World War II – Liberation of Mariana Islands

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[The fourth poem on a war poetry series on WWII]

1944 witnessed tide of the war being turned,
The Japanese to lose their grip, their authority spurned.
The strategic location of Marianas key to use as a base,
Bombing Japan is easier putting an end to the war at a pace.

Nimitz holds command with Spruance and his Fifth Fleet,
Carrier based Hellcats would ensure the Japanese planes retreat.
Ozawa among the best commanders of Japan for its Mobile fleet,
Mitcher with his task force fifty eight part of a larger US fleet.

Operation Forager is launched in the middle of June,
Saipan, Tinian and Guam in the battles to begin soon.
The largest Carrier battle unfolds that historians will never again see,
The Pacific theatre would resonate in this Battle of the Philippine Sea.

Dawn arrives and the fifty Zeros from Guam take to the air,
Wonder if thirty Hellcats to counter is justified and fair.
The Japanese attack fails falling aircraft in a smoky trail,
The US victorious beating the wave as a mine thrashed by a flail.

The episode is to repeat when each wave is repelled,
One would think if the enemy is still willing or compelled.
Only minor damages, a few are lost from the Carrier force,
The day ends in excess of three hundred lost to the Japanese force.

The last enemy wave returns unable to find the target,
The Americans intercept their landing a lesson they never forget.
Submarines are stealthy, the Japanese Carriers are vulnerable,
The Americans choose the hour when wind and resources favourable.

The Americans now amass aircrafts to attack and weaken,
Avengers, Hellcats and Dauntless with no sign to slacken.
Over two hundred scream down at hapless Japanese ships,
The battle having won all but a few return to their ships.

The attack on Saipan begins, June and July brutal,
The marines and army fight sparing no ammo nor being frugal.
The Island is won at last, the Japanese move away to Tinian,
If you said they would win, that would make a wrong opinion.

The Battle of Tinian underway, marines and naval bombardment,
The Saipan artillery rains in, the Japanese holed in compartments.
Eight thousand enemy killed, the Island taken in August,
The Americans are always ready, their infantry confident and robust.

The Japanese are now defending their third base Guam,
The attacking naval and amphibious force, make them no less qualm.
Americans losses are heavy but the strategic objectives are met,
Soon the B29s will have a base, Tokyo will be the next to get.

The bloodiest battles of the Pacific are all said to be true,
One needs to read well to its history full of clues.
The Japanese officers are shamed in full suit and boot,
As one American pilot coined it the ‘Great Mariana Turkey Shoot’.

Anand K C R
Mr. Anand K C R is a banker by profession, but an ardent lover of military history for whom the Second World War is a passionate topic. Besides his extensive reading on the topic, he is a collector of World War memorabilia, which include miniature models of tanks, aircraft and other weaponry that adorn his living room. This is the first of a series of poems he has set out to pen on WWII in its final phase, the D-Day and after. Anand can be reached at kcra73@yahoo.com
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