The Capture of Makin, 20 - 24 November 1943


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We can accomodate requests for additional information and removal of information. We specialise in institution subscriptions, providing unlimited access for all students of signed up courses. Click here to learn how we can support your institution below. Other maps of interest. Description Details To launch an attack on the Marshall Islands, a suitable island base was needed as a stepping-stone.

Firstly troops would land on Red Beach in the West in an attempt to draw the Japanese out from their defences, followed by a landing on Yellow Beach in the east which would hopefully enable an attack on the now exposed Japanese rear. Period Modern Period [ - ]. The Marshall Islands were the main target of the United States forces and the Gilberts were the best way to reach them.

The operation was codenamed Galvanic.


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Smith, US Marine Corps. It had two divisions: the 2nd Marine Division and the U. By 28 September the 27th had been given Makin as a target. Japanese losses in the Solomons forced the Japanese Command to not reinforce or aid the garrisons at Tarawa and Makin. The Japanese on Makin were garrisoned on the main island, Butaritari, and consisted of men: troops of the 3rd Special Base Force, aviation land personnel, men of the 4th Fleet Construction Unit and all commanded by Lt.

Seizo Ishikawa. Kelley was pinned down, Col.

Conroy, convinced that only a few Japanese were holding up C Company, came walking into the area. Seeing Conroy, Kelley yelled for him to get down. Conroy hesitated and was killed instantly by a bullet between his eyes.

Kelley took command of the th Infantry, while Maj. James H. Mahoney, the executive officer of the 1st Battalion, assumed command of the battalion. The light tanks brought forward by Col. Mortar and machine-gun fire were withheld for the same reason. C Company bypassed the Japanese position and advanced to the edge of the west tank barrier, while follow-up companies moved up behind them. By , the 1st and 2nd battalions had made contact along the west tank barrier. The 1st Battalion held the entire area from Red Beach and Red Beach 2 to the west tank barrier, except for a small pocket contained by C Company northwest of the barrier.

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The 2nd Battalion held the center of the island from Yellow Beach to the west tank barrier and across the island to the ocean. As planned, all three batteries of the th Field Artillery were in position on Ukiangong Point and had fired their mm howitzers in support of the 2nd Battalion. Total American casualties for the first day were 25 killed and 62 wounded.

The Japanese lost 50 dead and 41 wounded. As the sun went down, the attack was halted by order of Maj. The troops dug in for the night, anticipating a Japanese attack. For the Americans, the first night on Butaritari was a long one. The Japanese kept up sniper fire, set off firecrackers to draw American fire, and called out in garbled English.

Green troops, nervous in their first battle, peppered away indiscriminately at unseen targets, wasting ammunition and drawing Japanese fire. Hearing this, many soldiers began shooting wildly into the trees.

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The engineer then admitted that he had not seen any Japanese but had only heard firing. It took direct orders from officers to make the men cease firing. When the sun rose over Makin on the morning of Nov. Starting at , while the landing craft stayed clear, airstrikes were made on the hulks. They were also shelled by 75mm sponson guns on the M-3 Lees. Some of the shells overshot the vessels and fell into the lagoon near the landing craft. In late afternoon, a man detail headed out to the hulks in two amtracs to eliminate any Japanese on them.

They found no Japanese on the hulks, and the landing craft began unloading on Yellow Beach again. The heaviest fighting took place in a coconut grove in the middle of the island, where a group of Japanese fired on a platoon mopping up a former stronghold. Four Stuart tanks assisted the infantry by spraying the treetops with.

The four tanks had been firing for five minutes when a Navy dive bomber, its pilot mistaking the west tank barrier for the Japanese-held east tank barrier, dropped a 2,pound bomb near them. The tank officer in charge, 1st Lt. Edward J. Gallagher, was killed along with two enlisted men, and several others were injured. When the Stuart crews recovered from the shock and concussion, the Japanese had gone.

Makin Atoll 20–23 November 1943

The action at the west tank barrier was over, and no more trouble with Japanese stragglers in that area was encountered. The th shifted its full attention to securing the remainder of Butaritari Island. The troops and tanks advanced slowly but steadily through the vegetation, averaging three yards a minute. A few snipers were encountered, but they did not delay the advance.

Thomas E. Valentine of E Company later said. We learned that by taking cover and moving rapidly from one concealment to another we could minimize the threat. Moreover, we knew that our reserves would get them if we could not. Between noon and , the three companies and their supporting tanks passed through the most heavily defended area on Butaritari, encountering machine guns, barbed wire and emplacements made of coconut palm logs that resisted even direct 75mm gunfire.

The American infantry had no room to maneuver on long, narrow Butaritari and had to slug its way forward on a front barely yards wide in places. Tank and infantry coordination, while still hampered by poor communications and lack of coordinated training, was improving. Infantry would point out enemy positions to the supporting Lee tanks, cover the tanks as they moved in for close-range fire with their sponson-mounted 75mm and turret-mounted 37mm guns, and mop up the positions once the tanks moved forward. Riflemen and BAR Browning Automatic Rifle men would surround a Japanese bunker and fire at the entrances, keeping the defenders inside pinned down.

The engineers would move up with charges of TNT attached to poles, which they would shove inside the bunker and detonate, destroying the bunker. With this slow, steady advance, the 2nd Battalion had pushed 1, yards east of Yellow Beach by Holland Smith went ashore on the afternoon of Nov.

Knowing about the savage fighting his Marines were encountering on nearby Tarawa Atoll, at one point Smith suggested to Rear Adm.

The Capture Of Makin: November

He was eager to get to Tarawa, where the real trouble was. Despite his chagrin, Smith toured the Butaritari landing beaches and other areas on the island. Consider situation in hand. At the end of the fighting on Nov.

Ralph Smith. At on Nov.

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When the artillery barrage lifted, the tanks and infantry moved toward the barrier. By , 3rd Battalion had reached the east tank barrier, and the artillery resumed firing while the troops waited for the shelling to lift. The detachment arrived around noon, landed without opposition and set up a defensive line across the island. As they came ashore, the troops encountered 10 indigenous men who told them that the remaining Japanese were fleeing across eastern Butaritari toward nearby Kuma Island.

Although stronger than the west tank barrier, this obstacle had been abandoned during the night. Only a few dead Japanese, killed by the bombardment, were found. The 3rd Battalion reached the barricade at without encountering opposition.

The Capture of Makin, 20 - 24 November 1943 The Capture of Makin, 20 - 24 November 1943
The Capture of Makin, 20 - 24 November 1943 The Capture of Makin, 20 - 24 November 1943
The Capture of Makin, 20 - 24 November 1943 The Capture of Makin, 20 - 24 November 1943
The Capture of Makin, 20 - 24 November 1943 The Capture of Makin, 20 - 24 November 1943
The Capture of Makin, 20 - 24 November 1943 The Capture of Makin, 20 - 24 November 1943

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