When V Amphibious Corps were preparing for the invasion of the Marianas Islands—Saipan, Guam, and Tinian—they were expecting a relatively 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 planners felt safe in allocating a single army division as corps reserve for the conquest.
As Lt. Col. William J. O’Brien’s First Battalion and the 105th Infantry landed on Saipan, they had little idea what was in store for them. Enemy opposition was fierce. For the next several weeks they faced the unremitting terror of nearly continuous combat. For the 105th Infantry, the battle climaxed in an overwhelming Japanese banzai attack July 7, 1944. The regiment suffered more than 900 casualties, almost half of whom were killed in action, including First Battalion’s commander, William O’Brien, who later received the Medal of Honor for his efforts. Throughout the battle, O’Brien provided a stirring example of frontline leadership to his previously untested troops. His story is just as inspiring today.
|Publisher:||Random House Publishing Group|
|Edition description:||First Edition|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.80(d)|
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1 Prelude to World War II
Excerpted from "Battling for Saipan"
Copyright © 2003 Francis A. O'Brien.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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.