Along a 2,000-mile front of islands and ocean in the south and southwest Pacific, the Allies crept closer towards Japan's muscular inner perimeter of defense. Towards the Gilberts, the northern Solomons, western New Guinea—outposts where Japan is fighting to hold off that advance—Allied forces announced some progress last week.

The Gilberts. Marines sneaked into Nanumea, which lies only 500 miles southwest of Japan's Gilbert Islands bases. Their landing was unopposed, put U.S. troops close in under the flank of Japan's long eastern sea frontier.

The Solomons. Allied air and naval forces exercised full control of "The Slot," the 300-mile water invasion...

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