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Crossroads between Polynesia, Micronesia and Melanesia

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On December 7th 1941, the tranquil paradise of Hawai'i was shattered. A surprise Japanese attack on the island of O'ahu and the fleet at Pear Harbor was caused for one of the most devastating defeat in US military history.

''A date which will live in infamy- the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan'' [...] Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States later announced that day.

Simultaneously, the Imperial Japanese Navy would attack Hong Kong, the Philippines, the Islands of Guam and Wake and would attack Midway a few hours later. World War II just extended to the Pacific theater.

(note: this part is fictional,most names are real though) After a series of victories that were the result of a surprise offensive undertaken by the Japanese forces in the Pacific, the Caroline Islands, an American Protectorate, would fall to the hands of the armies of the Rising Sun.

During almost 2 years, the Japanese would impose chaos and fear in that once-thriving Pacific nation composed of hundreds of small islands and atolls.

November 20, 1943: Operation Typhoon was launched. US battleships, destroyers and aircraft carriers launched a major assault on the atolls of Rabaul and Tarawa in the Caroline Islands to take control of this strategic point in the South Pacific. The objective was to destroy the Japanese coastal defenses in Tarawa and seize control of Peleliu airfield in Rabaul.

US fleet firing at Japanese positions prior to the landing of US Marines


US Marines landing at Kirimati beach in the Tarawa atoll




US fighters destroying Japanese aircraft at Peleliu airfield, Rabaul Island