World War II’s Lost Battle: Intense Footage Shows Marines Capturing Islands from the Japanese. [VIDEO]

Never-seen-before footage from World War II shows U.S. troops launching an all-out invasion of the Japanese-controlled islands Gilbert and Marshall. The black and white footage shows the Americans shooting down enemy planes and bombarding the island with artillery shells prior to their landing.

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Gilbert and Marshall were two pivotal islands that the Americans needed to control in order to take the Pacific back from the Japanese. The Japanese were more concerned about other islands and left minimal protection for islands such as Gilbert and Marshall.

American forces would surround the island from all points and create a kill zone after pushing the Japanese forces inland. The Americans used artillery before putting ground forces on the island. In the incredible footage, American forces are seen shooting down Japanese aircraft.

Plumes of smoke can be seen billowing into the sky after artillery barrages. American tanks are seen pushing towards the enemy front with soldiers following behind it. Injured soldiers are seen receiving care from fellow soldiers.

The tunnel system that ran beneath the surface of the island was a factor that the Americans had not plan for. According to the Daily Mail,  at the end of the battle of Gilbert Island, 2,459 American forces were dead and 2,286 more were wounded.

The Japanese suffered much greater losses with 5,085 dying in battle and 247 being captured. Marshall Island was easier to take as there were fewer enemy soldiers. After the Marshall Island battle, 611 American soldiers were lost, 2,341 were wounded and 260 were missing.

Marshall Island was especially costly for the Japanese as over 11,000 died and a mere 350 men surrendered. The Japanese captured both of the islands three days after the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor.

Regaining these islands resulted in the loss of life of thousands of soldiers, but their lives were not in vain. Their efforts helped the Allies to ultimately defeat the Japanese invasion.

h/t Daily Mail