Marshall Islands

Alliance Axis - Minor Member Nation or Possession
Possessing Power Japan
Entry into WW2 7 Dec 1941
Population in 1939 10,000


ww2dbaseGerman purchased the Marshall Islands from Spain in 1899, and subsequently administered the islands as parts of German New Guinea, with a provincial capital at Jaluit. In 1914, during WW1, Japanese forces captured Eniwetok and Jaluit atolls. At the end of WW1, Japan was given mandate of all German possessions in the Pacific Ocean north of the Equator; Japan administered its South Pacific Mandates from Saipan, Mariana Islands. During the years under Japanese control, about 1,000 Japanese civilians migrated to the Marshall Islands. In the late 1930s, Japan began building air and naval bases in the Marshall Islands. During the Pacific War, Kwajalein Atoll was a major base support the attacks on Pearl Harbor and Wake, while the operation to capture Nauru and Ocean Island was launched from Jaluit Atoll. Significant American attacks on the Marshall Islands began in 1943. When the landings began in 1944, some atolls such as Kwajalein and Eniwetok were challenged and captured, while some others such as Mili and Jaluit were simply cut off; about 5,100 Japanese servicemen died from starvation on Mili alone. After the war, the United States tested nuclear weapons in the Marshall Islands; while Bikini Atoll had gained infamy from these tests, Elugelab of Enewetak Atoll was nearly forgotten as it was completely wiped out by the world's first hydrogen bomb in 1952. The Republic of the Marshall Islands was declared in 1979, and in 1986 the United States granted the republic full soveignty. The United Nations ended the islands' trusteeship status in 1990.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia

Last Major Update: Sep 2014

Events Taken Place in Marshall Islands
Marshall Islands Campaign29 Jan 1944 - 21 Feb 1944


WW2-Era Weather Data for Marshall Islands


US Marines fighting on Kwajalein, Marshall Islands, Jan-Feb 1944Cruiser Salt Lake City firing her 8-in guns on either Wotje, Marshall islands on 1 Feb 1942 or Wake Island on 24 Feb 1942; note SOC Seagull floatplane onboardSOC aircraft flew over Wotje Atoll, Marshall Islands, during attack on Japanese airfields by gunfire from cruisers Salt Lake City and Northampton, 1 Feb 1942; note burning ammunition and fuel dumpsJapanese light cruiser Isuzu hit by an aerial Mark XIII torpedo dropped from a TBF-1 Avenger flown by Lt(jg) E.F. Ternasky flying from USS Lexington (Essex-class), Kwajalein, Marshall Islands, 4 Dec 1943
See all 96 photographs of Marshall Islands in World War II


United States Hydrographic Office July 1943 map of the Marshall Islands showing distances and bearings between major island groups.1944 United States Navy chart of Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands.1944 United States Navy chart of Majuro Atoll, Marshall Islands.

Marshall Islands in World War II Interactive Map

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Marshall Islands in World War II Photo Gallery
US Marines fighting on Kwajalein, Marshall Islands, Jan-Feb 1944
See all 96 photographs of Marshall Islands in World War II

Famous WW2 Quote
"All right, they're on our left, they're on our right, they're in front of us, they're behind us... they can't get away this time."

Lt. Gen. Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller, at Guadalcanal