Amphibious warfare came of age in the forceful seizure of Betio Island, Tarawa Atoll, Gilbert Islands, by U.S. Marines during 20-24 November 1943-50 years ago.
Few battles have ever matched Tarawa's concentrated violence at point-blank range in such a compressed period of time. Six thousand Japanese and Americans were killed in 76 hours within an area smaller than New York's Central Park. The Tarawa assault had a significant impact on American strategy in the Pacific, the national psyche, and the institution known as the Navy-Marine Corps team. Some of Tarawa's legacies, both positive and negative, persist today. Read the entire article.