After Action Report
Recommendations Submitted by Col. Shoup.
In the Field
17 Dec 43
To : CO 2dMarDiv
Subject: Report of Opns, GALVANIC, CT 2.
Reference: (a) Ltr CG 2dMarDiv, serial 002MD2 dated 11 Nov 43.
1. In accordance with, the reference, the following information is submitted.
a. All the equipment carried on the operation was not necessary. It was found that equipment other than individual and that organic equipment needed for offensive combat was extraneous. In regard to individual equipment, the pack should be eliminated for use in the offense. No appreciable number of vehicles were landed and it was found that they were not needed. Radio "Jeeps" were of absolutely no value, because they could not be landed.
b. The ammunition prescribed for the operation was adequate. It is recommended that assault troops be equipped with the "Bazooka".
c. All supplies other than ammunition, demolitions, water, medical and rations were found to be excessive, these excess supplies should be carried on AKAs not on assault APAs.
d. No additional comments at this time. Detailed recommendations are being prepared.
e. Neither pallets or sleds were used or their use observed by this organization.
f. (1) It is not believed that the AKAs were unloaded at the same time as the APAs. The points where supplies could be landed were so few and limited that the APAs had supplies in boats many hours before they could be landed.
(2) The first echelons of the garrison forces arrived at the proper time.
g. It is believed that the size of the shore party would have been adequate had we been able to use it.
h. It is not known whether or not the equipment of the shore party was adequate because of the unnatural situation existing on BETIO.
i. It is not known whether or not the shore party organization was satisfactory as it had no chance to properly function.
j. The supplies and equipment of assault engineers should be augmented by more "bangalore torpedoes", more demolitions and a self-propelled, armored, high capacity flamethrower.
k. It is recommended that the labor details of the shore party should be an organic part of the shore party organization at all times and should not be drawn from assault units.
l. No water distillation plant was observed in operation.
m. No damage to amphibian tractors crossing the reef was noted other than that caused by enemy gunfire and mines.
n. Small arms fire penetrated unarmored parts of the amphibian tractor, punctured pontoons, punctured radiators, wounded and killed personnel.
o. Amphibian tractors are absolutely essential in this type of operation.
p. Enemy beach fortifications consisted of numerous concrete, steel and sand-coconut log pill boxes in which were emplaced machine guns, riflemen and anti-boat guns. In addition there was highly developed trench and tunnel systems connecting emplacements. There were numerous, large, excellent bomb proof shelters. Just off the beach was a wall of sand, coral and coconut logs which amphibian tractors could not climb. Light and medium tanks provided a mobile defense. There were numerous tank traps and barricades. Anti-aircraft guns served a dual purnose as anti-aircraft and anti-boat guns. All beaches were heavily defended in depth and due to the flat terrain the majority of the enemy weapons could engage targets in all directions.
q. The 4.5" Barrage Rocket was mounted only on the two flank LCS's. They each fired one salvo during the approach to the beach. No estimate of their effectiveness is practicable due to the fact that naval gunfire and air engaged the same beach targets at about the same time.
r. The "Bazooka" was not available and therefore not used.
s. The AT Grenade were somewhat effective against pill boxes but due to the structure of the pill box walls they were unable to penetrate and were only effective when they could be projected through the small gun slots in the pill box. They proved most effective against the light tankette.
The time interval between waves of LVTs was three (3) minutes and was satisfactory.
D. M. SHOUP.
copyright 2001 Wheaton, Illinois
Created 20 March 2001 - Updated 21 August 2001