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Battleground World War IIFury in the Pacific - World War II

Fury in the Pacific is a 1945 documentary short film about a pair of World War II battles in the Pacific: the Battle of Peleliu and the Battle of Angaur.

It was co-produced by the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, and the U.S. Marines, and directed by a series of combat cameraman... of whom nine became casualties of the battles they were filming. The film is especially noteworthy for its praise of the fighting abilities of Japanese soldiers (a rarity for American propaganda during World War II), and its fast-paced editing.

The Battle of Peleliu, codenamed Operation Stalemate, was fought between the United States and Japan in the Pacific Theater of World War II, taking place between September 15 and November 25, 1944. The U.S. Forces, consisting of the 1st Marine Division and the Army's 81st Infantry Division, fought to capture an airstrip on the small coral island. U.S. Commander William Rupertus predicted that the island would be secured within three days, but due to Japan's well-crafted fortifications and stiff resistance, the battle lasted for over two months. The battle remains one of the war's most controversial, due to its questionable strategic value and high death toll. When considering the number of men involved, Peleliu had the highest casualty rate of any battle in the Pacific War.

Bombardment of Angaur by USS Tennessee, cruisers, and Dauntless dive bombers from USS Wasp began on 11 September 1944. Six days later on 17 September, the U.S. 81st Infantry Division commanded by Major General Paul J. Mueller landed on the northeast and southeast coasts. Mines and congestion on the beach initially gave more trouble than Japanese counter-attacks. But resistance stiffened as the Americans advanced on "the Bowl", a hill near Lake Salome in the northwest of the island where the Japanese planned to make their last stand. From 20 September the 322nd battalion repeatedly attacked the Bowl, but the 750 defenders repulsed them with artillery, mortars and machine guns.

Gradually hunger, thirst, and American shellfire and bombing took their toll on the Japanese, and by 25 September the Americans had penetrated the Bowl. Rather than fight for possession of the caves, they used bulldozers to seal the entrances. By 30 September, the island was secure.

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