The Rock

A picture of the entrance to Saito's command post on Saipan
The Entrance to Saito's Command Post on Saipan

Lieutenant General Saito's Last Order

Message to Officers and Men Defending Saipan

I am addressing the officers and men to the Imperial Army on Saipan.

For more than twenty days since the American devils attacked, the officers, men and civilian employees of the Imperial Army and Navy on this 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 duty.

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 materials with which to fight and our artillery for attach 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 where we are, there is only death. However in death there is life. We must utilize this opportunity to exalt true Japanese manhood. I will advance with those who remain to deliver still another blow to the American devils and leave my bones on Saipan as a bulwark of the Pacific.

As it says in the Senjinkun battle ethics, "I will never suffer the disgrace of being taken alive and I will offer up the courage of my soul and calmly rejoice in living by the eternal principal.

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.

This message is a translation by the G2 section, fourth marine division. The intelligence officer of the Japanese forth-third division captured ninth July (1944) stated that this message was delivered by Saito at approximately eight hundred the morning of July six just prior to the General's death at ten hundred that day.

{ USS Rocky Mount }{History }{Scrapbook }{Credits }