V Amphibious Corps
2nd Marine Division
4th Marine division
147th Infantry Regiment
Additional Support units
29th Infantry Division
50th Inf. Regiment
Additional Support units
Casualties and losses
rest (2,265) missing:88
Up to 4,000 Japanese civilians killed (including many suicides):89
Mariana and Palau Islands campaign
Marines mopping up
Marines check out a Japanese tank knocked out of action.
A wrecked Japanese plane in a hangar on
Tinian Island, 30 July 1944
The Battle of
Tinian was a battle of the Pacific campaign of World War
II, fought on the island of
Tinian in the
Mariana Islands from 24 July
until 1 August 1944. The 9,000-man Japanese garrison was eliminated,
and the island joined
Guam as a base for the Twentieth Air
4 See also
6 External links
Map of the battle
A two-prong attack through the Central Pacific and the
adopted at the 1943 Cairo Conference.:8 Operation Granite II, was a
U.S. Navy devised strategy of island hopping, calling for the seizure
Tinian and Guam.:8 The Gilbert and
Marshall Islands had
been seized by the summer of 1944, while some Japanese garrisons were
left to starve.:7
Tinian was part of Japan's South Pacific Mandate. By June 1944 it had
a population of 15,700 Japanese civilians, including 2,700 ethnic
Koreans and 22 ethnic Chamorro.
The Japanese defending the island, the 50th Infantry Regiment, which
was originally part of 29th division, were commanded by Colonel
Kiyochi Ogata:31 and his subordinate Goichi Oya. Vice-Admiral
Kakuji Kakuta, commander of First Air Fleet, was headquartered in
Manila, but on
Tinian on an inspection tour when the invasion
The US naval bombardment commenced on 16 July, with three battleships,
five cruisers and sixteen destroyers.:75 The battleship Colorado
and the destroyer Norman Scott were both hit by 150mm Japanese shore
batteries. Colorado was hit 22 times, killing 43 men and wounding 198.
Norman Scott was hit six times, killing the captain, Seymore Owens,
and 18 of his seamen, plus wounding 47.:76
The 4th Marine Division landed on 24 July 1944, supported by naval
bombardment and marine artillery firing across the strait from
Saipan.:72 With the help of
Seabee ingenuity the Marines were able
to land where the Japanese did not expect, along the Northwest coast
with its water's edge small coral cliffs. A successful feint for
the major settlement of
Tinian Town diverted defenders from the actual
landing site on the north of the island.:76 They withstood a series
of night counterattacks supported by tanks, and the 2nd Marine
Division landed the next day.:80
The weather worsened on 28 July, damaging the pontoon causeways, and
interrupting the unloading of supplies.:81 By 29 July, the
Americans had captured half the island, and on 30 July the 4th Marine
Tinian Town and Airfield No. 4.:81
Japanese remnants made a final stand in the caves and ravines of a
limestone ridge on the south portion of the island, making probes and
counterattacks into the Marine line.:85 Resistance continued
through 3 August, with some civilians murdered by the Japanese.:87
By 10 August 1944, 13,000 Japanese civilians were interned, but up to
4,000 were dead through suicide, murdered by Japanese troops or killed
in combat.:89 The garrison on
Aguijan Island off the southwest cape
of Tinian, commanded by Lieutenant Kinichi Yamada, held out until the
end of the war, surrendering on 4 September 1945. The last holdout on
Tinian, Murata Susumu, was captured in 1953.
After the battle,
Tinian became an important base for further Allied
operations in the Pacific campaign. Camps were built for 50,000
troops. Fifteen thousand Seabees turned the island into the busiest
airfield of the war, with six 7,900-foot (2,400 m) runways for
United States Army Air Forces
B-29 Superfortress bombers on
enemy targets in the Philippines, the Ryukyu Islands, and mainland
Japan, including the March 9/10 1945 Operation Meetinghouse
firebombing of Tokyo and the atomic bombings of
Nagasaki.:89 North Field was built over Airfields No. 1 and 3, and
became operational in February 1945, while West Field was built over
Airfield No. 2, and became operational in March 1945.:89
Four 1000-bed hospitals (110,111,112,113) were planned and located in
preparation for the invasion of Japan. None were actually built, as
the Japanese surrendered after the atomic bombs were dropped, which
thus ended the need for the hospitals.
North Field (Tinian)
West Field (Tinian)
^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w Rottman, Gordon L.
& Gerrard, Howard (2004).
Tinian 1944: Piercing the
Japanese Empire. Oxford: Osprey Publishing.
^ Klemen, L. (1999–2000). "Rear-Admiral Kakaji Kakuta". Forgotten
Campaign: The Dutch East Indies Campaign 1941–1942.
^ "Registry". No Surrender Japanese Holdouts.
Harwood, Richard (1994). Frank, Benis M., ed. A Close Encounter: The
Marine Landing on Tinian.
World War II
World War II Commemorative Series.
United States Marine Corps. 19000312700. Archived
from the original on 11 December 2008.
Western Pacific. U.S. Army Campaigns of World War II. United States
Army Center of Military History. CMH Pub 72-29.
Mariana Islands Campaign and the Great Turkey Shoot". World War II
Hoffman, Carl W. The Seizure of Tinian. USMC Historical Monograph –
via HyperWar Foundation.
Media related to Battle of
Tinian at Wikimedia Commons
Battle for the
Mariana Islands on YouTube
Coordinates: 15°00′N 145°38′E / 15.000°N 145.633°E /