Battle of Saipan

Battle Of Saipan

Military Conflict
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Battle of Saipan

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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-9 July 1944. The Allied invasion fleet embarking the expeditionary forces left Pearl Harbor on 5 June 1944, the day before Operation Overlord in Europe was launched. The U.S. 2nd Marine Division, 4th Marine Division, and 27th Infantry Division, commanded by Lieutenant General Holland Smith, defeated the 43rd Division of the Imperial Japanese Army, commanded by Lieutenant General Yoshitsugu Saito.

Background

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, Palau Islands and Mariana Islands.

It had always been the intention of the American planners to bypass the Carolines and Palaus and to seize the Marianas and Taiwan. From these latter bases communications between the Japanese homeland and Japanese forces to the south and west could be cut. In addition, from the Marianas Japan would be well within the range of an air offensive relying on the new B-29 Superfortress long-range bomber with its operational radius of .

While not part of the original American plan Douglas MacArthur, commander of the Southwest Pacific Area command, obtained authorization to advance through New Guinea and Morotai toward the Philippines. This allowed MacArthur to...
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