Interactive Quiz on the Battle of Tarawa
An epic battle was fought from November 20 to November 23, 1943 and took place at the Tarawa Atoll in the Gilbert Islands. It was called the Battle of Tarawa. In this battle, 6,400 Japanese, Koreans, and Americans died in the fighting, mostly on and around the small island of Betio, in the extreme southwest of Tarawa Atoll.
This was the first time in the war in which the US landing forces found severe and strong opposition. Previous landings had met little or no initial resistance, but in this landing the 4,500 Japanese defenders were well-supplied and well-prepared, and they fought almost to the last man, exacting a heavy toll on the United States Marine Corps.
The Gilbert Islands are part of Micronesia. They became a colony of the British Empire in January 1916. They were invaded and occupied by the Empire of Japan in December 1941. The battle was fought almost two years later.