The Battle of Tarawa: 'One Square Mile of Hell'
Tarawa was an essential World War II stepping stone across the Pacific, held and heavily fortified by Japan. In what one combat correspondent called “the toughest battle in Marine Corps history,” U.S. Marines wrestled it away at a cost of more than 1,000 men. All but 17 of the 3,500 dug-in Japanese defenders were killed, along with nearly 1,100 Korean slave laborers. The search for the missing bodies of more than 100 Marines buried on the island continues today.
Bud Meador of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College discusses a hard-earned victory that still reverberates.