to note that the Gilberts had to be taken. US carrier forces were never strong enough to project enough power, nor did they have adequate staying power to achieve uncontested air superiority or sufficiently reduce land defenses; land based air was needed. The Gilberts were taken to reduce the Marshalls, which were taken to reduce the Marianas, the true goal. This was in accord with the basic concepts of the existing War Plan ORANGE.
The GALVANIC operation did not use pre-positioned fire support bases on nearby small islands for valid reasons. The Japanese still posed a significant naval threat, and indeed their plan was simply... more
After Pearl Harbor the Navy was always afraid of another ambush. They repeatedly cut short bombardment and rushed the Marines in to take heavy casualties. Tarawa is one place a fire support base... more
I believe that both the Gilberts and the Marshalls could have been bypassed for the Marianas. The Gilberts and Marshalls were not easily supplied. Fighter raids would have destroyed air power in the... more