Tuesday, June 19, 2012
This is coolbert:
From the Sail Billabong web site we have this item:
"The Battle of Tarawa [WW2] made history in another way as well; the film With the Marines at Tarawa, was the first war footage with dead American soldiers to be released and shown in the States. While this bloody battle proved that the war would not easily be finished, thereby increasing war bond sales, it had a dramatic effect on military enlistments, causing a 35% drop."
Those persons in the aftermath of Tarawa/Betio [Tarawa atoll, Betio island] having second thoughts regarding enlistment. Especially if that enlistment entailed joining the U.S Marine Corps. Every young American man [?] aspires to be a Marine? The few, the proud, never given, always earned, etc.
A means [joining the Marine Corps] by which a young American man can test himself against his peers and achieve what few others are able to.
Tarawa/Betio of course a bloodbath, a slaughter of unprecedented proportions and not what a lot of folks thought war was like. American young men having to wade across almost a half-mile [about 800 meters] of lagoon in water up to their waist or chest, totally and without mitigation exposed to the merciless and well prepared small arms fire of the Japanese. 1,000 American dead in three days, NOT what was expected.
Courage of those present at Tarawa/Betio NOT lacking, hardly the case, the OPPOSITE, AND IN WAYS THAT TRULY AMAZE!!
From the book: "Last Stand" by Bryan Perrett.
"It had been decided that the Shermans [tanks] would be landed immediately behind the assault waves, but because of the low tide they had to leave their landing craft at the reef and drive ashore. As the sea bed was an unknown quantity to their drivers, they had to be led in by guides wading ahead of the vehicles. Many of the guides were shot down, but there was never a shortage of volunteers to take their place."
Sherman tanks accompanying the initial assault wave of lifht infantry at Tarawa/Betio having to "wade" through the shallows of the lagoon a task for which they eminently capable, that "sea bed" however pockmarked and littered with craters of unknown depth, unanticipated and a result of the pre-invasion heavy naval bombardment, naval gunfire from fourteen inch [355 mm] guns many rounds missing the target.
"A large number of heavy caliber rounds exploded between the reef and the landing beaches, creating craters that were to hinder the attackers.
We have to be clear here. Those tanks so vital to a quick and successful amphibious invasion of Tarawa/Betio in danger of foundering , engines flooded, American supporting naval gunfire creating a hindrance [submerged craters] that required "ground" guides to walk in front of the armor clearing a path, those brave personnel knowing full well the danger!!
The Marines. The few, the proud, the brave!! Indeed!!