Download Across the Reef: The Marine Assault of Tarawa by Col. Joseph H. Alexander USMC-R PDF

By Col. Joseph H. Alexander USMC-R

This e-book, one in a sequence dedicated to U.S. Marines on this planet struggle II period, is released for the schooling and coaching of Marines by means of the historical past and Museums department, Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps, Washington, D.C., as part of the U.S. division of security observance of the fiftieth anniversary of victory in that war."

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I n view of the heavy casualties sus tained by Hays' battalion on Re d Beach Two, Smith was reconsiderin g a landing on the unknown easter n end of the island . The good news from Ryan quickly solved th e problem . Smith ordered Holmes t o land one battalion by rubber rafts o n Green Beach, with a second landin g team boated in LCVPs prepared t o wade ashore in support . At this time Smith received report s that Japanese troops were escaping from the eastern end of Betio b y wading across to Bairiki, the next is land .

Japanese gunners opened a n unrelenting fire . Enfilade fire cam e from snipers who had infiltrated t o the disabled LVTs offshore during th e night . At least one machine gu n opened up on the wading troops the large part the Japanese caugh t Hays' lead waves in a withering crossfire . Correspondent Robert Sherro d watched the bloodbath in horror . "One boat blows up, then another . The survivors start swimming fo r shore, but machine-gun bullets do t the water all around them . . " Within an hour, Sherrod coul d count "at least two hundred bodies Readily disassembled and reassembled, the 75mm pack howitzers of 1st Battalion , 10th Marines, were ideal for Tarawa's restrictive hydrography .

Lieutenant Hawkins continu ously set an example of cool disdai n for danger in every tactical situation . His bravery was superhuman, but i t could not last in the maelstrom . H e was wounded by a Japanese morta r shell on D-Day, but shook off at - western end of Betio to make the biggest contribution to winning the bat tle on D+1 . Ryan's fortunes had bee n greatly enhanced by three developments during the night : the absence of a Japanese spoiling attack agains t his thin lines, the repair of the medi um tank "Cecilia ;" and the arrival of Lieutenant Thomas Greene, USN, a naval gunfire spotter with a full y functional radio .

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