Wind Talkers: Navajo Code Talkers in WWII - CASUALTIES AT SAIPAN

Scenes of wreckage in the town of Garapan, Saipan, Island World History World War II

This photo, taken by a member of the U.S. Army Signal Corps, depicts “Scenes of wreckage in the town of Garapan, Saipan, Island.” National Archives Identifier number 292588. Click on the image to expand its view.


At 4:15 p.m. Saipan time, on July 9th, the island was officially declared "secured." Four months later, one hundred B-29s left Saipan for their first massive air raid over Tokyo.

The Saipan casualty toll was stunning:

Japanese known dead: 23, 811
Japanese dead in caves: "Uncounted thousands"
Japanese Prisoners of war: 298
Korean Prisoners of war: 438
Americans wounded in action: 13,061
Americans killed in action: 3,225
Americans missing in action: 326

News that Saipan had been lost to the Allies shocked the Japanese government. The Premier, Hideki Tojo, resigned. So did his entire cabinet. (Tojo was hanged for war crimes in 1948.)

General Holland Smith declared that the victory on Saipan "opened the way to the home islands." The famous Japanese General Saito had observed (scroll down 95%) that "the fate of the Empire will be decided in this one action."

As key participants in the Allied effort, the Navajo code talkers played a fundamental role in causing another Japanese admiral to observe:

Our war was lost with the loss of Saipan.

Despite such sentiments, ferocious battles - like those at Peleliu (the horrors of which Eugene Sledge describes in his book, With the Old Breed), Iwo Jima and Okinawa - continued in the Pacific for another year.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Jun 01, 2002

Updated Last Revision: May 23, 2015

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"CASUALTIES AT SAIPAN" AwesomeStories.com. Jun 01, 2002. Jan 29, 2020.
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