Saipan, June 15 - 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.

Japan in World War II

The Japanese economy had been operating at full capacity since 1931. But the decentralized production, with home production of many components, could not compete with the assembly lines of the West. The Japanese High Command believed that the war would be short, and the military production could be converted to home production after the war was over. Unlike the Western powers, Japan waited until 1944 before mobilizing their home population for total war.

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