The Mariana Island Group (Mariana Islands) is part of Micronesia in the Central Pacific. Also known simply as the Marianas. Borders the Philippine Sea to the west and the North Pacific Ocean. Today, the Northern Mariana Islands is known as the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) in the Mariana Island Group (Mariana Islands) and is a Commonwealth of the United States of America (USA). The Southern Mariana Islands is the Territory of Guam and unincorporated and organized territory of the United States of America (USA).
The Mariana Islands was claimed by both Spain and Germany. After World War I, the Northern Mariana Islands including Tinian Island and Saipan Island became a Japanese protectorate while the South Mariana Islands including Guam Island became an American territory.
Prewar American territory was captured by the Japanese on
December 8, 1941 three hours after the attack on Pearl Harbor. During
the war, the islands were developed into major airfields and bases. At
the height of its defense, there were 19,000 men under General Takashuina based
on the island.
During June 1944, the "Great Marianas Turkey Shoot" air
battle happened off the coast of Saipan and resulted in the destruction of over 300 Japanese aircraft. The same month "Operation Forager" the invasion of Saipan,
Tinian and Guam began and all three islands were liberated by August 1944. Afterwards, all three islands were developed into bases to support the B-29 Superfortress strategic bombing campaign against Japan.
The bombers that delivered the first atomic bombs used in combat departed from Tinian.
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April 12, 2019