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Thomas Sweeney
36 articles

Red Beach 1 Betio

July 26, 2016 · in Diorama · 9 · 1.2K

In November 1943 the 2nd US Marines Division landed on a small Betio island in the Tarawa atoll in the Pacific. The island, only a few square kilometers large, was defended by 4500 Japanese soldiers
There were many things during the Beto landing that went wrong. Because of the unexpectedly low tide the landing craft were trapped on the coral reef several hundred meters away from the landing beaches, called Red Beach 1, 2 and 3. They subsequently became proverbial sitting ducks for the Japanese artillery fire. The Marines were forced to leave their ships and "bromidic" towards the shore, suffering horrendous losses.
On the beach the situation turned from desperate to worse. Element of surprise long lost, the Marines were nailed down to the beach. The only protection from the enemy fire was offered by a low beach wall

Thanks for looking


Reader reactions:

9 responses

  1. I think this one turned even better than the last one. Nice job!

  2. Interesting effects. It's hard to get variety in the sand tones but yours look convincing. It's also difficult to create a dramatic effect of a life-or-death clash when the point of drama (artillery fire) is remote and unseen within the context of the piece. Ambitious work in any case.

    I think I recognise some of the figures - from a Dragon set?

  3. Nicely done Tom.

  4. Amazingly realistic. I marvel at the talent of diorama artists! Well done!

  5. Great action-packed diorama. You can hear the bullets wizzing by and sense the tension.

  6. Gentlemen Thanks for the kind comments


  7. Tom,beautiful work. The seawall is first rate. The dio shows the situation at a glance. You can stay behind the wall and get killed, or go over the wall for the same effect.
    Any of your dioramas would grace a museum, I hope you get to display them where they can be used to interest folks in Marine history.
    Thanks for sharing them with us.

  8. Bernard some of my dioramas are donated to VFW and My Marine Corps League Detactment


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