World Battlefronts: BATTLE OF THE PACIFIC: Where It Hurts

The heaviest blow of the vast Pacific war struck the Japanese Empire in the week when U.S. air bombardment of the homeland began. U.S. amphibious forces, from what was probably the mightiest naval task group ever assembled, stormed ashore on heavily fortified Saipan. They were only 1,500 miles from Tokyo. Previous landing assaults had been against the outer perimeter of Jap defenses. But this was disaster close to home.

Despite rigorous thought-control by their war lords, Japan's millions could easily see that if a landing could be made at Saipan, it could be...

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