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(3/5) Pacific Lost Evidence Peleliu Episode 5 World War II

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Published on Mar 10, 2009

WORLD WAR II SUBSCRIBE TO EXCELLENT WORLD WAR II VIDEOS
Japan seized the Palau Islands, along with the rest of Micronesia, from Germany in World War I. Receiving a mandate from the League of Nations after the war, Japan established its administrative headquarters for Micronesia at Koror, the capital of the Republic of Palau today. On Peleliu Island, thirty miles south of Koror, a phosphate crushing plant was established and, by World War II, an excellent airfield had been constructed. When war came, the Palaus served as a staging area and replacement depot for Japan's forces in the Netherlands, East Indies, and New Guinea.
The battle for Peleliu Island, the Gateway to the Philippines, was the longest and one of the most hard-fought battles in the entire Central Pacific amphibious operations of World War II. In contrast to earlier combats where the Japanese had vainly attempted to annihilate the enemy on the beaches, Peleliu's defenses were organized with the main line of resistance established inland, artillery and mortar fire registered on the beaches, and defenses skillfully arranged in depth in order to sustain resistance to an attack while destroying the enemy. Although the crack Japanese troops lost the battle, their new tactics enabled them to inflict heavy losses on American Marine and Army forces and to hold out for 74 days. While some strategists have argued that the capture of Peleliu was not a necessary preliminary for the coming struggle in the Philippines, brave men bled and died in the Palaus for their beliefs and their loyalties. Peleliu marked the conclusion of the Central Pacific drive toward the Philippines. A new phase of the Pacific War was already underway.

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