Saipan June 15, 1944 - July 8, 1944

The 1943 plan for the defensive perimeter around the Japanese Home Islands stopped at Saipan in the Marianas. Prime Minister Hideki Tojo, who had been leading the cabinet since 1941, was optimistic in his hopes for a successful defense of the island.

30,000 soldiers held Saipan. The civilian population was indoctrinated that the Americans would rape the women, kill the children and leave no one alive. The Japanese defensive tactics called for heated defense as soon as the lading started. Vice Admiral Chuichi Nagumo, the hero of Pearl Harbor and the loser at Midway, was placed in command.

The US Marines were under fire as soon as the landings started on June 15, 1944. 2,000 Marines were casualties, but 20,000 were ashore by nightfall. In a running fight, the battle for Saipan was over by June 20. Except for a group of caves, the island was in Allied hands. Saipan was declared secure on June 22.