~~The Battle of Peleliu took place on the small Pacific coral island (its present-day name is Palau) from 15 September to 27 November 1944. Defending the island were approximately 11,000 Japanese soldiers, primarily from the 14th Infantry Division. The amphibious assault was initiated by the 1st Marine Division. The commander of the USMC division predicted Peleliu would be secured within four days, but the dug-in defenders put up fierce resistance that protracted the operation to 73 grueling days. In fact, the Japanese soldiers created the highest casualty rate for US forces in any battle in the Pacific campaign. The 1st Marine Division lost about a third of its strength on Peleliu, and this battle set a pattern for future Japanese island defense in places like Iwo Jima and Okinawa.
Dragon's newest 1/35 scale figure set portrays Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) soldiers fighting on Peleliu. In fact, they form the perfect accompaniment to Dragon's newly released Type 95 "Ha-Go" light tank. The combat poses are expertly rendered and molding is sharp and detailed. The Japanese infantrymen are fully equipped with weapons like Type 99 rifles, a Nambu Type 94 pistol and Type 99 light machine gun, items that are brand new toolings. Worthy of special note is the fact that the soldiers are wearing traditional footwear and bindings instead of ankle boots, something that was common in Pacific combat. While the box top title names Peleliu, the figures could easily be used to portray any other campaign of the late-war period in the Pacific.
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