The battle for Tinian ended officially in nine days, with more than 5,000 Japanese killed, counted and buried; more than 9,000 civilians interned; and with 252 military prisoners. U. S. losses, meanwhile (including personnel lost aboard the Colorado and the Norman Scott on Jig-Day), totalled 389 killed and 1,816 wounded.1
The Expeditionary Troops Commander at Tinian, General Holland M. Smith, evaluated the operation as follows:
In war as in every other phase of activity, there are enterprises so skillfully conceived and successfully executed, that they become models of their kind. Our capture of Tinian, southern sister island of Saipan, belongs in this category. If such a tactical superlative can be used to describe a military maneuver, where the result brilliantly consummated the planning and performance, Tinian was the perfect amphibious operation in the Pacific war.2
At Tinian, sound planning and skillful determined execution again paid off. Capitalizing on an unparalleled (in the Central Pacific) opportunity for achieving tactical surprise, Marines of the 2d and 4th Divisions carried out a remarkably efficient landing. But Tinian cannot be compared with Saipan as an amphibious operation. At Saipan, U. S. forces were projected 1,000 nautical miles from their nearest base; at Tinian, three nautical miles. Measured on a Saipan yardstick, then, the Tinian operation must stand as an overgrown river crossing. In regard to General Smith's evaluation ("the perfect amphibious operation"), it is only proper to point out that, at Tinian, the proportion of attackers to defenders was greater and the period of preparatory bombardment more protracted than in other island conquests. This does not detract from the skill of the planning or the vigor of the execution but rather qualifies the success and places it in the correct perspective.
Certain tactical and logistical factors of a special nature presented themselves at Tinian, as indeed they do in like shore-to-shore operations: There was a greater opportunity for gathering accurate intelligence; planning required less time than did that for overseas operations of like magnitude; tactical surprise was easier of attainment; landings could be supported effectively by artillery emplaced on the
near shore (Saipan); operations could be conducted with less regard to the strategic air and naval situation than was the case in an overseas operation; tactical plans were more flexible; and troops involved were not subjected to a lengthy, crowded, enervating voyage.
In addition to the foregoing tactical considerations, several special logistical factors also existed: The total shipping required to transport and supply like-sized landing forces was less; logistical plans were more flexible; overwater supply lines were secure against disruption by hostile naval forces; and air transportation contributed more important and effective supply and evacuation support than is possible in an overseas operation.
U. S. commanders, examining every decision in the light of these special tactical and logistical factors, arrived at a plan in all respects classic. Of the plan's features, those exploiting the possibilities for surprise, mass, and economy of force emerge most well-defined. The advantages accruing to an attacker using the Japanese-neglected northwestern beaches had been at once recognized and appreciated by U. S. planners. All admitted from the outset that landings there should achieve tactical surprise. But, one top commander opposed use of the beaches and others hesitated because of the extremely limited size of these areas. The studies and discussions on this subject led to the inevitable imponderable: Would the advantages outweigh the disadvantages in the use of the small northwestern beaches? Only after physical reconnaissance revealed the areas in question satisfactory for landings was the final decision made to use them. The wisdom of this decision was demonstrated by the decisive results achieved.
An important consideration in reaching the WHITE Beach decision was that a landing there could be supported by artillery emplaced on Saipan. In order that this support might strike the landing areas with maximum power, General Schmidt concentrated under one command all artillery of the landing force except four light battalions. With fire support massed, he further concentrated his available power by transferring to the assault division all available armor and all light (75mm pack) artillery. These allocations were designed to insure the greatest punch at the decisive point. The landing force organization for combat at Tinian fully exploited organic flexibility and adaptability to fit the unusual circumstances.
The Tinian plan was executed with a resolve and determination that would have made even a less brilliant plan successful. While it is apparent that the landing force failed to realize how decisive had been the first night's victory and that it therefore proceeded very methodically and carefully, there is no indication that a faster advance would have cost less men or that the Japanese would have chosen any place other than the cliff line to make their last stand. The enemy prepared his cliff-line defenses long before Jig-Day, so that, regardless of how fast the Marines moved, they could hardly have caught the Japanese in the open.
The situation at Tinian permitted General Schmidt to spend ammunition lavishly, men economically. He exploited that situation throughout the operation.
Against the only Japanese defense line encountered on Tinian (the southern cliff), the 2d Marine Division performed a classic maneuver. Attacking on a broad front, the division made a small penetration, which it quickly exploited and then held against the bitter Japanese counterattack. That penetration, then expanded in division strength, proved to be the key that quickly and economically unlocked the Japanese final defense line.
As summarized by the landing force G-2:
It is apparent . . . that the enemy had not given serious consideration to the possibility of our landing on the northwest coast (WHITE Beaches) of the island, and it is clear that our landings there were achieved with complete tactical surprise.3
The great opportunity for gathering accurate, detailed, and timely intelligence before the landing was fully recognized and exploited. Efforts of intelligence personnel in the Tinian operation understandably surpassed in demonstrable results those achieved in any other Pacific battle.
Much credit for the economical and expeditious execution of the operation must be attributed to those efforts.
Aided by the terrain, which permitted easy movement in most localities and afforded long fields of observation, reconnaissance patrols functioned both day and night during the operation. Generally these patrols were very small (four to six men) so that, if spotted by enemy observers, they would present unremunerative targets. These detachments, in most cases, did not proceed far enough to achieve definite contacts and usually returned with negative (no enemy located) results. Strong combat-reconnaissance patrols, with missions of pushing forward until they encountered the enemy, were seldom employed.
Photographic coverage of Tinian was good, pictures taken between 15 June (Saipan's D-Day) and 24 July (Tinian's Jig-Day) being particularly excellent. Cloudless conditions made it possible to produce aerial mosaics greatly superior to those developed for Saipan.
Preliminary night reconnaissance of the landing beaches, made on 10-11 July and 11-12 July by the Corps Reconnaissance Battalion and naval Underwater Demolition Teams, was notable both for smoothness of operation and excellence of information gained.
Prisoner of war interrogation was generally better planned on Tinian than on Saipan. Information thus gained, however, was limited somewhat in its utility because of the speed of the U. S. advance. By the time POW's were interrogated, the enemy situation had often changed radically.4
Japanese Tactics and Techniques
The Japanese compounded their disadvantages of inferior strength and relative immobility by accepting an extremely unsatisfactory command relations set-up and by leaving their back door (the WHITE Beaches) unlocked if not open. The former condition threw them into a tottering unbalance in their defense preparations, the latter staggered them on Jig-Day.
Of the three top officers on the island (Admiral Kakuda, Captain Oya, Colonel Ogata), the first was an airman who neither had, nor cared to assume, tactical responsibility, the second was a naval officer who refused to submit to Army authority, the third was an Army officer who, though designated as island commander, failed to demand integration of the Tinian forces. The individuality and independence of this trio served U. S. purposes well.
After resisting the landing with local defense forces, the Japanese launched strong counterattacks against each flank of the beachhead during Jig-night. Thereafter, the defenders broke contact with U. S. forces early in each successive engagement, withdrawing without becoming heavily engaged, until their defense stiffened at the island's southern end.5 Their withdrawals were skillfully executed in all cases.
The weight of the U. S. combined naval gunfire, aerial bombardment, artillery and infantry attack did not permit the enemy to employ any major tactical moves except the first night's counterattack. He tried to follow his plan: to defeat us at the beach; to defeat us by counterattack on our beachhead if we succeeded in landing; to harass us by infiltration and by occasional artillery fire from concealed positions; to use his artillery at times when our artillery fired, hoping to create the impression that our own artillery was firing shorts; and to deliver final banzai attacks at the end.
Though strong in total numbers, Japanese counterattacks did not concentrate effective power against a single point. Instead, several independent, isolated assaults attempted to penetrate well-prepared U. S. positions. The banzai attack, so effective against irresolute defenders, appeared illogical and unsound to the Marine command. The Japanese banzai thrusts all obtained the same result: failure,
quick and decisive. Their fanatic efforts usually occurred at night and generally were directed frontally against U. S. lines.
Fighting during the later phases at Tinian reverted to cave warfare. Here the enemy's use of terrain and his tenacious nature combined to exact a higher price from the Marines. His cave positions were often invulnerable to the Marines' supporting weapons and had to be assaulted without effective preparatory fires. Once the Marines had captured a cave, they either had to guard or demolish its entrance to prevent reoccupation by Japanese infiltrators.
In his fight-to-the-death spirit, the enemy's morale was excellent. But his military efficiency decreased under the continuous U. S. pressure, until at the last he resisted with only disorganized, poorly supplied groups.
Japanese of the 50th Infantry were particularly well trained. Their excellence in marksmanship, camouflage and security consciousness was especially notable. In their withdrawal to the south, Japanese soldiers carefully removed or destroyed all unit identifications, so that, during the final days of the operation, U. S. forces lacked conclusive evidence as to which enemy units opposed them.
Thought of the battle's ultimate outcome was apparently not the concern of the individual Japanese soldier or sailor. His duty was simply to fight until death. Some prisoners from the 56th Naval Guard Force said that their commander, Captain Oya, had received word from Japan during the last days of the operation that the Japanese Fleet was coming to their rescue. This message may have been invented by Captain Oya to bolster morale.
One defensive measure extensively used by Japanese at Tinian was the scattering of mines over probable invasion routes. In general, this employment was haphazard in plan, promiscuous in execution. Of several types used, including two antiboat specimens and the long-familiar tape-measure variety, the most effective was the magnetic antitank mine. The latter could be thrown or placed against a U. S. tank where it would stick and explode.
In addition to those mines designed to destroy tanks, boats and vehicles, the Japanese
JAPANESE TAPE-MEASURE MINE planted flush with the ground. Though the enemy used a great number of mines and booby traps, he achieved negligible results. In most cases, Marines discovered and removed them before they could cause serious trouble.
improvised a number of ineffective antipersonnel mines and placed them in cane fields, along roads and paths, and in pieces of abandoned equipment. These home-made mines were particularly numerous in Tinian Town and along the waterfront there. Only one known accident occurred as a result of a booby trap, illustrating that the Japanese were unskillful in preparation of these devices and that the individual Marines were wary of all suspicious-appearing objects.
One Japanese mine innovation employed at Tinian was nothing more than a one-inch steel rod approximately 20 feet in length fastened to the horns of antiboat mines. If pressure were applied to any part of the rod, two or three of the mines would detonate simultaneously. U. S. engineers found and disarmed the mines without determining their effectiveness.
Between the edge of the reef and the WHITE Beaches, the Japanese buried antiboat mines at depths as great as four feet. But many of these--unaccountably--were unarmed.6 The
Tinian Town beaches were a maze of horned mines, yardstick mines, and plate mines.
The Japanese constructed a number of tank obstacles to impede the movement of U. S. machines. The most common types were ditches, blown bridges, timber cribs filled with stones, and piles of logs at restricted sections of road. Tactically, the blocks were well located and in most cases protected by small-arms positions on high ground overlooking them. As soon as these protecting positions were destroyed, however, it was a relatively simple matter for U. S. bulldozers and individuals working with hand tools to destroy the obstacles.
The most significant, influencing factor of fire support in the Tinian operation was the proximity of recently captured Saipan, three nautical miles to the north. During operations on the latter island, U. S. intelligence agencies maintained current records of Japanese positions on Tinian, records that allowed representatives of the three supporting arms (air, naval gunfire, artillery) to plan their fires with careful precision. In addition, the chosen invasion beaches were within effective range of artillery located on Saipan's southern shores. Lessons in fire coordination, so recently learned at Saipan, were fresh in the minds of all operation officers concerned, and every effort was made to take advantage of the experience.
Preparatory bombardment of Tinian had begun on 11 June, when Task Force 58 moved into the Marianas to prepare Saipan for the 15 June landings. From that date until Jig-Day, Tinian's preliminary bombardment continued on an hour-by-hour, round-the-clock, basis.
On 26 June, with the Saipan operation 12 days old, Admiral Turner had ordered an increase in the intensity of the Tinian bombardment, dividing the island into a north and a south half with air and naval gunfire alternating daily between the two halves. Artillery then undertook destruction of any targets escaping the attention of the other arms. A combined target map was maintained upon which new targets were posted and all destroyed targets erased. Planes for this plan were furnished by Carrier Support Groups One and Two, naval gunfire by the cruisers Birmingham, Montpelier and Indianapolis, artillery fires under XXIV Corps Artillery control.
Admiral Turner's 26 June plan remained effective and generally unchanged until Saipan's secure date (9 July), at which time the Tinian bombardment tempo was accelerated. Then the three supporting arms began to specialize on missions for which they were best suited, with more regard to specific targets than to a strict assignment of sectors. Never in the Pacific War did U. S. forces subject a single island to such prolonged intensive bombardment.7
Relieved of much of the fire support burden it had shouldered in previous operations, naval gunfire achieved a zenith of efficiency at Tinian. Lieutenant Colonel Ellsworth G. Van Orman, Expeditionary Troops Naval Gunfire Officer, summarized the fire before Jig-Day as follows:
The painstaking reduction of enemy defenses on Tinian . . . left the enemy with almost no heavy instruments of defense and considerably reduced quantity of personnel.
Relative to naval gunfire subsequent to the Jig-Day landings, Colonel Van Orman continued:
In the occupation of Tinian call fire procedure was carried out much more satisfactorily than at either Saipan or Guam [author's italics] because of experience gained by all hands at Saipan and exchanged and clarified in meetings of all personnel both afloat and ashore prior to J-Day. Ships and SFCP's [Shore Fire Control Parties] worked in far greater mutual understanding than on any prior operation.8
Continuous day and night naval bombardment for a 43-day period might have demoralized a less persistent foe. The Japanese, however, retained the will to fight even though their communications were shattered and troop movements made exceedingly hazardous. Systematic efforts by the other two U. S. supporting arms (air and artillery) joined with naval gunfire in tripling the enemy's problems.
The marked improvement of naval gunfire support at Tinian over that of Saipan derived
from several factors: First, the number of divisions to be supported was reduced from three to two; second, artillery relieved naval gunfire of some of the preparatory burden; third, there was better indoctrination in the proper use of naval gunfire; and fourth, the terrain was more favorable for the location of targets.
Air support for the Tinian operation came from two sources: Navy planes from the escort carriers and Army planes from Aslito Airfield on Saipan. Because the latter planes had such a short run from Saipan bases, practically their entire airborne time was spent over the target. This helped maintain a generally high caliber of air support. Beachhead areas, Tinian Town, and other located enemy installations were thoroughly saturated with explosives and shells.
Where coordination between air and artillery was required, however, results left something to be desired. Difficulty occasionally arose, and a great number of close-support missions were cancelled, because field artillery was firing into the same area assigned to the planes. Interesting, if sometimes sarcastic, testimony in this regard:
Mission #18, 25 July
The strike, strafing of enemy troops above northwest beach, was cancelled due to the refusal of artillery to lift fire. They suggested that the planes fly up to the area from the sea, strafe and then turn away. Suggest flying lessons for artillery personnel.
Mission #9, 27 July
Cancelled because of artillery fire.
Mission #7, 29 July
Cancelled, artillery could not be cleared.
Mission #14, 30 July
Cancelled. Usual reason, artillery would not stop.9
Not content with merely stating the problem, the Task Force 52 Report advanced a logical solution, not only to the air-artillery problem, but to the air-naval gunfire problem as well:
In amphibious operations involving large land masses, the volume of fire of naval gunfire is not so great as is the volume of shore-based artillery.
Naval gunfire can be controlled in the earlier stages at least, by contact with one central agency i. e., the gunnery officer on the flagship. The maximum ordinate of naval gunfire is normally much lower than that of shore-based artillery. Thus the interference with air strikes is far less. An arbitrary maximum ordinate . . . can be imposed on naval gunfire, with the provision that no ship will exceed this ordinate unless previous notification is given to Commander Support Aircraft. Commander Support Aircraft can likewise impose a minimum altitude [on aircraft]. . . . This would then allow air strikes and naval gunfire to work simultaneously on the same target. . . .
However, movement of CSA [commander support aircraft] control ashore as soon as adequate radio facilities could be provided, would infinitely reduce the more difficult problem of coordination with shore-based artillery and would allow a direct contact with the shore-based aircraft squadrons which provide close support of troops. In this manner of operation, the particular desires of troops for certain types of air strikes could be satisfied much more quickly and more exactly than by trying to accomplish the same thing by voice radio. . . .
The air-artillery coordination difficulty, while serious, did not in itself prevent both arms from performing a great number of important missions. Several of these have been mentioned at pertinent points throughout the narrative.
One weakness in the close-air-support technique at Tinian (which also had been noted at Saipan) was the lengthy time lapse between request for and execution of a mission. The air liaison officer with the 23d Marines commented that ". . . a minimum of one half hour was needed to schedule an air attack at a designated time [even] when aircraft was available and on station."10 While this represents the experience of one officer with one regiment, similar delays were also common in other units. The 2d Marine Division Air Liaison Officer, Captain Hunter Moss, was "in agreement with the Air Liaison Officer of the 23d Marines . . ." but noted that in one exceptional case an air strike was completed "within 15 minutes from the time it was called in."11 Rear Admiral R. F. Whitehead, USN, who as a Captain in 1944 served as Commander Support Aircraft, Pacific, noted that, "Some missions were executed immediately, others were delayed because of numerous urgent air support missions. . . . the
small size of the objective area, the irregular front lines, and other reasons. . . ."12
The primary cause of delay, however, may be traced directly to time spent coordinating with artillery and naval gunfire and in making certain that neither of these arms fired missions that would endanger planes. Captain Moss commented in this connection: ". . . it was difficult to coordinate with Corps artillery which was firing from the southern tip of Saipan. When the Tinian advance carried beyond the range of Corps artillery, the elapsed time from request to completion of air attacks was shortened."13 All air officers arrived at a similar solution to cut down, the time lag: locate representatives of all three arms together to simplify integration.14
The Northern Attack Force's Commander Support Aircraft, Commander Lloyd B. Osborne, considered that delay would be reduced if a senior officer presided over the three representatives and rendered immediate decisions as to which arm should have priority on a given target. Furthermore, Osborne suggested that, when the senior officer specified an air strike, it would be wise to:
Take greater chances by sending aircraft onto the target immediately . . . and without waiting for confirmation that artillery and naval gunfire have actually been stopped. This does not involve as much risk as it first seems. Unless a concentrated barrage is in effect, the chance of actually hitting an aircraft with artillery or naval gunfire is extremely small, and the chance would probably be worth taking if an emergency air strike on five minutes' notice is required.15
Another feature--if not a weakness--of Tinian close-support missions: very few strikes were directly handled by air liaison parties with the forward battalions. Thus, persons in the best position to coach planes onto targets were not, in most cases, permitted to do so directly. This despite the fact that air liaison parties were equipped with radios intended for contacting planes. Reluctance to turn over aircraft to battalion observers stemmed, in some cases, from a lack of confidence in the observers' ability, in others, from communication difficulties, and in still others, from a firm belief that close-support planes should function, practically without exception, directly under Commander Support Aircraft. Admiral Whitehead advanced another reason why air liaison parties were not permitted to take over strikes:
[It] was not so much the lack of confidence in the observers' ability as it was in the danger of planes operating in such large numbers over a small objective area under control of numerous air liaison parties. On a narrow front with irregular front lines it was not practical (except in rare instances) in such a congested area as Tinian to turn control over to the air liaison parties of the unit (Battalion) being supported without endangering the troops operating on the flanks.
In regard to the communication situation, Admiral Whitehead commented:
The limited number of aircraft frequencies . . . involved required [that we exercise] careful coordination to avoid a liaison party from utilizing one frequency over a protracted period to the exclusion of other missions by planes operating on the same frequency. The lack of aircraft multichannel VHF [very high frequency] also hindered flexibility.16
Admiral Harold B. Sallada, who commanded a task group of five escort carriers at Tinian, felt that there were three causes for reluctance in turning over planes to battalion observers for close-in missions at Tinian: "Uncertain air-ground communications, inadequately trained Air Liaison Parties and, frequently, pilots entirely inexperienced . . . in close air support. . . ."17
The necessity for adequate communications and thorough training in close-air-support work is underlined by Captain Moss:
. . . our Air Liaison Section did not have satisfactory VHF radio equipment and, therefore, we were not able to maintain contact with all of the planes on station. Furthermore, the Air Liaison Officers of the Second and Fourth Marine Divisions had not had sufficient practice in direct controlling of aircraft, and I feel this lack of training would have made it impossible
to obtain satisfactory results even if the radio equipment had been in working order.18
The technique of close air support had been a continuing study in the Marine Corps for years, and the subject of how planes could be controlled most effectively during the execution of close-support missions was not a new one. On 19 December 1943 (seven months before Tinian) the Commanding General, V Amphibious Corps (Lieutenant General Holland M. Smith), had written the Commander, V Amphibious Force (Vice Admiral Richmond K. Turner), on the subject. At least one paragraph of the letter treated a situation germane to Tinian close-support difficulties:
Air Liaison Parties attached to the unit being supported should control direct support aircraft after it has been assigned the mission by the Air Support Commander.19
To this recommendation Admiral Turner responded:
Agree in principle; practical considerations such as lack of adequate training of Air Ground Liaison parties and communications may interfere.20
Admiral Sallada, an officer well-familiar with the abilities of Navy pilots in 1944, later commented pertinently in connection with General Smith's recommendation:
The procedure . . . was undoubtedly sound when applied, for example, to Marine Corps [pilots] properly trained in their primary mission of close air support. Such work by carrier pilots available during the period in question [at Tinian], who initially had inadequate opportunity for training with ground troops, was a somewhat different problem.21
And so, the problems of executing close air support in the manner desired by the Marine Corps came into sharp focus at Tinian. It is significant to note that, during the same period, less than 100 miles away, an apparent solution had been reached. Or, stated differently, the same close-air-support technique that received infrequent trials at Saipan and Tinian passed extensive, thorough and unremitting combat tests at Guam. For, there, battalion air liaison parties held a much freer rein than at the other Marianas objectives; in the words of the Commander Support Aircraft, Pacific (Whitehead), "almost all" of the missions "were handled directly by the Air Liaison Parties." By comparison with Saipan-Tinian close air support, Guam results taught an important lesson, which Captain Whitehead stated as follows: "It is expected that in future operations, aircraft on close support will continue to be coached onto targets directly by the Air Liaison Parties."22
Two aircraft weapons employed at Tinian are worthy of special mention: rockets and napalm bombs. The former, having had their first extensive Central Pacific employment at Saipan, proved again that their rifle-like accuracy had a wide variety of uses. Continued employment and development of aerial rockets was significant in looking to the future.
Napalm or "fire" bombs made an auspicious debut at Tinian. Of the 120 jettisonable tanks dropped during the operation, 25 contained the napalm mixture, and the remainder an oil-gasoline mixture. Of the entire number only 14 were duds, and eight of these were set afire by subsequent strafing runs. Carried by Thunderbolts (P-47's), the "fire bombs" burned away foliage concealing enemy installations. Although there was a diversity of opinion regarding the bomb's effectiveness at Tinian, the important fact was that a new offensive weapon had received its first combat trials. In the months that followed, the U. S. experimented with, and finally produced, napalm bombs of far-reaching strategic consequences. Carried from the island of their weaning and growing pains, napalm bombs devastated by fire large portions of Japan's "paper" cities.
In addition to its fire-support contribution at Tinian, air's reconnaissance and aerial photography services were also invaluable. Through air observers' searching eyes, the landing force knew about all significant developments before and during the operation. Represented on this "bird's eye view" mission were planes of the Army Air Force and Navy, as well as Marine artillery spotting planes (OY's).23
In recognition of the excellent support provided by the 7th Air Force's planes in the Marianas, General Holland Smith and Admiral Turner issued a joint message of commendation:
We send a hearty "well done" to the men in the Seventh Air Force who have provided our overhead cover and effectively slashed the enemy on Saipan, Guam and Tinian. All of us have been greatly impressed with your eagerness to do what we asked you to do.
When we walk down the Ginza in Tokyo en route to Hirohito's palace, we hope that you will supply the overhead guard for us.24
Against the overpowering array of U. S. air overhead, the Japanese could employ only passive defense measures. One device, which achieved some success, was the burying of 500-pound bombs beneath the anticipated flight path of low-flying U. S. aircraft. When the planes swept in at treetop level, the enemy electrically detonated the bombs from a remote vantage point, hurling fragments of debris high into the air. After Lieutenant Wayne F. Kobler, USAAF, lost his life because of one of these devices, other pilots were wary lest they meet a similar fate.25
Most of the Japanese air personnel had left the Marianas during May and early June to provide air support for the reinforcement of Biak Island. Operational losses and disease claimed a large percentage of these, so that, when the survivors were ordered back to the Palaus and Marianas early in June, few reached even the Palaus on the return trip. Apparently none reached the Marianas.
At Tinian, for the first time since Eniwetok, artillery was employed from an adjacent island to prepare the objective area and support the landings. Represented in the array were eight battalions of 105mm howitzers, three of 155mm howitzers, and three of 155mm guns. Nor did this number exhaust U. S. artillery resources; four battalions of 75mm pack howitzers landed with the leading division and were in action by evening of Jig-Day.26
Japanese artillery resources, though proportionate with infantry strength, were rather limited. Stretching the possibilities to the breaking point, the Japanese might have had 20 operable pieces (mobile and fixed) of 70mm or greater ready to fire on the U. S. beachhead. Across the channel on Saipan 156 pieces of U. S. artillery (105mm or greater) waited to hit any targets that presented themselves. During the period from H-minus 30 to H-Hour, General Harper massed all 13 battalions on the WHITE Beach area in preparation for the landings. If Colonel Ogata had similarly massed fires of his artillery (however limited) in that same area after H-Hour, he could have created a serious, if temporary, tactical problem for the congested U. S. forces.
But the Japanese fired by single pieces, depending in their choice of targets upon individual spotters or gunners. This led to the unanimous conclusion in Marine action reports that the defenders' artillery fires were "uncoordinated." A number of factors explained the enemy artillery situation: First, he had too many static positions; second, he had poor communications; third, he lacked unity between Army and Navy; and fourth, he had faulty doctrine.
U. S. artillery was expertly coordinated and extremely effective throughout the operation. A Japanese prisoner testified pertinently in this connection: "You couldn't drop a stick without
PACK HOWITZER, lashed on a precarious perch at the brink of a sheer cliff at Marpo Point, blasts an otherwise inaccessible Japanese cave. To get it to this position, the 75 was disassembled and carried in separate parts over a rugged trail. This veteran howitzer served the 10th Marines at Guadalcanal, Tarawa and Saipan before its Tinian appearance.
bringing down [U. S.] artillery."27 Further, there were few instances of friendly artillery falling within Marine lines, circumstances that had occurred all-too-frequently at Saipan. U. S. artillery, from positions on Tinian, fired 188,565 rounds.28
The terrain on the island with its extensive flat fields and well-planned road communications system was far more suitable for tank operations than were the rugged hills and wooded valleys of Saipan. A close approximation of a tanker's Shangri-La, Tinian had almost perfect tank terrain.
The procedure of operating one tank company with each infantry regiment worked well at Tinian: a regiment in reserve automatically gave the supporting tank company an opportunity for repair and maintenance. In addition, the tactical situation at Tinian aided the rotation system. U. S. tank losses were few; the enemy's antitank fire achieved very little, and his most effective antitank weapon--the magnetic mine--failed to create any serious problem. As protection against magnetic mines, Marines covered the flat surfaces of most of their tanks with oak planking, a protective technique first used at Roi-Namur, improved in the Marianas, and nearly perfected at Iwo Jima and Okinawa.29
Infantry-tank cooperation was for the most part excellent. Indeed, much of the operation took on the proportions of a tank-infantry sweep. Flame-thrower tanks, which had made their combat debut at Saipan a month before, proved reasonably effective--considering their short stream of fire--for roasting areas honeycombed with caves.30
Tank communications and supply were good to excellent and, with respect to supply, tank officers felt that infantry officers at last understood the tankers' problems. On the negative side, tank officers complained that little or no advantage could be gained from using tanks in the front lines at night. With their limited visibility, the machines became "sitting ducks" for enemy infiltrators. Many infantrymen took an opposite view: let the tankers dig in around their vehicles and protect them from infiltrators. Then, if a counterattack developed, the tanks would be handy to lend their firepower to the defense.
Some use was made of these vehicles to crush foliage forward of the infantry's night positions, so that better fields of fire would be provided. While effective, this activity proved extremely hard on tank clutches. Officers recommended that clearing-fields-of-fire missions be accomplished by flame-throwers.31
MEDIUM TANK awaits a mission on the last day of the operation. Generally favored by open rolling countryside, tanks operated with great effectiveness at Tinian. A 75mm half-track and two more tanks stand by farther down the hill.
Most effectively employed when exploiting success, tanks were in their glory at Tinian, where the entire operation (after the first day and night) was an exploitation of success.
All Japanese tanks encountered at Tinian were the light models mounting 37mm guns and a 7.7cm machine gun.32 These vehicles, powered by six-cylinder, air-cooled diesel engines, had undergone no apparent changes in design from models encountered in previous operations. The sergeant at Saipan who scornfully called one of these "the kitchen sink" still had an apt description. The 12 tanks included in the Japanese Tinian forces actually did little to hinder the Marines' advance; and only once (the night of 24-25 July) did they venture forth in strength and actively assist their infantry. This sally proved exceedingly costly: five tanks met only Marine fire and destruction without accomplishing
much real damage. The remainder of the Japanese tank force was accounted for one-by-one in subsequent days of the operation and never again offered effective resistance. The 2d Division encountered and destroyed four of these machines in its sector, while the 4th Division knocked out eight, including those hit during the first night's counterattack.33
The selected landing beaches keyed the entire logistical situation. Their narrowness demanded the mobile loading of matériel coming ashore, so that supplies could be transported across the beaches to combat units or inland dumps without handling.
Movement of supplies from LST's to dumps on Tinian was a closely-knit process. All items were neatly packaged in cargo nets so that, once a DUKW or LVT pulled alongside an LST, it was a simple matter for small cranes to lift the nets and lower them into the vehicles for the trip to (and through) the beach. With a few exceptions, initial unloading was completed by Jig-plus 2. Included in this early supply were two-day reserves of water, rations and ammunition.
At Tinian, divisions did not deliver small-arms and mortar ammunition to regiments. Instead, regiments drew from division dumps and delivered by truck directly to battalions. This system, designed to avoid movement of large regimental dumps, worked well in this fast-moving operation.
Concerning this system, one of the regimental logistics officers wrote:
The Second Marines in the course of the fighting on Tinian moved their supply dump only twice as opposed to some five or six such moves on Saipan. . . .
A representative amount of food, water and ammunition was kept on hand in the regimental dump for emergency purposes. However, that was never permitted to exceed what could be carried at one time in the trucks assigned to the regimental quartermaster. . . .
. . . on several occasions when battalions had halted for the day and following the emplacement of forward security, trucks were driven along the trace of the front line positions and the rolls of concertina wire dropped off at spaced intervals. . . 34
Initially, vehicles ashore used the fuel they carried, such small replacements as had been landed, and Japanese aviation gasoline when it could be located. But on Jig-plus 4, when these sources dwindled, the landing force became critically short--particularly of 80-octane gasoline and lubrication oils. Saviors in this situation were the DUKW's, which, by repeated trips through the angry surf to the fuel barges, carried in sufficient quantities to relieve the shortage somewhat.
Fresh water posed a minor problem: with the exception of a pond about 1,000 yards inland from the WHITE Beaches, natural sources did not come within friendly lines until shortly before the island was secured. Consequently, throughout the operation the landing force depended for water upon its initial supply and the output of its distillation units (operated by engineer personnel--see page 139).
Two items of logistical support equipment in use at Tinian were especially noteworthy: the special portable LVT ramp and the pontoon causeway. The first of these, the portable ramp, was an innovation (see page 28 for description). It was designed to provide a means for access over the three- to ten-foot coral ledges flanking the WHITE Beaches. The 4th Marine Division's action report summarized the ramp's use as follows:
Ten special ramps mounted on LVT's were brought over from Saipan in the second trip of the LSD's. Two were launched about 1700 on Jig-day and sent in with a view of utilizing them in the area south of WHITE 1. One was lost when the LVT struck a coral head on the edge of the reef and turned over. The other was landed successfully and used by LVT's landing supplies. The remaining 8 ramps were launched on the afternoon of Jig-Plus-1. Two were swamped and sank on the way in to the beach but the crews were saved.35 The remaining 6 were landed and placed in operation. The ramps were used to land vehicles until the pontoon causeways were established.
Their use in this operation to the limited extent available, was reasonably successful.36
Another especially noteworthy logistical item, the pontoon causeway, which had already proved its worth at Saipan, came into use again at Tinian. Two were used, one on each of the WHITE Beaches; and, until broached by the six- to eight-foot swells that arose on 29 July,37 they contributed materially to logistical support. Here was proved the fact that use of pontoon causeways was limited to fair weather or to sheltered sea conditions.
The plan of resupply--shuttle service in LST's, LCI's and LCM's from Saipan depots, plus traffic from three loaded cargo ships on call off Tinian--worked satisfactorily until rough weather precluded further ship-to-shore unloading. Thereafter, the landing force was not able to maintain prescribed levels of supply. Though some shortages developed during the operation,38 equitable distribution and weak enemy resistance combined to prevent the logistical situation from becoming critical.
The soldiers, sailors, Marines, seabees, airmen and engineers who shouldered the logistical task deserve much credit. The stockpile put ashore during the battle's early stages and the carefully conceived and well-executed emergency air-supply plan saved the situation after bad weather reared its ugly head. That the logistical plan had sufficient flexibility to meet difficult conditions was illustrated by results achieved.
CURTISS "COMMANDO" (R5C-1) of Marine Transport Squadron 252 takes aboard a load of casualties at Ushi Point Airfield. Approximately 1,500 wounded Marines were evacuated by air from Tinian to Saipan. Battered Japanese plane parked under skeleton hanger was caught on the ground during early naval attacks on the Marianas.
DUKW UNLOADS JEEP by means of "A" frame, which lifts vehicle from the truck and places it on the ground. The 140 DUKW's available to the landing force fulfilled an urgent need at Tinian, especially after 1800, Jig-plus 4, when rough weather precluded all unloading by means other than DUKW's.
Although the Japanese had an excellent network of roads and adequate amounts of food and matériel, supply became one of their most acute problems after troops and civilians crowded into the island's southern tip. Japanese supply dumps in caves and other hiding places were rendered inaccessible in many cases by the U. S. bombardment and the rapid advance.
As to individual equipment the Tinian defenders were generally well-outfitted, most carrying new rifles, gas masks and hand grenades.39
Japanese vehicles, when compared with the Marines', were generally inferior, being mostly light commercial types. Marines captured and used several of these military-type vehicles including gasoline trucks, water sprinklers and half-track command cars. At the Ushi Point Airfield trucks and power cranes to handle aero torpedoes and bombs were found in substantial numbers.40
Experiences of past operations, past maneuvers, and past schooling stood U. S. planners in good stead at Tinian. For example, Tarawa had demonstrated that the amphibian tractor
was the answer to the reef problem and that these vehicles must be in sufficient numbers to do the job. Only 125 were available to one division at Tarawa in November 1943;41 533 were available to one division at Tinian in July 1944. In all functions, the LVT's performed well.
Even more valuable than the LVT's as supply vehicles at Tinian were the DUKW's. That this was true may be attributed primarily to two factors: the reef posed only a minor obstacle, and a good road network existed. Had either or both of these conditions not obtained, the LVT's might have been the more valuable for supply. The DUKW's operated more successfully under varied sea conditions and, once ashore, preserved the roads better and moved faster than the clawing LVT's. In addition, DUKW's gave drivers better all-around vision than did LVT's. Both vehicles had one important characteristic in common: they could carry supplies directly from ships to inland dumps, making supply one process rather than two or three. Had it not been for the rapidity with which dumps of ammunition, food, water, fuel and other supplies were built up during the early stages, plus the work of the DUKW's during the rough weather, the Tinian operation might well have been delayed by the "near-miss" typhoon.
Use of DUKW's as artillery carriers was an adaptation first used in the Marianas. Artillery pieces, embarked in DUKW's, could be moved from LVT's afloat directly to their firing positions ashore.42 Such convenience naturally gladdened the hearts of artillery crews.
DUKW's (totalling 140) remained directly under the landing force throughout the operation, while the LVT's experienced three shifts: first the 4th Division, then the 2d Division, then NTLF controlled them. Landing craft control was satisfactory at Tinian, because commanders had good communications with all subordinate echelons and, more important, because enemy fire against landing craft was negligible.43
JAPANESE AMPHIBIAN TRUCK, one of several captured at Tinian. It operated as a conventional 4x4 truck on land and could function afloat by disengaging the front-wheel drive and engaging a propeller on the vehicle's stern.
Crude by comparison to the U. S. amphibian truck was the Japanese-developed model, a bizarre contraption that contributed nothing to the island's defense. It operated as a conventional 4 x 4 truck on land and could function on water by disengaging the front-wheel drive and engaging the propeller. Since it had no rudder the front wheels probably did the steering while it was in the water.44
Medical arrangements for Tinian were extremely satisfactory. Admittedly, shortage of medical personnel (particularly affecting care of civilian casualties), and a paucity of hospital equipment ashore, occasionally cropped forth to complicate the situation. But, since casualties were fewer than at Saipan, personnel and matériel shortages did not adversely affect the conduct of the operation. Certain casualty-evacuation techniques--some already familiar, others developed for Tinian--are worthy of special mention.
Until disrupted by bad weather, the casualty-evacuation plan proved satisfactory. A special medical control vessel, immediately following the assault waves, anchored close inshore. Wounded Marines were transported in LVT's
to this vessel, where a medical officer supervised their transfer to LCVP's, which in turn carried them to designated APA's. Casualty evacuation by July 1944 had developed into a systematic and efficient procedure.
The plan of evacuating casualties from pontoon causeways located on the WHITE Beaches directly to two specially equipped and staffed hospital LST's (for transportation to Saipan) was used only once.45 Further use of the piers for this purpose was prohibited by poor sea conditions. But this one example demonstrated that such a plan would have been feasible if the weather had been favorable.
When heavy westerly swells made use of Tinian causeways and beaches virtually impossible, air evacuation from Ushi Point Airfield became the primary means of removing serious casualties, approximately 1,500 wounded Marines being airborne to Saipan.46
The enthusiasm and determination of the crews who flew the planes in and out despite hazardous weather conditions is worthy of note. The report of the Corps Surgeon, Captain John
STRETCHER CASE receives plasma as he is loaded in an LVT which carried him to a special control vessel anchored close inshore. There a Navy doctor supervised his transfer from the LVT to an LCVP for a fast trip to a designated transport (APA). This system of casualty evacuation was terminated by bad weather on Jig-plus 4, and was replaced by air evacuation.
B. O'Neill (MC), USN, summed up the situation:
Evacuation from Tinian to Saipan was unique in that in spite of only a three mile channel separating the two islands, it became necessary to depend almost entirely upon air evacuation across the channel as the result of an unpredicted swell resulting from a nearby typhoon.47
The Navy Medical Corps conclusively demonstrated at Tinian its flexibility in the face of a fast-changing situation48 and again proved the usefulness of air evacuation in the island war.
Japanese Army forces at Tinian received medical care from a medical company with a staff of 130 and a detachment from the 29th Division field hospital with a staff of 150. This developed a ratio of medical personnel to total Japanese Army personnel of about 1 to 18. For U. S. Marine units at Tinian the ratio of doctors and corpsmen to total personnel was about 1 to 17. From this it appears that the Japanese at Tinian valued medical care as highly as did the Marines.
Japanese Army medical installations were located east and southeast of Mount Lasso. Dressing stations were located at accessible points in the various units' areas. In addition to one field hospital located in a schoolhouse northeast of Airfield Number 2, a second was to be set up wherever the battle developed.49 No information is available on how these field hospitals actually functioned.
Japanese naval units, being generally more security conscious than their Army brothers, revealed little information regarding their medical activities, aside from the fact that the 523d Naval Air Group Hospital had about 60 men.50
No treatment was given to wounded civilians by Japanese military doctors after the beginning of the operation; but U. S. medical units treated thousands of civilians during and after the battle.51
The multifarious engineer functions were dispatched with the expediency that characterized their efforts in previous operations. Where their activities directly affected the tactical situation (as in mine clearance), engineer functions have been described in appropriate passages of this narrative. Many another endeavor, however, not directly related to the day by day progress of the attack, rendered vital service and played a significant role in the eventual success.
The engineers were divided into two categories; the assault engineers (1st Battalions of the 18th and 20th Marines) and the NTLF construction forces (18th and 121st Naval Construction Battalions). An important job of both of these was the widening and maintenance of existing roads and trails and construction of additional ones. The assault engineers bent their full attention upon forward areas and the NTLF construction forces to rear areas in this road work.52
Both (in cooperation with Shore Parties) also improved the beaches and routes inland from them. This task was begun by the assault engineers and finished by the construction forces. The development of additional landing points likewise received a full measure of attention from, first, the assault engineers and subsequently the construction forces. Work was continuous in each case, with no break in the continuity of effort when one took over from the other.
Relative to water supply, the assault engineers, using their distillation and purification systems, more than met the landing force's requirement "to provide a minimum of two gallons per man per day."53 The construction forces, meanwhile, developed a more or less permanent water-supply system using not only distillation units but natural sources as well. Here again, close integration between the two engineer echelons was the rule.
There the relationship of functions ended. While the assault engineers constructed prisoner of war and civilian internment enclosures, the construction forces repaired Ushi Point Airfield and operated a Japanese narrow-gauge railroad.54
The terrain and the rapidity of advance had an important bearing on U. S. communications at Tinian. The speedy sweep across the island's flats made it difficult for Marine wiremen to keep up. This, coupled with a shortage of field wire (occasioned by unloading difficulties), plus damage to wire caused by the heavy traffic along routes of approach, made it impossible to keep wire communications operating at optimum efficiency. On the other hand, an advantage was realized in that few hiding places were offered by-passed or infiltrating Japanese, and Marine wiremen could operate behind their own lines with more safety than usual in the Pacific War.
Using the 23d Marines as a typical example, wire communications were 90 per cent effective from division to regiment, 70 per cent from regiment to battalions.55 The better record of the former was attributed to the fact that signal supply from division to regiments was regular and satisfactory, while regiments encountered difficulties in getting signal gear to battalions because of a lack of transportation. Poor beach conditions and a heavy surf further complicated the signal-supply problem.
It was sometimes necessary, therefore, to maintain contact by radio alone. The proficiency and discipline of radio operators appeared to have improved over Saipan. Although plain language was used almost entirely for tactical traffic, security violations, as compared with D-Day on Saipan, were greatly reduced. Generally speaking, there was no serious breakdown or delay in operational traffic because of interference, jamming or faulty equipment. Traffic was more evenly distributed on available circuits than at Saipan.
The plan for radio communications on Tinian differed from that on Saipan in at least two interesting respects: infantry battalion commanders carried their radio jeeps ashore in LVT(4)'s;56 and tank commanders were given SCR-300 radios with which to communicate in infantry command nets.
The tiny, temperamental SCR-536 radio, carried by platoon leaders and company commanders, worked with reasonable success as long as it did not rain, as long as the stations were close together, and as long as other stations on the net did not blanket the transmission. All too often, however, one of these restrictive conditions obtained.
One of the infantry's most dependable sets, the SCR-300, provoked slightly varied comments. The 4th Division considered it "excellent," while the 2d Division reported that its performance was not so good as on Saipan. The latter unit failed to explain this reduction in the set's efficiency.57
Captured diagrams and field phones indicated that the Japanese had the entire island wired for telephonic communication. Other than general statements by prisoners of war, however, very little is known about how this system worked. Several prisoners stated that some of their units were equipped with portable
radios, and that, using these, they were able to carry on communications after the U. S. bombardment destroyed telephone lines. The enemy's ability to effect an orderly withdrawal to the south indicated that fair interior communications must have been present.58
Treatment of Civilians
Civilians on Tinian were for the most part Japanese subjects who had been living on the island for an average of 15 years. Usually they were share croppers, working in the hot cane fields for the South Seas Development Company.
Of 17,900 civilians shown in a Japanese census report of 1 January 1944, only 2,468 had been accounted for on 1 August 1944 when all Tinian civil affairs shifted to the island commander (General Underhill). Three days later the number had grown to 8,491, and 13,000 were counted on 10 August. Between 3,000 and 5,000 had been evacuated to Japan after U. S. invasion of the Marshalls.59
Japanese military personnel had little respect for civilians, even their own. That Japanese military doctors refused to minister to them after the U. S. landings would seem to emphasize this fact. Eyewitness accounts indicate that Japanese soldiers massacred many civilians; and, although it is not known whether civilians submitted voluntarily, the presence of
TOP COMMANDERS gather for flag-raising at conclusion of Tinian operation. From left to right: Admiral Hill (Commander Northern Attack Force), General Schmidt (Commander Northern Troops and Landing Force), Admiral Spruance (Commander Fifth Fleet), General Smith (Commander Expeditionary Troops), Admiral Turner (Commander Expeditionary Force), General Watson (Commander 2d Marine Division) and General Cates (Commander 4th Marine Division).
BEARDED MARINE gives candy to a child in an internment camp, Japanese propaganda notwithstanding. Tinian civilians had been warned that Americans would inflict vile tortures upon them.
small children--who must be presumed to have been mentally incapable of consenting to be killed--gave the actions at least the aspect of atrocities.60
But Japanese civilians had been saturated with propaganda to the effect that the Americans would subject them to the cruelest, vilest of tortures. This indoctrination had its consequences. A captured Japanese warrant officer from the 56th Naval Guard Force stated that about 1,000 "loyal citizens" allowed the military to blow them up in caves.61
U. S. propaganda texts,62 encouraging civilians to dissociate themselves from the military and come over to American lines, were prepared and distributed early in the operation. All texts promised good treatment once American lines were reached.
Although it is impossible to evaluate the effectiveness of the leaflets with full accuracy, indications support the belief that they were of some help. Large numbers of civilians (and even some military personnel) reported having seen and read the leaflets. Most of the civilians expressed themselves as being surprised to learn that they would receive good treatment from the Americans.
The majority of the civilians who came over, particularly at the end of the operation, were suffering from lack of food, water, and medicine.63 These indispensable items, when they could be spared, were administered by U. S. forces to help relieve suffering.
And so, the techniques and tools of amphibious warfare again passed the unremitting tests of combat. Tinian produced a number of firsts in Pacific amphibious warfare: It was the first Corps-sized Marine shore-to-shore operation; it was the first time that large Marine forces had landed on beaches the size of, and therefore with the limited capacity of, the Tinian landing areas; thorough aerial reconnaissance by unit commanders prior to an amphibious operation was possible for the first time; it was the first occasion upon which combat troops were employed so shortly after another major operation; the operation saw the first combat use of the napalm bomb, a weapon that later spread havoc among Japanese cities.
The Tinian operation was an expansion and consolidation of the Saipan gain rather than a distinctive amphibious step in itself. For to have seized Saipan and not Tinian (or vice versa) would have been to invite the Japanese on the unconquered island to conduct extensive harassing activities and to observe U. S. operations and report them regularly to Tokyo. Capture of Tinian was important for another reason: the island's vast plains, on which the Japanese had built or were building four airfields, offered space for construction of almost as many additional strips as desired.
Writing about a trip he took several years before the war, traveller-author Willard Price described Tinian as "one in a series of anchored aircraft carriers,"64 but this apt description should now be enlarged: Tinian was developed into the greatest of the B-29 bases in the war against Japan. At its zenith of development, Tinian provided fields for two Army Air Force B-29 wings (313th and 58th) as well as for considerable Navy and Marine aircraft.
Tinian was one of the three essential parts of the Marianas strategic objective, an objective from which the U. S. could control sea areas farther west in the Pacific and, more important, strike telling blows at the home islands of the Japanese Empire. From coral runways in the Marianas, day in day out, the B-29's flew northward to the very heart of Japan, devastating cities and mining coastal waters. Total war achieved a real meaning to the Japanese. To a people already somewhat disheartened by a long series of reverses, massive air raids launched from the Marianas helped put the capstone on their disillusionment.
From the time the B-29's started operating in the Marianas until the end of the war in August 1945, they flew a total of 29,000 missions against Japan and dropped 157,000 tons of bombs of which 52,000 tons were high explosives, 96,000 tons were incendiaries and 9,000 tons were mines. The Japanese have stated that air attacks killed 260,000 people, left 9,200,000 homeless, and demolished or burned down 2,210,000 homes.65
Tinian had a strategic significance not fully apparent to the Marines who captured it during that humid period in July 1944: slightly over a year later, 6 August 1945, the island provided the Army Air Force a site from which the B-29 Enola Gay carried the first atomic bomb to Hiroshima. From the same field three days later another B-29 carried a second bomb, which
was dropped on Nagasaki. These two bombs accounted for between 105,000 and 120,000 persons killed or missing, another 110,000 injured.66 On 10 August, the day following the Nagasaki disaster, the Empire of Japan, which three months earlier had unsuccessfully sought peace negotiations, finally surrendered unconditionally.67
1. Though the total Tinian casualties were moderate in comparison with those of many other operations, the toll of Navy chaplains was greater than for any other operation in World War II. One was hit aboard the Colorado during the Jig-Day demonstration, three more were hit ashore. Captain Clifford M. Drury, USNR, The History of the Chaplain Corps, United States Navy, Volume II, 1939-1949 (Washington: U. S. Government Printing Office, 1950), 159.
2. General H. M. Smith, Coral and Brass (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1949), 201.
3. G-2 Report, 7.
4. 4th Mar Div D-2 Report, 4.
5. Estimated daily enemy casualties (from the NTLF G-2 Periodic Reports) indirectly reveal where and when the enemy resisted most determinedly: on the first two days of the operation (24-25 July), including the first night's counterattack, over 2,000 Japanese were killed; during the next five days (26-30 July), enemy killed totalled only 876; on last two days of the operation (31 July-1 August), 1,862 Japanese were killed. For the two days following the "secure" date, the Japanese lost 876.
6. One plausible explanation is that the Japanese, not wishing to hamper their defensive preparations, had deliberately postponed arming the mines. Plans to pull the pins when U. S. landings seemed imminent were probably frustrated by the U. S. bombardment.
7. TF 51, Report, Encl F, 22.
8. TF 56 NGF Report, 136 and 138.
9. TF 52, Air Support Operations, Summary of Daily Air Strikes.
10. 23d Mar Report, Air Liaison, 50.
11. Ltr from Capt Hunter Moss to CMC, 27Dec50, hereinafter cited as Moss.
12. Ltr from RAdm R. F. Whitehead to CMC, 30Dec50, hereinafter cited as Whitehead.
14. Whitehead. Moss. Ltr from Capt H.P. Cooper, USN, to CMC, 2Jan51. Ltr from Cdr L.B. Osborne, USNR, to CMC, 26Jan51, hereinafter cited as Osborne.
17. Ltr from Adm H.B. Sallada to CMC, 20Dec50, hereinafter cited as Sallada.
18. Moss. Commander Osborne considered that air-ground communications at Tinian ". . . lacked reliability from electronic, mechanical, atmospheric and human . . ." standpoints. Osborne.
19. Ltr from CG, VAC to ComFifthAmphFor, 19Dec43, Ser 00732, para j.
20. Ltr from ComFifthAmphFor to CG, VAC, 28Dec43, Ser 00393, para j.
22. Reports of Support Aircraft Operation, Marianas, with comments by Commander Support Aircraft, Pacific, 11Sep44, 27. Much of the background information regarding early close-air-support thinking in the Marine Corps was obtained in an interview with Colonel Frank C. Croft on 6Dec50.
23. Planes from VMO-2, with observers from the 4th Marine Division, flew a total of 123½ hours on artillery observation missions during the operation.
24. Quoted from One Damned Island After Another, 236. Following this quotation, the 7th Army Air Force source noted that "The Marianas, the Marines and the Navy were ours!"
25. The AAF Against Japan, 191. A B-24 field at Saipan was later named for Kobler.
26. V Phib Corps Report on Marianas Phase III, 11.
27. 4th Mar Div Representative Translations Made on Tinian.
28. NTLF G-4 Report, Encl D.
29. Ltr from LtCol R.K. Schmidt to CMC, 5Dec49.
30. At the conclusion of the Saipan operation, the 4th Tank Battalion had requested napalm for the use of its flame-throwers, in the hope that the range of these weapons could be increased. Because napalm was in extremely short supply and because the limited amounts available were being used for the bomb, higher headquarters refused the request. Ltr from LtCol R.K. Schmidt to CMC, 16Nov50.
31. 2d Tank Bn Report, Co B Report, 6.
32. Ltr from CG, 2d Mar Div to CINCPOA, 15Aug44, subj: Japanese tanks and armored vehicles encountered during Tinian Operation, report on. Another Japanese armored vehicle found at Tinian, but which did not play an important role in the operation, was the half-track, probably designed after its German counterpart. A powerful, rugged vehicle, it could be used as a prime mover for artillery and as a personnel carrier. It was powered by a large six-cylinder diesel engine, and its construction permitted it to travel over almost any type of terrain. Two extra braking pedals that stopped each track individually allowed the vehicle to make sharper turns than could U. S. half-tracks.
33. 2d Mar Div, Japanese Tank Report, 2. 4th Mar Div Report, B, 13.
35. The accident occurred as a result of an overpowering wake set up by an LCM which crossed the bows of the two nose-heavy LVT's. Ltr from Maj F.A. Durand to CMC, 28Nov50.
36. 4th Mar Div Report, Sec 3, 21.
37. Salvaged sections were later used to extend the existing south pier at Tinian Town.
38. Particularly in 60mm illuminating, 81mm light and 75mm howitzer shells (plus the already-mentioned fuel and oil difficulties).
39. NTLF G-2 Report, See B, 19, 37.
40. NTLF G-4 Report, Sec B, 2, 3.
41. See Marine Corps Historical Monograph The Battle for Tarawa, Capt J. R. Stockman.
42. DUKW's mounting "A" frames lifted the pieces out of other vehicles and placed them on the ground.
43. Ltr from Maj H. G. Lawrence, Jr., to author, 16Jun 50. Ltr from Maj F.A. Durand to CMC, 28Nov50.
44. TF 52 Pictorial History of Capture and Occupation of Tinian.
45. For the fate of the ship that participated in this evacuation, see page 92.
46. NTLF Medical Report, 3. Ltr from Dr. George W. Mast to author, 22Aug50.
47. NTLF Medical Report, 6.
48. The speed of the advance was, on at least one occasion, matched by the speed of medical attention. The commanding officer of the 4th Medical Battalion cited the following in this connection: "We were watching some tanks move out, and one of the crew fell off a tank, hit the ground, and dislocated his elbow. . . . I reduced the dislocation, and he hopped back on his tank before it lost any speed. I never saw him again." Ltr from Capt Stewart W. Shimonek, (MC) USNR, to author, 3Aug50.
49. NTLF G-2 Report, Sec B, 8-9.
50. See Appendix V, Japanese Order of Battle.
51. NTLF G-2 Report, Sec B, 43-44.
52. One road-preservation technique successfully employed at Tinian: engineers constructed a tracked-vehicle road network that allowed tanks and other tracked vehicles to move parallel to, but not on, normal routes. Ltr from LtCol M. D. Henderson to CMC, 21Dec50.
53. The officer commanding the 18th Marines later pointed out that "water supply was controlled at engineer regimental level. . . . " Ltr from Col E. S. Laue to CMC, 27Dec50.
54. NTLF Opn Plan 30-44, Annex M.
55. 23d Mar Report, 43.
56. The LVT (4) had a ramp at its stern that allowed convenient discharge of vehicles.
57. Ltr from Signal Officer to Commanding General, (TF 56), 20Aug44, 16.
58. NTLF G-2 Report, Sec B, 41, 50, and 51.
59. S/Sgt Bill Miller, Marine Corps Gazette Nov44, "Beachhead Government."
60. Signed statements of 2d Lt T.C. Smith and 2d Lt D.L. Anderson. NTLF G-2 Report, Sec B, 51-53.
61. NTLF G-2 Report, Sec B, 54.
62. See Appendix VII for sample texts.
63. Mothers are the same the world over. Some parched-lipped women, offered a precious drink of water from Marines' canteens, accepted with a polite bow, then dampened a scarf or small cloth and washed their babies' faces.
64. Price, op. cit., 45.
65. Mission Accomplished, prepared by Assistant Chief of Air Staff, Intelligence Headquarters, Army Air Forces (U. S. Government Printing Office, 1946).
66. United States Strategic Bombing Survey, The Effects of Atomic Bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki (U. S. Government Printing Office, 1946), 15. P. M. S. Blackett, Fear, War, and the Bomb (New York: Whittlesey House, 1949), 40.
67. United States Strategic Bombing Survey, Summary Report Pacific War (U. S. Government Printing Office, 1946), "Japan's Struggle to End the War."