It was officially known as "Operation Stalemate II" but the survivors still call it "The Forgotten Battle". It was one of the last big Pacific battles of World War II and one of the bloodiest. Even the names associated with the inhospitable strip of land in the Palau islands sound hostile and discordant: Bloody Nose Ridge, the Pocket, Five Sisters, Five Brothers and the China Wall. And to many Marines, it still represents, to steal a phrase from Charles Dickens, the worst of times.
The street named for the Palau island where thousands of young Marines lost their lives in the fall of 1944 runs peacefully through a Camp Lejeune housing area. Peleliu -- it rolls off the American tongue with difficulty -- is one of those places official military historians would prefer to pretend just doesn't exist. But it does and it has the ghosts to prove it.
The invasion of Peleliu began on Sept. 13,
Tags: World war 2, WW2, world at war, peleliu, naval, amphibious, combat, empire, japan, axis, allies, pacific, Operation stalemate, phillipines, palau island, amtrak, Navy, Mcarthur, pacific theatre
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