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  Home > Battles, Weapons & Spy DVDs >

U.S. Marines Attack! Wold War 2 Pacific Battles
Marines raise the American flag atop Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima
Still photos taken from the films
U.S. Marines Attack!
World War 2 Pacific Battles
Four Digitally Restored Videos
With the Marines at Tarawa
The Battle for the Marianas
To the Shores of Iwo Jima

Japanese Small Arms

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U.S. Marines Attack! World War 2 Pacific Battles DVD

Four Videos, digitally restored

* With the Marines at Tarawa (18:00, Color, 1944) Restored Color. The Battle of Tarawa was fought from November 20 to November 23, 1943 in the Gilbert Islands. Nearly 6,400 Japanese, Koreans, and Americans died in the fighting, mostly on the tiny atoll of Betio. The prize was an airfield that could be used to command a vast sector of the Pacific . It was the first time that the US faced serious Japanese opposition to an amphibious landing. The Japanese worked feverishly for a year to fortify the island. Fourteen coastal defense guns, including four 8-inchers, were buried in concrete bunkers. 3,000 elite Japanese Marines formed the garrison. The American invasion force was the largest yet in the Pacific, consisting of 17 aircraft carriers 12 battleships, 8 heavy cruisers, 4 light cruisers, 66 destroyers, and 36 transport ships. The assault force was the 2nd Marine Division and elements Army's 27th Infantry Division, 35,000 troops in all. The hard fought battle was a costly learning experience for the US Forces. Most of the Higgins assault boats were stranded on a reef, forcing Marines to wade ashore under heavy machine gun fire. The three days of intense fighting that followed are recorded here in vivid color.

* The Battle for the Marianas (1944, B&W, 20:00) The Marianas had tremendous strategic importance as a bases for long range B-29 attacks against the Japanese home Islands, for air support for the up coming invasion of the Philippines, and as a staging area for the planned invasion of Japan. Saipan was taken by the 2nd & 4th Marine Divisions and 27th Infantry Division in a battle lasting from from 15 June–9 July 1944. Neighboring Tinian fell to the 2nd & 4th in fighting from July 24th-August 1st 1944. 3rd Marine Division, 1st Provisional Marine Brigade & the 77th Infantry Division took Guam in fighting from 21 July – 10 August 1944. The Japanese defended these islands fiercely, almost to the last man. While giving a good strategic overview of the campaign, this film focuses on the battle for Saipan, the initial landing point and lynchpin for the the rest of the campaign. 71,000 Americans took on 31,000 well entrenched Japanese. The fighting on Saipan differed from jungle fighting on Guadalcanal. Much of the southern part island is open country, suitable for tanks, but heavily fortified ridges ran the length of the island, where defenders had to be rooted out, yard by yard –vividly recorded here by Marine combat cameramen. Highlights include rare Pacific footage of close air support by P-47 thunderbolts and film shot from the inside of a tank during combat. By the end of the battle, 3,426 Americans had died, with another 10,364 wounded. Japanese losses were staggering: 24,000 killed, an additional 5,000 by suicide & only 821 prisoners.

* To the Shores of Iwo Jima (1945, Color, 20:00) Restored Color “The toughest 26 Days in Marine Corps history.” The Japanese spent 20 years turning the 8 square mile rock of Iwo Jima into “The Gibraltar of the Pacific” honeycombed with miles of deep tunnels, pill boxes, block houses and gun emplacements sheltered in galleries dug deep into Mount Suribachi. Located roughly half way between the Marianas & Japan, Iwo was a valuable piece of real estate for a number of reasons. 1) The Japanese were using it as an airbase for costly raids on B-29 bases in the Marianas. 2) Once seized, it could be used as an emergency strip for landing crippled B-29s who otherwise couldn’t make it home 3) The airstrip was close enough to Japan to allow long range P-51 fighters to escort B-29s round trip & attack target of opportunity in Southern Japan. Starting on June 15, 1944, the US Army Air Force and US Navy bombed and shelled the island for nine months,but when Marines of the 3rd, 4th & 5th Divisions landed on February 15th, Japanese defenses were largely intact, pouring withering fire on the beaches. What followed was what one Marine described as “26 days in Hell.” 70,000 US Marines & Navy Seabees faced off against 22,000 dug in Japanese, who rarely surrendered or retreated. Of the 22,060 Japanese soldiers entrenched on the island, 18,844 died either from fighting or by ritual suicide. Only 216 were captured during the course of battle. The Marines suffered 6,821 killed and 19,217 wounded.

* Enemy Weapons – Japanese (1944, B&W, 16:00) This fascinating film, produced during World War 2 by the Signal Corps, examines small arms used by Japanese forces commonly encountered by Marines in the Pacific Theater: the Arisaka Model 38 .25 cal & Model 99 .303 rifles, the Swiss designed Solothurn Type 100 sub-machine gun, the Type 89 grenade launcher, and the Nambu Model 1922 6.5mm Light & Model 92 7.7mm Heavy machine-guns. Each weapon is shown and described, followed by field stripping. The Nambus are particularly interesting.

To the Shores of Iwo Jima (Restored Color 1945)

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