It looks almost quaint — seeing that many men ogling a photo which, by today’s standards, is nearly prudish. Here you can see US marines preparing to land on Japanese-occupied Tarawa Atoll during the American invasion. The Battle of Tarawa only lasted three days, but in that time over 6,000 men were killed — with huge losses on the Japanese side. It was the first American offensive in the central Pacific and the first time the US had run into serious resistance in that area. What would come to pass is undeniably brutal, but for now, they’re just men, on a boat, looking at a pin-up girl. It all seems so simple.
Tarawa Atoll, Gilbert and Ellice Islands (now, Kiribati).
20 November 1943.