Operation FLINTLOCK

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In the Pacific Theater of Operations of the Second World War, Operation FLINTLOCK was the main campaign against the Marshall Islands, starting with Kwajalein Atoll. The regional priorities, in 1943, were Mille, Maloelap, and Wotje in the Ratak chain, and in the Ralik chain, Jaluit, Kwajalein Atoll, and Eniwetok Atoll. Jaluit was a seaplane base, all of the other Ratak sites were airfields, and the Ralik locations were anchorages for naval ships. [1] ADM Chester W. Nimitz, Commander-in-Chief, Pacific ordered a direct strike on Kwajalein, over the objections of subordinates who wanted to approach it gradually. Bombardments began in December 1943, and the landings in January 1944. These began with outlying islands, which provided staging areas and artillery bases for the main attack on Kwajalein.[2] Kwajalein was taken faster than had been expected, and it was under control by February.

The faster pace led to launching Operation CATCHPOLE against Eniwetok Atoll in mid-February.

References

  1. , PART III: The Marshalls: Quickening the Pace; Chapter 1 FLINTLOCK Plans and Preparations GETTING ON WITH THE WAR, History of U.S. Marine Corps Operations in the Second World War, U.S. Marine Corps Historical Center Branch, pp. 117-119
  2. , PART III: The Marshalls: Quickening the Pace; Chapter 2: D-Day in the Marshalls, History of U.S. Marine Corps Operations in the Second World War, U.S. Marine Corps Historical Center Branch