The Aleutian Island Campaign was the American effort to recapture islands in the Aleutians that had been captured by the Japanese Army in 1942, one of the few American actual pieces of American territory occupied by Japanese in WWII. On 11 May 1943, elements of the 7th Infantry Division and a platoon of scouts, nicknamed Castner’s Cutthroats, invaded Attu. Previously, the 7th Division was training for desert operations, when tasked with this mission. A shortage of landing craft, unsuitable beaches, and equipment that failed to operate in the severe cold made it difficult for the American to execute its combat power. Japanese resistance focused on massive ‘banzai’ charges. In August, Allied forces invaded the island of Kiska, only to find that the Japanese had abandoned it a couple weeks earlier. Yet, American forces suffered again from the extreme cold weather environment. The invasion of the islands offered severe lessons in cold weather combat for the American forces.