Battle of Tinian
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
|World War II, Pacific War|
|Part of World War II, Pacific War|
LST-1048 beached at Tinian, September 1944
||4,700 soldiers and 4,110 marine soldiers|
|389 killed, 1,816 wounded
||8,010 killed, 313 POW|
The Battle of Tinian was a battle of the Pacific campaign of World War II, fought on the island of Tinian in the Mariana Islands from 24 July 1944 to 1 August 1944.
The American victory in the battle of Saipan made Tinian, 5.6 km (3.5 miles) south of Saipan, the next step in the Marianas campaign. The 2nd and 4th Marine Divisions landed on 24 July 1944, supported by naval bombardment and artillery firing across the strait from Saipan. A successful feint for the major settlement
of Tinian Town diverted defenders from the actual landing site on the north of the Island.
The Japanese adopted the same stubborn defensive tactics as on Saipan, retreating during the day and attacking at night.
The gentler terrain of Tinian allowed the attackers more effective use of tanks and artillery than in the mountains of Saipan,
and the island was secured in only nine days of fighting. On 31 July the surviving Japanese launched a suicide charge.
Several hundred Japanese troops held out in the jungles for months. The garrison on Aguijan Island off the southwest cape
of Tinian, commanded by Lieutenant Kinichi Yamada, held out until the end of the war, surrendering on 4 September 1945. The last holdout on Tinian, Murata Susumu, was not captured until 1953.
The battle of Tinian saw the first use of napalm in the Pacific. 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 P-47 Thunderbolts, the "fire bombs", also known as napalm bombs burned away foliage concealing enemy installations.
After the battle, Tinian became an important base for further Allied operations in the Pacific Campaign. Camps were built
for 50,000 troops. 15,000 SeaBees turned the island into the busiest airfield of the war, with six 2,400 m runways for attacks by B-29 Superfortress bombers
on targets in the Philippines, the Ryukyu Islands and mainland Japan.