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miércoles, 28 de septiembre de 2011

WWII Photography [Pacific Front]

http://www.theatlantic.com/

From late 1942 until early 1945, Allied forces in the Pacific Theater took the war to the Japanese across vast ocean battlefields and on tiny island beaches. By the end of 1942, the Japanese Empire had expanded to its farthest extent, with soldiers occupying or attacking positions from India to Alaska and on islands across the South Pacific. The U.S. Navy, under Admiral Chester Nimitz, adopted a strategy of "island-hopping", rather than attacking Japan's Imperial Navy in force. The goal was to capture and control strategic islands along a path toward the Japanese home islands, bringing U.S. bombers within range, and preparing for a possible invasion. Japanese soldiers fought the island landings fiercely, killing many allied soldiers, sometimes attacking suicidally in desperate last-ditch attacks. At sea, Japanese submarine, bomber and kamikaze attacks took a heavy toll on the U.S. fleet, but they were unable to halt the island-by-island advance. By early 1945, leapfrogging U.S. forces had advanced as far as Iwo Jima and Okinawa, within 340 miles of mainland Japan, at a great cost to both sides. On Okinawa alone, during 82 days of fighting, approximately 100,000 Japanese troops and 12,510 Americans were killed, and somewhere between 42,000 and 150,000 Okinawan civilians died as well. At this point, U.S. forces were nearing their position for the next stage of their offensive against the Empire of Japan. (This entry is Part 15 of a weekly 20-part retrospective of World War II

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Four Japanese transports, hit by both U.S. surface vessels and aircraft, beached and burning at Tassafaronga, west of positions on Guadalcanal, on November 16, 1942. They were part of the huge force of auxiliary and combat vessels the enemy attempted to bring down from the north on November 13th and 14th. Only these four reached Guadalcanal. They were completely destroyed by aircraft, artillery and surface vessel guns.(AP Photo) 

2
Following in the cover of a tank, American infantrymen secure an area on Bougainville, Solomon Islands, in March 1944, after Japanese forces infiltrated their lines during the night. (AP Photo) # 

3
Torpedoed Japanese destroyer Yamakaze, photographed through periscope of USS Nautilus, 25 June 1942. The Yamakaze sank within five minutes of being struck, there were no survivors. (AP Photo/U.S. Navy) # 

4
American reconnaissance patrol into the dense jungles of New Guinea, on December 18, 1942. Lt. Philip Winson had lost one of his boots while building a raft and he made a make-shift boot out of part of a ground sheet and straps from a pack. (AP Photo/Ed Widdis) # 

5
Japanese soldiers killed while manning a mortar on the beach are shown partially buried in the sand at Guadalcanal on the Solomon Islands following attack by U.S. Marines in August 1942. (AP Photo) # 

6
A helmeted Australian soldier, rifle in hand, looks out over a typical New Guinea landscape in the vicinity of Milne Bay on October 31, 1942, where an earlier Japanese attempt at invasion was defeated by the Australian defenders. (AP Photo) # 

7
Japanese bomber planes sweep in very low for an attack on U.S. warships and transporters, on September 25, 1942, at an unknown location in the Pacific Ocean. (AP Photo) # 

8
On August 24, 1942, while operating off the coast of the Solomon Islands, the USS Enterprise suffered heavy attacks by Japanese bombers. Several direct hits on the flight deck killed 74 men; the photographer of this picture was reportedly among the dead.(AP Photo) # 

9
A breeches buoy is put into service to transfer from a U.S. destroyer to a cruiser survivors of a ship, November 14, 1942 which had been sunk in naval action against the Japanese off the Santa Cruz Islands in the South pacific on October 26. The American Navy turned back the Japanese in the battle but lost an aircraft carrier and a destroyer. (AP Photo) # 

These Japanese prisoners were among those captured by U.S. forces on Guadalcanal Island in the Solomon Islands, shown November 5, 1942. (AP Photo) # 

Japanese-held Wake Island under attack by U.S. carrier-based planes in November 1943. (AP Photo) # 

Crouching low, U.S. Marines sprint across a beach on Tarawa Island to take the Japanese airport on December 2, 1943. (AP Photo) # 

Secondary batteries of an American cruiser formed this pattern of smoke rings as guns from the warship blasted at the Japanese on Makin Island in the Gilberts before U.S. forces invaded the atoll on November 20, 1943. (AP Photo) # 

Troops of the 165th infantry, New York's former "Fighting 69th" advance on Butaritari Beach, Makin Atoll, which already was blazing from naval bombardment which preceded on November 20, 1943. The American forces seized the Gilbert Island Atoll from the Japanese.(AP Photo) # 

Sprawled bodies of American soldiers on the beach of Tarawa atoll testify to the ferocity of the battle for this stretch of sand during the U.S. invasion of the Gilbert Islands, in late November 1943. During the 3-day Battle of Tarawa, some 1,000 U.S. Marines died, and another 687 U.S. Navy sailors lost their lives when the USS Liscome Bay was sunk by a Japanese torpedo. (AP Photo) # 

U.S. Marines are seen as they advance against Japanese positions during the invasion at Tarawa atoll, Gilbert Islands, in this late November 1943 photo. Of the nearly 5,000 Japanese soldiers and workers on the island, only 146 were captured, the rest were killed.(AP Photo) # 

Infantrymen of Company "I" await the word to advance in pursuit of retreating Japanese forces on the Vella Lavella Island Front, in the Solomon Islands, on September 13, 1943. (U.S. Army) # 

Two of twelve U.S. A-20 Havoc light bombers on a mission against Kokas, Indonesia in July of 1943. The lower bomber was hit by anti-aircraft fire after dropping its bombs, and plunged into the sea, killing both crew members. (USAF) # 

Small Japanese craft flee from larger vessels during an American aerial attack on Tonolei Harbor, Japanese base on Bougainville Island, in the Central Solomon Islands on October 9, 1943. (AP Photo/U.S. Navy) # 

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