To the Far Side of Hell
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The battle for the Pacific island of Peleliu in the autumn of 1944 is far less well known Ð even among US Marine Corps veterans Ð than Tarawa, Iwo Jima or Okinawa. Yet in the savagery of the fighting, the courage and determination displayed, and the casualty rates suffered by the units of the 1st Marine Division, it can claim to stand beside them all.
Peleliu was a jinxed operation. It is arguable that it need never have been mounted in the first place, since the fast-moving situation in the Central Pacific removed any pressing need to occupy the Palau Islands.
When the 1st Marine Division landed they came up against Japans new defensive technique Ð a garrison determined to die where stood in deep, complex bunker systems. The predicted three-day quickie turned into a bloody nightmare that lasted for 71 murderous days.
Brought to life by the words of the men who fought there, the story of Peleliu is an epic of the Second World War.