Nostalgia USA June 2016 Nostalgia USA June 2016 - Page 19
During the Pacific War, the
M arianas emerged as one of the
primary targets for the Allies in
1944. It was there that Japanese
troops occupied the islands of
Guam, Tinian and Saipan. During
the M arianas Campaign they would
become the next battlefields, with
hundreds of thousands of Japanese
and U .S. troops sent to the M arianas
in June, July and August.
Among the first targets was Saipan.
At Saipan there was already a
Japanese airfield, and so it was good
position for Allied airfields that
could provide air support for further
operations in the Pacific and expand
the range of U .S. bombing missions.
approximately 70,000 thousand
M arines to take Saipan and defeat
the 30,000 Japanese troops stationed
Another of the targets was M ount
Tapochau. M ount Tapochau was a
1,554 foot mountain that the
Japanese troops retreated to. T he
Americans sent in three divisions to
clear the mountain, but weeks were
still required to take M ount
Tapochau. U .S. tanks and artillery
had little impact at M ount
Tapochau, and there was little air
support for the M arines.
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N evertheless, the Japanese troops
could still not hold the mountain.
After the fall of M ount Tapochau,
the Battle of Saipan gradually came
to a close. T he Americans advanced
further northwards, and wiped out
the remaining Japanese troops. T he
battle was effectively over when they
reached the northern end of Saipan.
T he Allies had won D - Day in the
Pacific War. T he fall of Saipan was
the first victory in the M arianas, and
left the door open for further
advances at Guam and Tinian. W ith
Japan's empire crumbling, Tojo
resigned after the battle. H owever,
despite this Japan did not surrender;
and the Pacific War continued into
Lee M arvin, June 18, 1944, during the
assault on M ount Tapochau in the
Battle of Saipan, during which most of
his company were casualties.