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There was some debate among the US High Command over which route to use
to attack Japan in 1944. The deciding factor in choosing the Marianas
seems to have been the need for airfields in those islands as B-29 bases.
Japan had held the Marianas since 1920 and they were heavily settled and regarded as effectively part of Japan. This meant that they were also heavily defended, though US Naval and air strikes had a heavy effect on their fighter and bomber defence against invasion.
Mr Rottman starts by describing the plans for the seaborne assault and
the Japanese preparations to resist it. The attack itself, and the moves
inland against fierce resistance, are fully covered – including
the Banzai charges that put paid to the Japanese tank forces.
The illustrations show very clearly what the terrain looked like, and will make splendid reference for anyone modelling a diorama base though their main purpose is, I’m sure, to show the men and machines. They do that equally well, and are backed up by good colour plates, while the maps and bird’s-eye views make it very easy to see how the twin attacks developed.
Recommended to anyone with an interest in the Pacific war.