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LEGO models my own creation MOCpages toys shop Coral & Blood: Battle of Peleliu / Part 4: The Umurbrogol MountainsHistoric military
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Coral & Blood: Battle of Peleliu / Part 4: The Umurbrogol Mountains
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The Battle of Peleliu, codenamed Operation Stalemate II, was one of the most brutal and controversial of WW2. While it was expected to last a mere 4 days, the reality was over 2 months of intense fighting in 100+ degree weather. This scene from my Battle of Peleliu series - Coral & Blood - depicts the ferocious mountain fighting that would finally secure this small coral island by US forces. Place: Umurbrogal Mountains, Peleliu, Palau Islands. Date: November 1944. Main Combatants: US Army, 81st Infantry Division vs. Japanese Imperial Army. I love to get feedback, so please rate and comment!
About this creation
By November 1944, after intense and casualty-heavy fighting on the beaches and airfield, in the jungle and coral ridges of Peleliu, the only part still in Japanese hands was the pocket of resistance centered in a small area of the Umurbrogol Mountains. US Forces faced a nearly impenetrable system of caves and tunnels, while Japanese artillery fire rained down on them from above.

The US Army 81st Infantry Division relieved the dessimated and exhausted Marines for this final stage of the fight for control of Peleliu.

A US infantryman takes cover behind a rocky outcrop while a Japanese cave in the background is scorched by a US flamethrower.

A side view of the uphill battle. The jet of flames in the foreground is aimed at a Japanese machine gun emplacement high above.

US troops struggle to climb up the difficult terrain. Note the legs of the Japanese soldier retreating into one of many IJA tunnels (lower left hand corner).

Close-up of US soldiers and their weapons (right to left): M1A1 Thompson sub-machine gun, M2 flamethrower, M1897 trench gun.

US soldier diving for cover.

Perspective of a US flamethrower. This was one of the most effective weapons for destroying cave and tunnel-based Japanese resistance. It also put the soldier at great risk due to its flamability.

Flames coming out of the cave's machine gun ports, scorching a palm tree in the process. A wounded Japanese soldier crawls away in the foreground.

A view of the inside of the cave, full of flames (with the cave's mountainous roof taken off).

In the US camp, two infantrymen carry a M2HB heavy machine gun into firing position.

The business of war: a Quartermaster Sargent equips a soldier with a new weapon so he can get back into the fight.

A chaplain comforts a dying soldier.

War is a sad business. A US soldier mourns a fallen friend as he buries him.

A view from the backside of the fortified hill, looking toward the US camp - where a buried US soldier's cross can be seen in the far background. In the left foreground is a US flamethrower. In the right foreground is a cut-out view of the inside of the cave used by the Japanese command. This was part of the IJA's extensive tunnel system.

A close-up of the Japanese fortifications and command center.

Another close-up of Japanese operations. The storage room, lower right corner, contains their very limited remaining supplies, including ammunition.

A view from the Japanese position atop the mountain, looking down on the battlefield.

A side view showing both sides of the fortifications. A Japanese soldier jumps out of his machine gun emplacement as it fills with flames from the US flamethrower.

Even as their own numbers dwindle and they have no hope of victory, the Japanese inflict heavy casualties on US forces.

With such heavily fortified machine gun emplacements, the only hope for US ground forces at this distance is their flamethrower. Closer up, grenades were also an effective weapon against the IJA's protected mountain emplacements and bunkers.

A Japanese Lt. gives his final order.

Japanese soldiers fought fearlessly, fanatically, and to the death.

A Japanese colonel committed hari kiri, ritual suicide, once the battle was a lost cause. He died with honor.

By 27 November 1944, US forces had secured Peleliu in its entirety, but at an enormous price. American casualties neared 1,800 dead & 8,000 wounded or MIA. Japanese casualties were 10,695 dead and 200 captured. It saw some of the fiercest fighting in the Pacific Theater, yet was nearly forgotten by history. This scene is my tribute to those who served.



Comments

 I like it 
  March 30, 2012
Wow!! This is great!! There is so much detail in this it is hard to take it in all at once! (which is a good thing : ) )
  March 29, 2012
Great job, Cameron! I love your attention to detail. It looks like you've thought of everything. I like your creative use of pieces. It must be hard to take it all apart after spending so much time. Not only is it educational, it looks like a lot of fun, too! Keep up the good work. I love looking at it. Aunt Gina
 I made it 
  March 27, 2012
Quoting Nana and Ken Arnold What a great moc Cam! You portrayal of the battle in such detail is very impressive. Do you show the amphibious landing and assault over the beaches anywhere? Does Leggo make pieces that look like ocean surface to use as water surrounding the island?
Thanks-I really appreciate you taking the time to look & comment! Yes, I do have a beach landing scene. In fact, its the first in my 4-part Peleliu series! You can check them all out in my WW2 Creations file. Im also working on a Peleliu video using my mocs. Stay tuned! To answer your question about water, I think most Lego builders use blue pieces, or a base plate with water patterns. Im just now starting to experiment with water techniques and hope to use them more in my future creations.
 I like it 
  March 26, 2012
What a great moc Cam! You portrayal of the battle in such detail is very impressive. Do you show the amphibious landing and assault over the beaches anywhere? Does Leggo make pieces that look like ocean surface to use as water surrounding the island?
 I made it 
  March 25, 2012
Quoting Admiral Varkov Wow! Lots of action here! Fantastic detailing! Great job!
Thanks! You're one of my favorite builders, so I consider this is a great compliment. I'd love it if you'd take a look at some of my other mocs. I'm pretty proud of my Battle of Stalingrad scene. Both Peleliu and Stalingrad were school projects - what an awesome way to do history, yeah?
LegoCam 7
 I like it 
Admiral Varkov
  March 24, 2012
Wow! Lots of action here! Fantastic detailing! Great job!
 I like it 
  March 24, 2012
Great job! Love all the detail. I'm going to take a look at some of your other mocs now - I like your work.
 I like it 
  March 23, 2012
Wow! It is obvious that this took a lot of work to construct. The details and historical notations really add to the overall effort on this project. Congratulations on a job well done...
 I like it 
  March 23, 2012
I think this moc is awesome!
 
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LEGO models my own creation MOCpages toys shop Coral & Blood: Battle of Peleliu / Part 4: The Umurbrogol MountainsHistoric military


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