It is only natural to be materialistic, after all, we are spiritual beings in a physical body. But it can affect your personal, social and even professional life. Read on to see what your star sign secret obsessions and guilty pleasures are.

ARIES: Shopping Style – You are an impulse buyer and thrive on being the first in your inner circle to parade around in the hottest new trends. You get tempted easily whether you are shopping online or window shopping. Aries Image –Appearance is important to an Aries and you enjoy projecting an image of success. You view yourself as a champion and do your best to look the part. Guilty Pleasures – Working out at the hottest gym in town, flashy wrist watches or any activity that shows everyone that you are number one!

TAURUS: Shopping Style – You fancy the finer things in life, Taurus, and are a sucker for luxurious and gorgeous goodies. You don’t mind putting down some major cash on expensive designer labels that boast a classic design, which will never go out of style. Taurus Image – You carry yourself flawlessly and can usually be found in fabulous fabrics such as cashmere or velvet. Soft and cozy items are ideal since comfort is a must for you. Guilty Pleasures – Egyptian cotton bedding, gourmet chocolates and fine wines, or anything that comes dressed in the infamous blue Tiffany’s box.

GEMINI: Shopping Style – You have the unique talent to shop all day and not purchase a single thing. You enjoy looking stylish but prefer not to make a big fuss about your wardrobe. You shop when you are in need of something and try to acquire everything on your list in one day. Gemini Image – You appear younger than your actual age, almost childlike, and come across as entertaining and innocent, which attracts lots of different personality types. Guilty Pleasures – Electronic gadgets, books on tape, magazines, or a collection of challenging puzzles. Anything that stimulates your mind and keeps you eagerly engaged.

CANCER: Shopping Style – Nothing excites you more than shopping for cozy home furnishings. You are always on the hunt for the perfect new item to bring a whole room together. Your love of knick knacks can be damaging to your checkbook so keep a watchful eye on your finances. Cancer Image – You love anything of quality, soft silks, and Egyptian cotton; you would lounge in your silk pajamas all day. Guilty Pleasures – Family heirlooms and expensive picture frames of those you love. Personal mementos and priceless antiques are also at the top of your guilty pleasure’s list, as well as a beautiful home to put them in!

LEO: Shopping Style – You splurge on things that make you feel good and spend major bucks on anything that improves your self-image. Shopping is a social activity for you and your friends plus you tend to select high-end labels that impress others, even if they are on the flashy side. Leo Image – The more dramatic, the better! You adore animal prints, sequins, fur and faux fur for the animal conscious. You have heads spinning whenever you walk into a room and confidently bask in all the attention. Guilty Pleasures – Parties, casinos, shopping, poker nights and anything that glosses and sparkles. You adore hair products, mirrors and treating your friends to upscale social gatherings or events.

VIRGO: Shopping Style – Your shopping style consists of a well-constructed list so you can cross off each item as purchased. You have a thrifty sense but can spend more on lasting values and good quality. Virgo Image – When it comes to your appearance and style you typically go for a conservative or ‘proper’ look. Classic tailored looks paired with colorful accessories keep you beaming with delight. Guilty Pleasures – An organized and structured event with well thought out centerpieces, decorations, and low-calorie cocktails. A quiet and cozy evening at home with your favorite book, as well as your forever thoughts of leaving mainstream society to spend your time studying. No matter how old you are, being a full-time student is an ongoing fantasy.

LIBRA: Shopping Style – You either have a personal shopper or are dreaming of the day you can afford to hire one. If there is an amazing deal in town you might be seen camping outside to make sure you’re the first in the door. Libra Image – You are known to color coordinate your entire wardrobe and have a passion for pastel colors and flowing materials. People gaze at you to admire the hottest trends and smartest looks of the season, especially if it is a dreamy romantic style they are looking for. Guilty– Intimate dinners in an ultra-romantic setting, tickets to the opera or ballet, high-end fashion shows, or any art gallery opening.

SCORPIO: Shopping Style – Known as a regular at your favorite stores, you get what you want, when you want it! You have a weakness for boots and can be found in the sexiest and trendiest shops around town. Scorpio Image – The shade black is a must-have for you and you tend to treat clothes as a tool for seduction. You produce an air of mystery by experimenting with any type of clothing that leave you feeling hot and sexy. Guilty Pleasures – Black leather pants, overly large sunglasses, knee-high boots or an addictive perfume. You also have a secret stash of revealing risqué lingerie. And of course, you long to go to exotic seaside resorts to show your style off.

SAGITTARIUS: Shopping Style – Typically you are always on the go and don’t have much time for window shopping. Your preferred shopping style is via the World Wide Web and you only buy something if you have truly fallen in love with it. Sagittarius Image – Designer jeans and a classic white tee shirt is a favorite teamed with a stylish jacket that is timeless. You like your look to be smart but to look like you have not gone to a lot of trouble, even if you have! Guilty Pleasure’s – Expensive yet thrilling life experiences like a hot air balloon ride, helicopter tour, horseback riding, whitewater rafting, tickets to any major sporting event, or an intense well-being an overhaul at a far away from health resort.

CAPRICORN: Shopping Style – You want the best knock-offs money can buy and you excel in finding the best bargains in town. Status is important to you Capricorn, but you always find a way to look spectacular without overspending. Capricorn Image – You like a structured look that has a flair about it, a little softens added here and there. You manage to come up with a look that is uniquely you. Form-fitting pants are a must and you can’t help but look like a fabulous every time you step foot outside, even if you’re not trying to. Guilty Pleasures – All types of jewelry that sparkles is a prized possession of yours and you rock it fiercely. Traveling first class, the finest champagne, and the hottest private car is your idea of a fabulous time, not to mention a vacation at a five-star hotel! Of course, if you can make it all a tax deduction, even better!

AQUARIUS: Shopping Style – When it comes to shopping you love checking out outrageous vintage stores and can’t help but choose pieces that are somewhat outdated. If you pass a shop that displays unique or unusual pieces it is almost impossible to walk by without first checking it out. Aquarius Image – Eccentric clothing, anything that says, I dance to my own tune and I don’t care what the fashion is. You are a trendsetter, and rock a fashion statement! Spandex and vinyl are on the top of your list, which helps you create unexpected combinations. Guilty Pleasures – High-end photography, expensive cameras, and computers, collecting pricey rare stones and gadgets. When dining out, you try ethnic dishes with authentic spices. Your ultimate pleasure is to be known for making a difference in the world.

PISCES: Shopping Style – You have a costly shopping habit and money seems to slither right through your fingertips, with you often left wondering what just happened? Having gift certificates or store coupons on hand to help lower your shopping bill is a must. Pisces Image – Blue, green and colors of the sea can have a calming effect on your zodiac DNA as well as look fabulously striking on you. When you put together a fashion ensemble, style and comfort are both important. Long-lasting cotton and dreamy silks are fabrics that help to express your romantic side. Guilty Pleasures – You have a secret obsession with shoes and spend endless amounts of money on pedicures and foot massages. You have a fertile imagination, of which includes music, romance and the perfect setting in life. There are no restrictions in your imagination, and making your fantasy life a reality is your most delicious pleasure.


–Jennifer Angel


Your Daily Horoscope for Thursday, February 7

Your Daily Horoscope for Thursday, February 7

By Kelli Fox


March 21- April 19

Today it’s important to make an emotional connection with the people around you. Keep in mind that many people are feeling more sensitive now than usual — you included. So keep biting comments and snarky jokes to a minimum! You might just be poking fun, but someone else could get their feelings hurt. And if you’re the one who feels a little blue today, give yourself some space to sit with those emotions.


April 20-May 20

Welcome to a relaxed and relaxing day. Your internal transmitter is set to a lower frequency than usual. It feels wonderful just to hang out at home, or any place where you feel comfortable. If you have access to water, it’s a perfect day to go for a swim or to de-stress by a river or ocean. The gentle sound of the waves will soothe your soul at a deep level.


May 21-June 21

You might be most comfortable in an intellectual realm. But today, you’re thrust into the hazy realm of emotions. Perhaps someone close to you is feeling especially loving, or maybe they’re in a gloomy state of mind. Or maybe you’re the one who’s feeling things much more intensely than usual. Either way, don’t try to joke or rationalise these feelings away. Sit with them. Absorb them. Let them wash through you like water.


June 22-July 22

Hang out at home or with good friends, and just take it easy today. You’re feeling quite centred and relaxed, but your energy may be a bit low. Watching a movie might be the perfect way to spend a lazy afternoon or evening! Or call a long-distance friend and catch up on your lives. If they’re going through a tough time, you can lend a strong shoulder and a sympathetic ear.


July 23-August 22

Feelings of vulnerability could arise today. You’re known as the strong, courageous one among your friends or coworkers. But now, having to be bold or decisive could make you want to hide under the covers! Bolster your courage by reminding yourself that you have a lot of support to draw from. Lots of people adore you, and most are ready with a sympathetic ear if you need to talk out an issue.


August 23-September 22

Welcome to a passive, low-energy day. Your usual ability to focus may fly right out the window. You might find yourself daydreaming when you’re supposed to be working, or falling asleep when you’re supposed to be alert. Make time for a nap, or do something quiet like reading or watching a movie. Most of all, let your thoughts wander. Embrace any feelings or impressions that arise, no matter how silly they seem.


September 23-October 22

You’re in a sensitive mood today. Someone’s rude, crass or uncaring comment could get under your skin even more than usual. The good news is, you’re kindhearted enough to give people a lot of space and understanding, even if they behave in an unkind way. This is part of being a good leader: You lead by example, which inspires others to live up to the standard of behaviour you set.


October 23 – November 22

Seek out the company of someone you love and trust today. You need that close, affectionate connection and the other person probably does, too. A good talk or a warm hug is like a soothing balm for a troubled soul. The good news is, you’re feeling rather centred and serene. You can lend an ear or give excellent advice, but a simple smile is all you need in return.


November 23-December 20

Spiritual pursuits are highlighted today. Meditate, do yoga or visit a place of worship. This might be a church or temple, but it could also be your favourite spot in the woods or at the top of a mountain. You, perhaps more than most, derive great meaning from natural settings that afford you a broad perspective on the world and your own place in it. Seek this type of experience now.


December 21-January 19

If your energy is a bit low today, don’t push yourself to work as hard as you usually do. You often ignore your body’s cues in favour of sticking to your task list. But right now it’s a good idea to make space in your schedule for some pleasurable relaxation. Grab a friend or a family member and camp out on the couch. Watch a movie or read a good book. Enjoy some downtime.


January 20-February 18

Today you’re drawn to spiritual pursuits. Simple scientific explanations don’t satisfy you now. You want to look more deeply than that into life’s mysteries. Participate in activities that help you look beyond logic to the more magical side of life. It’s also a good day to visit any place of reverence or worship that’s meaningful to you, whether that’s a church, a temple or a mountaintop.


February 19-March 20

Don’t be surprised if you need extra sleep today. You certainly need extra time to daydream. If you work at a demanding job, you may find it difficult to concentrate. Your mind just keeps wandering! There’s no sense in fighting this, unless you absolutely have to get something concrete accomplished. But it would be better to shift meetings and other demands to another day, so you can let your thoughts roam.



–The Sydney Morning Herald

Your Daily Horoscopes for Wednesday, February 6

FEBRUARY 06, 2019 HOROSCOPES by Jennifer Angel

Moon and Venus energy highlights being both realistic and idealistic.


Aries MARCH 21-APRIL 19
Thanks to the stars, this year promises to throw a flurry of activity at your professional life. You may have to rearrange your schedule so you are more productive in the time you have available. It could also be advantageous to change some business practices or routines to allow for more social time, which will allow you to de-stress from the business day.

Taurus APRIL 20-MAY 20
You’ll want to listen to what your instincts tell you right now. There are changes coming up and you want to make the decisions that are right for you not only now but for the future. Don’t get involved with time-wasters either; you have much to accomplish in a short time, and don’t have time to entertain anyone who does not serve a purpose in your plan.

Gemini MAY 21-JUNE 20
When you follow your heart, whether for work or love, it will lead you in the right direction. However, while doing what you know is right for you, be mindful of other people’s needs. And be mindful that you may need to make some compromises to achieve your end result.

Cancer JUNE 21-JULY 22
It’s likely that something you put off a while back will come up for discussion now. When it’s about business, you should pay attention to what your intuition tells you. With official business you will want to consult an expert or two, so make use of your resources and reach out.

Leo JULY 23-AUG. 22
You will want to assume total control of your life right now in order to take clear an outstanding situation. Don’t leave the details for someone else to sort out; make sure you have your hand in everything with your name on it. You will also want to make sure you don’t get overly emotional and keep everything on a business level.


Virgo AUG. 23-SEPT. 22
The world consists of unique and different people and it is unrealistic to think you will get along amicably with everyone, nor do you want to. However, just because someone has a different point of view doesn’t mean they are wrong, just different. Keep an open mind, and while you stay steadfast with your views allow others to also have their opinion.

Libra SEPT. 23-OCT. 22
Family matters are likely to demand your attention and when money is concerned, it will be wise to stay firm with your decisions. Tread carefully with anyone who seems intent on telling you what to do and how to do it. When you envisage an outcome it is important to be optimistic but you also want to be realistic.

Scorpio OCT. 23-NOV. 21
You may be pressed for time right now, but you will still want to ensure you do the job right. When you rush it’s easy to overlook a few details. Manage your time efficiently and put effort into multitasking. If you can streamline certain processes, you will end up with more wiggle room at the end of the day.

Sagittarius NOV. 22-DEC. 21
Although it’s great to do what you love, you also have to do what pays the bills. If you plan to take on a new endeavor, ensure there will be some sort of gold at the end of the rainbow before you dive in. Learn from those around you who have managed the art of success and financial abundance, and adopt their principles.

Capricorn DEC. 22-JAN. 19
With so many disgruntled people in this world, you should be careful about who you share your business with. Don’t have a private conversation near anyone who can start the gossip train in motion. Some people have nothing better to do with their time than spread rumors. Talk only to those who’ve proven their trust worthiness.

Aquarius JAN. 20-FEB. 18
A financial situation can finally clear up this week thanks to some influential friends. There are more important things in life than money, but it is necessary to survive and therefore being financially independent does provide you with peace of mind. Just don’t rely on it to provide you with everything you need in life, like happiness or satisfaction.

Pisces FEB. 19-MARCH 20
No matter what you do for a living, make sure you do it to the best of your ability. It’s important to keep a strong work ethic and hold yourself to high standards. If you are a consummate professional and show you are willing to put in extra effort, you can elevate yourself above the competition.


–Jennifer Angel

Your Love Horoscopes for February 6 – February 7

Pisces Daily Love Horoscope

Wednesday 6th of February 2019

If you feel you’re giving 100% to improving love life circumstances and progress isn’t happening, then don’t convince yourself that unseen forces are determined to create obstacles. Adopting a negative or pessimistic attitude toward what’s taking longer to manifest than you’d hoped isn’t the answer, either. Consider if your vision of what you want to see happen is tipped too much toward your needs. Chances are, it is.

Pisces tomorrow love horoscope:

Thursday 7th of February 2019

With your enthusiasm and passion levels boosted wonderfully now, you could be tempted to adopt a no-nonsense, gung-ho approach to affairs of the heart. However, it’s regarding communication that you might need to dial back your fervent energy. It could be easy to overlook how domineering you are conversationally, and this will be sexy on one level but off-putting on another. Conversations can still be powerfully alluring with more listening involved.

Capricorn Daily Love Horoscope

Wednesday 6th of February 2019

A surprise development or discovery in your love life could give you plenty to consider at this time. Maybe, a loved one or someone close has come up with their own set of rules that contradict things as you understand them to be. Certain plans involving a partner could be prone to change. If you need some time to get your head around any new arrangement, then ask for it.

Capricorn tomorrow love horoscope:

Thursday 7th of February 2019

You could feel unsure whether words or actions will make clear your thoughts and feelings to someone close, but a sensible option must surely involve balancing both? Although the object of your affections probably won’t doubt you mean what you say, backing up any verbal declarations with action, even if it’s one heartfelt affectionate gesture, could ensure your message is clearly understood.

Sagittarius Daily Love Horoscope

Wednesday 6th of February 2019

Yourhoughts could prefer to be veer frequently into romantic territory and giving due attention to other duties or responsibilities could be tricky at this time. This can create a frustrating need to balance working and playing, as you become acutely aware of what a lover and certain others expect from you. The answer surrounds clearing the decks of mundane responsibilities and setting aside time for playing later. Business might need to come before pleasure.

Sagittarius tomorrow love horoscope:

Thursday 7th of February 2019

Fluctuating moods could make any decision-making equally erratic so don’t be surprised if a loved one struggles to keep up with your thought processes. You know what you’re trying to make happen – or make sense of – and are right to keep impatience at bay. It could be easy to feel pressured into taking action or making a certain decision, and this isn’t helpful when you’re still at an ‘assessing stage’ with a love life matter that could benefit from more thought applied to it.

Scorpio Daily Love Horoscope

Wednesday 6th of February 2019

You might feel a stronger urge to indulge in fun or sexy pastimes with a loved one that push boundaries or take you into unfamiliar territory. Allow your spontaneous and adventurous side to come out and play. The object of your affections might struggle to connect with your desire to explore what’s unusual or taboo, but you’ll probably get your way in the end.

Scorpio tomorrow love horoscope:

Thursday 7th of February 2019

Superficial chitchat, small talk or skirting around an issue you and someone special know needs to be addressed could result in a surprisingly deep and meaningful exchange. What both of you might have convinced yourselves would be an awkward topic could be something you’ll be glad to have brought into the open. It might be your willingness to bring the truth out from hiding, but you won’t be unsupported with doing so.

Libra Daily Love Horoscope

Wednesday 6th of February 2019

Your passionate energy could be focused or applied in so many ways at this time. If a loved one or potential partner sees your efforts as confusing or erratic, then don’t let this cause you to dial back feelings or emotions. Your fervent energy is positive, even if it could be a bit overpowering, but it can be undeniably sexy with a tiny bit of patience and sensitivity involved!

Libra tomorrow love horoscope:

Thursday 7th of February 2019

Single Librans could feel a noticeable willingness to throw caution to the wind and apply innate networking skills to get out there, meeting and mingling in the belief that The One will be found. However, you might be overlooking one romantic opportunity that is much closer than you realize. Trust your instincts if they tell you to call off the search! Attached Librans could be strengthening something with a special love interest, and this momentum needs to keep going because it’s integral to one dream unfolding delightfully.

Virgo Daily Love Horoscope

Wednesday 6th of February 2019

The spirit of collaboration is strengthening in your emotional world and could encourage you and a loved one or potential partner to consider what long-term goals can be achieved by putting your heads together or combining talents. However, one of you might need to be careful about taking too strong a lead with what ought to be balanced. Both of you could have very fixed ideas about where things can go from here so try to keep the word ‘partnership’ in mind.

Virgo tomorrow love horoscope:

Thursday 7th of February 2019

Matters outside the sphere of your emotional world or one special connection could take up considerable focus and possibly cause you to overlook someone’s heartfelt efforts or attempt to gain your attention. Fortunately, your signature eye for detail can help to ensure you don’t let this go unnoticed for long. Something heartwarmingly inspiring is on offer if you’re willing to focus on the present and leave the future alone briefly.

Leo Daily Love Horoscope

Wednesday 6th of February 2019

You might not believe your actions or demeanor are in any way erratic or unusual, but a loved one or potential partner might think otherwise. What you see as consistent, someone else might see as inconsistent but don’t go changing just to please someone them. Your paramour might be clinging too tightly to routines or traditions and need to be reminded of magic that often comes from being more spontaneous.

Leo tomorrow love horoscope:

Thursday 7th of February 2019

This is a time to go with the flow where developments in your emotional world or within a love partnership are concerned. You could be inclined to overthink or overanalyze what should be left alone to head in the direction it’s determined to head toward. Your relaxed attitude will help a loved one to feel less anxious or apprehensive, too. Be the peacemaker or bringer of calmness you can be now because it’s not only you who benefits.

Cancer Daily Love Horoscope

Wednesday 6th of February 2019

You’re encouraged to view current circumstances in your emotional world or within a love relationship with a more open mind, and this is integral to seeing certain romantic or relationship matters in a more positive and realistic light. Being more flexible and open-minded puts you in a stronger position to see an unexpected development for what it is – and why it should be embraced, not resented or rejected.

Cancer tomorrow love horoscope:

Thursday 7th of February 2019

You could feel it’s necessary to slow down or possibly alter something between you and a certain person, especially if you sense an imbalance that concerns you. An arrangement or agreement could be shifting, but before you show more commitment, you want to know you’re dealing with something long-term. If something has become too comfortable or predictable, then now’s the time to make clear what you want to see change.

Gemini Daily Love Horoscope

Wednesday 6th of February 2019

You could have a valid reason to feel optimistic about your romantic or relationship prospects at this time but could also discover you’ve overlooked an issue that has been begging for attention for a while. Don’t see what comes to light as a setback or a reason to react defensively. There’s much to appreciate and be positive about. Whatever it is, it’s temporary, and whatever change is instigated now benefits both of you.

Gemini tomorrow love horoscope:

Thursday 7th of February 2019

The thought of having what you know is an essential conversation with a loved one might not fill you with enthusiasm, but you probably know this topic can’t be swept under the carpet forever. Start slowly and reduce any surprises or sudden, impulsive behavior. Introducing a sensitive topic gently and gradually will ensure it is seen in the right perspective and progress gets made.

Taurus Daily Love Horoscope

Wednesday 6th of February 2019

You might find that you’ve underestimated your paramour’s ability to probe or persist at getting certain information from you. They might believe you’re secretive or that you’re concealing something. In truth, you probably feel you’re not obliged to disclose what they want to know. Reassure them that dishonesty plays no part in your need for privacy and feeling pushed to open up to them could only encourage you to dig your heels in further.

Taurus tomorrow love horoscope:

Thursday 7th of February 2019

Responsibilities or obligations in the real world could dampen your enthusiasm or possibly burst your bubble briefly where affairs of the heart are concerned. It’s also possible romantic or relationship pursuits will need to be put on a back burner as you focus your attention on creating security and stability in other ways. It’s all about getting priorities right at this time, and you’ll soon be able to shift your attention properly to matters of the heart once you’ve taken care of business – whatever that might be.

Aries Daily Love Horoscope

Wednesday 6th of February 2019

A loved one’s sudden or unexpected action or gesture could be more alarming than delightful. What they do or propose in an out-of-the-blue way could be a cause for concern, especially if it becomes clear that they see something in your connection in a very different way to how you see it. However, this might be an ideal opportunity to remove rose-tinted glasses and see a romantic or relationship scenario in a new – and possibly more realistic – light.

Aries tomorrow love horoscope:

Thursday 7th of February 2019

You’re helped to consider in every way possible the best interests of your love life or one special connection. This might involve an epiphany or realization regarding what ‘works’, what doesn’t and what holds you back from achieving your passionate potential. You’re brave and bold enough to accept what must change within you to improve your emotional world generally or a love relationship. The discoveries you make now are timely, so embrace them.

Aquarius Daily Love Horoscope

Wednesday 6th of February 2019

You might have some grand plans or lofty aspirations where romance or a love relationship are concerned. However, what you’re keen to make happen immediately might require more time and patience on your part. An unjustified cause for alarm could also arise if you spot something changing or shifting in a relationship but, with plenty of patience and calmness, you’ll see it’s unlikely to be anything to be concerned about.

Aquarius tomorrow love horoscope:

Thursday 7th of February 2019

A romantic plan or aspiration could be a fantastic source of excitement. However, being aware of when the time has arrived to cease thinking about it and start taking action to make it happen is something you’ll need to accept. Fortunately, a spontaneous approach could be perfect to get your plan or vision underway. Even if a plan doesn’t go completely to plan, there are many sexy benefits to taking a risk in the name of love – and this could turn someone on wonderfully!

Your Daily Cosmic Calendar for Wednesday, February 6


FEBRUARY 6, 2019

As long-term readers of this calendar know, every so often the Universe backs off from its usual bombardment of humanity with a wide variety of challenging sky configurations. The last two days have been rather calm in terms of celestial activities, and now there are only two main alignments influencing earthly matters. Both of these heavenly connections are definitely favorable and happen only 7 minutes apart as

Venus forms a love-empowering and inspirational, 72-degree link to Neptune (7:56 a.m.) followed by a mentally illuminating solar parallel with Mercury (8:03 a.m.). Enjoy playing a favorite musical instrument. Try your hand at writing rhyme poetry, limericks, or haiku. Experiment with making seafood or corn chowder for hungry dear ones. Dance the night away as the moon in the last sign of the zodiac can give you happy feet.

[Note to readers: All times are calculated as Pacific Standard Time. Be sure to adjust all times according to your own local time so the alignments noted above will be exact for your location.]

Copyright 2018 Mark Lerner & Great Bear Enterprises, Ltd.



World War Two: Gilberts and Marshalls(7); Makin-Consolidating the Beachhead

Build-up of the Assault: In the initial landings on Butaritari a platoon of Company C, 102nd Engineers, was attached to each of the infantry battalion landing teams. One squad of each platoon was distributed over the first-wave boats of the assault companies and came ashore prepared to clear beach and underwater obstacles with Bangalore torpedoes. The remainder of the platoon of engineers landed with the reserve of the infantry battalion landing team.

Shore parties were furnished by the 152nd Engineers. Company A was attached to the 3rd Battalion Landing Team at Red Beach 2, Company B to the 1st Battalion Landing Team at Red Beach, and Company C to the 2nd Battalion Landing Team at Yellow Beach.

All three shore parties encountered unexpected difficulties. As the 27th Division’s engineer reported, “Red Beach was a beach in name only and afforded landing with difficulty for about six boats at flood tide.” At Red Beach 2, landings could be made only for about three hours before and after flood tide, and even then only with considerable difficulty. Since the tide was high at H Hour, troops and supplies could be landed there with relative ease for the first few hours, but as the tide approached the ebb, progress in unloading was slowed down. The lagoon off Yellow Beach was of course too shallow to float LCVP’s or LCM’s closer than 200 yards off shore, and up to noon of the second day of the operation the only supplies to reach this beach had to be transferred from landing craft to amphibian tractors at the reefs edge. By that time, sectional pontoons, brought along by naval vessels and set up on all beaches, projected far enough to seaward to permit all types of landing craft to debark their supplies directly without transferring them first to amphibian tractors. Also by then, King’s Wharf, including the seaplane runway, was sufficiently repaired to accommodate all the shore parties of the 152nd Engineers, which moved to the pier and organized two shifts to assist in unloading.

The difficulties at Red Beaches clouded an otherwise successful landing. By the close of the first day’s action, only a small part of the supplies and equipment had been unloaded, and even some of the troops were still far from shore aboard small craft as night closed in. By evening of D Day, Leonard Wood had unloaded approximately 38 percent of her supplies and equipment and Calvert about 23 percent. Not all of this had reached shore, however. Some was still embarked in landing craft at nightfall. By 1800 all the transports had completed their unloading for the day and got under way for night cruising dispositions.

Also among the first waves to land at all beaches were communications personnel carrying both radio and telephone equipment. These were provided by the Detachment, 27th Signal Company, the communications platoon of the 165th Regimental Combat Team, and three teams of the 75th Signal Company, each attached to a battalion landing team. Shortly after landing they were able to establish radio contact between the troops ashore and the division and regimental commanders still afloat. Uninterrupted radio contact between ship and shore, however, was at first difficult to maintain. Radio sets were wet from the brief rain squall that had occurred early in the morning and were further damaged by waves and spray breaking over the landing craft during the long wait between loading from the transports and landing at the beaches. Landing craft grounded on the reefs, and since all personnel had to wade ashore in water from waist to shoulder depth, radio and telephone equipment was further damaged. Some difficulty was also encountered in maintaining contact by wire run laterally along Red Beaches—amphibian tractors churning across the beach, for example, often tore up the wire. Wires strung from trees later in the day made communications more reliable.

More serious was the fact that during the first day of landing no direct radio communication was established between the 1st and 3rd Battalion Landing Teams on Red Beaches and the 2nd Battalion Landing Team on Yellow Beach, although previous arrangements had been made for this by the allocation of an appropriate frequency and the assignment of necessary radio sets. Late in the day, it is true, occasional messenger service connected the 2nd Battalion Landing Team with the rest of the force on the west end of the island, but not until the morning of the second day of operations was full radio, wire, and messenger service established between Red and Yellow Beaches. In view of the fact that these two forces were approaching each other in a delicate maneuver that required precise timing and complete coordination, the absence of direct radio contact between them was a serious handicap.

Another defect in communications noted during the first days of the Makin operation was faulty communications procedures. Greenwich civil time and local time were used interchangeably in the date-time groups of messages and in the time specified in the contents of the messages. Authenticators were seldom used, although standard procedure required it. Many message centers were apparently under the impression that local time was zone plus-9½ (that is, Greenwich civil time plus 9½ hours) whereas it was actually zone plus-12, thus causing a 2½-hour error in their dispatches. None of this was fatal, but it did cause some avoidable confusion at headquarters.

Most serious was the failure, or rather absence, of communications between tanks and the infantry units that they were supposed to support. The tanks attached to the 27th Division for this operation were equipped with radio sets that could not operate on either the infantry or artillery nets. From the outset this caused considerable confusion and was largely responsible for the poor infantry-tank co-ordination that characterized the fighting on Makin.

The only sets in the division that could operate with the tanks were those of the 27th Cavalry Reconnaissance Troop. Therefore, it was necessary to attach a radio team from that unit to each battalion landing team headquarters. In the lower echelons (rifle companies, platoons, and squads, and tank platoons and individual tanks) there was no communication agency capable of linking the components of the infantry-tank teams.

In spite of these difficulties and defects in establishing and maintaining direct contact between lower echelons, communications between the task force commander (Admiral Turner) and the various units ashore and between the regimental and division commanders and the elements under them were reported generally satisfactory. This was provided in part by the air liaison parties, and the shore fire control parties, which were landed fairly early in the operation and were attached to each battalion landing team.

[NOTE MA-77A: ALP U-13, attached to 3rd BLT, was in position ashore by 0910; ALP U-11, attached to 1st BLT, by 1110; ALP U-12, attached to 2nd BLT, was held up off Yellow Beach by the air attack against the hulks but was landed by 1258. V Phib Corps GALVANIC Rpt, Incl F, Special Staff Officers Rpt, Sec. I, Air Officer Rpt, pp. 3-4.]

Two shore fire control parties were assigned to each battalion. These landed with their respective infantry battalions and were immediately able to furnish close supporting fires on call. On D Day one cruiser (Minneapolis) and two destroyers (Dewey and Phelps) were designated to deliver fires on request from these parties.

However, no requests were received, either on that day or later in the operation. This failure to call upon naval guns can be explained in part by the relatively limited area lying between Yellow Beach and Red Beaches, an area apparently considered by troop commanders to be too restricted to risk calling on naval fire for support. In spite of the fact that the shore fire control parties were not called upon to perform the functions for which they were primarily intended, they did provide a valuable and sometimes the only communications liaison between ship and shore.

To each battalion landing team was also attached an air liaison party whose function was to call for air strikes in support of ground troops at the request of the respective troop commanders. Air Liaison Party U-13, attached to the 3rd Battalion Landing Team, was in position ashore about 100 yards from the beach by 0910. The party attached to the 1st Battalion Landing Team (ALP U-11) reported in position at 1110. That attached to the 2nd Battalion Landing Team (ALP U-12) was held up off Yellow Beach by the air attack against the hulks, but was able to get ashore by 1258. As in the case of naval fire, no close air strikes were called for against land targets on D Day, but again the air liaison parties had reliable and consistent communications with the various headquarters afloat and in many instances, especially during the early hours after the landing, these groups and the shore fire control parties were the only sources of information available to higher echelons.

One other important communications net was that established between the field artillery batteries and the division commander, once the latter got ashore. Although communications by wire between artillery units and infantry units was impossible to maintain because of the damage wrought by tanks and tractors, radio communications were deemed satisfactory. Also, the radios manned by artillery personnel often filled the gap created by the failure of communications between infantry units and command posts. It was rare that the division commander could not secure information from the front lines of any battalion landing team through the artillery communications setup.

One result of these initial failures in communications ashore (contrasted with the comparatively superior ship-to-shore communications setup) was to delay moving the entire division headquarters from Leonard Wood until the second day of the operation. In spite of these difficulties all other command posts were set up on the island before nightfall of the first day’s action. Colonel Conroy had left his ship as early as 0900, and by 1100 the regimental command post was set up ashore. Meanwhile, Colonel Hart, commanding the 3rd Battalion Landing Team, had opened his command post, as had Colonel Kelley of the 1st Battalion Landing Team. By 1800 General Smith was ashore, although his command post still remained afloat.

First Night on Butaritari

By the time action against the enemy had been closed in the late afternoon of 20 November, the first objectives of the invasion of Makin had in the main been accomplished. Except for the small pocket contained by Company C, the West Tank Barrier system had been reduced. Other secondary aims had also been realized. A solid holding line facing east had been established, and the likelihood of any substantial Japanese reinforcement of the West Tank Barrier reduced to a minimum. Beachheads had been secured on two shores and were in process of development. Artillery was ashore and had already fired a few missions in support of Company E’s advance eastward. All command posts were ashore except the division’s.

 With the virtual reduction of the West Tank Barrier, the troops facing the main body of Japanese on the eastern part of the island automatically became the front-line units. The principal element in the east on the night of D Day was Company E, reinforced by one platoon of Company G and a part of Detachment Z of the 105th Infantry, one of the special landing groups.

The nearest American position behind the front-line elements was the medium tank park established by the 193rd Tank Battalion near the center of Yellow Beach. This was some 500 yards to the rear of Company E’s line. Tank crews either stayed in their vehicles or joined Company H and the Yellow Beach shore party in digging a perimeter defense. The command post of the 2nd Battalion was also located on Yellow Beach, adjacent to the perimeter established by the tank battalion.

About five hundred yards farther to the west, dug in near the lagoon along the eastern edge of the West Tank Barrier system, was Company G, less the platoon that had joined Company E. Company F dug in directly south of Company G, in the same area. Beyond the tank trap, Company C set up its night position just east of the “pocket” that had caused so much trouble during the afternoon. The other three companies of the 1st Battalion were in position along the southern half of the west barrier system, bending back to the west along the ocean shore. The remainder of the 165th Regimental Combat Team was spread out over the island from the West Tank Barrier to Red Beaches. The 3rd Battalion had assembled just southwest of Rita Lake shortly after its relief and dug in there for the night. General Ralph Smith, after coming ashore at 1800, had ordered Colonel Hart to prepare his men for a movement to Kuma Island, northeast of Butaritari, at 0900 the next morning. Disturbing news from Tarawa prompted Admiral Turner to disapprove this projected move, however. The 3rd Battalion was to be maintained in readiness at Rita Lake for transshipment to Tarawa if it should be needed there.

The 105th Field Artillery Battalion dug in for the night near its guns south of Ukiangong Village and was prepared, if called upon, to furnish night fires for the units farther to the east. Nearby was the second bivouac area of the 193rd Tank Battalion, occupied mainly by the amphibian tractors of the Red Beach special landing groups and by light tanks. Another platoon of light tanks was situated at Red Beach 2, where practically all the remaining troops ashore had assembled. As night closed in on the island, it appeared probable that the enemy would adopt one or more of three courses. He could defend his current positions in depth, withdraw to the eastern part of Butaritari and then cross over to Kuma Island, or counterattack in force.

Actually, no major counterattacks were undertaken by the Japanese during the first night, nor was there any organized withdrawal eastward. Some successful attempts were made to bolster defenses along the eastern line and a few positions at the base of King’s Wharf were reoccupied and new machine gun emplacements constructed facing the American lines. One machine gun was placed in the wrecked seaplane lying in the lagoon off of King’s Wharf, another at the base of King’s Wharf, and three more were set up in buildings in the area immediately southward.

Also, a few efforts were made to work small patrols into the area of the West Tank Barrier system. Some of these were intercepted. One, of from twelve to sixteen men, tried to move around the left flank of Company E near the sandspit, but was stopped by rifle fire. In the sector assigned to Detachment Z, 105th Infantry, several enemy infiltrated American positions. Three were killed and two wounded by rifle fire and grenades. One twelve-man patrol did manage to slip along the ocean shore and reach a point between Companies A and B. Only twenty feet from Company A its members stopped to fire at Company B, which had been discovered to the front. When dawn came the enemy was revealed only a few yards away and the whole patrol was killed without trouble.

The communications breakdown among units of the Japanese militated against any successful reinforcement of the West Tank Barrier system, for while patrols were attempting to infiltrate the system, survivors behind the American lines were trying to get out. For example, one ten-man group was killed by grenades and BAR fire as it tried to escape toward the ocean early in the morning.

These instances constituted the only recorded cases of organized Japanese counteractivity during the first night after the landing on Butaritari, and there is no evidence that these various movements of small patrols were in any way co-ordinated. Other than that, the enemy’s countermeasures were limited to sniper fire from lone riflemen located within or close to the U.S. lines. This was kept up all night and was reportedly accompanied by a variety of ruses such as dropping lighted firecrackers to attract American fire and calling out messages in garbled English.

One effect of these tactics was to precipitate a breakdown of fire discipline among the green and nervous American troops. “Trigger-happy” soldiers peppered away indiscriminately at unseen targets throughout the night, not only wasting ammunition but, more important, drawing frequent counter-fire. The worst example occurred just after daybreak when a man from the 152nd Engineers ran along the lagoon shore from the direction of On Chong’s Wharf toward the command post of the 2nd Battalion, shouting, “There’s a hundred and fifty Japs in the trees!” A wave of shooting hysteria swept the area. When the engineer admitted that he had seen no enemy but had merely heard firing, shouted orders to cease fire proved ineffectual. Direct commands to individuals were necessary. The harassing tactics of the enemy were to this extent effective.

Final Mop-up at the West Tank Barrier and Yellow Beach

The first problem to be solved on the morning of the second day was the elimination of the enemy still left alive in or near the West Tank Barrier system. The Japanese still held a small wedge like pocket just northwest of the barrier and from that position could bring guns to bear on the east-west highway, which was now the main supply route from Red Beaches. Also, the approaches to Yellow Beach were not yet secure, and any attempts to bypass the pocket by bringing supplies through the lagoon would be handicapped by fire from the west. The two hulks on the reef near On Chong’s Wharf, Which had been so heavily attacked from the air and sea on D Day, were once more believed to be occupied by the enemy.

As landing craft came into Yellow Beach early on the second morning, some of them “returned” fire against the hulks, aiming at the top decks of the ships. On shore, among the American troops in or near the West Tank Barrier clearing, intermittent bursts of machine gun fire were received for as long as two hours after dawn. These were probably “overs” directed at the hulks from the landing craft. At 0818, while landing craft stayed clear, the first of a long series of air strikes, which continued until 1630, began against the hulks. At 0920 several of the medium tanks went to the water’s edge and shelled the derelicts with their 75-mm. guns. They were reported to be overshooting by some 2,000 yards, their shells falling into the lagoon in the middle of the boat lanes. Whether from enemy or from friendly fire, the approach to Yellow Beach was so dangerous for the landing craft that, as late as 1230 when the tide was beginning to ebb, about forty of them were still circling well out in the lagoon, afraid to come in.

Finally, late in the afternoon, Captain Coates, commanding officer of Company C, was ordered to dispatch a detail to investigate the hulks. He ordered 2nd Lieutenant Everett W. McGinley to take sixteen men in two LVT’s to board the two vessels and eliminate whatever he found there in the way of enemy positions. They found nothing.

The top deck of each ship was so wrecked, twisted, and torn that in McGinley’s opinion no enemy could have fired from there without being in plain view. From the top deck there was a sheer drop to the bottom of the hulks without any intervening deck. Water, waist-high, covered the bottom. The only possible location for hidden Japanese was a two-foot ledge that ran around the interior walls of both hulks. Although he found no empty shells or weapons McGinley admitted that some might have been on the lagoon bottom hidden from view by the water.

Whether or not the hulks had ever contained enemy positions remains doubtful. Lieutenant Colonel William R. Durand, the official observer sent to Makin by General Richardson’s headquarters, had no doubts. On the question as to whether the hulk contained machine guns he reported, “I am certain that it did; not only because it interrupted landing operations and actually caused a few casualties but also because a captured overlay showed the positions.” The testimony was corroborated by all the officers and men of Company F who were interviewed on the subject. This was the company that dug in along the West Tank Barrier about 300 to 500 yards from the hulks. All claimed that on the second morning, for about an hour or more at intervals of every few minutes, direct fire from the hulks hit into the dirt right along their line of positions.

On the other hand, in Colonel Kelley’s opinion, the belief that fire was being directed from the sunken vessels both against the lagoon and inland was a hallucination from beginning to end. It was his belief that the fire that observers thought to be coming from the hulks against landing craft as they came through the lagoon was actually coming from the shore. He also believed that fire later received by troops on shore from the direction of the lagoon came not from the hulks but from landing craft that were firing at the hulks and sending “overs” into the areas occupied by friendly troops. This conclusion was confirmed by Lieutenant Colonel S. L. A. Marshall, the official historian assigned to the operation by the Historical Branch, G-2, War Department General Staff.

With all this conflicting testimony, it is impossible for the historian to reach any final conclusion except to say that the weight of the evidence would seem to indicate that the hulks had been unoccupied by the enemy from the very beginning of the operation. In any case, it is certain that after the investigation conducted by Lieutenant McGinley, no more fire was heard from the hulks or the area near them.

Meanwhile, operations against the pocket west of the tank barrier had begun at 0800 under the direction of Major Mahoney, the 1st Battalion commander. He ordered Staff Sergeant Emmanuel F. DeFabees to skirt the pocket with a patrol and enter it from the right flank. The sergeant cut sharp right for fifty yards and then sought to force an entrance, his men crawling on their bellies. The patrol “found the fire too heavy.” It then went obliquely for seventy-five yards and was again turned back. By this time DeFabees was convinced that much of the fire was coming from friendly forces and the patrol was withdrawn. It was about this time that Company A was firing toward a supposed Japanese machine gun nest on the lagoon side of the island and Company F along the tank trap was receiving fire from the direction of the lagoon itself, which may or may not have been from American landing craft. In any case, there was considerable confusion on the part of all hands as to just what were the sources of fire against U.S. positions in the west of the West Tank Barrier.

Thirty minutes after DeFabees had withdrawn his patrol, at 0840, Major Mahoney announced that Company C had cleared out the pocket and was reorganizing and extending to Company B. This announcement was slightly premature since the flank was not considered entirely secure until about noon. The liveliest action in the West Tank Barrier zone occurred in a coconut grove along the eastern edge of the barrier clearing, just north of the middle of the island. About 1030 a group of Japanese began firing rifles and light machine guns into the platoon of Company F that was mopping up along the former stronghold.

Captain Leonard asked for three light tanks to come up and give him help. The tanks, after reporting, moved over to the highway, which skirted the northern edge of the clearing, so that their line of fire was toward the ocean. While the tanks were spraying the tree tops with machine gun fire and canister they were approached by a fourth towing fuel along the highway.

After the latter’s tow cable snapped it also joined the other tanks in the attack. The four tanks had been firing for about five minutes when a Navy bomber suddenly swung over them at a very low altitude and dropped a 2,000-pound fragmentation bomb about twenty-five feet from one of the tanks. 1st Lieutenant Edward J. Gallagher, the tank officer in charge, was killed, as were two enlisted men nearby. Several others were injured. By the time the tank crews had recovered from surprise and concussion, the Japanese were giving no further trouble.

This episode at the tank trap closed the action at the West Tank Barrier. No further important difficulty was encountered with enemy stragglers in that zone. Attention could now be fully centered on the drive eastward to secure the remainder of the island.

SOURCE: Seizure of the Gilberts and Marshalls: BY; Philip A. Crowl, & Edmund G. Love

World War Two: Gilberts and Marshals (8); Makin Taken

World War Two: Gilberts and Marshalls(6) Makin; Reduction of the West Tank Barrier