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D-Day in the Pacific: The Battle of Saipan (Twentieth-Century Battles) Hardcover – May 2, 2007


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D-Day in the Pacific: The Battle of Saipan (Twentieth-Century Battles) + Battle for Tinian, The: Vital Stepping Stone in America's War Against Japan + Battling for Saipan
Price for all three: $63.69

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Product Details

  • Series: Twentieth-Century Battles
  • Hardcover: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Indiana University Press; Annotated edition (May 2, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0253348692
  • ISBN-13: 978-0253348692
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #735,600 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"The bloody seizure of Saipan by US amphibious forces in 1944 spelled certain doom for Imperial Japan. Harold Goldberg's riveting story of this conflict brings the dead back to life by blending rigorous research with dramatic narratives by hundreds of survivors. He has written a superb account of a pivotal, little-known, and heart-breaking battle." —Col. Joseph H. Alexander, USMC (ret.), author of Storm Landings: Epic Amphibious Battles in the Central Pacific



"[U]sing recent interviews he conducted with extant US veterans, [Goldberg] skillfully develops the soldiers' view of the battle for Saipan in an engaging, clearly written and interesting volume that should be recommended to all students studying the Pacific war." —The Journal of Military History, October 2009



"The book's great strength is its collected recollections of U.S. participants, chiefly former Marines. This alone would commend its publication." —Spencer C. Tucker

About the Author

Harold J. Goldberg is the David E. Underdown Distinguished Professor of History and Chair of the Asian Studies Program at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee.


More About the Author

Harold J. Goldberg is Professor of History and is the David Underdown Distinguished Professor of Modern European History at Sewanee: The University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. An award winning teacher, Dr. Goldberg serves as Chair of the Asian Studies Program. He visited Saipan in 2004 for the 60th commemoration of the battle. In preparing and writing D-Day in the Pacific: The Battle of Saipan, he interviewed approximately 200 marine and army veterans. His recent book, Competing Voices From World War II in Europe, presents the war from various perspectives and includes American, French, German, Italian, Polish, Russian, and other sources. Eyewitness testimony and interviews by the author make this view of the war in Europe unique in its presentation. Europe in Flames, part of the Stackpole Military History series, is a revised and updated paperback version with many new photos that make it an excellent choice for college courses on World War II. Dr. Goldberg frequently leads tours of students and alumni to Normandy and other war sites.

Customer Reviews

This is one of the best WWII books that I have read.
Ralph E. Cadwallader
I throughly enjoyed the book, and i highly recommend it to anyone who choses to learn more about the war in the pacific.
GunGuy
Mr. Goldberg has done a great job of interviewing veterans from this battle to make the book really come alive.
David M

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Truthteller on October 7, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The importance of the capture of Saipan is two-fold. First, to most Japanese military strategists, Saipan represented the outermost reaches of the defenses of the Japanese Empire itself. Thus, its loss meant that it would only be a question of time before Japan itself was invaded and all was lost. Second, to the Allies, Saipan represented air bases from which the new B-29 planes could reach and bomb Japanese cities, including, and especially, Tokyo.

"D-Day in the Pacific" is an extremely well-written account of the actions and politics leading up to the decision to invade Saipan (and Tinian, adjacent to it), including the clash of wills between Admiral King and Gen. MacArthur, the strategies and tactics of the invasions (e.g., the separate landings by the 2nd and 4th Marine divisions), the major personalities involved on both sides, and the battles on the islands, including the well-known suicidal tactics of the Japanese, as seen not only from the perspective of the commanders but the front line troops as well. Numerous photos are also included.
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30 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Sonny Craven on April 25, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As I researched the death of my Marine uncle on D-day , June 15, on Saipan Island, it became clear that Professor Goldberg's well-written and documented book would be a valuable source of information to go with all the other books I had read, including the excellent 1946 edition of the 4th Marine Division Association's historical account of the battle. In fact, in Dr. Goldberg's book, I learned of accounts from others in my uncle's company that help confirm what my family had long believed about the circumstances of his death, and a contradiction of statements of mortuary graves registration personnel at the time that were recorded in my uncle's official military personnel record I obtained.

At a recent family reunion, I obtained a copy of the unit commander's letter to my grandfather which corroborated Dr. Goldberg's account and the testimony of a member of my uncle's company contained in the book as to how he almost certainly died (despite efforts to contact this veteran from information supplied graciously by the author, I haven't gotten a response and I fear he may be one of the 1,000 WWII veterans who die each day).

Nonetheless, the book's account and the letter of my uncle's commander, written in September of 1944, match the time he went ashore and circumstances of the hostilities at the time. I was able to almost pinpoint the time of his death from the book, but most illuminating, I learned of his unit's activities during the day. His unit was part of a "feint" or diversionary tactic and was not part of the initial landing that faced murderous fire, because his unit was compensated for being part of the first wave in the assault at Namur, a previous battle.
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23 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Richard Kelly on June 9, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book is a great overview on one of the lesser known battles of ww2. there is a lot of background information on the saipan and the events leading up to the invasion. recommended reading for anyone who would like to know more about saipan
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jerry Wachsmuth on June 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was a seagoing Marine at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. I served with the Marines in combat against the enemy on Guadalcanal, Tarawa and Saipan. I can only say that Harold J. Goldberg has done a remarkable job in compiling the the data of our unit movements and presenting it in a way that takes me back to those combat days. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants understand what some of us went through and how important it was that our military make the sacrafices that were neccesary to achieve victory in the Pacific.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dave Schranck on August 19, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
... as well as the Mariana Turkey Shoot. Before covering the battle action, the author takes the first three chapters to give background info in order the reader to have a better understanding of the islands and the hardships the Marines and GIs will have in taking them.

A description of the general history of the Marianas that involves the Germans, Spanish, the US and the Japanese that goes back for hundreds of years. The author gets down to specifics when the Japanese became involved. During the first couple years of the war Saipan wasn't considered important except for its economic value but when the US started taking back islands, the Marianas became very important and in 1943 Japan started a crash course in fortifying the islands.
The Marianas became critical in Japanese strategy as part of their last lines of defense that must not be penetrated by the US if Japan had any chance of winning the war. The author does a nice job of describing the preparations; he also describes all of the weaponry that was part of that defense that wasn't installed in time. If the invasion had been later in the year, taking the island would have been much harder than it was.
The American plans for the invasion is then discussed in good detail as well as the complicated command structure. These opening chapters were very deliberate and much can be learned from it.

The battle action begins with the Marine 2nd and 4th Divisions riding the amtracs into shore and the harrowing job of fighting the rough seas, getting over the reef and dodging the blizzard of small arms fire and mortar fire just to reach the beach. The author uses many first hand experiences to describe the awful time these Marines had in not only the landing but throughout the whole campaign.
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