Amphibious Operations

Guam, Marianas Islands June 1944

On December 10, 1941, the 400-man garrison on Guam was overwhelmed by 5,000 Naval Marines of the Imperial Japanese Navy in a few hours of fighting. Guam would not be the scene of fighting again until 1944.

By that time, the US Pacific Fleet had made good their losses at Pearl Harbor and even their losses in the Solomons. It is testimony to American industry that while landings were made in Normandy, another fleet was anchored off Guam in the Marianas.

Eniwetok, Marshall Islands February 18-23, 1944

The campaign in the Marshalls was a necessary stepping stone in the battle for the Central Pacific. Eniwetok was a central target, with 3,500 Japanese and Korean defenders. Landings were made on February 18, 1944.

The Americans moved with air, sea and land coordination, and used the tactics they developed under fire at Tarawa. Battleships moved to within 1,500 yards of the shore to fire on Japanese positions. A combined force of US Army and US Marines landed and began moving behind massed artillery barrages.

Dieppe August 19, 1942

The crushing defeats the Allies suffered since 1939 were beginning to take their toll on Allied morale. Even though the Battle of Britain had staved off German victory, little success had happened since then.

Most of occupied Europe had been under Nazi domination for at least two years. While there was no immediate threat of the Allies losing the war, the Allied command, especially the British, wanted to win a battle in order to raise morale at home and abroad.

Subscribe to Amphibious Operations