Mariana and Palau Islands campaign

Mariana and Palau Islands campaign

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The '''Mariana and Palau Islands campaign''', also known as '''Operation Forager''', was an offensive launched by [[United States]] forces against [[Empire of Japan|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 [[Allies of World War II|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 [[Battle of Saipan|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]] (the so-called “Great Marianas Turkey Shoot”) on 19–20 June, the Japanese naval forces were decisively defeated with heavy and irreplaceable losses to their carrier-borne and land-based aircraft. Only a few of the twenty-four thousand Japanese defenders on the island were captured; large numbers of local civilians threw themselves and their children off high cliffs rather than be captured. Thereafter, U.S. forces executed landings on [[Battle of Guam (1944)|Guam]] and [[Battle of Tinian|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-29]]s were based to conduct strategic bombing missions against the Japanese mainland until the end of World War II, including the [[Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki|nuclear attacks]] on [[Hiroshima]] and [[Nagasaki, Nagasaki|Nagasaki]]. 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 [[Battle of Peleliu|Peleliu]] and [[Battle of Angaur|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 campaign (1944–45)|Philippines]] in October, 1944 and the [[Volcano and Ryukyu Islands campaign|Volcano and Ryuku Islands]] beginning in January, 1945. [[File:Forager.jpg|thumb|400px]] == See also == * [[Battle of Guam (1944)|Battle of Guam]] * [[Battle of Saipan]] * [[Battle of Tinian]] * [[Battle of Peleliu]] * [[Battle of Anguar]] * [[West Loch Disaster]] ===Web=== * [http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USMC/USMC-C-Saipan/index.html Breaching the Marianas: The Battle for Saipan] (Marines in World War II Commemorative Series) * Lodge, Major O.R. [http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USMC/USMC-M-Guam/index.html ''USMC Historical Monograph: The Recapture of Guam''], Historical Branch, United States Marine Corps, 1954. *O'Brien, Cyril J. [http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USMC/USMC-C-Guam/index.html ''Liberation: Marines in the Recapture of Guam''], Marines in World War II Commemorative Series, Marine Corps Historical Center, United States Marine Corps, 1994. * [http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USMC/USMC-M-Tinian/index.html USCM Historical Monograph: The Seizure of Tinian] == External links == {{commons|Mariana and Palau Islands campaign}} {{World War II}} {{coord missing|Palau}} {{DEFAULTSORT:Mariana And Palau Islands Campaign}}