Close up of a memorial placed outside one of the cave complexes. The group paused here while Kikuchi-san spoke about the battles. As with most of the tour, it was in Japanese (which I don't speak well), but he then kindly translated for me.
Once the Japanese forces had dug their tunnels and caves, and prior to the Americans arriving, the Japanese commander, Kunio Nakagawa, evacuated all the civilians from Peleliu. He then ordered most of his forces to retreat to their caves, most of which were on Peleliu's highest point, Umurbrogol mountain.
Here, they were to fight to the death.
The Americans resorted to using flamethrowers to clear the caves out. Today, you can still see the scorch marks on the wall.
After Kikuchi-san had finished his talk, the Japanese on the group were silent and offered prayers to the soldiers. It was a very sad moment.