The Mariana and Palau Islands campaign, also known as Operation Forager, was an offensive launched by United States forces against Imperial Japanese forces in the Mariana Islands and Palau in the Pacific Ocean between June and November, 1944 during the Pacific War. The United States offensive, under the overall command of Chester Nimitz, followed the Gilbert and Marshall Islands campaign and was intended to neutralize Japanese bases in the central Pacific, support the Allied drive to retake the Philippines, and provide bases for a strategic bombing campaign against Japan.
Beginning the offensive, United States Marine Corps and United States Army forces, with support from the United States Navy, executed landings on Saipan in June, 1944. In response, the Imperial Japanese Navy's combined fleet sortied to attack the U.S. Navy fleet supporting the landings. In the resulting aircraft carrier Battle of the Philippine Sea (the so-called “Great Marianas Turkey Shoot”) on 19–20 June, the Japanese naval forces were decisively defeated with heavy and irreplaceable losses to their carrier-borne and land-based aircraft. Only a few of the twenty-four thousand Japanese defenders on the island were captured; large numbers of local civilians threw themselves and their children off high cliffs rather than be captured.
Thereafter, U.S. forces executed landings on Guam and Tinian in July, 1944. After heavy fighting, Saipan was secured in July and Guam and Tinian in August, 1944. The U.S. then constructed airfields on Saipan and Tinian where B-29s were based to conduct strategic bombing missions against the Japanese mainland until the end of World War II, including the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
In the meantime, in order to secure the flank for U.S. forces preparing to attack Japanese forces in the Philippines, in September, 1944, U.S. Marine and Army forces landed on the islands of Peleliu and Angaur in Palau. After heavy and intense combat on Peleliu, the island was finally secured by U.S. forces in November, 1944.
Following their landings in the Mariana and Palau Islands, Allied forces continued their ultimately successful campaign against Japan by landing in the Philippines in October, 1944 and the Volcano and Ryukyu Islands beginning in January, 1945.
See also[edit | edit source]
- Battle of Anguar
- Battle of Guam
- Battle of Peleliu
- Battle of Saipan
- Battle of Tinian
- West Loch Disaster
Notes[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
Books[edit | edit source]
- D'Albas, Andrieu (1965). Death of a Navy: Japanese Naval Action in World War II. Devin-Adair Pub. ISBN 0-8159-5302-X.
- Denfeld, D. Colt (1997). Hold the Marianas: The Japanese Defense of the Mariana Islands. White Mane Pub. ISBN 1-57249-014-4.
- Drea, Edward J. (1998). "An Allied Interpretation of the Pacific War". In the Service of the Emperor: Essays on the Imperial Japanese Army. Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press. ISBN 0-8032-1708-0.
- Dull, Paul S. (1978). A Battle History of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1941–1945. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-097-1.
- Gailey, Harry (1988). The Liberation of Guam 21 July–10 August. Novato, California, U.S.A.: Presidio Press. ISBN 0-89141-651-X.
- Gailey, Harry (1984). Peleliu: 1944. Nautical & Aviation Pub Co of Amer. ISBN 0-933852-41-X.
- Goldberg, Harold J. (2007). D-day in the Pacific: The Battle of Saipan. Indiana University Press. ISBN 0-253-34869-2.
- Hallas, James H. (1994). The Devil's Anvil: The Assault on Peleliu. Praeger Publishers. ISBN 0-275-94646-0.
- Morison, Samuel Eliot (2001 (reissue)). New Guinea and the Marianas, March 1944–August 1944, vol. 8 of History of United States Naval Operations in World War II. Champaign, Illinois, USA: University of Illinois Press. ISBN 0-252-07038-0.
- O'Brien, Francis A. (2003). Battling for Saipan. Presdio Press. ISBN 0-89141-804-0.
- Ross, Bill D. (1991). Peleliu: Tragic Triumph. Random House. ISBN 0-394-56588-6.
- Rottman, Gordon; Howard Gerrard (2004). Saipan & Tinian 1944: Piercing the Japanese Empire. Osprey Publishing. ISBN 1-84176-804-9.
- Rottman, Gordon; Howard Gerrard (2002). Peleliu 1944: The Forgotten Corner of Hell. Osprey Publishing. ISBN 1-84176-512-0.
- Sloan, Bill (2005). Brotherhood of Heroes: The Marines at Peleliu, 1944: The Bloodiest Battle of the Pacific War. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-7432-6009-0.
- Smith, Douglas V. (2006). Carrier Battles: Command Decision in Harm's Way. U.S. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-59114-794-8.
- Wright, Derrick (2005). To the Far Side of Hell: The Battle for Peleliu, 1944. Fire Ant Books. ISBN 0-8173-5281-3.
Web[edit | edit source]
- Chen, C. Peter. "The Marianas and the Great Turkey Shoot". World War II Database. http://ww2db.com/battle_spec.php?battle_id=10. Retrieved 2005-05-31.
- Dyer, George Carroll. "The Amphibians Came to Conquer: The Story of Admiral Richmond Kelly Turner". United States Government Printing Office. http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/ACTC/index.html. Retrieved October 20, 2006.
- Breaching the Marianas: The Battle for Saipan (Marines in World War II Commemorative Series)
- Hoffman, Major Carl W., USMC (1950). "Saipan: The Beginning of the End". USMC Historical Monograph. Historical Branch, United States Marine Corps. http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USMC/USMC-M-Saipan/index.html. Retrieved 2005-12-19.
- Anderson, Charles R. (2003). Western Pacific. U.S. Army Campaigns of World War II. United States Army Center of Military History. CMH Pub 72-29. http://www.army.mil/cmh/brochures/westpac/westpac.htm. Retrieved 2004-11-03.
- Lodge, Major O.R. USMC Historical Monograph: The Recapture of Guam, Historical Branch, United States Marine Corps, 1954.
- O'Brien, Cyril J. Liberation: Marines in the Recapture of Guam, Marines in World War II Commemorative Series, Marine Corps Historical Center, United States Marine Corps, 1994.
- USCM Historical Monograph: The Seizure of Tinian
- Chen, C. Peter (2007). "Palau Islands and Ulithi Islands Campaign". World War II Database. http://ww2db.com/battle_spec.php?battle_id=77. Retrieved 2007-10-19.
- Gayle, BGen Gordon D. (1996). "Bloody Beaches: The Marines at Peleliu". Marines in World War II Commemorative Series. Marine Corps Historical Center. http://www.nps.gov/archive/wapa/indepth/extContent/usmc/pcn-190-003137-00/sec12.htm. Retrieved 2006-12-19.
- Hough, Frank O. (1950). "The Assault on Peleliu (The Seizure of Peleliu)". USMC Historical Monograph. Historical Branch, G-3 Division, Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps. http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USMC/USMC-M-Peleliu/index.html. Retrieved 2006-12-19.
- Smith, Robert Ross (1996). "The Approach to the Philippines". United States Army in World War II: The War in the Pacific. United States Army Center of Military History. http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USA/USA-P-Approach/index.html. Retrieved 2006-12-19.
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