World Battlefronts: BATTLE OF THE PACIFIC: Last Charge

To the U.S. the cost of Saipan was high —2,359 killed, 1,213 missing, 11,481 wounded. But the military justification was high, too; in many ways, Saipan was the most important objective yet taken by U.S. troops in the drive across the Pacific. The Japs, who knew its value, gave it up hard. Their losses: 16,000 dead, 1,000 prisoners, countless others missing in the caves where they were buried by explosive and by bulldozers. In this dispatch from the battlefield, TIME Correspondent Robert Sherrod tells of the Japs' last stand:

From the hillside shortly after noon we could see our tanks...

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