76 Hours: The Invasion of Tarawa

 by Eric Hammel and John E. Lane

76 Hours: The Invasion of Tarawa by Eric Hammel and John E. Lane book cover
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On the morning of Saturday, November 20, 1943, the U.S. 2d Marine Division undertook the first modern amphibious assault against a well-defended beachhead. The objective was tiny Betio Island in Tarawa Atoll. The result was an immortal story of tragedy and near defeat turned around into an epic of victory and indomitable human spirit.

Although the admirals commanding the Tarawa invasion fleet had assured the Marines that Betio would be pounded to coral dust by a massive naval and air bombardment-the largest of its kind ever seen to that time-the first waves of Marines found the Japanese defenses intact and manned by determined foes. Within minutes of the start of the head-on assault, the American battle plan was a shambles and scores of Marines had been killed or wounded. The assault virtually stopped at the water's edge, its momentum halted before many...


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