SAIPAN was one of the key operations in the Pacific War; key because it unlocked vast potentialities to the United States in projecting its might against the Japanese homeland; key because it opened the door of distance which had meant security to the Empire. Invasion of Saipan provided the supreme challenge in which the enemy was forced to select one of two alternatives: conserve his naval resources for a later decision, leaving uncontested this penetration of his inner defense; or lash out in a vicious, showdown fight. The fact that he chose the latter course, and suffered a resounding defeat, is now history.
The conquest of Saipan was, among Pacific operations up to that time, the most clear-cut decisive triumph of combined arms of the United States over the Japanese. By June 1944, U. S. forces, long superior in quality of personnel and organization, were finally greatly superior in materiel with which to fight. Victory at Saipan made this apparent to all.
C. B. CATES
GENERAL, U. S. MARINE CORPS.
COMMANDANT OF THE MARINE CORPS.
SAIPAN is the sixth in a series of operational monographs being prepared by the Historical Division, Headquarters, United States Marine Corps, to present for the military student, as well as the casual reader, a factually accurate narrative of the Marine Corps' World War II operations. When these individual narratives are completed and arranged in chronological order, they will be integrated into a single operational history of the Marine Corps in World War II.
Grateful acknowledgement is made for the valuable information furnished by the scores of officers consulted by interview or letter and for the assistance provided by the Historical Division, U. S. Navy; the Office of Naval Records and Library; the Office of the Chief of Military History, Department of the Army; and the Marine member of the Historical Section, Joint Chiefs of Staff. Maps and sketches were prepared by the Reproduction Department, Marine Corps Schools, Quantico, Virginia. All photographs are official Marine Corps, Navy or Army.
CLAYTON C. JEROME
BRIGADIER GENERAL, U. S. MARINE CORPS,
DIRECTOR OF MARINE CORPS HISTORY.