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Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα Digging for the forgotten soldiers of Peleliu island. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων
Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα Digging for the forgotten soldiers of Peleliu island. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων

Παρασκευή, 24 Ιουνίου 2016

Digging for the forgotten soldiers of Peleliu island


Peleliu, an island in the Pacific Ocean, where fierce battles were fought between Americans and Japanese in 1944 during World War II, amounted to approximately 12,000 killed soldiers, out of which 1,800 were Americans and the rest Japanese.


In view of the official visit of the Japanese emperor in Palau in April 2015, the local government decided to unseal the caves where entrenched Japanese fought to the bitter end.




As the fierce resistance of the Japanese caused mounting casualties to the Americans, the US Army decided to take drastic measures for the neutralization of the Japanese soldiers as flamethrowers, direct artillery shots and close-quarters combat were not enough to silence the Japanese.


The US Forces decided to begin a systematic undermining of the entrances of the caves with explosives, destroying them and burying alive those who were still in them. 


It is estimated that at least 200 caves and underground fortifications were buried under tons of earth and stones and remained forgotten for decades. 


In the first cave unearthed, with the symbolic participation of Peleliu's Prime Minister, the researchers found the remains of six Japanese soldiers and a large number of ammunition and weapons.


The remains of the six men were repatriated to Japan.



According to estimates, approximately 2,600 KIA Japanese were never found and may remain buried in those caves.