Makin Island

Makin Island Raid
August 16-18, 1942


The Raid on Makin Island is an offensive assault headed by Lieutenant Colonel Evans Carlson. He is responsible for 221 men on the 2d Raider Battalion. Their overall mission is to destroy any or all Japanese installations, disrupt the enemy and divert reinforcement to Guadalcanal. The Raiders succeeded by their Tenet of Initiative and effective Maneuvering. They had to overcome many obstacles from equipment failures, enemy combat, bombs dropping from above, and having to overcome the various environmental/tactical obstacles. This raid was a learning experience for many with the attempted surrender by Carlson and leaving fellow soldiers behind. The Raiders came out on top, but there were lessons to be learned.

Makin Island Raid


On August 17, 1942, 221 Marines of the 2d Marine Raider Battalion, under Lieutenant Colonel Evans Carlson, landed on Makin, of the Gilbert Islands from the submarines Nautilus and Argonaut. The Marines scattered the garrison to destroy any Japanese aviation fuel and vital papers before they withdrew, losing 21 men. This raid was intended to be a diversionary tactic so that the Marines fighting on Guadalcanal can breathe. This raid emphasized the effective use of Maneuver and the Tenets of Initiative. The Surprise of attack was fore long dismissed and the attempt to surrender was assumed. Sources were used, Carlson’s Raid: The Daring Marine Assault on Makin by George W. Smith and Raider Battalion by Edwin P. Hoyt.  
Strategic Setting

The landing of US Marines in 1942 on Makin Atoll in the Gilbert Islands did not go as planned by Admiral Nimitz. His plan was to set in action a series of events that would provide information, eliminate obstacles, and cause distraction of great proportion. Colonel Evans Carlson’s 2d Marine Raider Battalion was given the assignment by Admiral Nimitz. Carlson’s commands were Companies A and B. Company A was commanded...