During World War II, the US Marines fought in the Pacific Theater of Operations against Japanese troops, taking part in the island-hopping campaign that began in August 1942, with the American invasion of Guadalcanal, and finished in June 1945, with the victory over the Japanese troops on Okinawa. Thus, in almost all the military engagements in the Pacific, the brave Marines were the invading and attacking force, with the grim task of having to flush out and annihilate fanatical Japanese soldiers stubbornly ingrained in bunkers, pillboxes, and hill caves. For this job, they not only had be highly trained, but tenacious and resolute human fighting machines.
They put their lives on the line for their country as they landed under heavy artillery and machien gun fire. They were pinned down on sandy and volcanic ash beaches, but they were never thrown back into the sea. Their fighting tour of the Pacific included the following island groups: the Solomons (Guadalcanal), Gilberts (Tarawa), Marshalls (Kwajalein and Eniwetok), Marianas (Saipan, Guam, and Tinian), Palaus (Peleliu and Angaur), Volcanic Islands (Iwo Jima), and Ryukyu (Okinawa). Six United States Marine divisions, each composed of approximately 14,000 men, participated in the Pacific theater campaign. However, no US Marine units were deployed in Europe and did not fight against German forces.
List of US Marine Units that Fought in WWII
– 4th Marine Division (Battles of Kwajalein, Saipan, Tinian, and Iwo Jima)
– 5th Marine Division (Battle of Iwo Jima)
– 6th Marine Division (Battles of Saipan and Okinawa)
The bloodiest battle the US Marines ever fought (video)