US Marine Corps in the Pacific
The US Marine Corps has had a long and proud history as part of the US armed forces, and the Pacific Campaign of 1941 to 1945 is perhaps its finest hour.
During the course of the war the Marine Corps had expanded from two brigades of about 18,000 Marines to six divisions, five air wings, and various supporting arms to over 485,000 Marines.
They were the tip of the American spear during the Pacific campaign conducting amphibious assaults from Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands, through the atolls of Marshall Islands, to Islands of the Marianas with the invasions of Saipan, Tinian, and Guam. They prepared the way for the assault on Japanese by taking the Japanese possessions of Iwo Jima and Okinawa, facing fierce fanatical resistance from Japanese defenders in some of the most savage fighting of the entire war.
Imperial Japanese Forces in the Pacific
The Japanese Imperial armed forces had been at war since 1931 in China and Manchuria. Their war in the Pacific is just the next step in asserting their leadership over the Asia-Pacific region. In a series and well-planned and executed campaigns in late-1941 and 1942 veteran Japanese forces quickly asserted their dominance in southeast Asia and the western Pacific, toppling the western colonial powers and taking control of these resource rich regions for the greater good of the Japanese Empire.
However, the Japanese strike on Pearl Harbor has woken the Americans. The Japanese must fight with determination to hold their gains, to push the westerners back, and consolidate Japanese control.
Each inch of ground is not given lightly, with each beach, hill, village, island, and airfield defended and counter-attacked with a ferocity and spirit of will that no enemy can stand against.