MacArthur had given orders to Gen. Eichelberger to push the 11 Airborne Division as hard and fast as possible. The unit’s commander, General Swing, waseager to please; if fact – he was way ahead of the brass. (as usual)and the men were only too happy to make “Uncle Joe” (or “Jumpin’ Joe) proud of them.
The 11th numbered 8,200 men, about half that of a normal division. The 187th and 188th regiments had no heavy weapons, cannon or antitank companies; the 511th had only three rifle companies. The artillery was made up of two 75mm pack howitzer battalions anda 105-mm howitzer battalion with a short barrel howitzer. The 221st medical was attached to the 187th.
The Genko Line, manned with 6,000 Japanese soldiers, had roads mined with 500 pound aerial bombs and low pressure detonators. The 1,200 pillboxes that stretched…
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