Osprey's study of the conflict between Japan and the United States during World War II (1939-1945). The island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll was defended by the elite troops of the Special Naval Landing Force, whose commander, Admiral Shibasaki, boasted that "the Americans could not take Tarawa with a million men in a hundred years." In a pioneering amphibious invasion, the Marines of the 2nd Division set out to prove him wrong, overcoming serious planning errors to fight a 76-hour battle of unprecedented savagery. The cost would be more than 3000 Marine casualties at the hands of a garrison of some 3700. The lessons learned would dispel forever any illusions that Americans had about the fighting quality of the Japanese.
About the Author
Derrick Wright's interest in World War II was stimulated by the many Luftwaffe bombing raids on his native Teesside. He is the author of Pacific Victory, Tarawa: A Hell of a Way to Die and Peleliu: To the Far Side of Hell. Married, with four daughters, he lives on the edge of the North Yorkshire Moors.
Dr Robert A. Forczyk has a PhD in International Relations and National Security from the University of Maryland and a strong background in European and Asian military history. He is currently a lieutenant colonel in the US Army Reserves and has served 18 years as an armour officer in the US 2nd and 4th Infantry Divisions and as an intelligence officer in the 29th Infantry Division (Light). The author lives in Laurel, MD.