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  • Pacific Island Times Staff

The Guam invasion is on, July 20, 1944

As the first troops were hitting the Guam beaches under heavy fire this day, the stateside media were lagging behind, perfectly understandable given the lag in communications from the war zone. There was plenty of competition for the attention of war news followers. Particularly relevant were reports about developments in the Japanese government.

Stateside presidential politics was in full swing, regardless of the war. The tragic Port Chicago munition ship explosion was still being absorbed by the nation.

The sober New York Times was continuing to cover the aftermath of the Saipan battle, while reporting--via Pearl Harbor dispatch--the warm-ujp for the Guam invasion.

Interestingly, the Times carried likely one of the first stories on an intra-American conflict that would sour relations between the U.S. Army and the U.S. Marines for many years.

The story cites earlier reports that Marine General Holland 'Howling Mad' Smith had relieved Army General Ralph Smith during the Saipan battle in a dispute over war tactics. The Marine wanted a more aggressive strategy, regardless of the cost of American lives.

Army brass caved in and transferred General Ralph Smith.

General Ralph Smith, a widely admired soldier, would prove to have a lot of defenders in the years to come.

For general cultural insensitivity--by 21st century standards--it would be hard to top this headline in the Kingsport (Tennessee) Times.


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