Strike Attacks On The Japanese Island Base – Historic Footage
American warships use smoke screens to impede Japanese air attacks in Leyte Gulf during the Battle of Leyte in the Philippines, December 1944. The battle ended in a U.S. victory and led to the eventual recapture of the Philippine Archipelago from Japan. (Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
To Pacify The Pacific.
As the United States progressed into the Pacific Theater of War it became clear that liberating any islands from Japanese control was essential for victory. The historical footage provided below shows scenes from battles against the Japanese in Saipan, Guam and New Guinea. United States Forces fought to liberate the Pacific Islands for use as military outposts and airfields to send bombers within striking distance of the Japanese mainland. The most intense fighting scenes are those from the Battle of Saipan which raged on for over three weeks, providing the U.S. with a key positioning after their victory.
“Our war was lost with the loss of Saipan.”
– Admiral Shigeyoshi Miwa
There are even some heartwarming scenes as the soldiers show compassion to native Japanese women and children. Saipan was home to around 25,000 Japanese civilians and the US built an encampment to provide meals and medicine for those in need. However not all of the civilians trusted the generous offer when they received a message from Emperor Hirohito to commit suicide rather than surrender to the Americans. This order caused over 1000 people to leap to their deaths into the sea at an area now known as Suicide Cliff.