As 1943 drew to a close, Marines had retaken Tarawa and portions of the Solomons from the Japanese invader, but the formidable enemy bases studding the vast Pacific, bases which had been built during the preceding 25 years, were as yet untouched by our amphibious forces.
In early 1944 the first penetration of this prewar enemy territory was accomplished with the assault and occupation of Kwajalein and Majuro Atolls in the Marshall Islands. These were quickly followed by the seizure of Eniwetok Atoll. The major role in these over-all operations was undertaken by Marine units working in close coordination with elements of the Army, Navy, and Coast Guard. That they acquitted themselves with distinction is reflected in the rapidity with which they accomplished their missions. Operations in the Marshall Islands clearly indicated that Japanese bases in the Central Pacific could be by-passed. The way was now open for the neutralization of Truk and the assault on the Marianas, the next great step in the drive toward Japan.
LEMUEL C. SHEPHERD, JR.
GENERAL, U. S. MARINE CORPS
COMMANDANT OF THE MARINE CORPS
THE MARSHALLS: INCREASING THE TEMPO is the fourteenth in a series of operational monographs prepared by the Historical Branch, G-3 Division, Headquarters U. S. Marine Corps. The purpose of these monographs is to afford both the casual reader and the military student an accurate and complete account of the operations in which Marine units participated during World War II. When sufficient of these monographs have been brought to completion, they will be integrated into a final, definitive Operational History of the Marine Corps in World War II.
Army units participated in many phases of the operations in the Marshalls, but their activities are treated here in only sufficient detail to provide continuity and the proper perspective to the overall account. It is believed that Army agencies are better qualified to deal with strictly Army operations, and would prefer doing so.
Moreover, the account herein is principally concerned with Marine amphibious operations between the inclusive dates of 31 January-6 April 1944. For that reason the activities of Marine aviation in the Marshalls cannot be given in detail. Many participants in the Marshalls campaign have contributed to the preparation of this monograph, either by written comments on the preliminary drafts or by submitting to interview. To them grateful acknowledgment is made. The Office of Naval History, Department of the Navy, and the Office of the Chief of Military History, Department of the Army, have been helpful both by making available their records and by furnishing comments. The extensive research required in preparing an accurate and complete account of the campaign was performed by Miss Laurene Bryant. Maps included herein were prepared by the Reproduction Section, Marine Corps Schools, Quantico, Virginia. Official Marine Corps photographs have been used to illustrate this monograph unless otherwise noted.
T. A. WORNHAM
BRIGADIER GENERAL, U. S. MARINE CORPS
ASSISTANT CHIEF OF STAFF, G-3
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