Marines under Fire at Saipan Beach

This picture is one of many featured in Saipan: The Beginning of the End, a USMC Historical Monograph by Major Carl W. Hoffman, USMC. It shows U.S. Marines soon after they made an amphibious landing on a section of Saipan’s beach in June of 1944.

Appearing at page 57 of Hoffman’s book, the illustration has this official caption:

BARELY ON THE BEACH, these 4th Division Marines lie flat and try to spot the source of the fire which has them immobilized.

This particular beach landing put the Marines in a position that was different from other amphibious landings:

Locating the enemy there was a difficult job; the usual Japanese tactic was to remain concealed in their "spider holes" until the Marines had passed by them; then the lids of the holes would be opened and rifle or light machine-gun fire directed at the Marines' rear. (See Saipan: The Beginning of the End, at page 57.)

Here, the Marines were facing Japanese firepower before, not after, they “had passed by them.”

Click on the image for a better view.

Media Credits

Illustration from "Saipan: The Beginning of the End," a USMC Historical Monograph, Major Carl W. Hoffman, USMC. Online via iBiblio, sponsored by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Public Domain.


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"Marines under Fire at Saipan Beach" AwesomeStories.com. Jan 17, 2016. Jan 19, 2020.
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