This second scene from my 4-part Coral & Blood series depicts the fierce battle for control of the Peleliu airfield in 100+ degree weather. Place: Japanese emplacement around its airport hangars, Central Peleliu, Palau Islands. Date: D+1, 16 September 1944. Main Combatants: USMC vs. Japanese Imperial Army. While the marine names are fictitious, the scene is based on the realities of this harsh island campaign. I love to get input, so please rate and comment!
About this creation
Marines advance across the small dirt airfield, toward the Japanese emplacement.
American marine's perspective, staring down the barrel of a Japanese machine gun.
Japanese emplacement. Note the wounded Japanese soldier resting next to the table, and the courier handing an officer a message scroll (lower left hand side).
In this view of the Japanese emplacement, you can see both the Type 95 and Type 99 machine guns, as well as their supplies. Big, nasty critters were a reality of tropical warfare - and that's why I included these super-sized ants!
Japanese soldiers, and a dog, advancing to reinforce the machine gun emplacement.
A close-up of a hole blown through the wall by American artillery, and two marines being torn up by the Japanese machine gun.
A close-up of my custom Japanese Type 95 heavy machine gun.
Here's a Japanese soldier armed with my custom Type 89 Knee Mortar (grenade launcher).
A Japanese soldier being shot in the head by a marine with a Thompson. I used my favorite sandbag technique here (shown in both the pictures above and below).
Overhead view of some of the Japanese supplies.
A Japanese soldier takes cover in the supply depot as US marines get dangerously close.
Refusing to retreat, Japanese soldiers fire on US marines as they overrun the airfield. The soldier on the left is using my custom Nambu Type 99 machine gun.
Just in the nick of time! A Japanese tank arrives to save the day. Or will it?
BOOM! The Japanese tank fires a 47mm high explosive shell (above) at the advancing US infantry troops (below).
Unaware of the imminent threat from the Japanese tank, US marines move on...
...and are stopped in their tracks.
Sgt. Williams, the unit's bazooka man, runs to take out the Japanese tank.
He kneels and fires.
A view of Sgt. Williams firing from behind. The black dot is the bazooka rocket, headed toward the tank.
Another view of the rocket. Wait for it, wait for it...
BANG! Impact achieved.
The explosion dessimates the Japanese tank.
After a day of taking heavy losses due to artillery fire from the highlands to the north, and serious resistance from a number of Japanese emplacements around the hangars, American marines had finally secured the island's airfield by the end of D+1. Though the main campaign objective had been accomplished, and American forces were putting the airfield to use by D+2, fierce Japanese forces remained rooted in Peleliu's jungles and inhospitable hills. In the next scene in my series, we'll take a look at the brutal jungle warfare that took place.
Once again this effort truly shows the detail necessary to depict the fierce battles of the campaign. I especially like the close up shots that you created to show the perspective of the GI's and Japanese troops in the battle. A great job!