In 1943, an Allied invasion fleet moves toward Betio Island in the Tarawa Atoll. It is one of Japan's bases in the Pacific, and the Allied command believes it must be captured.
When news of the battle reaches the U.S., Americans are very upset that so many young men died fighting for the "stinking little island" located 8,000 miles from Tokyo.
This video clip of historical battle footage, released by the Department of Defense, was compiled by United News (part of United Newsreel Corporation) in 1943. It is online, courtesy U.S. National Archives.