History

"All for Naught: The Battle of Peleliu"

I'm one of the ones who had never heard of it.

Aided by the rugged terrain, their careful preparation, and new tactics, the Japanese would inflict more than twice as many casualties on the Marines on Peleliu as they had on Tarawa. Proportionally, Marine casualties on Peleliu equaled those suffered on Iwo Jima. Iwo is well known. Peleliu is all but unknown. The 1st Marine Regiment, commanded by Col. Lewis “Chesty” Puller, who was already a legend in the Corps, suffered the brunt of the casualties. The Regiment’s 1st Battalion had an astounding casualty rate of 71 percent, 2nd Battalion 56 percent, and 3rd Battalion 55 percent. Headquarters Company, usually well behind the front lines and presumably in a much safer environment, had a casualty rate of 32 percent. How the regiment remained operational is something to contemplate. . . .

Instead of the three or four days of fighting that had been anticipated, the Marines were fighting for more than a month. Ultimately, the three regiments of Marines — the 1st, the 5th, and the 7th — suffered 6,526 casualties on Peleliu.


"A Renaissance Runs Through It--What Pittsburgh’s latest comeback tells us about urban revitalization"

Detailed analysis of what has worked and what hasn't in reviving Pittsburgh. Some of the choicest bits:

They’d been too busy imagining what East Liberty should look like instead of observing what was going on in the street—how developers and customers and tenants behaved in the current market. “Test to the market” became ELDI’s new mantra, and it led to some new strategies. . . . 

“We realized that crime is a non-negotiable,” says ELDI’s deputy director, Skip Schwab. “It doesn’t matter whether you’re high-income or low-income, black or white, homeowner or renter, people don’t want to move into a neighborhood that is unsafe. . . .

What can other cities learn from Pittsburgh’s renaissances? The first lesson is the one that Jane Jacobs saw early on: beware of master planners, especially when they’re spending other people’s money.

And that brings us to the second lesson from Pittsburgh’s renaissances: the master planners never go away—they just change tactics.