American > Battle of Saipan > Ground Combat Page 1

The ground battle for Saipan began on June 15, 1944 and victory in Saipan was declared on July 9, 1944. After the 24 day battle 30,000 of the 31,000 Japanese soldiers, 22,000 Japanese civilians and 3,500 American soldiers had died. Only 600 Japanese prisoners survived the battle. Even though U.S. soldiers walked across Saipan at arms length to find any pockets of resistance, Saipan was still far from safe. Japanese snipers in Saipan continued until the next year. After the battle of Saipan, U.S. troops turned their efforts toward Tinian and Guam.

Click the thumbnails for the larger pictures and comments. Also see Page 2.

Beach Assault: The ground battle began when 700 LVT's delivered 8,000 Marines to the southwestern beaches of Saipan in less than an hour. By the end of the first day of fighting the beach was secure. This was the most critical phase of the Battle for Saipan.

As Lito Airfield: Once the beaches were secure, the capture of the Japanese airfield was among the first objectives for U.S. Marines.

Garapan: The town lay in ruins from the Naval bombardment by the time the marines arrived but fighting was still intense. Close combat was the norm.

Rural: The steep cliffs, large plateaus, numerous caves, and dense brush made Saipan an ideal island to defend and very difficult to attack.

Also see Ground Combat Page 2.
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I have lived in Saipan since 1996 and enjoy learning about the amazing history of this island. This is a collection photographs that I believe to be public domain. If you have rights to a photograph on this website and wish for me to remove it or if you would like to add a photograph to the collection, please let me know. Thank you.