By Col. Joseph H. Alexander USMC-R
This e-book, one in a sequence dedicated to U.S. Marines on the earth conflict II period, is released for the schooling and coaching of Marines by way of the background and Museums department, Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps, Washington, D.C., as part of the U.S. division of protection observance of the fiftieth anniversary of victory in that war."
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Extra info for Across the Reef: The Marine Assault of Tarawa
S . Navy Combat Art Collectio n on one side of the airfield, Larr y Hays moved to the west, exactly op posite . . " Jones' plan was sound and well ex ecuted . The advantage of having i n place a fresh tactical unit with integrated supporting arms was immediately obvious . Landing Tea m 1/6 made rapid progress along th e south coast, killing about 25 0 Japanese defenders and reaching th e thin lines held by 2/2 and 1/2 withi n three hours . American casualties to this point were light . At 1100, Shoup called Jones to hi s CP to receive the afternoon plan o f action.
On Red Beach Two, Major Hay s launched his attack promptly a t 0700, attacking westward on a three company front . Engineers with satch el charges and Bangalore torpedoe s helped neutralize several inlan d Japanese positions, but the strong points along the re-entrant were stil l as dangerous as hornets' nests . Ma rine light tanks made brave fronta l attacks against the fortifications , even firing their 37mm guns pointblank into the embrasures, but the y were inadequate for the task . One was lost to enemy fire, and the othe r two were withdrawn .
Circle, Shoup ordered a platoon of infantry and a pair of 75mm half track s Admiral Hill and his staff cam e ashore at 1245 . The naval officers marveled at the great strength of th e out to the reef to keep the defenders pinned down from the lagoon . Some of the Japanese committed hara-kari; the remainder, exhausted, fought to Japanese bunker system, realizing im mediately the need to reconsider their preliminary bombardment policies . LEGEND: BETI O ♦ TARAWA ATOLL, GILBERT ISLANDS ATTACK OF Ist BN, 8th MARINES an d 3d BN, 2d MARINE S MORNING OF NOV.