was known about them until an Australian airplane got some photographs showing
large land installations and many ships in the lagoon. It quickly was dubbed the
"Gibraltar of the Pacific", a name that proved a myth in time.
Japanese Commander remarked after the war "I feared, lest the Americans find
out how weak it was". Nevertheless, Truk was an important staging base for
supplies, airplanes, and ships sent south to the Solomon Islands and New Guinea
as well as being a major submarine base.
defensive fortifications were minimal compared to Tarawa and consisted mostly
of moderate size coastal guns and the airplanes, ships and submarines that were
stationed there or passing through. Eventually Allied ships and airplanes bombed
and bombarded it into rubble and it was bypassed until the end of the war.