Kiska falls, World War II week by week

Posted by David Middlecamp on August 24, 2013 

Kiska captured in bloodless invasion, Telegram-Tribune headline from Aug. 21, 1943.

TELEGRAM-TRIBUNE

It had been a failure as a diversion.

The Japanese had taken the Alaskan islands of Attu and Kiska in an attempt to divert the American navy away from Midway Island in the mid-Pacific.

The plan had turned into a disaster for Japan when the Americans, alerted to the true danger by decrypted radio messages, sank four Imperial aircraft carriers and drove back the Midway invasion fleet.

Americans had to fight hard in frigid fog to retake Attu.

Now American and Canadian troops invaded the second island, Kiska estimated to have 10,000 Japanese troops dug in.

Though ships had been fired on August 13, by the 14th there was no reply to shelling. On the 15th when the invasion force landed there was no resistance.

The Japanese had escaped under cover of fog sometime in the night.

With the fall of Sicily in Italy the Allies could claim two island victories in August.

Where would the next blow fall? Allied and Axis planners were hard at work.

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