The Battle of Tarawa was a World War II American offensive in the central Pacific region against Japan. It was the first offensive carried out by the US military in the region. The offensive bore a codename Operation Galvanic.
In 72 hours of fighting – between November 20 and November 23, 1943 almost 6,000 soldiers, both Japanese and American died on the island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll, which is part of the Gilbert Islands. The Japanese deserve major props for the Battle of Tarawa because they were outnumbered 4 to 1 (18,000 Americans attacked 4,500 Japanese) and out-machined, but fought bravely almost to the last man – after all was said and done, all but 17 Japanese soldiers had died defending the island.
Video below was filmed after the fights had stopped and shows how deadly the Battle of Tarawa was. It’s a black and white, poor quality video, but that only adds to its authenticity:
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