Japan as a Pacific Power
Japanese Strategy
American Strategy
Invasion of Saipan
The Last Surrender of World War II
Tinian - The Final Offensive
Seize, Occupy and Defend Tinian
The Effort at Tinian
Secret Cargo to Tinian
A Steel Shark
Death of a Warship
The Final Offensive
Japanese Strategy
On July 7, 1937  at almost the same time as Amelia Earhart should 
have completed her flight around the world, the First Japanese Division 
stationed in north China attacked the city of Wanping, thus launching 
Japan's war with China. Five months later, on December 12th, the city of 
Nanking fell. On the same day the U. S. gunboat Panay  and three U. S. 
oil tankers were sunk by Japanese bombers on the Yangtze River in China. 
Emperor Hirohito was 124th in a succession uninterrupted since 
the sixth century when, in the autumn of the 2,600 th year (1940) of the 
founding of the Japanese  Empire, Kinoaki Matsuo published a book on how 
Japan planned to win a war with the United States. The war would not 
formally  begin for another thirteen months. The Three Power Alliance 
And The United States Japanese War , written by this intelligence 
officer when serving as liaison between the Japanese Foreign Office and 
the Admiralty, openly discussed the impending hostilities. He wrote, 
..." the United States will be obliged to exercise prudence and self- 
restraint toward Japan at least until 1945." 
" As soon as the great armament expansion is completed, the 
United States will probably avail herself of the opportunity to declare 
war upon Japan... then the chances of American victory will be far 
greater than Japan's."  He stated, "Japan is naturally blessed by double 
defensive walls linked inside and outside by a chain of islands. The 
inside link consists of the Pescadores Islands, Formosa, all islands to 
the west and south, the Ogasawara Islands (Bonin), and the Chishima 
Islands, all of which have already been strongly  armed for defense." 
"The outside link ( the Japanese Mandated Islands) extends many 
thousands of nautical miles embracing the Marshalls, Carolines, Marianas 
and Pelew (sic) islands, which are scattered like stars across the 
routes of the United States Navy either perpendicularly or horizontally. 
The total number of these islands is more than one thousand. It will be 
impossible for the United States fleet to reach its destination...." Mr. 
Matsuo continued, "The tragedy  which will ensue as a result of the 
failure of the United States fleet in its attempt to cross the Pacific 
can be imagined by recalling the end of the Russian Baltic Fleet in the 
Sea  of Japan." 
In the years prior to December 7, 1941 Japan constructed an ocean 
fortress behind a wall of secrecy in violation of its diplomatic 
agreement with the League. The mandated islands, including the Northern 
Marianas,were forbidden territory to U.S. ships and American naval 
authorities were becoming increasingly apprehensive over Japan's 
rearmament and the growing belligerency of its military, first overtly 
observed in the Panay  incident .

Sources: 
- Excerpts from this section were taken from the author's book, Ghost 
Fleet Of The Truk Lagoon, Japanese Mandated  Islands  and the book 
Saipan In Flames  as well as from the text of his map entitled, 
Battlefield Map Of Saipan - 1944. 
- Time Magazine - October 30, 1944 
- Japan was occupied by U. S. forces until Sept. 8,1951. 
-  Fletcher Pratt, The Marianas War,  New York: William Sloan Assoc., 
1948, p.266. 
Stephenson, H.W., Analysis Of Battle Statistics For The Pacific War In W 
W II, #30, Bennington Vt. 
- Bowers, Neal M. ,Problems Of Resettlement on Saipan, Tinian and Rota, 
Mariana Islands, Pacific Science Board,  National Research Council and 
the United States Navy, 1950, page 69. 
- Richards, Dorothy E., United States Naval Administration Of The Trust 
Territory Of The Pacific Islands, Office Of Chief Naval Operations, U. 
S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D. C., 1957. 

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