Historical places in Australia and Pacific
The ruin (because it's a ruin) of this Japanese lighthouse has a beautiful setting with extensive views over the azure blue lagoon below. The lighthouse was built during the Japanese occupation and it was destroyed not many years later. Again, there isn't that much info to find anywhere.
The southwest part of Peleliu Island is covered in remnants from WWII. For contrary to what the U.S. thought, Peleliu Island was strongly defended by about 11,000 Japanese soldiers. The Japanese had spent an extensive time to dig out caves and prepare for the U.S. invasion. 15. September 1944 was the day it happen. The U.S. intelligence was misinformed about both the topography of the island and the strategy of the Japanese forces. What should have been a quick invasion, turn into more than two months bloody operation. The Japanese commander committed the ritual harakiri, when it became clear that they will be overran. 34 Japanese soldiers held out in the caves until 1947, and did not surrender until a Japanese admiral convinced them the war was over.
A well hidden U.S. Landing Vehicle Tracked (LVT) from WWII. They were used by the U.S. to transport men and cargo over the shallow lagoon, when the U.S. invaded Peleliu in 1944.
The first you see is the tank, but then you notice the stairs and the dug in gun at the end. You can get behind the gun by following the trail through the opening in the cliff. The small trail continues into the woods, but seems to lead to nowhere.
Another tank placed at an intersection. Both the Japanese and the U.S. had tanks and we can't tell the difference.
The Battle of Peleliu stands out for two reasons. Firstly, it was questionable even before the battle the strategic value of Peleliu. Secondly, it resulted in a higher death toll than any other amphibious assault in U.S. military history. The first wave of U.S. soldiers was the 1st Marine Division, who was supposed to invade Peleliu Island with relatively ease. But they were met with ferocious resistance from the occupying Japanese forces, who had fortified themselves in well-crafted caves. After about a week of fierce fighting the marines had suffered so badly, that the U.S. had to reinforce with the 81st Infantry Division. The battle extended to 73 bloody days before the small island was under U.S. control. The death toll was then; 2336 U.S. soldiers killed and 10,695 Japanese soldiers killed, almost the entire Japanese garrison.
Another WWII remnants placed at an intersection - or maybe the bulldozer was here first and the roads came after.
This museum contains a collection of photographs, newspaper articles, weapons, uniforms and other war artifacts. The manager, Tangie Hesus, is very knowledgeable about the war and will happily answer any questions. The museum is a good starting point to get a overview of the Battle of Peleliu - and you can also buy the permit here.
Not sure what this building was for, but it might have been part of the Japanese headquarter further up the road. There are some serious holes in the walls and the backside is completely gone. Over the years the vegetation has beautiful claimed the building. The roof is overgrown with vines and roots climbing down the corners.
This memorial is dedicated to 81st Infantry Division, the Wildcat, and attached troops.