Battle of Saipan


Battle of Saipan
Part of the Mariana and Palau Islands campaign of the Pacific Theater (World War II)
LVTs move toward Saipan, past bombarding cruisers, on 15 June 1944 (80-G-231838).jpg
LVTs heading for shore on 15 June 1944. Birmingham in foreground; the cruiser firing in the distance is Indianapolis.
Date15 June – 9 July 1944 (1944-06-15 – 1944-07-09) (24 days)
Result American victory
 United States  Japan
Commanders and leaders
Richmond K. Turner
Holland Smith
Yoshitsugu Saitō 
Chūichi Nagumo 
Takeo Takagi 
Matsuji Ijuin 
Units involved
V Amphibious Corps 31st Army
Assault: 71,034
Garrison: 23,616
Total: 94,650[1]
Army: 25,469
Navy: 6,160
Total: 31,629[2]
Casualties and losses
Land forces:[3][4]
3,100-3,225 killed
326 missing
13,061-13,099 wounded
Ships personnel:[5]
51+ killed
32+ missing
184+ wounded
25,144+ dead
(buried as of 15 August)
1,810 prisoners
(as of 10 August)
Remaining ~5,000 committed suicide, killed/captured later, or holding out.[6]
7,000[7]-8,000[8] civilian deaths

The Battle of Saipan was a battle of the Pacific campaign of World War II, fought on the island of Saipan in the Mariana Islands from 15 June to 9 July 1944 as part of Operation Forager.[9] It has been referred to as the "Pacific D-Day" with the invasion fleet departing Pearl Harbor on 5 June 1944, the day before Operation Overlord in Europe was launched, and launching nine days after.[10] The U.S. 2nd Marine Division, 4th Marine Division, and the Army's 27th Infantry Division, commanded by Lieutenant General Holland Smith, defeated the 43rd Infantry Division of the Imperial Japanese Army, commanded by Lieutenant General Yoshitsugu Saitō. The loss of Saipan, with the deaths of at least 29,000 troops and heavy civilian casualties, precipitated the resignation of Prime Minister of Japan Hideki Tōjō and left the Japanese archipelago within the range of United States Army Air Forces B-29 bombers.


In the campaigns of 1943 and the first half of 1944, the Allies had captured the Solomon Islands, the Gilbert Islands, the Marshall Islands and the Papuan Peninsula of New Guinea. This left the Japanese holding the Philippines, the Caroline Islands, the Palau Islands, and the Mariana Islands.[citation needed]

The Mariana Islands had not been a key part of pre-war American planning (War Plans Orange and Rainbow) because the islands were well north of a direct sea route between Hawaii and the Philippines. At the time, naval air/sea/logistics ability were not envisioned as being able to support operations against a place so far from potential land-based support. But, by early 1943, Admiral Ernest King, Commander in Chief of the United States Fleet, had become increasingly convinced of the strategic location of the islands as a base for submarine operations and air facilities for Boeing B-29 Superfortress bombing of the Japanese home islands.[11] From these latter bases, communications between the Japanese archipelago and Japanese forces to the south and west could be cut. From the Marianas, Japan would be well within the range of an air offensive relying on the new B-29 with its operational radius of 3,250 mi (5,230 km).[citation needed]

The capture of the Marianas was formally endorsed in the Cairo Conference of November 1943. The plan had the support of U.S. Army Air Force planners because the airfields on Saipan were large enough to support B-29 operations, within range of the Japanese home islands, and unlike a China-based alternative, was not open to Japanese counter-attacks once the islands were secure. However, General Douglas MacArthur strenuously objected to any plan that would delay his return to the Philippines. His objections were routed through formal channels as well as bypassing the Joint Chiefs of Staff, appealing directly to Secretary of War Henry Stimson and President Franklin D. Roosevelt.[12]

MacArthur's objections were not without tactical reasoning based on the experience of the invasion of Tarawa (Operation Galvanic), but were voiced before the vastly improved experience in the Gilbert and Marshall Islands (Operation Flintlock - Kwajalein, Eniwetok and other islands/atolls), the increase in naval forces, the successful attack on Truk and the Carolines islands by carrier-based aircraft (Hailstone), and coordinated armed services experience gained by all these operations in Admiral Chester Nimitz’s Pacific Ocean Area of operations.[13]

While not part of the original American plan, MacArthur, commander of the Southwest Pacific Area command, obtained authorization to advance through New Guinea and Morotai toward the Philippines. This allowed MacArthur to keep his personal pledge to liberate the Philippines, made in his "I shall return" speech, and also allowed the active use of the large forces built up in the southwest Pacific theatre. The Japanese, expecting an attack somewhere on their perimeter, thought an attack on the Caroline Islands most likely. To reinforce and supply their garrisons, they needed naval and air superiority, so Operation A-Go, a major carrier attack, was prepared for June 1944.[citation needed]

Opposing forcesEdit

Map of U.S. landings in the Pacific with Saipan circled

United States
US Fifth Fleet
Admiral Raymond A. Spruance

Northern Attack Force (Task Force 52)
Vice Admiral Richmond Kelly Turner
Expeditionary Troops (Task Force 56)
Lieut. General Holland M. Smith, USMC
Approx. 59,800 officers and enlisted
V Amphibious Corps (Lt. Gen. Smith)
2nd Marine Division (Maj. Gen. Thomas E. Watson, USMC)
4th Marine Division (Maj. Gen. Harry Schmidt, USMC)
27th Infantry Division (Army) (Maj. Gen. Ralph C. Smith, USA)

Central Pacific Area Fleet HQ
Vice Admiral Chūichi Nagumo[a]

Thirty-first Army
Lieut. General Hideyoshi Obata[b]
Defenses of Saipan
Lieut. General Yoshitsugu Saitō[c]
Approx. 25,500 army and 6,200 navy personnel
43rd Division
47th Independent Mixed Brigade
Miscellaneous units


Map showing the progress of the Battle of Saipan
Red Beach 2 at 13:00
Marines march through Garapan, 6 July 1944
Marines take cover behind an M4 Sherman tank while clearing Japanese forces from the northern end of the island of Saipan, 8 July 1944
Holding a Colt M1911, a Marine moves through the jungle of Saipan, July 1944
A Marine talks a Chamorro woman and her children into abandoning their refuge.
Battle of Saipan - US Navy docked GAG03
Japanese cannon at Saipan, after the battle
Japanese beach defenses

The bombardment of Saipan began on 13 June 1944 with seven modern fast battleships, 11 destroyers and 10 fast minesweepers under Vice Admiral Willis A. Lee Jr. The battleships delivered 2,400 16 in (410 mm) shells, but to avoid potential minefields, fire was from a distance of 10,000 yd (9,100 m) or more and crews were inexperienced in shore bombardment. The following day, two naval bombardment groups led by Rear Admiral Jesse B. Oldendorf arrived on the shore of Saipan. This force was the main naval fire support for the seizure of the island and consisted of 7 older battleships, 11 cruisers, and 26 destroyers, along with destroyer transports and fast minesweepers. The old battleships, commissioned between 1915 and 1921, were trained in shore bombardment and were able to move into closer range. Four of them (California, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Tennessee) were survivors of the attack on Pearl Harbor.[14]

The landings[15] began at 07:00 on 15 June 1944. More than 300 LVTs landed 8,000 Marines on the west coast of Saipan by about 09:00. Eleven fire support ships covered the Marine landings. The naval force consisted of the battleships Tennessee and California, the cruisers Birmingham and Indianapolis, the destroyers Norman Scott, Monssen, Coghlan, Halsey Powell, Bailey, Robinson, and Albert W. Grant. Careful artillery preparation — placing flags in the lagoon to indicate the range — allowed the Japanese to destroy about 20 amphibious tanks, and they had placed barbed wire, artillery, machine gun emplacements, and trenches to maximize the American casualties. However, by nightfall, the 2nd and 4th Marine Divisions had a beachhead about 6 mi (10 km) wide and 0.5 mi (1 km) deep.[16] The Japanese counter-attacked at night but were repelled with heavy losses. On 16 June, units of the U.S. Army's 27th Infantry Division landed and advanced on the airfield at Ås Lito. Again the Japanese counter-attacked at night. On 18 June, Saito abandoned the airfield.

The invasion surprised the Japanese high command, which had been expecting an attack further south. Admiral Shigetarō Shimada, Commander-in-Chief of the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN), saw an opportunity to use the A-Go force to attack the U.S. Navy forces around Saipan. On 15 June, he gave the order to attack. But the resulting battle of the Philippine Sea was a disaster for the IJN, which lost three aircraft carriers and hundreds of planes.

Without resupply, the battle on Saipan was hopeless for the defenders,[original research?] but the Japanese were determined to fight to the last man. Saitō organized his troops into a line anchored on Mount Tapochau in the defensible mountainous terrain of central Saipan. The nicknames given by the Americans to the features of the battle — "Hell's Pocket", "Purple Heart Ridge" and "Death Valley" — indicate the severity of the fighting. The Japanese used many caves in the volcanic landscape to delay the attackers, by hiding during the day and making sorties at night. The Americans gradually developed tactics for clearing the caves by using flamethrower teams supported by artillery and machine guns.

The operation was marred by inter-service controversy when Marine General Holland Smith, dissatisfied with the performance of the 27th Division, relieved its commander, Army Major General Ralph C. Smith. However, Holland Smith had not inspected the terrain over which the 27th was to advance. Essentially, it was a valley surrounded by hills and cliffs under Japanese control. The 27th took heavy casualties and eventually, under a plan developed by Ralph Smith and implemented after his relief, had one battalion hold the area while two other battalions successfully flanked the Japanese.[17]

By 6 July, the Japanese had nowhere to retreat. Saitō made plans for a final suicidal banzai charge. On the fate of the remaining civilians on the island, Saito said, "There is no longer any distinction between civilians and troops. It would be better for them to join in the attack with bamboo spears than be captured."[citation needed] At dawn of 7 July, with a group of 12 men carrying a red flag in the lead, the remaining able-bodied troops — about 4,000 men — charged forward in the final attack. Behind them came the wounded, with bandaged heads, crutches, and barely armed. The Japanese surged over the American front lines, engaging both Army and Marine units. The 1st and 2nd Battalions of the 105th Infantry Regiment were almost destroyed, losing well over 650 killed and wounded. The two battalions fought back, as did the Headquarters Company, 105th Infantry, and supply elements of 3rd Battalion, 10th Marine Artillery Regiment, resulting in over 4,300 Japanese killed and over 400 dead US soldiers with more than 500 more wounded. For their actions during the 15-hour Japanese attack, three men of the 105th Infantry Regiment were awarded the Medal of Honor: Lt. Col. William O'Brien, Cpt. Ben L. Salomon, Pvt. Thomas A. Baker, all posthumously. The attack on 7 July would be the largest Japanese Banzai charge in the Pacific War.[18][7]

By 16:15 on 9 July, Admiral Turner announced that Saipan was officially secured.[19] Saitō, along with commanders Hirakushi and Igeta, committed suicide in a cave. Vice-admiral Chuichi Nagumo, the naval commander who led the Japanese carriers at Pearl Harbor, also committed suicide in the closing stages of the battle. He had been in command of the Japanese naval air forces stationed on the island.

In the end, almost the entire garrison of troops on the island — at least 29,000 — died. For the Americans, the victory was the most costly to date in the Pacific War: out of 71,000 who landed, 2,949 were killed and 10,464 wounded.[20][21] Future Hollywood actor Lee Marvin was among the many Americans wounded. He was serving with "I" Company, 24th Marine Regiment, when he was hit by shrapnel in the buttocks by Japanese mortar fire during the assault on Mount Tapochau. He was awarded the Purple Heart and was given a medical discharge with the rank of private first class in 1945.[22][importance?]

Marines use an M3 Stuart to incinerate a Japanese pillbox on Saipan

Gen. Smith and V Amphibious Corps anticipated that taking Saipan would be difficult and they wanted to have a mechanized flamethrowing capability. Research, development, and procurement made that a long-term prospect. So VAC purchased 30 Canadian Ronson flamethrowers and requested that the Army's Chemical Warfare Service in Hawaii install them in M3 Stuarts, and termed them M3 Satans. Seabees with the CWS had 24 ready for the battle.

Further resistanceEdit

While the battle officially ended on 9 July, Japanese resistance still persisted with Captain Sakae Ōba and 46 other soldiers who survived with him during the last banzai charge.[23][24] After the battle, Oba and his soldiers led many civilians throughout the jungle of the island to escape capture by the Americans, while also conducting guerrilla-style attacks on pursuing forces. The Americans tried numerous times to hunt them down but failed due to their speed and stealth. In September 1944, the Marines began conducting patrols in the island's interior, searching for survivors who were raiding their camp for supplies.[24] Although some of the soldiers wanted to fight, Captain Ōba asserted that their primary concerns were to protect the civilians and to stay alive to continue the war. At one point, the Japanese soldiers and civilians were almost captured by the Americans as they hid in a clearing and ledges of a mountain, some were less than 20 feet (6.1 m) above the heads of the Marines, but the Americans failed to see them.[23] Oba's holdout lasted for over a year (approximately 16 months) before finally surrendering on 1 December 1945, three months after the official surrender of Japan.

Oba's resistance was so successful that it caused the reassignment of a commander. U.S. Marines gave Oba the nickname "The Fox."[23]

Civilian casualtiesEdit

At least 25,000 Japanese civilians lived on Saipan at the time of the battle.[25] Civilian shelters were located virtually everywhere on the island, with very little difference from military bunkers noticeable to attacking Marines. The standard method of clearing suspected bunkers was the use of high-explosive and/or high-explosives augmented with petroleum (e.g., gelignite, napalm, diesel fuel). The weapons used and the tactics of close quarter fighting resulted in high civilian casualties.[26]

The U.S. erected a civilian prisoner encampment on 23 June 1944 that soon had more than 1,000 inmates. Electric lights at the camp were conspicuously left on overnight to attract other civilians with the promise of three warm meals and no risk of being shot in combat accidentally.[25]

More than 1,000 Japanese civilians committed suicide in the last days of the battle to take the offered privileged place in the afterlife, some jumping from places later named "Suicide Cliff" and "Banzai Cliff". These would become part of the National Historic Landmark District as Landing Beaches; Aslito/Isley Field; & Marpi Point, Saipan Island, designated in 1985. Today the sites are a memorial and Japanese people visit to console the victims' souls.[27][28]

Military awardsEdit

In addition to William O'Brien, Ben L. Salomon and Thomas A. Baker, Gunnery Sergeant Robert H. McCard and PFC Harold G. Epperson, were each posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

Isely Field, filled with B-29 bombers, mid-1945

PFC Guy Gabaldon, of Headquarters and Service Company, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, was credited with capturing more than 1,000 Japanese prisoners during the battle. Gabaldon, who was raised by Japanese-Americans, used a combination of street Japanese and guile to convince soldiers and civilians alike that U.S. troops were not barbarians, and that they would be well treated upon surrender. For his outstanding bravery, which earned him the nickname, "The Pied Piper of Saipan," Gabaldon received a Silver Star, which was upgraded to the Navy Cross.[29] During the war, his commanders had requested that he receive the Medal of Honor for his actions; however, his initial award was the Silver Star. In 1998, efforts were re-initiated to secure the Medal of Honor for Gabaldon.[30] The effort was ongoing in 2006.[31]


With the capture of Saipan, the American military was now only 1,300 mi (1,100 nmi; 2,100 km) away from the home islands of Japan. Holland Smith said: "It was the decisive battle of the Pacific offensive [...] it opened the way to the Japanese home islands."[32] The victory would prove to be one of the most important strategic moments during the war in the Pacific Theater, as the Japanese archipelago was now within striking distance of United States' B-29 bombers.[33] From this point on, Saipan would become the launch point for retaking other islands in the Mariana chain and the invasion of the Philippines in October 1944. Four months after capture, more than 100 B-29s from Saipan's Isely Field were regularly attacking the Philippines, the Ryukyu Islands and the Japanese mainland. In response, Japanese aircraft attacked Saipan and Tinian on several occasions between November 1944 and January 1945. The U.S. capture of Iwo Jima (19 February – 26 March 1945) ended further Japanese air attacks.

The loss of Saipan was a heavy blow to both the military and civilian administration of Prime Minister of Japan Hideki Tōjō. According to one Japanese admiral: "Our war was lost with the loss of Saipan."[citation needed] Shortly after Saipan was taken, a meeting at the Imperial General Headquarters was convened where it was decided that a symbolic change of leadership should be made: Tōjō would step aside and Emperor Hirohito would have less involvement in day-to-day military affairs, even though he was defined as both head of state and the Generalissimo of the Imperial Japanese Armed Forces according to the Meiji Constitution of 1889. The general staff believed it was now time to distance the Imperial House of Japan from blame as the tide of war turned against the Japanese.[25] Although Tōjō agreed to resign, Emperor Hirohito blocked his resignation because he considered Tōjō to be Japan's strongest war leader. But after Tōjō failed to shuffle his Cabinet due to excessive internal hostility, he conceded defeat.[25] On 18 July, Tōjō again submitted his resignation, this time unequivocally. His entire cabinet resigned with him.[34] Former IJA General Kuniaki Koiso became Prime Minister on 22 July. However, due to the legacy of Saipan, Koiso was nothing more than a titular Prime Minister, and was prevented by the Imperial General Headquarters from participating in any military decisions.[35]

Saipan also saw a change in the way Japanese war reporting was presented on the home front. Initially, as the battle started, Japanese accounts concentrated on the fighting spirit of the IJA and the heavy casualties it was inflicting on American forces. However, any reader familiar with Saipan's geography would have known from the chronology of engagements that the U.S. forces were relentlessly advancing northwards. No further mention of Saipan was made following the final battle on 7 July, which was not initially reported to the public.[36] However, after Tōjō's resignation on 18 July, an accurate, almost day-by-day, account of the defeat on Saipan was published jointly by the Army and Navy. It mentioned the near total loss of all Japanese soldiers and civilians on the island and the use of "human bullets".[clarification needed] The reports had a devastating effect on Japanese opinion; mass suicides were now seen as defeat, not evidence of an "Imperial Way".[37] This was the first time Japanese forces had accurately been depicted in a battle since Midway, which had been proclaimed a victory.[37]

On 16 July US forces began the bombardment of the nearby island of Tinian as a prelude to the successful Battle of Tinian (24 July-1 August).


Suicide Cliff and Banzai Cliff, along with a number of surviving isolated Japanese fortifications, are recognized as historic sites on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. The cliffs are also part of the National Historic Landmark District Landing Beaches; Aslito/Isley Field; & Marpi Point, Saipan Island, which also includes the American landing beaches, the B-29 runways of Isley Field, and the surviving Japanese infrastructure of the Aslito and Marpi Point airfields.

The American Memorial Park on Saipan commemorates the U.S. and Mariana veterans of the Mariana Islands campaign.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Died by self-inflicted gunshot, 6 July
  2. ^ Died by seppuku on Guam, 11 August
  3. ^ Died by seppuku, 7 July


  1. ^ "Report on Capture of the Marianas" p. 6. Retrieved 2/12/23. Report compiled 25 August 1944.
  2. ^ "Campaign in the Marianas" Appendix C. Retrieved 2/12/23
  3. ^ "Report on Capture of the Marianas" Enclosure K part B. 3,100 killed, 326 missing, 13,099 wounded; total cumulative to D+46.
  4. ^ "Breaching the Marianas: the Battle for Saipan." Marines in World War II Commemorative Series. Retrieved 2/12/23. 3,225 killed, 326 missing, 13,061 wounded.
  5. ^ "Report on Capture of the Marianas" Enclosure K part D. These figures are incomplete since data could not be obtained from all ships.
  6. ^ "The Campaign in the Marianas" Annex 3 to Enclosure A
  7. ^ a b Beevor, Antony (2013). The Second World War (in Norwegian) (1st ed.). Cappelen Damm. p. 611. ISBN 978-82-02-42146-5.
  8. ^ "Battle of Saipan - American Memorial Park (U.S. National Park Service)". Retrieved 24 February 2023.
  9. ^ "Operation Forager: The Battle of Saipan". Naval History and Heritage Command.
  10. ^ J. GOLDBERG, HAROLD (2007). D-Day in the Pacific: The Battle of Saipan. Indiana University Press. ISBN 978-0-253-34869-2.
  11. ^ The Conquering Tide, Ian W. Toll, p. 436
  12. ^ The Conquering Tide, Ian W. Toll, pp. 438–9
  13. ^ The Conquering Tide, Ian W. Toll, pp. 440–1
  14. ^ "U.S. Army in World War II: Campaign in the Marianas, Ch. 5". United States Army Center of Military History. Retrieved 13 October 2006.
  15. ^ Video: Allies Liberate Island of Elba Etc. (1944). Universal Newsreel. 1944. Retrieved 21 February 2012.
  16. ^ "Selected June Dates of Marine Corps Historical Significance". This Month in History. History Division, United States Marine Corps. Archived from the original on 31 October 2006. Retrieved 7 June 2006.
  17. ^ Harold Goldberg, D-Day in the Pacific: The Battle of Saipan, Indiana University Press, 2007. pp. 160–164.
  18. ^ Harold Goldberg, D-Day in the Pacific: The Battle of Saipan, Indiana University Press, 2007. pp. 167–194.
  19. ^ John Toland, The Rising Sun: The Decline and Fall of the Japanese Empire 1936–1945, Random House, 1970, p. 516
  20. ^ Battle of Saipan – The Final Curtain, David Moore
  21. ^ John Toland, ibid, p. 519.
  22. ^ Zec, Donald. Marvin: The Story of Lee Marvin. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1980, ISBN 0-312-51780-7, pp. 36–39.
  23. ^ a b c Jones (1986)
  24. ^ a b Japan's renegade hero gives Saipan new hope
  25. ^ a b c d Bergamini, David (1971). Japan's Imperial Conspiracy. New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc. pp. 1012–1014.
  26. ^ When Soldiers Kill Civilians: The Battle for Saipan, 1944
  27. ^ "NHL nomination for Landing Beaches; Aslito/Isley Field; & Marpi Point, Saipan Island". National Park Service. Retrieved 14 April 2015.
  28. ^ "サイパン慰霊祭". Archived from the original on 30 December 2016. Retrieved 29 December 2016.
  29. ^ Burlas, Joe (24 September 2004). "Pentagon salutes military service of Hispanic World War II veterans". Army News Service. Archived from the original on 20 January 2005. Retrieved 24 March 2006.
  30. ^ Burbeck, James (1998). "An Interview with Guy Gabaldon". War Times Journal. Archived from the original on 13 March 2006. Retrieved 6 March 2006.
  31. ^ "PFC Guy Gabaldon, WWII, The Pacific". America USA. Archived from the original on 11 February 2006. Retrieved 6 March 2006.
  32. ^ Henry I. Shaw, Jr., Bernard C. Nalty, and Edwin T. Turnbladh, Central Pacific Drive, vol. 3, History of U.S. Marine Corps Operations in World War II
  33. ^ Philip A. Crowl, Campaign in the Marianas, vol 9., United States Army in World War II, The War in the Pacific
  34. ^ Hoffman, p. 260.
  35. ^ Frank, Richard B. (2001). Downfall: The End of the Imperial Japanese Empire. Penguin. pp. 90–91. ISBN 0-14-100146-1.
  36. ^ Edwin P. Hoyt, Japan's War, pp. 348–9 ISBN 0-07-030612-5
  37. ^ a b Edwin P. Hoyt, Japan's War, p 352 ISBN 0-07-030612-5

Further readingEdit


  • Bright, Richard Carl (2007). Pain and Purpose in the Pacific: True Reports Of War. Trafford Publishing. ISBN 978-1-4251-2544-8.
  • Denfeld, D. Colt (1997). Hold the Marianas: The Japanese Defense of the Mariana Islands. White Mane Pub. ISBN 1-57249-014-4.
  • Gailey, Harry A. (1986). Howlin' Mad Vs. the Army: Conflict in Command, Saipan 1944. Presidio Press. ISBN 0-89141-242-5.
  • Goldberg, Harold J. (2007). D-day in the Pacific: The Battle of Saipan. Indiana University Press. ISBN 978-0-253-34869-2.
  • Hornfischer, James D. (2016). The Fleet at Flood Tide: The U.S. at Total War in the Pacific, 1944-1945. Random House Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0345548726.
  • Jones, Don (1986). Oba, The Last Samurai. Presidio Press. ISBN 0-89141-245-X.
  • Manchester, William (1980). Goodbye, Darkness A Memoir of the Pacific War. Boston – Toronto: Little, Brown and Co. ISBN 0-316-54501-5.
  • Morison, Samuel Eliot (2001). New Guinea and the Marianas, March 1944 – August 1944, vol. 8 of History of United States Naval Operations in World War II (reissue ed.). Champaign, Illinois, US: University of Illinois Press. ISBN 0-252-07038-0.
  • O'Brien, Francis A. (2003). Battling for Saipan. Presidio Press. ISBN 0-89141-804-0.
  • Petty, Bruce M. (2001). Saipan: Oral Histories of the Pacific War. McFarland and Company. ISBN 0-7864-0991-6.
  • Rottman, Gordon; Howard Gerrard (2004). Saipan & Tinian 1944: Piercing the Japanese Empire. Osprey Publishing. ISBN 1-84176-804-9.
  • Sauer, Howard (1999). "Torpedoed at Saipan". The Last Big-Gun Naval Battle: The Battle of Surigao Strait. Palo Alto, California: The Glencannon Press. ISBN 1-889901-08-3. – Firsthand account of naval gunfire support by a crewmember of USS Maryland.
  • Tachovsky, Joseph (2020). 40 Thieves on Saipan: The Elite Marine Scout-Snipers in One of WWII's Bloodiest Battles. Regnery History. ISBN 978-1684510481.
  • Love, Edmund G. (1982). The 27th Infantry Division in World War II. Battery Press. ISBN 978-0898390568.
  • Slaon, Bill (2017). Their Backs against the Sea: The Battle of Saipan and the Largest Banzai Attack of World War II. Da Capo Press. ISBN 978-0306824715.
  • Hallas, James H. (2019). Saipan: The Battle That Doomed Japan in World War II. Stackpole Books. ISBN 978-0811738439.


  • Chapin, Captain John C. (1994). The Battle for Saipan. Washington D.C.: United States Marine Corps Historical Division. PCN 19000312300. Archived from the original on 11 December 2008. Retrieved 12 December 2008.
  • Chen, C. Peter. "The Marianas and the Great Turkey Shoot". World War II Database. Retrieved 31 May 2005.
  • Crowl, Philip A. (1993). Campaign in the Marianas. Washington D.C.: United States Army Center of Military History. CMH Pub 5-7-1.
  • Saipan – a 2nd Marine Division pamphlet describing certain expected features of the invasion and combat, including the presence of a large civilian population.
  • Breaching the Marianas: The Battle for Saipan (Marines in World War II Commemorative Series)
  • Banzai charge in Saipan: Gyokusai (in Japanese) Suicide for the Emperor?
  • Hoffman, Major Carl W. (1950). "Saipan: The Beginning of the End". USMC Historical Monograph. Historical Branch, United States Marine Corps. Retrieved 19 December 2005.
  • Anderson, Charles R. (2003). Western Pacific. U.S. Army Campaigns of World War II. United States Army Center of Military History. CMH Pub 72-29. Archived from the original on 3 February 2012. Retrieved 3 November 2004.
  • Dyer, George Carroll (1956). "The Amphibians Came to Conquer: The Story of Admiral Richmond Kelly Turner". United States Government Printing Office. Archived from the original on 21 May 2011. Retrieved 5 May 2011.
  • SMU's Frank J. Davis World War II Photographs contain 129 images of Saipan, including 18 images depicting the surrender of the famous "hold-out" Japanese forces under the command of Captain Oba in December 1945

External linksEdit

  • Battle for the Mariana Islands on YouTube
  • Small Unit Actions: The Fight on Tanapag Plain; 27th Division 6 July 1944 Archived 3 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine

Coordinates: 15°11′N 145°45′E / 15.183°N 145.750°E / 15.183; 145.750