The World War II was one of the most dreadful episodes in the human history. Cities flattened, families uprooted, people massacred, paradises assaulted. World War II turned everything we knew upside down, including idyllic places such as Tarawa Atoll in the Gilbert Islands of the Pacific Ocean. During the war, the American troops in the Pacific Theatre were hopping one island at a time all the way to Japan. The Battle of Tarawa was bloody in every manner but these photos, captured in its aftermath, shows a life out of a movie.

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Credit: Photojournalist J. R. Eyerman in 1944 for LIFE.

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