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Tonight on war sports.
It was a Pacific island the Japanese.
The -- was heavily -- It was going to be there.
What is winning.
The lessons learned it bloody -- That's next on war stories.
Good evening I'm Oliver North and -- at the national museum of the Pacific war here in Fredericksburg Texas.
Welcome to war stories.
They called it bloody -- that Gibraltar of the Pacific.
A legendary battle during World War II with the cost the lives of nearly 6000.
Combatants in this -- 76 hours.
How could so much blood be shed over how the size of New York's -- -- Japanese commander -- she -- sake.
-- that would weapons like this artillery -- and that tank he could hold our war against the million Americans for a hundred years.
We proved them wrong.
One survivor said that every participant became a hero in spite of themselves.
The gruesome images of death from this tiny island -- our nation and forever change the way Americans look at the realities of war.
This is the story of 121000.
Courageous Marines and sailors who wouldn't accept defeat in capturing -- -- From a determinant.
-- surrender it was not an option.
American was waging war.
From north after the allies were battling -- towards us the first stop.
You can't bring your.
In the Pacific.
America was first.
Question -- of Japanese.
The decisive victory the battle between June of 42.
But the Japanese permanently on the defense.
Eight months later US forces won the hard fought battle of -- It was another triumph leading to the -- newest thing.
The central Pacific.
Under the direction of admiral Chester Nimitz -- first steppingstone to this new -- -- in strategy with a features of sorrow in the Gilbert Iowa.
Crude -- ferocious tenacious enemy we were -- in fact.
It wasn't until -- although we did and it battles up to that.
America realize it's gonna take more.
What we fall.
Think this and this is colonel John Ridley is the director of the marine history and museum's division and the holder of the navy cross.
Where -- these counsel for.
It became the winning strategy in the war.
Directly -- Japan establish air bases from which eventually we can.
Take the war very major way.
The air war to Japan for the Japanese.
But there -- -- represented there furthest outposts.
Military historian and retired marine colonel Joseph Alexander wrote but most savage and the three days it tomorrow.
You go over balance -- the possessions of the British have been for fifty years before the war started.
Japanese came in on Tuesday after Pearl Harbor swept throughout the -- cherries weigh -- your residual forces and for possession.
It gave them.
-- -- -- Gilbert islands are made up of sixteen capsules the most important was -- Whose main island was -- it was barely two miles long and more than 3000 miles from Tokyo.
It was small flat.
Small sand dunes.
A number of palm trees no hills no mountains OK -- the water table was very high -- good hearted dig into it.
-- it was a code name.
Carroll was -- Our ratio was small island within our war at -- for the objective airfield -- The task of trying to -- about a Japanese -- would fall to the second marine division that it just come off six months of brutal jungle fighting.
Many of us had malaria.
And some still had problem homeless that would call -- first -- The -- did you glance what.
So many had to recover in the in the hospitals in in in music.
You lad was only 22 but already -- combat veteran of Guadalcanal by the time he reached Wellington New Zealand.
Hailing from Spokane Washington -- was a former high school right coaching.
He signed up for the marine reserves right after graduation.
The division was taken back from Guadalcanal through New Zealand Wellington -- -- about as well trained.
It was great we didn't get -- -- ended training heavy until they wanted to give us give -- chance to rest one.
But we then did a lot of climbing steep -- -- I volunteered to go on to the assault engineers.
Training alongside lab was -- need half of Portland Oregon.
Meanwhile was only seventeen when he convinced his parents to let him join the Marine Corps reserves in 1941.
Me -- was called to duty to set up a marine camp at Pearl Harbor.
He's only been there a month for the Japanese attack.
My primary job was the election but the way.
Played also a little bit on the -- -- or diesel fuel listening to.
And then you have missed if -- just like cigarette lighter and when you first let me -- -- golf and compression or she's.
-- it says the company commander I was they were thick like.
-- -- and do a lot of training out there.
Michael Ryan grew up an orphanage in leavenworth Kansas after being pulled up with some news service but I've also found himself the club now.
Nicknamed the old me.
Ryan was when he set the time he reached New Zealand and commander of company -- The job is to train these 200 plus Marines and get ready to it and you don't even which -- Different.
But this point in time how many of those tournaments and you guys -- from here it's been.
Well I would say about.
Over do so that we we voted for him.
We lost people.
World health care thing they have to be replaced.
-- -- bridge was one of those replacements.
I was very very I just turned 22 and I've never been away from home -- my life.
Fresh out of the University of South Dakota little -- finished college in three years.
-- was quickly recruited by the Marines to attend their officers training school at Quantico Virginia.
I was the youngest officers in the but I have them in my -- -- a lot younger than him 78.
We trained like bad.
And New Zealand.
On November 1 194323000.
Men of the second marine division boarded ships including the -- the -- and the silent.
The men have no idea where there were going -- how long they'd be away they only knew they were going to rehearse for a large and.
Previous assault somewhere in the Pacific.
Amphibious operations are so complicated that it's almost impossible.
Doing successfully without -- rehearsal full scale rehearsal maybe a couple of we were out of food -- the body for a quick landing maneuver.
Because they had never have all the -- together.
-- -- We knew that we were -- Whatever I'm very close.
And it turned you know I had never heard of Harlem before.
They broke out to be the -- and and now justice -- -- this is the name of that place -- code named Allen each day we get had schooling.
Well we were to do we were going to decide you quarter jobs were but the time -- Word was after the naval bombardment.
There will probably be nothing left and we would just be walking across Landon walker -- yeah.
We'd be lucky if we fired -- shot.
How American forces take on Japan's imperial Marines were said to be.
The best so Joe's got.
Most Americans have seen US government propaganda films like things.
-- -- -- -- often depicted the Japanese small ignorant -- -- but that's not who was waiting for them horrible.
Defending Terrell was a -- force.
Japanese 3% to special label -- some people call -- Japanese Marines.
-- the best troops -- in one place at one time.
Eric Campbell is the author of bloody tomorrow.
In fact one of the -- -- -- here.
-- didn't trainer.
Thoughtful and something.
That was selected -- that are physical prowess.
On the Marines of the biggest fan to have some real resolve.
They were adept at -- fighting there a lot of spirit.
The commander in charge of defending -- is this man.
49 year old rear admiral key issue the sake.
Son of a farmer and fertilizer -- she the second -- served as a naval attache to the imperial family.
-- -- Attributed to him that it would take.
A million Marines a hundred years to capture -- Good defensive players motivated troops.
He was he was genuine threat to us and radiant as one of the forward.
That's commanders that the US Marines are reports.
The amphibious assault landing -- -- was a joint navy Marine Corps operation.
Delivers -- task force delivers Marines.
Some chores or some -- Naval guns and carrier aviation.
A little bit lighter once -- shore safely.
Ready to go in good order of the greats like I've got it I'll take -- from here thank you very much.
-- handsome Harry hill and navy command his marine counterpart commanding the second division was major general Julian C Smith.
The reserve man.
Very very confident all three respective senior officers.
Smith relied heavily on 38 year old -- David who.
This job was the mastermind the assault on how and when to attack the Japanese the first yet to figure out how many there -- And he did it in an unusual way.
They found out how many men were depending.
And we between there really.
These small structures built over the water -- here in this aerial photographs are latrines.
And it accounts of -- politics and he figured an officer would have policy to himself with the troops would probably after picture of me before about the figure four point to a -- it.
And they came up with a total count of about 4400.
People and -- They were off by about six -- invading.
Tara wall is a daunting challenge -- was surrounded by a treacherous coral -- that extended -- approximately a thousand dollars.
The heat of the battle plan was counting on 125.
Known as -- which could clear the -- regardless of the time.
They've been around for a few weeks and they wouldn't count out the read that -- -- -- went over.
The remaining troops landed and -- -- relying on returning LB teams to transport them and if they got stuck on the week.
But the Japanese have turned the entire island into a fortress.
What are they put in power from the.
-- Brought in a lot of concrete.
Cut down a lot of coconut trees.
But in some of -- -- -- coffee you can imagine.
Begins for comedians.
-- -- -- -- I -- -- The seawall.
All the way around corporate.
I'm fourth behind.
They knew that it was loaded where they could see the -- or knew it was -- Solvent -- -- in the war.
So all the big guns and assurance facility antiaircraft.
Guns protecting -- field.
And they knew about god how many troops -- there aren't.
-- -- -- minus one both sides were locked and loaded aboard the amphibious ships the Marines gathered to pray for the day before.
We won in two car -- They had.
-- service for everybody.
They had them.
The various places on the ship because of so many people he could get everybody wants service.
Well -- -- I want to.
Make sure that all my remarks were in the right place.
And -- Chester -- told his supporters to get -- -- and get the hell out that was the plan that tower but the Japanese had a different idea.
They were dug in.
And win the fight to the death.
Just before dawn on November 20 1943.
After breakfast and -- -- the second marine division watched as -- was pummeled -- -- from battleships.
Another 900 tons of -- At the time this was the greatest concentration of naval gunfire and -- bombardment in the history of warfare the pounding continues for three out.
The shells -- -- -- streaking ripped through this guy on the islands and all the explosions and the whole place was covered the cloud of dust and the carrier -- -- across the island so we started it was a tropical paradise is when we finished appointment restaurant that just didn't seem possible.
Place on the morning.
These tests -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Japanese looked up saw themselves around.
There's a lot of -- -- They knew that when I walk away.
Source state and have to fight.
-- look quite early for the simple thing to do for asylum was.
This would this have.
Staff sergeant Norman -- from Worcester Massachusetts.
Had been a marine for five years by the time he embarked for Carla as a combat cameramen.
Homes and buildings to block the.
-- about it and that's -- good.
No one had ever photographed.
And fitness plan.
Well fortified and listen you know there's no reason for anything that happened to anybody -- just -- -- -- and do what your goals and nobody's coming.
What went through your mind you saw that in person.
And life -- all of them.
-- her relative to get across.
After the naval bombardments -- planet 5000 Marines land in three waves on the north side of the island to the lagoon.
Under red beach is 12 and three.
-- -- -- -- -- -- were divided by a long pier the jetted out to the edge of the re.
There was some confusion.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- But some of the M this.
And by -- -- we re playing.
First second and third wave world -- When I when -- my -- dragon.
What we have the -- good -- to -- -- over we were hit by machine gunfire it's real tough way to approach.
Came through them drive wasn't.
Don't -- -- my backpack.
Let me talk a little.
It was really quite devastating.
Collection and aircraft guns and their resilience and almost Marines.
By volume it's going to be -- -- over number two on ones across a lot of departures.
It was evident the naval bombardment has done little -- we should decide he's firmly -- troops.
Enabled on it's not particular world news conference and come -- You know from the -- from the -- and some of the strip off the top recruits and often to the chips on the other side.
You look over the edge of the -- of that -- but wouldn't look like the -- it right in front of my boat.
Was on fire.
All the Marines -- fall to.
Climbed up on.
Absolutely it's the smoke to the beach and their only their.
I thought a few seconds.
Before they fell into the water fund troops -- war.
Well only got out it was up to here you can't loan.
You know you -- to you waited -- All of the men who have gone -- ahead of us.
-- -- sort of -- a lot of points.
-- -- -- We'll.
Capable team target.
But even so social that -- They said it was like to cook and of hell trying to wade under the beach it was -- taking tomorrow would be a very bloody affair.
Next CL major Mike Bryan.
Would -- his or from.
It's the victory.
It took some of the Marines seven hours that first -- to -- under the feet.
And we finally got.
There were met by furious and -- gunfire from 500 pillbox that blanketed the it's seeing the all the naval bombardment has done.
-- to push the single.
That the future role -- first.
-- wall per barrel.
It's where men wounded.
We had the dead in the water we had been wounded that -- in the water.
We had been wounded on the beaches we couldn't get to so.
Anyway if you looked so -- look.
And listen longer -- and who -- Marines floating in the water at the beach.
It's huge as a.
This fit for the guys about it looking all.
-- couple of -- world.
And they all came after -- miles -- -- the division commander major general drew Smith was waiting aboard the flagship Merrill.
He waited for the all the -- I've read some states but communications were down.
-- tractors and you folks.
Under the women's long columns of point two.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- The flash -- evening the first day workforce at times oriented.
Units for disorganized computers were down the wars the old dude somewhere else couldn't find her students that live.
But at times pictures like Ryan made sure -- lost almost a third of -- company.
Late afternoon it proves that -- effectively the thing.
You let them know do is acting as of late in the afternoon.
Never thought he killed.
Other people convince.
Drips and drabs from the post reform opponent reformists and hard to storm the first for the to the west and -- they landed.
And went to went to work.
-- no battalion commander and site major Ryan stepped up the task and organized a group of Marines from five different times.
They came to -- -- Reinsdorf and some -- the Kim -- spirit of the Marines police who sees the western.
And between us.
Lot of progress.
For small rag tag group of -- orphans by nightfall and -- of.
15100 Marines were either dead wounded or missing.
The ones are made at the beach were hunkered down anticipate the -- Japanese counterattack.
But then the Japanese commander made a fatal mistake.
I've often thought ball so -- so -- I'll and a sharp -- marine spotted him and alerted -- -- -- -- It was a cluster look like officers wolf they've responded as a hard sell more.
-- -- over top of the troops any.
-- She was hockey history just this general -- operations officer everyone up.
We didn't know.
Probably biggest turning point because he was -- There was no future -- attack.
First we were so wonderful.
First lieutenant Steenland and his rifle platoon from big companies.
Circled offshore for over 24 hours before they got to signal to land.
You can use some -- -- Didn't get the final word where we're gonna land fill our tank commander.
Came by and his LC PP.
To -- -- student.
Debt and that we'll see -- that when that -- You're -- protesting.
Reported that he can write to him -- -- wire trampled by the water and got.
-- to -- with them and what do you tell us c'mon this go.
Couple times that -- and thing I want to play action going and ultimately we -- Viewers to go forward those.
Well it turns out one -- fun.
It was there that -- Ladd got more help but ultimately saved his life and it would come from a very familiar face.
Or maybe -- -- from the USS sure took it upon themselves to try to rescue.
Lead over his oldest navy lieutenant very.
-- -- option grant was.
And if so -- lieutenant number it's.
Of course it was a great movie actors stage actor radio the Albert Eddie Albert focusing.
Wounded -- Marines.
Clinging to life.
Eddie Albert had given up Hollywood to be in the thick of battle in World War II.
We could've served as a figurehead.
Returning movies and gone around until tomorrow he went to officers candidates who commission and went to tech transfer it was a -- us.
The Marines tell me that you in a boat just like that -- around and rescued all kinds of wounded Marines.
And brought them back out to these ships so they could be treated.
About 26 trips.
-- that's possible.
There's nothing great about you hear the guy you.
You held everybody entered pictured.
How does Eddie Albert wanted to be remembered.
-- -- -- -- -- -- shoulder.
At the end of the battle with the stars and stripes fly high over -- -- stay with us for more war stories.
As the battle entered its third day of fighting the Marines were succeeding.
In their yard by yard struggled to take -- was -- -- -- 1313.
Against an -- was nearly invisible.
Almost never saw him.
They were in the bunkers.
They -- firing -- view and you were firing at them.
They were always didn't want to -- Whose only goal this blog -- Got pictures and -- Japanese and find.
-- made by staff sergeant Norman.
Pictures that give a close up eyewitness view of the deadly struggle on the Carl.
And eastern end of the island engineer Harry off in his -- -- -- -- the mission of taking out a large font.
Bill would nearly a hundred Japanese defenders.
You're watching the actual -- very often they police assault on the ball.
We tried to get up there a couple.
He didn't carry much weight but that place.
He would slip and fall.
Use up all the fuel right.
Get to the after three days of watching -- you know -- value that comes -- party office.
People didn't know took charge of what was later dubbed operation forlorn hope.
They came up with a and made it work and a signal to the Marines providing coverage.
And went up.
Clearly it had to -- down his camera and join the fight -- all sides.
They -- done wrong with the way.
Playing full blown up so -- only their wounds.
If that removes.
We'll be much left -- Thirteen of the 21 men and operation forlorn hope -- -- One of them was their unknown.
Nobody knew we -- -- -- -- fighting -- only came back.
Veteran who assists and that is something.
Look at this -- -- and Alexander going.
33 year old lieutenant Alexander -- Knoxville Tennessee was posthumously awarded the medal of -- After the bunker battle -- me off wandered off from much needed rest it was then that he found a welcome surprise.
We sort of all receded to some place.
For a moment when I looked around I was in -- -- see you broken glass.
What is this and and then I thought well this looks like beer bottles and I saw a label.
Gee I wonder if there's.
Some refreshments here.
De Tokyo receive this last -- Our weapons have been destroyed from now on every woman's attempt in the final -- -- Japan exist for 101000.
-- Weapons -- -- you know.
And we get year old fighting.
Shooting them collapse would surrender not an option many of the surviving Japanese defenders killed themselves.
In many cases.
Japanese privates -- look at a bunker alone with the American troops all around.
With -- -- Clayton.
And then because she -- But told the trigger or.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- Major general -- Smith announced that could -- -- Shortly after 1 PM on November 23.
Roughly 76 hours after the Marines -- hit the -- -- -- -- And now message that all morning.
-- -- You know this -- And the following day American and British flags were raised over -- Don't know why -- Some figured up the palm tree and hook up something political.
No accumulation of food.
This was officially -- the battle -- over.
All the people who put them.
-- But there was still the grim task of burying the dead.
-- where you -- you you know hand here and -- there a leg there.
That they are selling everything about it starts well you know who.
It's strange smells incredible.
-- admiral -- toward the island on November 24 he -- it was the first time he smelled death.
After 76 and arms and 6000 dead man.
-- I am very -- island -- corner.
An area that was smaller than our pentagon and has parkinson's.
The loss of life and -- would shock the nation.
What lessons would be learned from this savage battle.
-- war stories.
Few more than a hundred to -- in slave laborers were.
-- gave themselves up.
One group who were captured.
-- the -- -- in the so that they could hide anything.
Very quickly divested.
Some of the guys have a.
Like that at all consistency right.
And more than a thousand Marines were killed.
It was a very high priced -- -- in terms of square yards for a life bloodiest.
After nearly 76 hours no sleep no food and very little water to survivors on -- while we're exhausted.
First thing they did -- to strip off -- clothes jump into the water.
And scrub down.
-- -- -- -- It -- with -- Very short time and he.
And I think everybody laid down.
I kept having a nightmare was mine.
Somebody was standing over with a bayonet -- A couple of fellows.
Near me -- Pretty weird thoughts medical officer and to.
Bloomberg -- that's terrible here to go one of those little -- to get on airplanes.
Whiskey you know little tiny bottles.
He gave -- something -- -- this.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Othello Henderson with a jacket golden.
Or maybe even -- money.
-- Finally -- got -- that took the -- and the -- -- You get nominated.
For the navy cross the nation's second war.
And certification -- affect you basically in charge.
Of the -- not because I want to.
Because we're -- others.
-- there three medals of honor awarded posthumously for heroism.
To lieutenant Alexander Bonnie.
Staff sergeant William board of and first lieutenant William -- -- us a fourth was given to a survivor and the battles mastermind.
Colonel David -- Back in Washington president Roosevelt -- got his first look at the devastation and Tarlow.
Captured -- combat cameramen like Norman hatch.
After all was officially described as the most ferocious fight the Marines have ever been in.
-- -- On fire and I'm learning a -- -- -- Mr.
-- Her realistic.
-- it was up to the present in the states whether or not the least.
Roosevelt and the -- so defections.
So what's gonna cost quite a way all the way back across the Pacific to Tokyo.
We'll covered up -- and keep it isn't we have like casualties.
FDR decided to release the footage that was later made into the 1944.
Academy Award winning documentary.
With the Marines at -- The public was shocked and horrified by what they saw war bond sales increased dramatically.
But -- recruitment drive -- 35%.
The people know it's going to be a rough road all the way across its.
Everything about our it was the first time.
We pay for watch some lessons -- learned and what.
We have moments when ashore after the -- He was astounded that all of these facilities seem to be -- damaged in spite of the three hour bombardment and ask architects assist.
If you could do him -- and all of the fortifications.
An apple and it's -- staff -- -- back to Hawaii they felt.
Exact replicas of these Japanese defenses and every ship that went to the western Pacific thereafter to -- -- obvious pass the course of blowing up.
He's saying Carol our defenses for damage from -- -- Yours is the generation.
-- the Great Depression came through it.
Won the war in both.
And change this -- for the good I think we're humbled by the time.
-- we realize we look back get in and just consider ourselves to be just be fortunate lives.
Not forget it.
It may be the the real heroism.
Of those -- And you should not forget.
-- -- -- -- We had what -- you're on the right track.
We were going to.
I'm -- north and you're watching war stories on the Fox News -- stay with us.
The bloody battle of Tarlow lasted only 76 hours within that time nearly everything that could go wrong did.
Despite horrendous losses.
Allen was one principally because sergeants and junior officers and rallied small groups of exhausted Marines would sheer will and determination.
Proved that even the most heavily fortified.
Wouldn't hold them back.
Theirs was a war story.
It deserves to.
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