar

1. Charles Widegren sê:
14 Sep 2006 23:59:15 PM

dankie vir die inligting - my pa wat in die 81ste was, sal in Desember 2006 99 jaar oud wees, onthou nog die landings en gevegte waarin hy geveg het.

2. Anoniem sê:
17 Apr 2007 22:40:04

Palau is eintlik Peleliu genoem.

3. Anoniem sê:
18 Apr 2007 05:32:29 AM

Palau word nie Peleliu genoem nie. Peleliu is 'n eiland in die Palau -groep.

4. Anoniem sê:
18 Apr 2007 12:55:04 PM

Ek weet. Ek het dit net besef vandag. My fout. lol

5. Adam VanMeter sê:
20 Apr 2007 13:17:11

Peleliu. een van die ergste en waardeloosste gevegte van die Stille Oseaan -oorlog. 10 000 Amerikaanse lewens is verlore vir 'n waardelose eiland sonder 'n nuttige doel. Die meeste het verlore gegaan by Umerbrogul, of Bloody Nose Ridge, 'n rant kaal koraal met die Japannese ingegrawe soos op Iwo -eiland, in werklikheid soos baie van hul eilandhoewes.

6. Anoniem sê:
20 Sep 2007 17:41:26 PM

Moenie vergeet van die mans op die LCI's wat hul lewens in gevaar gestel het om die mariniers en weermag aan die gevegte te lewer nie. My pa was op 'n LCI landingstuig en later 'n LCI geweerboot. Nadat ek oor hierdie stryd gelees het, besef ek dat ons baie gelukkig was dat hy by die huis gekom het.

7. Anoniem sê:
16 Nov 2008 10:42:58 AM

൒,000 Amerikaanse lewens is verlore vir 'n waardelose eiland sonder 'n nuttige doel. "

Eintlik het 2,336 gesterf, die res is gewond of vermis (vermoedelik dood).

8. Anoniem sê:
23 Jan 2009 15:21:01 PM

Ons gesin se geliefde Leon (Lee) Szetela is op 22 November 1944 in aksie op Peleliu dood. Is daar iemand wat hom ken of saam met hom dien?

9. Anoniem sê:
31 Aug 2010 07:57:38 AM

10. Anoniem sê:
13 Apr 2011 10:14:26

Thanx Vir die inligting het dit my regtig gehelp met my navorsingsprojek vir die boek With the Old Breed

11. Anoniem sê:
17 Nov 2011 22:35:14

Baie van die teks in hierdie verhaal kom uit Samuel Morrison's Two Ocean Navy. Die aanhaling wat aan Manchester aangehaal is, kom ook van Morrison.

12. Anoniem sê:
2 Okt 2012 10:58:14

P = Army PFC Charles Wade Fain is op 17 September 1944 in Peleliu vermoor

13. Anoniem sê:
20 Julie 2013 16:07:48

My oom aan my ma se kant, is op 22 September 1944 as MIA/KIA gelys. RIP Cpl. Robert C Washburn !!
1St Tkbn, 1Stmardiv

14. William D. Douglas sê:
10 Jan 2014 08:25:11 AM

My pa, Raymond Elton Douglas, Kalamazoo, MI. k-3-5 Ist Marine-afdeling. Ek het teen Peliliu en Okinawa geveg, waar hy dieselfde dag twee keer gewond is. Ek het 'n foto van hom en vriende op Peliliu.
Is daar iemand wat hom ken?
Dankie aan almal wat gedien het, God seën julle.

15. Anoniem sê:
20 Jan 2015 06:43:36 PM

Op soek na die geskiedenis van die 1ste afdeling van die US Marines
1ste bataljon in WW11

16. Nick Mott - Ohio sê:
28 Apr 2015 07:52:54 PM

My pa Pfc Garner Mott is gewond op die vliegveld op Peleliu 16/09/44. Hy was KIA op 7 Mei 45 Okinawa. Ek was 10 maande oud. Ek was saam met die ouens van K-3-5, sy onderneming.

17. D. R. West sê:
19 Aug 2015 13:00:24

My geliefde skoonvader W. S. "Willie " Francisco was saam met die 323 Combat Infantry Batallion van die 81ste Infanteriedivisie!
Hy was 'n BAR -man vir sy span. Hy het altyd gesê dat hy baie van sy vriende verloor het vir 'n waardelose stuk sand en vuil!

18. Anoniem sê:
7 Sep 2015 14:41:43 PM

My vriend was in die mediese skool in Madison, WI, en hy het by die vloot aangesluit. Vanweë sy mediese opleiding het hy hom na die Marines gestuur. Hy het my baie van Peleliu vertel. Dr Gordon Paton is nou oorlede. Maar hy was die grootste deel van sy diens op Peleliu.

19. Kenn Cunningham sê:
23 Sep 2016 14:20:46 PM

my oom Ray Cunningham het vir my gesê dat hy in die 323ste van die 81ste infanterie as gevegsmedisyn gedien het. Hy het baie min gepraat, maar ek wil graag meer leer oor die pligte en optrede van die eenheid. Kontak my asseblief

Alle kommentaar wat besoekers ingedien het, is 'n mening van diegene wat die voorleggings lewer en weerspieël nie die sienings van WW2DB nie.


USS Franklin (CV 13)

USS FRANKLIN was die vyfde ESSEX -klas vliegdekskip en ook die vyfde skip in die vloot wat die naam gedra het. Die FRANKLIN is erg beskadig deur 'n Japannese lugaanval op 19 Maart 1945 en keer in April 1945 na die Verenigde State terug en bly in Brooklyn, NY. Na afloop van die oorlog is FRANKLIN vir die publiek oopgemaak vir Navy Day -vieringe en op 17 Februarie 1947 is die skip buite kommissie geplaas in Bayonne, NJ Op 15 Mei 1959 is sy herklassifiseer AVT 8. Die FRANKLIN was wat op 1 Oktober 1964 van die Navy -lys geslaan is, en verkoop is om te skrap.

Algemene kenmerke: Toegeken: 1940
Keel gelê: 7 Desember 1942
Gestig: 14 Oktober 1943
In gebruik geneem: 31 Januarie 1944
Ontmantel: 17 Februarie 1947
Bouwer: Newport News Shipbuilding, Newport News, Va.
Aandrywingstelsel: 8 ketels
Propellers: vier
Vliegtuighysers: drie
Geskakelde ratkabels: vier
Katapulte: twee
Lengte: 876 voet (267 meter)
Vlugdekbreedte: 147,6 voet (45 meter)
Straal: 28,4 meter
Diepgang: 8,7 meter
Verplasing: ongeveer. 36 500 ton vol vrag
Spoed: 33 knope
Vliegtuie: 80-100 vliegtuie
Bemanning: ongeveer. 3448
Bewapening: 12 5-duim (12,7 cm) 38 kaliber gewere, 68 40 mm kanonne en 57 20 mm kanonne

Hierdie afdeling bevat die name van matrose wat aan boord van USS FRANKLIN gedien het. Dit is geen amptelike lys nie, maar bevat die name van matrose wat hul inligting ingedien het.

USS FRANKLIN Cruise Books:

Ongelukke aan boord van USS FRANKLIN:

Die tweede bom het agtertoe getref en deur twee dek geskeur, wat vure waai wat ammunisie, bomme en vuurpyle ontplof het. FRANKLIN, binne 50 myl van die Japannese vasteland, lê dood in die water, neem 'n 13-grade stuurboordlys, verloor alle radiokommunikasie en is deur vuur omring. Baie van die bemanning is óf oorboord geblaas, deur vuur verdryf óf doodgemaak óf gewond. Oorblywende was 106 offisiere en 604 aangewese persone wat die skip deur redelike dapperheid en volharding red. Altesaam 724 sterftes en 265 gewondes. FRANKLIN, die sterkste beskadigde vliegdekskip tydens die oorlog, bly kop bo water en nadat 'n sleep van USS PITTSBURGH (CA 72) onder haar eie krag na Pearl Harbor gegaan het vir noodherstelwerk.

USS FRANKLIN is van stapel gestuur deur Newport News Shipbuilding en Dry Dock Co., Newport News, Va., Op 14 Oktober 1943 geborg deur luitenant -kmdt. Mildred A. McAfee, USNR, direkteur van die WAVES en in opdrag op 31 Januarie 1944, met kaptein James M. Shoemaker in bevel.

FRANKLIN het na Trinidad gevlieg om af te skud en het kort daarna na Task Group (TG) 27.7 vertrek na San Diego om intensiewe oefenoefeninge voor te berei om diens te bekamp. In Junie vaar sy via Pearl Harbor na Eniwetok waar sy by TG 58.2 aansluit.

Op die laaste dag van Junie 1944 het sy gesorteer vir draagaanvalle op die Bonins ter ondersteuning van die daaropvolgende aanval op Marianas. Her planes scored well against aircraft on the ground and in the air as well as against gun installations, airfield and enemy shipping. On 4 July strikes were launched against Iwo Jima, Chichi Jima and Ha Ha Jima with her planes battering the land, sinking a large cargo vessel in the harbor and firing three smaller ships.

On 6 July she began strikes on Guam and Rota to soften up for the invasion forces, and continued until the 21st when she lent direct support to enable safe landing of the first assault waves. Two days of replenishment at Saipan permitted her to steam in Task Force (TF) 58 for photographic reconnaissance and air strikes against the islands of the Palau group. Her planes effected their mission on the 25th and 26th, exacting a heavy toll in enemy planes, ground installations, and shipping. She departed on 28 July en route to Saipan and the following day shifted to TG 68.1.

Although high seas prevented taking on needed bombs and rockets, FRANKLIN steamed for another raid against the Bonins. The 4th of August 1944 bode well, for her fighters launched against Chichi Jima and her dive bombers and torpedo planes against a convoy north of Ototo Jima rained destruction against the radio stations, seaplane base, airstrips and ships.

A period of upkeep and recreation from 9 to 28 August ensued at Eniwetok before she departed in company with carriers USS ENTERPRISE (CV 6), USS BELLEAU WOOD (CVL 24) and USS SAN JACINTO (CVL 30) for neutralization and diversionary attacks aga inst the Bonins. From 31 August to 2 September spirited and productive strikes from FRANKLIN inflicted much ground damage, sank two cargo ships, bagged numerous enemy planes in flight, and accomplished photographic survey.

On 4 September 1944, she onloaded supplies at Saipan and steamed in TG 38.4 for an attack against Yap (3-6 September) which included direct air coverage of the Peleliu invasion on the 16th. The group took on supplies at Manus Island from 21-25 September.

FRANKLIN, as flagship of TG 38.4, returned to the Palau area where she launched daily patrols and night fighters. On 9 October she rendezvoused with carrier groups cooperating in air strikes in support of the coming occupation of Leyte. At twilight on the 13th, the Task Group came under attack by four bombers and FRANKLIN twice was narrowly missed by torpedoes. An enemy plane crashed FRANKLIN's deck abaft the island structure, slid across the deck and into the water on her starboard beam.

Early on October 14, a fighter sweep was made against Aparri, Luzon, following which she steamed to the east of Luzon to neutralize installations to the east prior to invasion landings on Leyte. On the 16th she was attacked by three enemy planes, one of which scored with a bomb that hit the after outboard corner of the deck edge elevator, killing three and wounding 22. The tenacious carrier continued her daily operations hitting hard at Manila Bay on 19 October when her planes sank a number of ships, damaged many, destroyed a floating drydock, and bagged 11 planes.

During the initial landings on Leyte (20 October 1944), her aircraft hit surrounding air strips, and launched search patrols in anticipation of the approach of a reported enemy attack force. On the morning of 24 October her planes sank a destroyer and damaged two others. FRANKLIN, with Task Groups 38.4, 38.3, and 38.2, sped to intercept the advancing Japanese carrier force and attack at dawn. FRANKLIN's four strike groups combined with those from the other carriers in sending to the bottom four Japanese carriers, and battering their screens.

Retiring in her task group to refuel, she returned to the Leyte action on 27 October, her planes concentrating on a heavy cruiser and two destroyers south of Mindoro. She was underway about 1,000 miles off Samar on 30 October when enemy bombers appeared bent on a suicide mission. Three doggedly pursued FRANKLIN, the first plummeting off her starboard side the second hitting the flight deck and crashing through to the gallery deck, showering destruction, killing 56 and wounding 60 the third discharging another near miss at FRANKLIN before diving into the flight deck of BELLEAU WOOD.

Both carriers retired to Ulithi for temporary repairs and FRANKLIN proceeded to Puget Sound Navy Yard arriving 28 November 1944 for battle damage overhaul.

She departed Bremerton on 2 February 1945 and after training exercises and pilot qualification joined TG 58.2 for strikes on the Japanese homeland in support of the Okinawa landings. On 15 March she rendezvoused with TF 58 units and 3 days later launched sweeps and strikes against Kagoshima and Izumi on southern Kyushu.


Peleliu Expeditionary Strike Group Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group LHA-5 Peleliu ex-Da Nang / ex-Khe Sanh Pax Per Potens: "Peace Through Power"

During 34 years of service, Peleliu was homeported in both Long Beach and San Diego on the California coast as thousands of Sailors and Marines called the ship home. Capable of launching a coordinated air and sea attack from one platform, Peleliu conducted 17 deployments, 178,051 flight operations, served 57,983 personnel and steamed approximately 1,011,946 nautical miles since being commissioned May 3, 1980 in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

The contract to build LHA-5 was awarded on Nov 6, 1970, Peleliu's keel was laid Nov. 12, 1976, and the ship was launched Nov. 11, 1978. Peleliu was christened Jan. 6, 1979, by Margaret Hayward, wife of former Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Thomas B. Hayward. Commissioning took place in Pascagoula, Miss., at Ingalls Shipyard May 3, 1980.

Peleliu is the first U.S. Navy ship to carry the name Peleliu, and the second ship named in honor of the World War II battles fought in the Palau Islands. The first ship was USS Palau (CVE 122), a Commencement Bay Class aircraft carrier, which served from 1946 until being decommissioned in 1954. Peleliu is named in honor of the 3rd Amphibious Force's assault and capture of Peleliu Island in the fall of 1944.

On May 17th Peleliu arrived in Colon, Panama to begin unrigging for the transit of the Panama Canal. Peleliu departed Colon on May 20th and tied up in Balboa, Panama (Pacific side of the canal) twelve hours later. After five days of rerigging in Balboa, Peleliu departed and entered her homewaters of the Pacific. Peleliu proceeded south from Panama and crossed the equator on the night of May 27th, which is the record for the shortest period between a ship's commissioning and "Crossing the Line."

On May 28th Peleliu headed northerly enroute Mazatlan, Mexico, departing the Baja port on June 7th enroute San Diego, California. Most of the events Peleliu and her crew participated in during this initial transit were "firsts" and the underway refueling with USNS TALUGA was no exception, occurring on June 8th. Peleliu arrived at Naval Air Station, San Diego on June 10th for a one-day stop prior to proceeding to Long Beach, CA, her homeport.

In 1981 Peleliu complete its Post-Shakedown Availability and join the fleet as a fully operational unit of the Navy's Pacific Amphibious Force. In die laaste deel van die jaar is die skip en haar bemanning goed opgelei nadat hulle verskeie evaluerings geëvalueer het. Die ingenieurswese-afdeling het hul operasionele voortstuwingsaanlegeksamen (OPPE) in 42 uur geslaag, volgens die normale 72 uur, en REFTRA is suksesvol behaal net voor die vakansieseisoen. All efforts were directed toward preparing Peleliu for its first Western Pacific/Indian Ocean deployment.

1982 marked USS Peleliu's first year as a fully operational unit of the Navy's Pacific Fleet Amphibious Force. In Januarie was sy die vlagskip in 'n noodontruimingsoefening wat buite San Clemente gedoen is, sonder kennisgewing, en op 28 Maart is die skip aan die gang vir die eerste ontplooiing daarvan in die Westelike Stille Oseaan en die Indiese Oseaan.

The deployment was completed on October 4th, 1984. One month later the ship deployed to the northern Pacific Ocean to participate in an exercise held off Amchitka in the Aleutian Islands. Peleliu conducted its 10,000th accident free landing during this northern Pacific exercise.

The first fleet firing of the RIM 116 RAM (Rolling Airframe Missile) occurred in October 1995 from the USS Peleliu.

In Sepember 1997 the Peleliu ARG took part in Fleet Battle Experiment - Bravo's "Silent Fury" phase along with the Constellation Battle Group.

The Peleliu ARG was deployed to the Persian Gulf in 1997 (actually being present in the Gulf in November) and participated in Exercise Eager Mace 98.

On 31 March 2015 hundreds of plankowners, former crew members, and a few Marines joined the ship s current crew at Naval Base San Diego to say goodbye to one of the most famous ships in the Navy s Pacific Fleet. Tears wet the eyes of many in attendance as the flag was hauled down, the watch was secured and the crew ceremoniously disembarked for the final time.

During almost 35 years of service, Peleliu was homeported in both Long Beach and San Diego on the California coast as thousands of Sailors and Marines called the ship home. Capable of launching a coordinated air and sea attack from one platform, Peleliu has conducted 17 deployments, 178,051 flight operations, served 57,983 personnel and steamed approximately 1,011,946 nautical miles since being commissioned May 3, 1980 in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

The ship s maiden deployment took place in 1982, with follow-on deployments taking place almost every two years thereafter. While on a Western Pacific deployment in 1990, the crew rescued 155 refugees from Vietnam who were crammed into a small boat. The story of how the gray silhouette of the mighty Peleliu appeared on the horizon to rescue the group just in time lives on in the hearts of a group of grateful individuals.

Peleliu took on another humanitarian mission during the summer of 2007 as the platform for Pacific Partnership. Throughout the four-month deployment, Peleliu hosted both military and civilian personnel, who provided medical and dental care, as well as, education and preventative medicine to more than 31,600 people in the Philippines, Vietnam, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea and the Republic of the Marshall Islands.

Following the Pacific Partnership deployment, Peleliu deployed in 2008 to support maritime security operations in the U.S. 5th and 7th Fleet areas of operations. Three months into the deployment the ship made headline news when it responded to a distress call from the M/V Gem of Kilakarai off the coast of Somalia reporting that it was under attack from armed pirates.

Rear Adm. Marcus A. Hitchcock, who commanded Peleliu during the 2008 deployment, said he remembers the attack on the civilian merchant ship and how Peleliu s Sailors and Marines sprang into action in order to help prevent the pirates from taking control of the vessel.

We were conducting routine operations that morning and then suddenly there was a commercial container vessel putting out a mayday call, said Hitchcock. The ship was electrified and we launched three helicopters within minutes. A show of force from the Navy and Marine Corps helicopters and the sight of the mighty Peleliu s silhouette on the horizon must have struck fear into the pirates as they quickly fled the scene.

The Gem of Kilakarai did report one grenade landed on the ship s bridge wing during the attack but failed to detonate. Explosive ordnance personnel from the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit were dispatched to defuse the unexploded grenade. The ship was doing a good job at evasive maneuvers but the pirates were determined to take the ship, said Hitchcock. Our actions absolutely prevented that act of piracy from taking place.

The 2008 deployment was not the last for the mighty Peleliu as it deployed again in 2010, 2012 and 2014. Even with new Sailors and Marines joining the team each time, the ship developed a reputation of doing whatever it took to safely accomplish the mission. From delivering relief supplies to Pakistan during massive flooding to landing Marines on the beach, the blue/green team.

During that deployment, the officers and crew also made an impressive effort to earn surface warfare officer, enlisted surface warfare, and enlisted air warfare pins during the deployment. As a result the ship was flying all three pennants as it returned home to Naval Base San Diego on Nov. 4, 2008, with hundreds of friends and family on board for a Tiger Cruise.

After the decommissioning process is complete, Peleliu was towed from San Diego to Pearl Harbor to join the Navy s reserve fleet. There, the gray silhouette of the last of its class amphibious assault ship took its place alongside its sister ship and first in class, the ex-USS Tarawa (LHA 1).

Crest

The ship's crest has Eight stars across the top of the shield - symbolizing eight Medal of Honor awardees from the assault on Peleliu. The crest also has a large Roman "V" in center of shield with a four-pointed star in center of large "V" - symbolizes four functions of the LHA. A ring in lower left of shield - by traditions of heraldry, a ring or annulet symbolizes the fifth born. Emblem of 1st Marine Division - constellation Southern Cross, with numeral "1", superimposed.

Battle of Peleliu

USS Peleliu is the first ship to carry the name Peleliu and the second ship named in honor of the battles fought in the Palau Islands. The first ship was USS PALAU (CVE-I 22), a Commencement Bay class escort aircraft carrier, which served from 1946 until its decommissioning in 1954.

USS Peleliu is named in honor of the Third Amphibious Force's assault and capture of the island of Peleliu. The battle was one of the most vicious and stubbornly contested of the Pacific campaign and nowhere was the fighting efficiency of the U.S. Marines more convincingly demon-strated. Agt mariniers is tydens hierdie geveg met die erepenning toegeken.

Like the bloody World War II island campaigns before it, Peleliu was a fight to capture an airstrip on a far-flung speck of coral in the western Pacific. And, as with previous island battles, the Americans would prevail, but at a cost no one anticipated, against a fanatical enemy whose new defense strategy would make the invaders pay dearly for every chunk of coral taken. By the summer of 1944, the United States had come a long way since the dark days of Pearl Harbor, Wake Island and Bataan. Victories in the Southwest and Central Pacific had brought the war even closer to Japan, with American bombers now able to strike at the Japanese homeland itself. But there was disagreement by the U.S. Joint Chiefs over two proposed strategies to crush the Japanese Empire. One strategy proposed by General Douglas MacArthur called for the recapture of the Philippines, followed by the capture of Okinawa then Formosa for an attack at the Chinese mainland. From there, the eventual invasion of Japan would come.

Admiral Chester Nimitz, on the other hand, favored a more direct strategy of bypassing the Philippines, but seizing Okinawa and Formosa as staging areas for the future invasion of Japan's southernmost islands. As for Peleliu, both commanders' strategies included the invasion of this island, but for different reasons, and the 1st Marine Division had already been chosen to make the assault. To settle this dispute, President Franklin Roosevelt traveled to Pearl Harbor to meet personally with both commanders and hear their respective arguments. From this the president would make his own decision. After a review of both positions, MacArthur's strategy was chosen. However, before MacArthur could retake the Philippines, the Palau Islands - Peleliu specifically, would have to be neutralized to protect his right flank. What followed would be a ferocious battle lasting more than two months and costing over 12,000 lives. It would also be one of the Pacific War's most forgotten campaigns.


Battle of the Bulge: Photographs

Launched on December 16, 1945, the Battle of the Bulge was the last major German military offensive in western Europe. By January, the German military effort had failed.

John Perry films US troops in Belgium

John Perry, a movie photographer with Unit 129, films GIs of the 290th Infantry Regiment, 75th Infantry Division, and 4th Cavalry Group ferreting out German snipers near Beffe, Belgium during the Battle of the Bulge. Twelve Germans were killed. The scene was photographed by Carmen Corrado of the 129th. January 7, 1945. US Army Signal Corps photograph taken by C.A. Corrado.

John Perry films US soldiers in Belgium

John Perry, a movie photographer with Unit 129, films GIs of the 290th Infantry Regiment, 75th Infantry Division, and 4th Cavalry Group ferreting out German snipers near Beffe, Belgium, in early January 1945. Twelve Germans were killed. The scene was photographed by Carmen Corrado of the 129th. January 7, 1945. US Army Signal Corps photograph taken by C.A. Corrado.

A US soldier draws water from a stream with his helmet

An American GI using his steel helmet to draw water from a stream during the Battle of the Bulge. December 22, 1944. US Army Signal Corps photograph taken by J Malan Heslop.

US troops move up to the front to stop the German advance

During the Battle of the Bulge, US troops move up to the front in open trucks in subzero weather to stop the German advance. December 22, 1944. US Army Signal Corps photograph taken by J Malan Heslop.

Scene during the Battle of the Bulge

A soldier prepares to bed down for the night in a Belgian forest during the Battle of the Bulge. December 21, 1944. US Army Signal Corps photograph taken by J Malan Heslop.

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With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa

“Eugene Sledge became more than a legend with his memoir, With The Old Breed. He became a chronicler, a historian, a storyteller who turns the extremes of the war in the Pacific—the terror, the camaraderie, the banal and the extraordinary—into terms we mortals can grasp.”—Tom Hanks

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

In Die Wall Street Journal, Victor Davis Hanson named With the Old Breed one of the top five books on epic twentieth-century battles. Studs Terkel interviewed the author for his definitive oral history, The Good War. Now E. B. Sledge’s acclaimed first-person account of fighting at Peleliu and Okinawa returns to thrill, edify, and inspire a new generation.

An Alabama boy steeped in American history and enamored of such heroes as George Washington and Daniel Boone, Eugene B. Sledge became part of the war’s famous 1st Marine Division—3rd Battalion, 5th Marines. Even after intense training, he was shocked to be thrown into the battle of Peleliu, where “the world was a nightmare of flashes, explosions, and snapping bullets.” By the time Sledge hit the hell of Okinawa, he was a combat vet, still filled with fear but no longer with panic.

Based on notes Sledge secretly kept in a copy of the New Testament, With the Old Breed captures with utter simplicity and searing honesty the experience of a soldier in the fierce Pacific Theater. Here is what saved, threatened, and changed his life. Here, too, is the story of how he learned to hate and kill—and came to love—his fellow man.

“In all the literature on the Second World War, there is not a more honest, realistic or moving memoir than Eugene Sledge’s. This is the real deal, the real war: unvarnished, brutal, without a shred of sentimentality or false patriotism, a profound primer on what it actually was like to be in that war. It is a classic that will outlive all the armchair generals’ safe accounts of—not the ‘good war’—but the worst war ever.”—Ken Burns


Onward to Port Moresby

By the time that the IJA had sewn up its occupation of Sumatra and Java in the second week of March 1942, they had possession of those islands among the 17,500 of the Dutch East Indies that mattered. The growing empire of Emperor Hirohito now included the oil fields, and a Japanese governor seated in the jewel of the former Dutch colonial crown. The momentum of the invincible IJA invited – indeed it demanded – a next step.

Looking eastward from the Dutch East Indies lay New Guinea, the second largest of the world’s islands. Bracketed by Japanese-occupied Ambon and Timor to the west and Japanese-occupied New Britain to the east, it spanned 20 degrees of the earth’s longitude. On the chessboard of the intersection between Southeast Asia and the Southwest Pacific, ownership of New Guinea appeared essential to the Japanese strategy of containing Australia and any offensive that the Allies might launch from Australia.

Aside from its place on the map, and an enormous place it is, New Guinea is probably the most improbable slice of real estate to be fought over by the great world powers of the mid-twentieth century. A land of mystery with an unexplored interior, New Guinea is more than twice the size of Japan, but it had fewer census-counted inhabitants than the city of Kobe. It is still a land of impossible terrain where even in the twenty-first century it has yet to be bisected by a highway. It is a place of such remoteness that even many decades after World War II, it was inhabited by multitudes of species not yet catalogued by biologists, and home to numerous groups of stone-age people whose languages had never been heard by anthropologists.

New Guinea had been largely ignored by Europeans until the middle of the nineteenth century, and thereafter they had shown little interest beyond planting their flags. The Dutch had administered the part – or more properly, outposts along the coastline of that part – west of the 141st meridian as Nederlands Nieuw Guinea. The British and the Germans had each claimed a slice of the eastern part until 1919, when this half had been bestowed upon Australia by the League of Nations as the New Guinea Trust Territory. Today, the former Dutch half is part of Indonesia, while the eastern half is the independent state of Papua New Guinea (or Papua Niugini). It is indicative of New Guinea’s “forgotten” status in the affairs of the middle twentieth century that its largest city, Port Moresby on the Australian side, was home to barely 2,000 people in 1941.

It was to this, the eastern half of New Guinea, that the Japanese turned much of their attention after the fall of Java. Specifically, they focused on the 400-mile-long Papuan, or “Bird’s Tail,” Peninsula at the southeast tip of the island. Strategically, this was the part closest to their mushrooming base complex at Rabaul, and on the south side of the Bird’s Tail, Port Moresby was only 300 miles from the Cape York Peninsula in the Australian state of Queensland.

As Port Moresby was the largest city, largest port, and home to a growing concentration of Australian and American forces, it was the ultimate objective of the Japanese New Guinea strategy. In Allied hands, it could threaten Rabaul. In Japanese hands, it could protect Rabaul and be used to threaten Australia.

If most of New Guinea was strategically irrelevant to the Japanese master plan, Port Moresby had been a square on the Southwest Pacific chessboard upon which Japanese planners had been fixating for years. As early as 1938, the IJN had begun drafting plans for its capture as part of anchoring the sea lanes at the southern edge of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. With the approval of Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto – commander of the Combined Fleet and architect of the Pearl Harbor attack – the plan for the capture of Port Moresby and its use in the chess game against Australia had been designed and filed away for later use. By March 1942, with all of the other pieces in place on the board, it was time to dust off the plans for Operation Mo (or Mo Sakusen, named for the first two Roman letters in “Moresby”).

The opening gambit in Operation Mo and the New Guinea campaign came on March 8, even as surrender terms were being dictated on Java. The initial targets were the twin villages of Lae and Salamaua on the north side of the Bird’s Tail, 200 miles due north of Port Moresby across the Owen Stanley Mountains, from which air support operations could be launched.

Major General Tomitaro Horii, who had led the operations against Guam and Rabaul, had set sail aboard four troop transports from the latter base three days earlier with the IJA’s South Seas Detachment. This organization was under the command structure of the IJN South Seas Force (based on the 4th Fleet), and was based on the 144th Regiment of the 55th Division. Horii’s order of battle for the Lae and Salamaua operation was essentially the same that he had successfully used to capture Rabaul in January. Horii’s troops were escorted by a substantial IJN fleet, including destroyers, patrol boats, and ships from two cruiser divisions. From Rear Admiral Aritomo Goto’s Cruiser Division 6, there were the heavy cruisers Aoba, Furutaka, Kako, and Kinugasa. Contributed by Rear Admiral Marumo Kuninori’s Division 18 were the light cruisers Tatsuta and Tenryu.

The landings on March 8 went like clockwork, just as the IJA had come to expect from their experiences at dozens of beachheads across Southeast Asia since December 8. At Lae, the Japanese troops landed without opposition. At Salamaua, there was sporadic gunfire. Attempts by a handful of Allied aircraft to attack the invaders were swatted away as more of a nuisance than a threat.

Two days later, the situation was surprisingly different, as American aircraft launched a concentrated attack against the ships anchored off the invasion beaches. USN bombers from the carriers USS Lexington and USS Yorktown, as well as eight USAAF B-17 Flying Fortresses operating from Townsville, Australia, did considerable damage. Three of the transports were sunk, and one damaged. Also damaged were a cruiser, two destroyers, and several support vessels. It was not a major defeat, but it was a serious blow to the complacency with which the Japanese had been operating. It was also the harbinger of an ebbing of Japanese air superiority.

As the Japanese began the enormous task of reinforcing Lae and Salamaua in advance of their assault on Port Moresby, parallel operations were getting underway more than a thousand miles to the west. The great battles which unfolded in eastern New Guinea later in 1942 have been discussed in great detail elsewhere, but the Japanese operations in western New Guinea, which flowed from the momentum of the Dutch East Indies Campaign, have been virtually ignored.

The battle plan for the western New Guinea operations was a naval plan. The objectives were the isolated Dutch coastal enclaves across the north side of the island, as well as around the 21,469-square-mile Vogelkop (now Kepela Burung) or “Bird’s Head” Peninsula, which is like an appendage to the northwest corner of New Guinea just as the Papuan Peninsula, the “Bird’s Tail,” is the signature geographic feature on the southeast corner of New Guinea. The plan was simply to use a naval force to pluck the isolated coastal communities one by one.

The spearhead for operations in western New Guinea was the IJN Special Naval Landing Forces. Specifically, they were troops under the command of the 24th Special Base Force, which was part of the IJN 2nd Southern Expeditionary Fleet this was essentially the IJN 3rd Fleet, renamed on March 10 and given the responsibility for activities within the largely pacified Indies. The invasion force, known as Expeditionary Force N and under the overall command of Rear Admiral Ruitaro Fujita, was organized on Ambon immediately after the conquest of Java, and shipped out on the night of March 29.

Outnumbering the transports, the escort included the light cruiser Kinu, two destroyers, assorted patrol boats, and submarine chasers. Air support was supplied by the seaplane tender Chitose, which had been active in supporting a number of previous landings in the Dutch East Indies. The landing force itself, under IJN Captain S. Shibuya, included a small detachment from the 24th, plus the battalion-sized contingent of infantry from the 4th Guards. It was small relative to those assigned to previous operations because it was correctly assumed that resistance from handfuls of KNIL stragglers would be minimal.

The first objective for Expeditionary Force N was Bula on the eastern tip of the island of Ceram, where there was a small oil production facility. Reaching this on March 31, and finding that it had been abandoned, the Japanese ships steamed westward, making landfall at Fakfak on the western tip of New Guinea proper on April 1. From here, Expeditionary Force N proceeded clockwise around the Vogelkop Peninsula, reaching Sorong on April 4, and Manokwari on April 12. A week later, they reached Hollandia (now Jayapura), near the border with Australian-administered eastern New Guinea, which had been one of the few important Dutch administrative centers on the island.

At each point on this expedition, the Special Naval Landing Forces found their objectives either lightly defended or completely deserted of KNIL troops. Most of the Dutch had long since embarked on a long and difficult escape to Australia, or had escaped into the jungle to conduct guerilla actions against the Japanese. Indeed, in most cases, the defense of western New Guinea had been so insignificant that lightly armed sailors from the warships served as garrison troops. Garrison detachments of IJA forces were not sent to relieve them on a permanent basis for several months. Neither side bothered with the south and southwest coast of western New Guinea, which was inhospitably swampy, and home to few settlements.

Eastern New Guinea, however, was another matter. With the Japanese reinforcing their position at Lae and Salamaua, and the Allies doing the same at Port Moresby, both sides were building toward the pivotal battles that were about to take place on the ground, in the air and on the sea across in eastern New Guinea and across the Southwest Pacific.

Early May was to be a pivotal moment here, as was the middle of January in Borneo or the first week of March on Java. It was the moment when the invincible Japanese war machine would make decisive and simultaneous moves across a vast swathe of ocean and island from Port Moresby, about 870 miles to the east, across the Coral Sea to the islands of Tulagi and Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands chain.

There was great confidence and no reason to believe that things would not go as they had at every turn for the past five months since the great simultaneous offensives on December 8. If the landings in the Solomons went smoothly, it would advance the Japanese pieces on the chessboard much closer to Australia’s east coast. Japanese air bases here could threaten not only Australia, but its ocean supply lines from the United States.

Tomitaro Horii’s South Seas Detachment, roughly 5,000 strong aboard a dozen transports, departed from Rabaul. The invaders of Tulagi had disembarked from one of the ships, and had gone ashore on Tulagi unopposed on the night of May 3–4, while the rest were bound for their amphibious landing at Port Moresby which was scheduled for May 7.

They were supported by the IJN 4th Fleet under Vice Admiral Shigeyoshi Inoue aboard the cruiser Kashima. It was the largest Japanese naval force assembled in one place since the operations across the Java Sea during the latter half of February. Directly supporting the Port Moresby invasion group was Rear Admiral Sadamichi Kajioka, with the cruiser Yubari, as well as the destroyers Asanagi, Mochizuki, Mutsuki, Oite, Uzuki, and Yayoi. Rear Admiral Aritomo Goto, meanwhile, commanded another covering group that included the light carrier Shoho and the cruisers Aoba, Furutaka, Kako, and Kinugasa. Also on hand was a carrier strike force comprised of the fleet carriers Shokaku and Zuikaku and commanded by Takeo Takagi who had led the virtual obliteration of the Allied fleet in the Java Sea, and who had just been promoted to vice admiral on the first of May.

The meticulous Operation Mo planning had called for the South Seas Detachment to secure Port Moresby by May 10, and Horii was confident that he could deliver. Japanese bombers would be conducting operations against Australia from Port Moresby by the morning of May 11. Before that morning, however, there would be other mornings and the unexpected, which always haunts the overconfident.

On May 4, just as the Japanese had gone ashore on Tulagi, they were attacked by USN aircraft from the USS Lexington and USS Yorktown, part of Rear Admiral Frank Fletcher’s Task Force 17. As the two sides became aware of one another, and Fletcher deduced from intelligence sources that the long-anticipated invasion of Port Moresby was in motion, the opposing fleets searched for one another across the Coral Sea. Two days of maneuvering led to the joining of a remarkable battle on May 7. It was unlike anything that had yet been seen in naval history. The ships of neither side came within striking distance of the other. Throughout May 7 and May 8, the offensive battle was waged entirely by aircraft.

In the battle of the Coral Sea, each side lost a destroyer and several lesser ships damaged or sunk, but most of the attention was focused on the opposing carriers. The Japanese lost the light carrier Shoho, while the Shokaku was put out of action through battle damage, and the Zuikaku’s aircrews were depleted in the fighting. The Lexington was fatally damaged and scuttled, while the Yorktown eventually limped back to Pearl Harbor for repairs. The naval battle was a statistical draw, but a strategic victory for the USN insofar as the Coral Sea marked the high-water mark in a great run of successes for the IJN.

A month later, during the first week of June, Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto prepared for what might have been a brilliant end run victory which, in turn, might have checked the USN in the central Pacific. He sent four fleet carriers to support the invasion of Midway, due north of Hawaii. He had planned to include the Shokakau and Zuikaku, but after the battle of the Coral Sea, they were heading to Japan for repairs and were unavailable. If the battle of the Coral Sea was the end of the beginning for the IJN, the battle of Midway was the beginning of the end. All four of the Japanese carriers, Akagi, Hiryu, Kaga, and Soryu – each a veteran of the Pearl Harbor attack – were sunk at Midway. Things would never again be the same for the IJN.

The battle of the Coral Sea was also the high-water mark for the IJA in the Southwest Pacific. They would hold on in the Solomons, but as the hold began to falter, the momentum was never revived.

What then, of the invasion of Port Moresby, which was scheduled for May 7, and which was to be completed by May 10? As the battle began to unfold in earnest on that day, Admiral Inoue withdrew the invasion fleet. On May 7, with all three aircraft carriers preoccupied and embroiled in the great air battle, they could not support the invasion. Inoue decided that it would not be prudent to go forward with the landings without air cover. By the following day, one of the Japanese carriers was gone and the other two unfit for operations.

Inoue initially ordered a postponement to May 12, then to May 17, and finally the amphibious attack on Port Moresby, which was once just a matter of hours from happening, was cancelled. Inoue was relieved of his command and brought home to desk duty.

General Tomitaro Horii’s South Seas Detachment, meanwhile, were not relieved of their duty. It was decided that instead of coming across the beaches, they would attack overland, across the Owen Stanley Mountains which form the jagged spine of the Bird’s Tail. On July 21, Horii landed on the north shore of the Bird’s Tail in the area of the villages of Buna, Gona, and Sanananda, with around 6,500 men. They then attempted to hike across the mountains on the rough, 65-mile Kokoda Track, a trail which climbs to 3,380 feet through some of the most difficult terrain on earth. Opposing the Japanese were small understrength Australian units – and the land itself.

New Guinea was such a difficult place to wage war that the troops found it a triumph when they managed to march a mile a day through its dense forests. These jungles, with their slippery hillsides tangled in forests and foliage where the sun had never shown, and where visibility is often measured in inches rather than yards, were literally hell on earth for most troops who dared to challenge them.

Being located barely south of the equator gives New Guinea a climate in which a veritable encyclopedia of tropical diseases can flourish. The troops discovered that malaria was almost routine and maladies such as dysentery were actually routine.

The Japanese continued to pour men and materiel into the Kokoda Track for months, eventually losing as many men as they had first committed to the futile campaign. One of them was Horii himself, who drowned crossing a river in September.

The IJA never reached Port Moresby. The momentum lost through the cancellation of the amphibious operation on May 7 was never recaptured. A month later, the battle of Midway guaranteed this. Australia was safe. If there had been an invasion of that country on the books, without Port Moresby, it was impossible.


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