The Battle of Tarawa

Discussion in 'War Against Japan' started by jacobtowne, Sep 9, 2006.

  1. spidge


    Ilford isn't too far, Rochford is near Southend but still doable. Do you have any indicators for plot number etc? If not it's not a problem, CHURCHYARD as opposed to cemetery usually defines a fairly small area. Give me a few days, a week or 2, and I will see what I can do.
    After all I am a bit closer than you mate!!!!!


    Hi Mike,

    Plot numbers are taken from the CWGC site so I cannot be of any further assistance. Luckily as you say Rochford is quite small has only 14 burials which are predominantly ww1 and ww2 RFC & RAF.


  2. spidge


  3. Carl,
    Brilliant summary. I must read more on this topic.
    I have always wondered why 'Buffaloes' were not used on D-Day when they clearly were in crossing the Rhine. (I built an Airfix model of one when I was a kid).
    Guess it was due to time taken to transport?


    They were, but as logistics/untility vehicals. That is what they were originally built for in 1941 - 42. Experience in the Solomons and later inspired the idea of adding armor and using them as assualt vehicals, but the idea was not picked up by the US 1st Army for the assualt at Normandy. At Utah beach they could have carried the assualt battalions directly across the flooded ground behind the shore line. the US 4th Division spent most of 6 June wading across the flooded fields and clearing mine/roadblocks from the causeways. The LVT could have had VanFleets regiment across the flooded ground before the morning coffee break.

    At Omaha beach the first and second wave of infantry/engineers suffered severe casualties crossing the 200 meters from the landing craft to the shelter of the seawall or Shingle and sand dunes. Had the first wave been in the LVT they could have crossed the 200 meter of flat sand in less than two minutes. At Tarawa the first wave crossed 600+ meters of shallow flooded reef in a few minutes in the LVT. Around 20% of the LVT were lost to Japanese AT guns going in, but they got the assualt force to the seawall in relatively good order. On Omaha Beach taking the first wave in on LVT would have got them imeadiatly to the seawall and dunes with far fewer casualties.

    The British beaches like Sword would have benefitted the same way. Also the Brit beaches were blocked by a 800 meter wide shoal. This is described as a mud flat, sand bar, or reef. It required the Brits wait a extra 60 to 90 minutes for the low tide to rise enough to float the landing craft over it. The LVT could have crossed this at the lowest tide before sunrise rather than at 07:30 or 08:00 when the smaller landing craft were able to clear it.

    Later in October the Brits used the LVT when attacking Walchern & Beveland island along the Scheldt river channel to Antwerp. In 1945 they used the LVT again when crossing the Rhine river, and to outflank the Germans in Italy via the swampland along the Adriatic coast.
    Smudger Jnr likes this.
  4. Mike L

    Mike L Very Senior Member

    Carl, thanks for that mate. Another little area of research for me I guess!
    My 'specialist' area is British LCTs so LVTs fit in with that quite nicely.

  5. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin


    Superb information in your posts.

  6. Thanks. I'd accumulated some reading on this battle over the years, then two years ago reviewed much of it when a game designer consulted with me. It related closely to some studying I'd done on the Omaha Beach assualt at the same time.

    My core interest/research is artillery fire control and command. If there are any vets with inside experince in the artillery regiment present here I very much need to chat with you.
  7. spidge


    Cheers for that Geoff.
    Bombardment (aerial, artillery or Naval) never obliterates all defences. Surely the lessons of WW1 can't have been forgotten in WW2?
    Just noticed your RAAF headstone/memorial project. Any pictures required in Essex?


    Hi Mike,

    A "pal" from GWF has just sent me the photos of "Talbot" at Rochford, St Marys.

    A lovely setting and beautifully tended.


  8. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member Patron

    ozzy16 and Owen like this.
  9. TTH

    TTH Senior Member

    The (possible) use of LVTs at D-Day has been discussed extensively on our sister forum, WWII Forums . I cannot find the relevant thread at the moment but if memory serves they simply were not available in May 1944 in sufficient numbers. I believe some had been delivered to the UK by then but they were untried in the European theater and I don't know if any British or American crews had yet been trained in their use at that time.

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