TINIAN is a small island. In 1944 it was held by only 9,000 Japanese. Yet it was so well defended by nature against an amphibious operation that it might have proved a formidable and costly barrier to the final conquest of the Marianas. It had only one beach area suitable--by previous standards--for a major amphibious landing and that beach was heavily mined and skillfully defended.
The enemy, although long alerted to our intentions to attack Tinian, was tactically surprised when we avoided his prepared defenses and landed on two small beaches totalling in width only about 220 yards. Before he could recover from the shock, he was out-numbered and out-equipped on his own island. His subsequent effort to throw us into the water resulted in complete failure. We then pushed the length of the island in nine days, while suffering casualties light in comparison with those of most other island conquests.
As a participant in the operation, I naturally take pride in this achievement, as well as in Admiral Raymond A. Spruance's evaluation: "In my opinion, the Tinian operation was probably the most brilliantly conceived and executed amphibious operation in World War II."
C. B. CATES
GENERAL, U. S. MARINE CORPS
COMMANDANT OF THE MARINE CORPS
TINIAN is the eighth in a series of operational monographs being prepared by the Historical Division, Headquarters, United States Marine Corps, a series designed to present for military students and other interested readers accurate narratives of the Marine Corps' World War II operations.
After monographs of all the operations of the Marines in the Pacific are completed, it is planned to integrate them into the operational history of the Marine Corps in World War II.
Sketches or maps have been inserted to portray daily progress lines. Those sketches relating to actions described on two or more pages of the monograph fold out beyond the margins of the text to aid the reader in following the narrative.
Grateful acknowledgement is hereby made to the scores of Marine, Navy and Army officers and persons now outside the services who read and commented upon the preliminary draft of this monograph and who contributed a wealth of information not otherwise available. Appreciation is likewise expressed for the willing assistance provided by the following: the Office of Naval Records and History, Navy Department; and the Office of the Chief of Military History, Department of the Army.
Maps and sketches were prepared by the Reproduction Department, Marine Corps Schools, Quantico, Virginia. All photographs are official Marine Corps, Navy, or Air Force.
J. C. McQUEEN
BRIGADIER GENERAL, U. S. MARINE CORPS
DIRECTOR OF MARINE CORPS HISTORY
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