The Battle for Tinian, Nathan N. Prefer

The Battle for Tinian, Nathan N. Prefer

The invasion of Tinian is one of the less well known American victories of the Second World War, at least in part because the American plan worked very well, Japanese resistance was short-lived and the battle didn't have the high casualties of the more famous battles. The fighting on Tinian is often mentioned in brief at the end of accounts of the more costly invasion of neighbouring Saipan.

This book looks at the invasion of Tinian as an example of how things should have been done, examining why the American invasion was so successful. The defenders of the island had plenty of time to prepare, and had learnt from earlier Japanese failures, but they were still unable to put up much resistance.

Prefer gives three main reasons for the American success. First of all they were able to bombard Tinian from nearby Saipan, and the resulting bombardment was much longer than was normally the case. Secondly the Americans found a line of attack that the Japanese hadn't expected, and so were able to bypass the main Japanese defences. Finally the Japanese responded with a futile mass assault on the American beachhead, and wasted most of their strength at the very start of the battle.

This is an interesting account of a very successful attack, combining a good narrative of the invasion with an analysis of the reasons for its success, and a look at its place in the wider conflict.

1 - Tinian: The Island
2 - The Defenders: The Japanese Garrison on Tinian
3 - Why Tinian
4 - The Plan: "Playing by Ear"
5 - Jig Day: July 24th
6 - Japanese Counterattack
7 - 25 July 1944: Expanding the Beachhead
8 - 26 July 1944: Where are the Japanese?
9 - The Marines Advance South
10 - Tinian Town and Beyond
11 - The Bitter End
12 - Tinian to Nagasaki
13 - Conclusion: The Importance of Tinian

A - Leading Personalities
B - Order of Battle: US Forces
C - Order of Battle: Japanese Forces
D - Distribution of Casualties
E - US Marine Division, 1944
F - Medal of Honor Citations
G - Ship Histories

Author: Nathan N. Prefer
Edition: Hardcover
Pages: 238
Publisher: Casemate
Year: 2012

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