THE 2000 YARD STARE (99 words)
By Neel Anil Panicker
“Where did you find him.”
‘In the forests behind where we live. Had no clothes on and was screaming. Usually he’s in his room, locked. He half sleeps the night. Is not much harm if you can keep humans away. Don’t know how he got out. Was digging the ground. His eyes an empty stare like were two black holes in his head. Said was gouging Japs out of holes. Been like this ever since they brought him from Paleliu. His station found him among the dead, covered in ponchos.’
“It’s PTSD. Can’t do much. Was better off dead.”
(neelanilpanicker2017 #fiction #whatpegmansaw
Written for WHAT PEGMAN SAW
Today Pegman is visiting Peleliu.
Feel free to stroll around using the Google street view and grab any picture you choose to include in your post.
To enjoy stories inspired by the What Pegman Saw prompt or to submit your own 150-word story, visit the inLinkz button:
The Battle of Peleliu, codenamed Operation Stalemate II by the United States military, was fought between the US and the Empire of Japan during the Mariana & Palau Campaign of World War II, from September to November 1944, on the island of Peleliu.
US Marines of the First Marine Division, and later soldiers of the US Army’s 81st Infantry Division, fought to capture an airstrip on the small coral island. This battle was part of a larger offensive campaign known as Operation Forager, which ran from June to November 1944, in the Pacific Theater.
Major General William Rupertus, (USMC commander of 1st Marine Division) predicted the island would be secured within four days.However, after repeated Imperial Army losses in previous island campaigns, Japan had developed new island-defense tactics and well-crafted fortifications that allowed stiff resistance, extending the battle through more than two months. In the United States, this was a controversial battle because of the island’s questionable strategic value and the high casualty rate, which exceeded that of all other amphibious operations during the Pacific War. The National Museum of the Marine Corps called it “the bitterest battle of the war for the Marines”.
LESSONS OF PELELIU
The Battle of Peleliu resulted in the highest casualty rate of any amphibious assault in American military history: Of the approximately 28,000 Marines and infantry troops involved, a full 40 percent of the Marines and soldiers that fought for the island died or were wounded, for a total of some 9,800 men (1,800 killed in action and 8,000 wounded). The high cost of the battle was later attributed to several factors, including typical Allied overconfidence in the efficacy of the pre-landing naval bombardment, a poor understanding of Peleliu’s unique terrain, and overconfidence on the part of Marine commanders, who refused to admit their need for support earlier on at Bloody Nose Ridge.
On the other hand, the capture of Peleliu served as a means to MacArthur’s much-desired end: the recapture of the Philippines, and the drive towards Japan’s home islands. The lessons learned at Peleliu also gave U.S. commanders and forces insight into the new Japanese strategy of attrition, which they would use to their advantage in later struggles at Iwo Jima and Okinawa.