Seabees and the Battle of
From: Lowell J Mix [email@example.com]
Sent: Thursday, September 28, 2006 8:47 PM
Subject: Seabees and the Battle of Saipan
In the last days of the battle, General Saito ordered the banzai attack. In his bunker during the evening of July 6th, he drew blood with his sword, which is a Japanese custom for the defeated commander, and then, the adjutant shot the general. This same fate was dealt the hand of Admiral Nagumo nearby. The American fleet had hunted the admiral, who destroyed Pearl Harbor, and settled the score.
The Seabees gained the respect of the Marines with their 'Can Do' attitude. They built whatever the Marines needed - roads, water supplies, barracks, fuel storage, piers, airfields and many more. An important Seabee event occurred on Saipan. In preparation for the next assault on the island of Tinian, the Marines requested the Seabees to build a special ramp that could scale the 8 foot cliffs along the shore of the Tinian beachhead, It was to be used to make an 'end run' and surprise the Japanese holding the beach.
The Seabees removed steel members from the Japanese sugar mill on Saipan and built ten ramps mounted on AMTRAKs. which they called their "doodlebugs." General Smith and Admiral Turner were impressed with their handiwork. Needless to say, the Tinian invasion was flawless, and successful.
When Saipan fell on the 9th of July, Tinian and Guam quickly followed ending the killing by the middle of August. With these islands safely in American hands, we must examine the impact of this action on the course of the war. These savage blows meant that the Japanese on the mainland were exposed to punishment from air and sea attacks. Following this aftermath, in the months to come some 676,000 Japanese civilians were destined to die and no outside supplies would reach the mainland. The repercussions were enormous. On the 18th of July, just eight days after the fall of Saipan, Premier Tojo along with his entire cabinet resigned.
God Bless our Seabees