palau islands

Mariana and Palau Islands campaign

The Mariana and Palau Islands campaign 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 on June 1920, the Japanese naval forces were defeated with heavy losses to their carrier-borne and land-based aircraft.

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.

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 Ryuku Islands beginning in January, 1945.

References

Notes

Books

  • 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). 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 093385241X.
  • 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 0275946460.
  • 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 0394565886.
  • 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 1841765120.
  • Sloan, Bill (2005). Brotherhood of Heroes: The Marines at Peleliu, 1944 -- The Bloodiest Battle of the Pacific War. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0743260090.
  • Smith, Douglas V. (2006). Carrier Battles: Command Decision in Harm's Way. US Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1591147948.
  • Wright, Derrick (2005). To the Far Side of Hell: The Battle for Peleliu, 1944. Fire Ant Books. ISBN 0817352813.

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