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Location: Shortcut to Homepage /World War II/Pacific Theater /Marshall Islands/Kwajalein Island after bombardment

Kwajalein Island after bombardment

Kwajalein Island after bombardment
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 Devastation of Kwajalein, the preparatory bombardment of Kwajalein Island was unprecedented in the Pacific in both volume and effectiveness. During one period two shells per second were hitting specific targets or areas in the path of the assault troops. The 14-inch naval shells of the six battleships of Task Force 51 (TF 51) were most effective in piercing and destroying reinforced concrete structures. All together on February 1, 1944, almost 7,000 14-inch, 8-inch, and 5-inch shells were fired by supporting naval vessels at Kwajalein Island alone, and the bulk of these were expended against the main beaches before the landing.  

 All together 96 sorties were flown from the carriers in support of the troop landing on Kwajalein Island. The results of all this expenditure of explosives were devastating. The damage was so intensive that it was impossible to determine the relative effectiveness of the three types of bombardment - naval, artillery, and air. The area inland of Red Beaches was reduced almost completely to rubble. As the TF 51 report stated, "The entire island looked as if it had been picked up to 20,000 feet and then dropped." Kwajalein Island, Marshalls.


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