In a perfectly executed World War II mission that took place at the end of January 1944, U.S. forces defeated the Japanese at a little-known outpost in the Marshall Islands called Kwajalein Atoll.
LENGTH: 56 Minutes
CATALOG #: 20330
UPC #: 6-4603203309-0
ISBN #: 1-56839-230-3
RELEASE YEAR: 2006
PRODUCER: Oceanic Research Group
NOTES: Extra features include Photo Gallery with 125 production stills, “Making of a Battle” – World War II era U.S. Military film about the Battle of Kwajalein, Director
As part of the effort to win control of this crucial gateway to the Japanese empire, U.S. aircraft bombarded Japanese supply ships in the lagoon at Kwajalein for several weeks prior to the attack, sinking most of them, some still at anchor, and others as they attempted to escape.
Little is left of the battle of Kwajalein except these silent wrecks still lying at the bottom of the lagoon where they were defeated, out of sight and forgotten until now. After the war, the lagoon at Kwajalein was the dumping ground for World War II era American war planes including Corsairs, B-25s, C-46s, and the SBD Dauntless.
Few people have ever seen these wrecks because Kwajalein has been a restricted military base since the end of World War II. Now, for the first time, the U.S. military has granted permission to an outside film crew to document the wrecks for posterity, before they are lost forever to the dusts of time.
“Recently, the United States Army gave the nonprofit organization Oceanic Research Group unprecedented access to Kwajalein, and for the first time, viewers will not only see the incredible marine beauty of the atoll, but also the numerous ship and aircraft that sunk to a watery grave (after the war, the U.S. also used the lagoon as a dumping place for discarded planes). Jonathan Bird and Art Cohen’s admirable documentary presents this fascinating story, which touches on many areas, including World War II history, ecological research, preservation, and marine biology (the underwater cinematography is spectacular). Highly Recommended. Three and a half Stars.” – Video Librarian
“The Silent Wrecks of Kwajalein Atoll introduces the viewer to an undersea world of ships and aircraft slowly corroding in the lagoon where they were sunk nearly 60 years before. A tour, not only of the wrecks, but of the vibrant underwater world they now support, the goal of the Oceanic Research Group seemingly goes far beyond their stated desire to document these lost tools of war; rather, their presentation successfully places these ships and aircraft in a larger continuum, one which ranges from business, war, and death, to today’s historical perspective and continued life. The result is an examination which, while weak in its presentation of any single point, exudes strength in the wealth of exposure it provides to seldom dealt-with topics… A combination of dive footage, surface documentary of present-day Kwajalein Atoll, archival footage, and interviews, including one of Richard Sorenson, a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient for his actions at the Battle of Kwajalein, this documentary is highly recommended for its presentation of a story which goes far beyond the invasion of a Pacific atoll in January 1944.” – Educational Media Reviews Online