Today in History: The Battle for Tinian


77 years ago today, July 24th 1944, the battle for Tinian began. Phase III of Operation Forager saw the 2nd and 4th Marines Divisions loading up shortly after finishing the major operations of Saipan to land on Tinian. Where the 2nd had more or less taken the lead on Saipan this time it would be the 4th’s turn. Compared to Saipan and and Guam Tinian was a short and relatively easy battle. Lasting nine days and seeing fairly light casualties (at least by WWII standards). This would end up being the last battle fought by the 2nd MarDiv (not counting the mopping up operations that went on for some time on Saipan/Tinian). Due to the geography of the island there is only one suitable area for landing, the beaches around Tinian Town. As such the Japanese defenders heavily mined and defended this area and had pre ranged shore batteries. Knowing this the Navy and Marines decided to land on the narrow beaches to the north using ad hoc ramps built by the SeaBees. They did launch a diversionary landing at Tinian Town though. The diversion worked and the 24th and 25th began hitting the shore by 0750 on Jig Day against light resistance. The two divisions probably could have rolled up the island is a few days but since they were tired and strength depleted from Saipan they took it more cautiously than usual. Moving essentially line abreast the divisions pushed down the length of the island, cornering the defenders on the southern plateau. Resistance stiffened but was overwhelmed. Tinian was declared secure on August 1st Tinian was declared secure although the 8th Marines remained for a number of months to mop up a few hundred remain Japanese troops still on the island.

For a more detailed accounts I highly recommend the links below. A Close Encounter is a shorter version and is a nice quick read.
The Seizure of Tinian
A Close Encounter

Battle of Tinian - Wikipedia

Here is a period film of the operation as well with plenty of good footage.

Here’s some nice color footage of marines unloading I found, Sorry for the watermark but I refuse to pay fees for stuff like this. But here it is for you to enjoy.

I want to give a thanks to ww2_daily_photography for sending me some good photos to use in particular this first one. I haven’t seen it before and on top of that it has great resolution and lots of interesting details.

20th Marines (Engineer)
Tinian 1944 - Mariana Islands | World War Photos
US Marines Battle of Tinian 1944 | World War Photos
Japanese Snipers High Resolution Stock Photography and Images - Alamy



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