This was the first time I'd heard of this battle. My prayers are for all those incredibly brave soldiers. I stand in awe of them.
This is an excellent, detailed accounting of the Battle of Tarawa in November 1943. It uses both American and Japanese primary sources and clears up some of the discrepancies that were present in previous accounts.
For example, it was long wondered why the Japanese did not counterattack during the night of the first day. Japanese doctrine called for coordinated counterattacks after an invasion, but none occurred. The reason for the failure of the attack is one of those simple twists of fate that occur in war, which will be revealed when you listen to the book.
While it focuses on the American point of view, the book does an excellent job of portraying the courage, tenacity, and skill of the Japanese defenders. The book includes both an account of what led up to the battle and its aftermath.
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