The Pacific (Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg, Gary Goetzman) Photos
The Pacific is a 2010 TV series produced by HBO, as a companion piece to the 2001 miniseries Band of Brothers. The show focuses on the actions of the USMC United States Marine Corps in the Pacific Theater of Operations within the wider Pacific War. Whereas Band of Brothers followed one company of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment through the European Theater, The Pacific centers on the experiences of three Marines (Eugene Sledge, Robert Leckie and John Basilone) who were all in different regiments of the 1st Marine Division.
The Pacific was produced by Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman, and was spearheaded by Bruce McKenna (co-executive producer), one of the main writers on Band of Brothers. Hugh Ambrose, the son of Band of Brothers author Stephen Ambrose, served as a project consultant. The production ended up costing near $270 million, making The Pacific the most expensive TV miniseries ever created by any network.
The miniseries features the 1st Marine Division’s battles in the Pacific, such as Guadalcanal, Cape Gloucester, Peleliu, and Okinawa, as well as Basilone’s involvement in the Battle of Iwo Jima.
Missions of the 1st Marine Division (The Old Breed)
• Outbreak of World War 2 – When war came in December 1941, only 8918 Marines were assigned to the Old Breed. In March 1942, the Third Marine Brigade sailed for Western Samoa. In May 1942, the rest of the Division sailed from Norfolk Naval Base bound for New Zealand. Arriving in June 1942, the Division was alerted for combat operations in the South Pacific.
• Solomon Islands – On 7 August 1942 the First Marine Division landed at Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands under the command of Major-General Alexander Vandegrift. So began Operation Watchtower, the first major ground offensive of the war. The fighting around Guadalcanal, called simply the canal by Marines, quickly evolved into a complex series of air, ground and sea actions. The First Marine Division found itself short of food, fuel, water and ammunition. Forced to subsist on captured Japanese rations, the Marines were pummeled by long range enemy artillery, nicknamed Pistol Pete. In one of the most desperate fights of the war, Marines on Edson’s Ridge stood firm against wave after wave of suicidal Japanese attackers on Edson’s Ridge during the night of 13-14 September 1942.
• Melbourne – Ravaged by malaria and malnutrition, the Old Breed pulled off of the canal between December 1942 and February 1943. They went into garrison in Australia, first to Brisbane, and then to Melbourne. Major-General William Rupertus assumed command of the Division in the summer of 1943.
• Cape Gloucester – On 26 December 1943, the Division landed at Cape Gloucester on New Britain. As part of the campaign to secure New Guinea, the combat on New Britain took place in some of the most rugged terrain anywhere on earth. Securing Hill 150, Aogiri Ridge and Hill 660, the Division’s infantry regiments secured a lodgment around the landing beaches at Borgen Bay.
• Pavuvu – During April 1944 the Old Breed deployed to its new home on Pavuvu in the Russell Islands. Pavuvu was a tropical hole infested with sand crabs and covered by coconut plantations. The first order of business to clear out the millions of rotting coconuts that covered the ground…
• Peleliu – On 15 September 1944, the First Marine Division assaulted Peleliu in the Palaus group. This campaign took over two months before the island was secured. By the time it was relieved by the Army’s 81st Infantry Division on 16 October 1944, the Old Breed had been burned out by the Japanese defenders. Many Marines were killed.
• Return to Pavuvu – The Division returned to Pavuvu in October 1944 and Major-General Pedro DelValle assumed command the following month. Training was the order of the day, and each Marine qualified with his individual weapon and practiced the old skills : shooting, maneuvering, communications.
• Okinawa – The Old Breed moved out for Okinawa, a major island in the Ryukus. Okinawa was the largest amphibious assault of World War II. Marine and Army units landed on the Hagushi beaches on 1 April 1945. On 30 April 1945, the Old Breed went into the lines against the Japanese defenses on the southern front. The Division smashed up against the Shuri Line, and in a series of grinding attacks under incessant artillery fire, reduced one supporting position after another. In May, Japanese kamikaze attackers exacted a fearsome toll from the supporting ships offshore. Finally, on 31 May 1945, Marines of the First completed the occupation of Shuri Castle. The Division continued the push south around Kunishi Ridge. Marine tank-infantry teams began to destroy Japanese positions with flame and demolitions. Finally, organized resistance ended on 21 June when the last Japanese defenses were breached.
• End of War and China Assignment – On 30 September, the Division was ordered to Hopeh Province (China), for occupation duty. With its headquarters in Tientsin, the Old Breed remained in China until 1947.
The Pacific photos gallery (125 pictures) on DVDBASH featuring Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg, Gary Goetzman, James Badge Dale, Joseph Mazzello, Jon Seda, Sebastian Bertoli, Ashton Holmes, Rami Malek, Martin McCann, Josh Helman, Keith Nobbs, Toby Leonard Moore, David Ludlow, Dylan James Watson, Brendan Fletcher and Jacob Pitts