Following the capture of Tarawa in November 1943 during World War II (1939-1945), American eyes turned to the Marshall Islands. These were the next vital stepping-stone across the Pacific towards Japan, and would bring the islands of Guam and Saipan within the reach of US forces. In their first amphibious attack, the new 4th Marine Division landed on Roi and Namur islands on 1 February 1944, while US 7th Division landed on Kwajalein. At the time this was the longest shore-to-shore amphibious assault in history. The lessons of the bloody fighting on Tarawa had been well learned and the successful attack on the Marshalls set the pattern for future amphibious operations in the Pacific War.
About the Author
Gordon L Rottman entered the US Army in 1967, volunteered for Special Forces and completed training as a weapons specialist. He served in the 5th Special Forces Group in Vietnam in 1969-70 and subsequently in airborne infantry, long-range patrol and intelligence assignments until retiring after 26 years. He was a special operations forces scenario writer at the Joint Readiness Training Centre for 12 years and is now a freelance writer.