On December 10, 1941, 3 days after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Japanese forces occupied Makin Atoll in the Gilbert Islands. Meeting no resistance, they secured the atoll and commenced construction of a seaplane base on the main island of Butaritari. Due to its location, Makin was well positioned for such an installation as it would extend Japanese reconnaissance abilities closer to American-held islands. Construction progressed over the next 9 months and Makin's small garrison remained largely ignored by Allied forces.
A relatively smooth operation, the invasion of Makin proved far less costly than the battle on Tarawa which occurred over the same time span. The victory at Makin lost a bit of its luster on November 24th when Liscome Bay was torpedoed by I-175. Striking a supply of bombs, the torpedo caused the ship to explode and killed 644 sailors. These deaths, plus casualties from a turret fire on USS Mississippi , caused US Navy losses to total 697 killed and 291 wounded.
The presentation covers the following:
Smith’s Plan (2)
Fighting for the Island
End of Presentation
This is one of several "companion" power point presentations that I offer on... World War II.