Saipan Beach H-Hour, in Color

Pacific Paratrooper has reached the H-Hour of the Saipan invasion and nothing tells the story better than this post and the short film included by John R. Bruning!

Being as some people have been unable to see the video, I have included another.


The American Warrior

USMC Series WWII Saipan 1st wave hits beach LVT 061544  (1 of 1)In just two hours on June 15, 1944, three hundred amphibious tractors (LVT’s) carried over eight thousand heavily armed U.S. Marines onto Saipan Island in the Marianas Chain. It was a masterful display of amphibious warfare tactics and doctrine, but it also set the stage for a brutal, close range battle for control of Saipan’s sandy west coast. In places, the Marines found themselves pinned down by intense mortar, artillery and automatic weapons fire, and it took hours just to claw a foothold ashore. But by nightfall, the Marines had established themselves enough to repel the first of many Japanese counter-attacks.Marines struggling on the beach at saipan 5x7

This short film clip is raw footage shot by one of the Marine combat cameramen who went ashore with one of the first waves. It is silent, as was most of the footage shot, but that only adds to the poignancy of these scenes. The images are striking, not only…

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About GP Cox

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GPCox is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on October 15, 2016, in Uncategorized, WWII and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 27 Comments.

  1. Amazing footage. Cue the Ride of the Valkyries.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Excellent re blog gp, that short video clip is remarkable in clarity, the photographer did a great job in capturing a special event in time.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t know what it is, but I always get the strangest feeling watching those old silent films of the past.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I was able watch both. The colour film has the disconcerting effect of looking like something staged. Do you know more about the women and children seen at the end of the first clip?

    Liked by 2 people

    • I don’t know about these civilians specifically. Many of the residents of Saipan were frightened of the Americans, it took the trusting of a few to help bring the others around. This island was quite a bloody scene for 3 weeks, civilians and enemy soldiers alike committed suicide rather than surrender. Despite 8,000 Marines establishing a beachhead the first day, they suffered 2,000 casualties. I greatly appreciate your interest, Hilary, and again, Congrats on the success of “Surviving the Death Railroad.”

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Relentless fighting in awful conditions. Saipan must rank alongside some of the grittiest combat of the whole war.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. silviadeangelis40d

    Immagini di cruenta realtà in questo magnifico articolo
    Un saluto da Roma, silvia

    Liked by 2 people

  7. The dust alone would have added to the misery of the invasion, GP. –Curt

    Liked by 2 people

  8. The newest video gives no problems, but it is a pity it isn’t another version of the same one. However, that one can be viewed after a fashion by running the cursor across the loading strip.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Very interesting. Didn’t get to see the film clip either, Same thing with it loading and then going black.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I a, sure you’ve covered this in an earlier post, but can you point me to any discussion on Japanese island defense strategy and how it evolved (or didn’t) over time? I am trying to remember if their strategy was to cover all beaches and destroy an invasion force on the beaches or maintain a central reserve that could be thrown at any beach in overwhelming force.

    Liked by 2 people

    • The Japanese originally started by trying to defend their beaches, but the Allies made it ashore anyway. So, they altered their plans by allowing the Allies to come ashore, leaving only a minimum defense to slow them down and then attack in ambush from dug-in defense positions. The Japanese began digging-in so well that even shelling them by air and sea barely scratched their bunkers.

      Like

  11. Pity: I can’t get the film to play, but got the impression from snips of the track.

    Liked by 2 people

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