Saipan - Rocky Coastline

Saipan - Rocky Coastline American History Geography World War II Tragedies and Triumphs

General Saito, commanding Japanese forces on the island of Saipan, believed his troops could not hold the island if they did not have air power over it.  On the 25th of June, 1944, he wrote:

There is no hope for victory in places where we do not have control of the air. . .

Saito, and his men, did not have "control of the air" over Saipan.

That left the commander with two choices, both of them bad:

. . .to fight a withdrawing action ending in complete annihilation on the northern tip of the island, or to attempt to muster their disorganized and crumbling forces into one all out 'banzai' charge."

Saito chose the latter.  (USMC Historical Monograph - Saipan:  The Beginning of the End - by Major Carl W. Hoffman, USMC, page 222.)

Civilian residents of Saipan were urged not to surrender to the invading forces. 

This photograph, contained in chapter 6 ("Saito's Last Battle") of Saipan:  The Beginning of the End (at page 244), has the following caption:

ELECTING TO DIE, hundreds of Saipan civilians refused surrender offers, flung children and selves upon the jagged coastal rocks.

Fortunately, other Saipan civilians disregarded the Japanese directive to kill themselves and their children.

Click on the image for a clearer view of Saipan's exceedingly rocky coastal area.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5184stories and lessons created

Original Release: Oct 07, 2013

Updated Last Revision: Jul 21, 2019

Media Credits

Image of the rocky coastline of Saipan, included in an official USMC monograph of the battle.  Online, courtesy HyperWar Foundation, hosted by ibiblio at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. 



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"Saipan - Rocky Coastline" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Jul 21, 2019.
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