Battling for Saipan [NOOK Book]

Overview

When Lt. Gen. Holland M. "Howlin' Mad" Smith and his V Amphibious Corps were preparing for the invasion of the Marianas -- Guam, Tinian, and Saipan -- they were expecting an easy fight. The Japanese appeared to be on the run. As D day for Saipan, the first of the three islands scheduled for conquest, loomed, V Corps operational planners felt safe in allocating a single division to serve as reserve for all three invasions.

The initial landings...
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Battling for Saipan

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Overview

When Lt. Gen. Holland M. "Howlin' Mad" Smith and his V Amphibious Corps were preparing for the invasion of the Marianas -- Guam, Tinian, and Saipan -- they were expecting an easy fight. The Japanese appeared to be on the run. As D day for Saipan, the first of the three islands scheduled for conquest, loomed, V Corps operational planners felt safe in allocating a single division to serve as reserve for all three invasions.

The initial landings of the 2d and 4th Marine Divisions ran into fierce opposition, however, forcing General Smith to commit the army's 27th Infantry Division (the entire corps's reserve starting) that first night. Among the soldiers landing on Saipan was Lt. Col. William O'Brien. The exploits of O'Brien and his battalion were amazing, including the award of the Medal of Honor to battalion commander O'Brien.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This gripping story of the 27th Infantry Division and the 1944 Battle of Saipan is somewhat less successful as a biography of the author s uncle, who won a posthumous Medal of Honor in the battle. Little space goes to what kept Lt. Col. William J. O Brien in the New York National Guard for more than 20 years, or what made him the effective and courageous citizen-soldier he obviously was. Instead, the author offers a history of the 27th Division and its mobilization, followed by its baptism of fire on Makin Island in 1943. The narrative becomes more focused when O Brien gets to Saipan, where the 27th Division was rushed ashore minus a good deal of essential equipment, and eventually had its commanding Army general relieved by a Marine officer. (The 27th Infantry Division got a historical bum rap a 1944 article in Time had them froze in their foxholes and Lt. O Brien was a true hero, his nephew maintains.) Still more gripping is the account of the huge banzai charge, in which the Japanese threw in more than 4,000 men to overrun and nearly annihilate Colonel Smith s 1st Battalion of the 105th Infantry Regiment. The author researched the account thoroughly not in only printed sources, but also through interviews with surviving veterans; his book may be both an imperfect unit history and a slightly skimpy biography, but it s also a good war story. 14 pages of b&w photos not seen by PW and 8 maps. (Feb.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307513816
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 2/19/2009
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 466,471
  • File size: 6 MB

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2003

    The Untold True Story Of Saipan

    If there is any one book to be read on the Pacific war this is it. It tells the true story of New York's own 27th Division during one of the most important battles of WWII. For too long have Historians and the US Armed Forces blindly accepted The USMC's version of events. The 27th Infantry Division (NYNG) was one of the Army's Finest Divisions composed of 3 Infantry Regiments - the 105th (Old 2nd NY, the 106th (old 10th NY) and the 165th (The Legendary Fighting 69th) - with distinguished Histories going back to the War of independence. They were the unsung heroes who did the hardest of the fighting on Saipan which the Marine Corps had no qualms taking credit for. To reward them they were branded cowards by the Marine Corps and their Division commander Gen ralph Smith was relieved of command mid-battle. No official refutation of the Charges, which were published in the National press, were allowed in the name of interservice rivalry. This book sets the record straight and rightly vindicates the slandered heroes of the 27th Division. Battling for Saipan is based on solid original research including hundreds of interviews with survivors of the battle as well as extensive use of Archival records. O'Brien is to be praised for his work. The Narrative is excellent and rivetting. You can almost hear the Bullets whizz by and the Banzai screams of the Fanatical and demented foe. You can see American soldiers at their bravest fighting desperately against overwhelming odds. If you are going to read any book on the War in the Pacific - This is the one to Read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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