Battling for Saipan by Francis A. O'Brien | NOOK Book (eBook) | Barnes & Noble
Battling for Saipan

Battling for Saipan

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by Francis A. O'Brien
     
 

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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

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.

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780307513816
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
02/19/2009
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
400
Sales rank:
223,728
File size:
6 MB

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