[ Battle of Tarawa]
Tarawa atoll was occupied by the Japanese. The battle of Tarawa was the first American offensive in the critical central Pacific region. The battle was fought on 20–23 November 1943 between the United States and Japan at the Tarawa Atoll in the Gilbert Islands. It was one of the most violent battles in the second world war. It was a short battle of 76 hours of fight. During only 76 hours of fight the American casualties rose up to over one thousand while Japanese lost all their 4,500 soldiers except for 17 survivors.
Japanese had fortified the atoll with fourteen coastal defense guns, including four large Vickers 8-inch guns and 500 pillboxes or “stockades” built from logs and sand, many of which were reinforced with cement.
The American invasion force consisted of 17 aircraft carriers, 12 battleships, 8 heavy cruisers, 4 light cruisers, 66 destroyers, and 36 transport ships and about 35,000 troops.