By Col. Joseph H. Alexander USMC-R
This e-book, one in a chain dedicated to U.S. Marines on this planet warfare II period, is released for the schooling and coaching of Marines through the heritage and Museums department, Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps, Washington, D.C., as part of the U.S. division of safety 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
Department of Defense Photo 6349 5 the general collapse of the Japanes e defensive system in the eastern zon e following the counterattacks : 'At n o time was there any determined defen sive . . We used flamethrowers and could have used more . Medium tanks were excellent . " The toughest fight of the fourt h day occurred on the Red Beach One/Two border where Colone l Shoup directed the combined forces of Hays' 1/8 and Schoettel's 3/ 2 against the "re-entrant" strongpoints . 44 the end . Hays' Marines had been attacking this complex ever since thei r bloody landing on the morning o f D+l .
Bombing ship hitting own troops! " At the end, it was the shee r courage of the survivors that got The combined forces of Major s Crowe and Ruud on Red Beac h Three were full of fight and ha d plenty of weapons . But their left flank was flush against three larg e Japanese bunkers, each mutuall y supporting, and seemingly unassail able . The stubby Burns-Philp commercial pier, slightly to the east of th e main pier, became a bloody "no man's land" as the forces fought fo r its possession . Learning from th e mistakes of D-Day, Crowe insure d that his one surviving Sherman tan k was always accompanied by infantry .
Suddenly, two of the thre e emplacements were overrun . The massive bombproof shelter , however, was still lethal . Improvised flanking attacks were shot to pieces be fore they could gather momentum . The only solution was to somehow gain the top of the sand-covered moun d and drop explosives or thermit e grenades down the air vents to force the defenders outside . This tough as signment went to Major Chamberli n and a squad of combat engineers un der First Lieutenant Alexander Bonny man . While riflemen and machine gunners opened a rain of fire agains t the strongpoint's firing ports, thi s small band raced across the sands and up the steep slope .
Across the Reef: The Marine Assault of Tarawa by Col. Joseph H. Alexander USMC-R