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Under the clear blue waters of Chuuk Atoll in the South Pacific, seven degrees north of the equator, near New Guinea, lies the wreck of a dozen Japanese warships, more than thirty merchant ships, and hundreds of aircrafts. The fleet was once stationed in Truk Lagoon, now known as Chuuk, which was a major base of the Japanese Imperial Navy in the South Pacific, during the Second World War. The armada included battleships, aircraft carriers, cruisers, destroyers, tankers, cargo ships, tugboats, gunboats, minesweepers, landing craft, and submarines. It was Japan's equivalent of the Americans' Pearl Harbor

The atoll was located within range of the Marshall Islands and was a significant source of support for Japanese garrisons located on islands and atolls throughout the central and south Pacific. These islands had facilities such as airstrips, submarine repair shops, a communications center, and a radar station. Coastal defense guns and mortar emplacements protected these facilities. With thousands of troops and heavy armament among the islands, Truk had become the “Gibraltar of the Pacific” and a significant threat to Allied operation in the Pacific. Neutralization of this threat became essential for the Allies.

Fujikawa Maru

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