Invasion Beach

By looking at this lovely, peaceful Invasion Beach today you could never imagine what must have taken place in 1944. This is where the American forces landed wave after wave of troops at the start of the Battle of Saipan. Two thousand of the American casualties during the battle happened here, most from a machine gun on Agingan Point. This point is off to the left as you look toward the ocean. Each time I take a stroll on this beach I remember the soldiers who had to fight a full day just to get off the beach. The south side of this beach was once an ancient Chamorro village. My daughter found a large piece of 2,000+ year-old pottery which we donated to the museum.

Agingan Point.

A large WWII trailer.

Picture taken from Agingan Point.

What a difference 65 years makes.

Life just below the surface.

This underwater shell is walking.

Look closely at the sand, it tells a lot of history. Below you can see a piece of 1920's or 1930's Japanese pottery, World War II shrapnel and melted metals, and pieces of broken bottles that have been polished smooth from 65 years of ocean waves. Click the picture for a closer look.


Largest Pacific Tank Battle:






Alan Ladd said...

The way you switched images from Invasion Beach on D-day to the present day tranquility and back to D-day again is fabulous!
I think you did a great job matching the WWII images to the actual locations of today. Super presentation..thank you so much!

EW Johnson said...

Thanks Alan. I enjoyed making that video and the "Then-Now" page. It is hard to believe the drastic changes in just one generation.

Ethan said...

Wow, I have to say, this is one of the best WWII-related websites I have ever been to. It's just like a museum, but better - watching your videos are the next best thing to actually seeing Saipan in person.

I'm currently a highschool student, and we just finished up the section on World War II in the Pacific in our textbook. But the book just stated the main ideas, things I already knew.

Your site takes history, but makes it personal and meaningful. It is one thing to read about how "thousands of Japanese soldiers and civilians died on Saipan" in a textbook, but actually seeing their bones, seeing the things they left behind, it what really sets your website apart from the rest. It is amazing to see those scraps of pottery and glass, and those bits of melted metal. One cannot help but wonder who used them, and how the items eventually became broken up, washed on the beach as forgotten items in history.

Thanks for all the effort you've put into this site. It's informative, entertaining, and most importantly, reflective.

EW Johnson said...

Thank you Ethan. That is one of the best compliments I have received. I am very glad you liked my site. Thanks.

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