Imperial Sunset Of Saipan

HISTORY CHANNEL – Monday 26 April, 10.30pm

The struggle for Saipan was the most underrated pivot point of the Pacific war. It was here that the Japanese decided to make an all-out attempt to obliterate not only the Americans who landed in the assault, but the naval and air fleet they had brought with them. The result was one of the most spectacular and widest-ranging battles of WWII. The sad end of the battle saw the Japanese pressed back into an area of high cliffs overlooking the sea. The American troops were forced to look on in horror as not just Japanese soldiers, but civilians, including women and children, jumped to their deaths rather than accept surrender. The island was secured 24 days after the first landing, with over 14,000 American casualties and 38,000 Japanese military and civilian deaths.