Peleliu <> 72 years ago
Noah H. Belew Was There
The Battle of Peleliu, codenamed Operation Stalemate II by the United States, was fought between the United States and the Empire of Japan in the Pacific Theater of World War II, from September to November 1944 on the island of Peleliu (in present-day Palau). U.S. Marines of the First Marine Division, fought to capture an airstrip on the small coral island. This battle was part of a larger offensive campaign known as Operation Forager, which ran from June to November 1944 in the Pacific Theater of Operations.
Major General William Rupertus, (USMC commander of 1st Marine Division) predicted the island would be secured within four days. However, because of Japan's well-crafted fortifications and stiff resistance, the battle lasted more than two months. In the United States, this was a controversial battle because of the island's questionable strategic value and the high casualty rate, which exceeded that of all other amphibious operations during the Pacific War. The National Museum of the Marine Corps called it "the bitterest battle of the war for the Marines".