Admiral William F. Halsey

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“Before we’re through with them, the Japanese language will be spoken only in Hell,” explained Admiral William F. Halsey in response to seeing the damage inflicted upon Pearl Harbor by the Japanese. The United States entered World War II in December 1941 bearing a hostile attitude towards the Japanese and immediately focused forces in stopping Japan’s aggressive Pacific expansion. In pursuing power of the Pacific, the United States secured crucial victories at the Battle of Midway and Guadalcanal. As the United States sought control of the Marshall Islands to advance forces on Japan, the Gilbert Islands stood as the avenue of success in the Central Pacific Campaign. Operation Galvanic arose as the plan to take these islands, which…show more content…
Colonel Joseph H. Alexander, in his book Utmost Savagery describes he battle of Tarawa as a gruesome seventy-six hour battle, “which took the lives of six thousand human beings in a space of three hundred acres – the identical size occupied by the Pentagon building and its parking lots.” The battle began in the early morning of November 20, 1943, as the United States Invasion fleet lay off the coast of Betio, the island projected to attack among the Tarawa Atoll. There were 18,000 marines sent to the attack on Tarawa and this seemed to be a more than sufficient number to easily secure the island. The United States forces encountered many problems though as they started storming the island on November 20. As the U.S. landing crafts attempted to invade the beaches of Betio, the tides were too low for a number of the heavier boats to freely navigate to shore. On the morning of the attack, the tide level never reached the four feet above the reef that was necessary to allow landing craft to land properly. Instead, the tide rose to at most one foot above the reef. The reefs that surrounded the island were now acting as another defense force for the Japanese and the American forces were significantly slowed in their attack. Many heavier landing crafts were only able to deliver Marines within

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