Delivered approximately 0800, JULY th, 1944.

I am addressing the officers and men of the Imperial Army at Saipan. For more then 20 days -- since the American devils attacked, the officers, men and civilian employees of the Imperial Army and Navy on the Island have fought well and bravely. Everywhere they have demonstrated the honor and glory of the Imperial forces. I expected that every man would do his part. ..Heaven has not given us an opportunity...We have not been able to utilize fully the terrain. We have fought in unison up to the present time, but now we have no material with which to fight and our artillery for attack has been completely destroyed. Our comrades have fallen one after another. Despite the bitterness of defeat, we pledge "SEVEN LIVES TO REPAY OUR COUNTRY." The barbarous attack of the enemy is being continued even though the enemy has occupied only a corner of Saipan, we are dying without avail under the violent shelling and bombing. Whether we attack or whether we stay as we are, there is only death...However in death there is life. We must utilize the opportunity to exalt Japanese manhood. I will advance with those who remain , to deliver another blow to the American devils and leave my bones as a bulwark of the pacific.. As it says in the SENJENKEN*, I will never suffer the disgrace of being taken alive, and I will calmly rejoice in living by the eternal principle. Here I pray with you for the eternal life of the Emperor and the welfare of the country, and I advance to seek out the enemy. FOLLOW ME...BANZI !

*battle ethics

The message from General Saito is authentic. I copied it in my diary from a report captured by Navy Intelligence officers right after Saipan was secured.

That was the banzi attack where the Marines were firing their 105mm howitzers with the barrels horizontal directly into the charging Japanese soldiers. I can't remember how short the time fuses were set, but it was so short everyone said it couldn't be done and the artillery men later said the sound of the blast from firing and the sound of the shell exploding almost sounded like one.

This was the largest and most costly Banzi charge of the battle. As far as I can tell, every Japanese soldier in that charge was killed.

Bill Hoover

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