Wikipedia:Today's featured article/March 26, 2012

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The first wave of US troops lands on Los Negros, Admiralty Islands, 29 February 1944

The Admiralty Islands campaign was a series of battles in the New Guinea campaign of World War II in which the United States Army's 1st Cavalry Division occupied the Japanese-held Admiralty Islands. Acting on reports from airmen that there were no signs of enemy activity and the islands may have been evacuated, General Douglas MacArthur accelerated his timetable for capturing the islands and ordered an immediate reconnaissance in force. The campaign began on 29 February 1944 when a force landed on Los Negros, the third largest island in the group. By using a small, isolated beach where the Japanese had not anticipated an assault, the force achieved tactical surprise, but the islands proved to be far from unoccupied. A furious battle developed for control of the Admiralties. In the end, air superiority and command of the sea allowed the Allies to heavily reinforce their position on Los Negros. The 1st Cavalry Division could then overrun the islands. The campaign officially ended on 18 May 1944. The Allied victory completed the isolation of the major Japanese base at Rabaul that was the ultimate objective of the Allied campaigns of 1942 and 1943. A major air and naval base was developed in the Admiralty Islands that became an important launching point for the campaigns of 1944 in the Pacific. (more...)

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