Guam 21 July–10 August 1944

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Map Code: Ax00750

Operation Forager, the Allied recapture of Guam, the largest of the Mariana Islands, began with aerial bombing on 11 June 1944, followed by a naval bombardment. Faced with the island’s treacherous reefs and cliffs, the Americans’ series of landings, begun on 21 July, were extremely difficult and slow, and they suffered heavy losses taking the Orote Peninsula, from where they could secure the deep-water port at Apra. On 25 July Lieutenant General Takeshi Takashina ordered a counterattack, but was killed and replaced by General Hideyoshi Obata. Despite fierce resistance, the Japanese failed to halt the Americans’ progress, retreating into the mountainous interior, from where they conducted guerrilla warfare. The US 3rd Marine and 77th Infantry Divisions, under Marine Major General Geiger, drove northwards, capturing Agana and Tiyan airfield. The main Japanese line around Mount Barrigada broke on 4 August, and their defences at Mount Santa Rosa fell on 8 August. The island was declared secure two days later.

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