Battle of Saipan
What do you know about the Battle of Saipan?
this World War II History Quiz.
"Check Your Answers" at the bottom
of the page.
1) When did the invasion fleet leave Pearl Harbor?
- May 15, 1944
- May 25, 1944
- June 5, 1944
2) Bombing of Saipan began on June 13, 1944. Fifteen battleships were
involved, and 165,000 shells were fired. Seven modern fast battleships
delivered 2,400 sixteen-inch (406 mm) shells, but to avoid potential
minefields, fire was from a distance of 10,000 yards or more, and crews
were inexperienced in shore bombardment.
3) The landings began at 07:00 on June 15, 1944. More than 300 LVTs
landed 8,000 Marines on the west coast of Saipan by about 09:00.
was NOT a Marine division used at Saipan?
- 2nd Marine Divisions
- 4th Marine Division
- 8th Marine Division
4) By nightfall the Marines had a beachhead about 6 miles wide and
1/2 mile deep. The Japanese counter-attacked at night but were repulsed
with heavy losses. The 43rd Division of the Imperial Japanese Army
commanded by Lieutenant General Yoshitsugu Saito.
What the strength of
the Japanese forces?
5) On June 16, units of the U.S. Army's 27th Infantry Division landed
and advanced on the Aslito airfield. Again the Japanese counter-attacked
When did Saito abandoned the airfield?
- June 18
- June 19
- June 20
6) The invasion surprised the Japanese high command, which had been
expecting an attack further south. Admiral Toyoda Soemu,
commander-in-chief of the Japanese Navy, saw an opportunity to use the
A-Go force to attack the U.S. Navy forces around Saipan. He gave the
order to attack. But the resulting battle of the Philippine Sea was a
disaster for the Imperial Japanese Navy, which lost three aircraft
carriers and hundreds of planes. The garrisons of the Marianas would
have no hope of resupply or reinforcement.
7) Without resupply, the battle on Saipan was hopeless for the
defenders, but the Japanese were determined to fight to the last man.
Saito organized his troops into a line anchored on the defensible
mountainous terrain of central Saipan. The nicknames given by the
Americans to the features of the battle "Hell's Pocket",
"Purple Heart Ridge" and "Death Valley" indicate
the severity of the fighting. The Japanese used the many caves in the
volcanic landscape to delay the attackers, by hiding during the day and
making sorties at night. The Americans gradually developed tactics for
clearing the caves by using flamethrower teams supported by artillery
and machine guns.
What was the name of the mountain?
- Mount Tapotchau
- Mount Tiki
- Mount Sirabachi
8) By July 7, the Japanese had nowhere to retreat. Saito made plans
for a final suicidal banzai charge. In the end, about 22,000 Japanese
civilians died. Almost the entire garrison of troops on the island, at
least 30,000 died.
How many prisoners were taken?
- 921 soldiers
- 1921 soldiers
- 19210 soldiers
9) 2,949 Americans were killed and 10,364 wounded, out of 71,000 who
landed. One solider was injured in the buttocks by Japanese fire which
severed his sciatic nerve. He received a medical discharge.
Who was this
this soldier and later an actor?
- Steve McQueen
- Marlon Brando
- Lee Marvin
10) PFC Guy Gabaldon, a Mexican-American from Los Angeles,
California, is officially credited with capturing more than 1,000
Japanese prisoners (both soldiers and civilians) during the battle. PFC
Gabaldon, who was raised by Japanese-Americans, used a combination of
street Japanese and guile to convince soldiers and civilians alike that
U.S. troops were not barbarians, and that they would be well treated
upon surrender. For his outstanding bravery, Gabaldon received a Silver
Star, which was upgraded to the Navy Cross. During the war, his
commanders had requested that he receive the Medal of Honor for his
actions; however, his initial award was the Silver Star. In 1998,
efforts were re-initiated to secure the Medal of Honor for PFC Gabaldon. The effort is still ongoing.