75 years ago, US Marines waded into ‘the toughest battle in Marine Corps history’ — here are 25 photos of the brutal fight for Tarawa


«By November 23, 1943, after 76 hours of fighting, the battle for Betio was over. More than 1,000 Marines and sailors had been killed, and nearly 2,300 were wounded. Of the roughly 4,800 Japanese defenders, about 97% were thought to have been killed. Only 146 prisoners were captured — all but 17 of them Korean laborers. More casualties would come in operations on surrounding islands.»

«The capture of Tarawa knocked down the front door to the Japanese defenses in the Central Pacific,» said Nimitz, the commander in chief of the Pacific fleet.»

«Rear Adm. Harry Hill, who commanded the task force attacking Tarawa, called Betio «a little Gibraltar» and said that «only the Marines could have made such a landing.» Four Marines were awarded the Medal of Honor for their actions during the battle — three of them posthumously.»


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Battle of Tarawa


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