Battle of the Philippine Sea

WWII: Victory Over Japan

East Asia 1944.0619

Battle of the Philippine Sea

World War II, Pacific War, Second Sino-Japanese War (19 June 1944)

Historical Map of East Asia & the Western Pacific

In the Pacific, the Americans continued their island-hopping campaign by landing on Saipan in the Marianas, intending to use it as base for bombing Japan. In a desperate attempt to stop them, the Japanese sent in almost all their fleet. Outnumbered, and outmatched in technology and intelligence, the Japanese were defeated in a battle so one-sided it was dubbed the Great Marianas Turkey Shoot.

Main Events

Japan launches Operation Ichi-Go in China

Operations Reckless and Persecution

United States and Australian forces mount amphibious invasions of northwest New Guinea in Operations Reckless and Persecution. In Operation Reckless the US 24th and 41st Infantry Divisions land at Tanahmerah and Humboldt Bays near Hollandia in Dutch New Guinea. In Operation Persecution the 163rd Regimental Combat Team (US) and No. 62 Works Wing (RAAF) simultaneously land at Aitape, 230km to the east in the Australian Territory of New Guinea.


After extensive aerial and naval bombardment, including the landing of 24,000 airborne troops, 156,000 US, British, and other Allied troops land on the beaches of Normandy, German-occupied France, in the largest seaborne invasion in history. The landings begin at 06:30 and meet heavy fire from gun emplacements overlooking the beaches, along with numerous mines and obstacles. Over the day, the Allies suffer at least 10,000 casualties vs about 1,000 for the Germans, but secure their beachhead.

US capture Saipan from Japanese

Battle of the Philippine Sea

In Operation A-Go, the Imperial Japanese Navy confronts the US Fifth Fleet of Admiral Raymond Spruance in the Philippine Sea to the west of the Mariana Islands. The following clash - in which the fleets themselves do not come within 500 km of each other - is so one-sided, given the US superiority in both technology and training, that it is nicknamed 'The Great Marianas Turkey Shoot', with over 200 Japanese aircraft shot down that morning. By the end of the two-day battle, the Japanese have lost 3 fleet carriers and some 600 aircraft for US losses of 123 aircraft.

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