By Rod Macdonald
Recounted together with his traditional point of meticulous old study, Rod weaves an simply readable account of the build-up to and implementation of Operation Desecrate 1 – the raid undertaken to ruin eastern ships and airplane within the lagoons of Palau. He makes use of his intimate wisdom of shipwrecks to bare in excellent element all of the 20 significant eastern WWII shipwrecks mendacity on the backside of the Palauan lagoons this present day.
On thirtieth March, 1944 Grumman F6F Hellcat combatants made an preliminary fighter sweep of the lagoon to damage eastern air conceal. at the same time Grumman Avenger torpedo-bombers dropped mines and successive staff moves of torpedo bombers and dive-bombers sank the delivery and destroyed the airfields. Palau used to be neutralised as a jap naval and air base in a repeat of a similar activity strength fifty eight raid, Operation Hailstone, on Truk Lagoon 1,000 miles to the east simply six weeks earlier.
A variety of long-lost wrecks have lately been relocated together with a jap freighter full of intensity fees and military helmets. This used to be present in 1989 yet remained unidentified earlier – after painstaking learn Rod unearths her determine for the 1st time within the ebook. every one break is roofed intimately and is supported through underwater images and by way of remarkable illustrations by means of popular artist Rob Ward. The shipwrecks of Palau at the moment are revealed.
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Additional resources for Dive Palau: the shipwrecks
From the Battle of Midway onwards, Japan’s expansionist aims were ended – and in fact, Japan had by now already lost the ability to win the war. Japan did continue to try to secure more strategic territory in the Pacific – but the cumulative effect of the Battles of the Coral Sea and Midway had reduced its ability to undertake major offensives. The Battle of Midway paved the way for US landings on Guadalcanal from 7 August 1942 to 9 February 1943, and for the bitter Solomon Islands campaign. The summer of 1943 marked the end of the period in which the USA had been strategically on the defensive in the Pacific War.
The cave systems such as at Peleliu were built on multiple levels and featured hidden escape routes. Sharp 90-degree changes of direction were built in that would give infantry protection from US rifle fire as well as from artillery and grenade blasts and the much-feared flame thrower. Water, food and ammunition were stockpiled for a prolonged campaign. Beer was also kept in large quantities to ease the rigours of cave life; Japan aimed for the bulk of its troops hidden in reserve to survive the pre-invasion naval and air bombardment of the landing beaches.
The first target, the larger Moen Island airfield, received no warning at all of the attack – the first indication of it was when the Hellcats swept over the runway destroying the valuable Japanese aircraft on the ground. Having been stood down from highest alert the day before, when at 0530 highest alert was initiated again, most Japanese pilots were in town or in bed – some on different islands from their planes. Japanese aircrew scrambled to get to their aircraft and get airborne as fast as possible – whilst all the time, Hellcats were strafing their immobile Zeros and Nakajima Ki-44 Tōjō and Nakajima A6M2 Rufe seaplane fighters.