Battle of Saipan

Posted in: World War II
Written by Sara Dryden on 29th October 2013 at 11:45am
Battle of Saipan

We remember the Battle of Saipan lasting from the 15th of June to the 9th of July 1944...


In an attempt to cut communications between the Japanses Homeland and forces in the South West, American forces launched an attack on the Island of Saipan in the Marina Islands.

 

On June 13 a naval bombardment began with 15 battleships firing some 165,000 shells. American troops commenced landing on the west coast of Saipan at 7am on June 15, over 8,000 troops landed. Even though Japanese forces had placed barbed wire, artillery, machine gun emplacements, and trenches to maximize the American casualties the invasion was still a  surprise to the Japanese high command, which had been expecting an attack further south.

 

Red Beach during the Battle of SaipanThe battle of the Philippine Sea which occured off the Marina islands on the 19th - 20th of June saw Japanese forces lose three aircraft carriers and hundreds of planes. This meant the defending forces on the Island of Saipan had no hope of getting any further supplies or reinforcements.

 

By the second week of July Japanese forces had nowhere to retreat, and launches their final attack. Some 3,000 able bodied men led the assault, behind them the wounded, some with bandages or crutches barely armend. However on July 9 at 4.15pm it was Siapan was officially under Allied control.

 

Even though it was a victory for Allied forces, the death toll was huge but not just of soldiers. The total civillian population of the island before the battle was 25,000 however after the battle some 22,000 civilians had died.

 

Just a week before this battle started, in Europe troops were storming the beaches in Normandy on D-Day.

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