SAITO'S FINAL MESSAGE.
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 !
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
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