Banzai Charge Saipan July 6, 1944

I started working on the first of two figures that I will be building for a small scene depicting one of the last Banzai charges of WW2. I will be using a Bravo 6 and Def models figures in this little scene. I haven’t decided on how many figures but I’m thinking three. Above will be the first figure and I hope to have him done soon. Below I have attached a write up from History Channel website (Nov 17, 2009) explaining more about the charge I’m trying to make.

“By early July, the forces of Lieutenant General Yoshitsugu Saito (1890-1944), the Japanese commander on Saipan, had retreated to the northern part of the island, where they were trapped by American land, sea and air power. Saito had expected the Japanese navy to help him drive the Americans from the island, but the Imperial Fleet had suffered a devastating defeat in the Battle of the Philippine Sea (June 19-20, 1944) and never arrived at Saipan. Realizing he could no longer hold out against the American onslaught, Saito apologized to Tokyo for failing to defend Saipan and committed ritual suicide. Before his death, however, Saito ordered his remaining troops to launch an all-out, surprise attack for the honor of the emperor.

Early on the morning of July 6, an estimated 4,000 Japanese soldiers shouting “Banzai!” charged with grenades, bayonets, swords and knives against an encampment of soldiers and Marines near Tanapag Harbor. In wave after wave, the Japanese overran parts of several U.S. battalions, engaging in hand-to-hand combat and killing or wounding more than a thousand Americans before being repelled by howitzers and point-blank machine-gun fire. It was the largest banzai charge of the Pacific war, and, as was the nature of such an attack, most Japanese troops fought to their death. However, the suicidal maneuver failed to turn the tide of the battle, and on July 9, U.S. forces raised the American flag in victory over Saipan”.