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Historic Footage of Dive Bombers Obliterating a Japanese Machine Gun Nest

The T-6 Texan is an American single engined trainer aircraft used to train pilots of various countries during world war 2 and after

Historic Footage of Dive Bombers Obliterating a Japanese Machine Gun Nest

The invasion of Makin Island saw dive bombers among other vehicles raining fire on Japanese positions. The fighting lasted for four days and saw Theodore Roosevelt’s oldest son, James, commanding forces. While the war would rage for another two years, this was an important victory.

The Island Campaigns

Dive bombers
Multiple tiny islands would be battlegrounds before the Phillippines were liberated.

Air power ruled the roost when it came to the island campaigns. While dive bombers wouldn’t feature in every battle, Makin Island saw them used successfully.

Amphibious Assault

Dive bombers
While D-Day is the most famous of the amphibious assaults, the Army had years of experience by the time of Operation Overlord.

Before the dive bombers were called in, the troops had to land. This was the second time American forces would land at Makin Island, this time for good.

Rough Terrain

Dive bombers
Despite being a small island, the coast of Makin is anything but idyllic.

Compared to the landing areas of places like Normandy, Makin Island was no cakewalk. The coast was lined with jagged rocks, which made disembarking from landing craft a tough task.

Advancing Under Fire

Dive bombers
Dense jungle foliage would make for a nightmare in terms of combat terrain.

While dive bombers would help to soften hard targets, boots on the ground were needed to take objectives. Past the rocky coast were miles of dense jungle that made for nightmarish fighting conditions.

Multiple Attacks

Dive bombers
Twin landing forces made coordination difficult for the Army assault.

Part of the difficulty of the Battle of Makin was the staging. Two separate landing forces would make way their way inland, which complicated coordination and advances.

Caught Off Guard

Battle of Makin
While Japanese forces were caught unaware, their defensive positions would hinder American advances.

The Japanese defenders of Makin Island weren’t prepared for an assault, let alone one with a considerable U.S. Army presence behind it. Fighting was swift and furious but would last for days before the battle concluded.

Close Air Support

Battle of Makin
Having a good radio operator meant troops had all the fire support they needed to advance.

Eventually, the advances would stall out. An enemy machinegun nest positioned in a shipwreck along the coast was pinning men down. A radio operator makes the call for air support.

Complete Destruction

Battle of Makin
The sight of air support is always a welcome one for ground troops.

Tanks moved into position and started lighting up the machinegun nest. As if that weren’t enough a pair of dive bombers swoop from the sky and rain fire down on the Japanese position below.

Strafe and Strafe Again

Battle of Makin
After raking the position with machinegun fire, the bombers would drop some heavy ordnance right on the machinegun nest.

Multiple dive bombers would rake the enemy position with machinegun fire of their own. With nowhere to go, the machinegun nest would be silenced.

Watch the Full Video

Battle of Makin
While American forces suffered heavy losses, the Battle of Makin would see the island out of Japanese hands.

To see this incredible footage in motion, you can view it here. The many island campaigns of the Second World War are a fascinating subject. Warfare had never been conducted in such a manner, something that has held since the war’s end.

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