Operation SANDCRAB Case Study

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On 1 April, the JCS approved operation SANDCRAB. After obtaining the needed shipping, work began to recapture the Attu and further on the Kiska. An imposing armada pulled together to support the invasion. The attack force consisted of three battleships, a small aircraft carrier, and seven destroyers for escorting and providing supporting fire for the Army landing force, there were two covering groups, composed of several cruisers, destroyers. Submarines were positioned, for early detection of a possible engagement by the Japanese Northern Area Fleet. Supporting the naval fleet, the Eleventh Air Force provided fifty four bombers and one hundred and twenty eight fighters for the assault, reserving a third of the bomber force for use against ships of the Japanese fleet. In the initial planning phase, U.S. intelligence estimated enemy strength on Attu threefold from its original figure of 500 men, prompting a request for additional forces. Because Buckner had infantry units in Alaska, widely dispersed throughout the territory, the War Department selected the 7th Infantry Division, then stationed near Fort Ord, California, as the unit to recapture Attu. 7th Infantry Division was trained as a mobile motorized force and was scheduled for duty in the North Africa. The Infantry Division was reported to be in a high state of …show more content…
The in hospitable Aleutian weather was far different from the warm California climate they had just left. The initial shortages in cold weather equipment, meant most of the men would enter combat wearing normal field gear. Senior commanders realized that the troops would suffer from the weather, but most believed that within three days the fight for Attu would be over. This was particularly based on the assembled naval support for the landings included three battleships along with several cruisers and

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