World War 2


Marines Pinned Down at the Edge of a Lagoon Fight Back 8,000 Japanese Troops

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Marines Pinned Down at the Edge of a Lagoon Fight Back 8,000 Japanese Troops

For the Marines pinned down during the battle to take back Palau, things seemed hopeless. However, for any ardent student of history, you know the Marines came out victorious. The conditions during the Pacific Campaigns were brutal, but these Marines persevered and lived to fight another day.

Setting the Stage

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While Japan’s early successes saw massive swaths of land fall into their hands, that time was over.

The Pacific Campaigns saw the Marines and Army cut through many of the small islands Japan had taken for itself. This came to a head after the capture of Saipan. The main island the Marines pinned down in this newsreel is capturing is Peleilu, located in the Palau Islands.

Amphibious Assault

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It is incredible the organization and coordination the Marines showed at Peleilu.

Before the Japanese forces had the Marines pinned down ships and air power concentrated their efforts. This bombardment allowed for a softening of hard targets to establish a beachhead.

Raining Fire

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Japan wasn’t ready to let go of Peleilu, but the Marines were there to take it.

Both sides fought furiously, exchanging gunfire and shells across the turbulent waters. Landing craft and amphibious armor were being prepped for the main assault.

Taking the Shore

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Amphibious tanks aren’t nearly as protected as their heavier counterparts but can traverse waters.

Light amphibious tanks and landing craft let the Marines pour into the beach. However, they would soon face complications.

Facing Fire

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These men are facing insurmountable odds, but they’ll persevere.

The Marines pinned down in this footage drew the ire of over 8,000 Japanese troops. The offensive would stall out initially near a lagoon.

Sitting Ducks

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8,000 Japanese troops were waiting for the Marines at Peleilu.

For a brief moment, all seemed lost with the Marines pinned down. However, the 1st Marine Division wouldn’t be kept in place for too long.

Pushing Back

While the Marines came under fire, it didn’t take long to turn the tide.

Mortar fire and artillery helped to turn the tide of battle. Marines were ready for a fight, and they were certainly going to give it to the Japanese to help liberate the Phillippines.

Furious Attacks

The Marines came with air support and naval bombardment, fresh off of Saipan.

Marines gave it their all, firing off every weapon they had ashore. While the Marines pinned down at the start of the battle found themselves in an unlucky position, that would change.

Hell on Earth

The tree lines hid danger, but at this point in the war the Marines were ready.

The island of Peleilu erupted into a pitched battle. The previous battle at Saipan was devastating, but nothing like that would happen here on Peleilu.

Secure and Hold

Fighting was fierce, but the Marines were able to take an air strip among other facilities.

While the Marines pinned down at the start of this battle faced a nasty situation, things were heading their way. The Japanese defenders were being pushed back in the face of overwhelming firepower. While both sides took heavy casualties, the Marines were able to take and secure ground.

A Heavy Price

Around 2,000 Marines would lose their lives at Peleilu.

Not all of those who stormed the beach would be so lucky as to fight another day. For some of the Marines pinned down, grievous injuries or death were in the cards.

Watch the Full Video

Japan suffered incredible casualties in the battle with the defenders almost being killed to the last man.

If you would like to take a look back in history, you can view our video here. This astounding footage acts as a window into the largest war mankind has ever seen.

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