The Dai Nippon Occupation Indonesia 1942-1945 history collections

THIS IS THE SAMPLE OF Dr IWAN’S E-BOOK IN CD-ROM WITHOUT ILLUSTRATIONS, THE COMPLETE CD WITH FULL ILLUSTRATIONS AND INFORFOR MATIONS EXIST BUT ONLY FOR PREMIUM MEMBER,PLEASE SUBSCRIBE VIA COMMENT

The Dai Nippon Occupation

 Indonesia 

1942-1945

Based On

 Dr Iwan’s Postal and Archives History Collections

 

Created By

Dr Iwan Suwandy,MHA

Private Limited E-BOOK In CD-ROM Edition

Copyright@2012

 

 

 

Introductions

1.I have the complete collection of postal and document history during Dai Nippon Occupations Indonesia including Sumatra,Java Island  and eastern area 1942-1945, chronology day per day from the Capitulation day on March,8th.1945 to August,17th,1945(2605) ,also until The Japanese Army back Home to their homeland Dec.1945 but the Dai nippon revenue still used by Republic Indonesai until 1947.

2. Now I only add the 1942(2602) Collections, and if the collectors want the look the complete collections ,not only from Java island  but also from sumatra Island, please subscribe as the blog premium member via comment,and we will contack you via your airmail. We will help you to arranged the very rare and amizing collections of Dai Nippon Occupations Indonesia postal and document special for you.

3.I had add in my block the articles odf Dai nippon war from all east asia countries, many collectors and friend asking me to edited  that all information in one book, and now I have finish that amizing book.

4.Not many Historic Pictures durting this period, if we found always in bad condition and black  _white  as the book illustrations, I hope someday the best colour pictures will exist to add in the book.

5.This book is the part of the E- Book in CD-ROM

:”THE DAI NIPPON WAR”

6. My Collections still need more info and corrections from the collectors of all over the world,thanks for your partcipatnt to make this collections more complete.

Jakarta, June  2011

Dr Iwan Suwandy,MHA

 

 

 

Table Of Content

Prolog

Dai Nippon War

Book One

Dai Nippon Occupation Sumatra

Book Two

 Dai Nippon Occupation Java

Part One:

 

 

 

 

The Dai Nippon Occupation Java1942.

Part Two

The Dai Nippon occupation Java 1943

Part Three

 

ndonesi army garrison presenting arms (ndonesia 1944)

 

The Dai Nippon occupation Java 1944

 

Part Four

The Dai Nippon occupation Java 1945

Book Three

Dai Nippon Occupation Eastren Indonesian Area

 

Introductions

NETHERLANDS EAST INDIES


CAMOUFLAGED JAPANESE PLANE,

just before it went up in flames from the approaching parafrag bombs, during a low-level bombing and strafing attack on an airdrome in the Netherlands East Indies.

 

 

Prolog Dai Nippon War 1942-1945

Empire of Japan

The imperial flag

 

The God Emperor,
 
Hirohito / Emperor Shōwa
裕仁 / 昭和天

 

 

 

 

 

imperial guard officer manching with emperor showa in the imperial palace (1937)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emperor Shōwa (Hirohito) on his horse Shirayuki (japan 1941)

 

 

 

 

Imperial Japanese Army
Dai-Nippon Teikoku Rikugun

Flag of the Imperial Japanese Army

Chief of Army General Staff, Field Marshal Count Yamagata Aritomo

Total Active Personnel:
Active Infantry: 36,000 Men(Regular)
Active Cavalry: 3,000 Men(Regular)
Active Field Artillery: 1,000 men, 100 Field Artillery

Total Reserve Personnel:
Total Reserve Infantry: 360,000 Men(Regular)
Total Reserve Cavalry: (Regular)
Total Reserve Field Artillery:

During the Meiji Restoration, the military forces loyal to the Emperor were samurai drawn primarily from the loyalist feudal domains of Satsuma and Chōshū. After the successful overthrow of the Tokugawa Shogunate and establishment of the new Meiji government modeled on European lines, a more formal military, loyal to the central government rather than individual domains, was recognized as a necessity to preserve Japan’s independence from western imperialism.

This obsession to study and use European technology and knowledge and harness it to make a powerful Japanese State that is capable of resisting Western Imperialism, but also to enact a new Asian Imperialism, Japanese dominated of course. To accomplish this the Imperial Japanese Army was established under the direct control of the Emperor and loyal only to him as he is the ruler of Heaven. With the abolition of the daimyos and the establishment of the Prefectures, the country as well as the army became more and more centralized.

The army also modernized, relying on foreign support for the training and preparation of a modern and western army. The French had been critical in the development of the Imperial Japanese Army, and have been retained for their services for the Emperor. However, following the French defeat at the hands of the Prussians the Emperor had begun to study and copy elements of the Prussian military system, particularly the establishment of the Army General Staff.

The Imperial Japanese Army is a largely infantry fighting force, with men drawn from six military districts of Akita, Tokyo, Nagano, Osaka,Hiroshima, and Nagasaki. Infantry is organized into regiments of 3,000 men divided into five hundred men battalions. Cavalry is divided into regiments of 1,000 men which is further divided into four squadrons of 250 men. Artillery is organized into batteries of 100 men and 10 field guns.

Order of Battle

Imperial Guard, Tokyo Military District: 9,000 Men
Commander: General Ōyama Iwao

 

Central Command: Tokyo
– Konoe Hohei Rentai No. 1; 3,000 Men, Gatling Guns
– Konoe Hohei Rentai No. 2; 3,000 Men, Gatling Guns
– Konoe Keiryuukihe No. 1; 1,000 Men
– Keiryuukihe No. 1; 1,000 Men
– Keiryuukihe No. 2; 1,000 men

 

soldier of the japanese army imperial guard (tokyo 1940)

 

officer of the japanese army imperial guard (tokyo 1940)

 

officer of the 2nd Guards Division of the imperial guards (tokyo 1943)

Akita Military District: 6,000 Men
Commander: Mj. General Arisugawa Taruhito

Central Command: Akita
– Hohei Rentai No. 1; 3,000 Men
– Hohei Rentai No. 2; 3,000 Men

Nagano Military District: 6,000 Men
Commander: Mj. General Ozawa Takeo

Central Command: Nagano
– Hohei Rentai No. 3; 3,000 Men
– Hohei Rentai No. 4; 3,000 Men

Osaka Military District: 6,000 Men
Commander: Mj. General Godo Toshiharu
Central Command: Osaka
– Hohei Rentai No. 5; 3,000 Men
– Hohei Rentai No. 6; 3,000 Men

Hiroshima Military District: 6,000 Men
Commander: Mj. General Kajiyama Denbe
Central Command: Hiroshima
– Hohei Rentai No. 7; 3,000 Men
– Hohei Rentai No. 8; 3,000 Men

Nagasaki Military District: 6,000 Men
Commander: Mj. General Takamura Eikichi
Central Command: Nagasaki
– Hohei Rentai No. 9; 3,000 Men
– Hohei Rentai No. 10; 3,000 Men

Imperial Artillery Corps: 1,000 Men, 50 Men
Commander: Mj. General Uoya Kazushige
Central Command: Tokyo
– Houhei Daitai No. 1; 500 Men, 50 Artillery
– Houhei Daitai No. 2; 500 Men, 50 Artillery

 

Umne – March 21, 2009 10:51 PM (GMT)

 

Imperial Japanese Navy
Dai-Nippon Teikoku Kaigun

Flag of the Imperial Japanese Navy

Naval Lord of the Ministry of the Military, Admiral Viscount Nakamuta Kuranosuke

Naval Warship Composition:
Line Ironclads
Central Battery: 1

Cruising Ironclads
Corvette: 4
Armored Corvette: 4

Coastal Warships
Armored Ram: 1
Gunboat: 16
 
The Imperial Japanese Navy, like its Army counter part, was a result of the Meiji Restoration. Elements of the former Shogunate navy, as well as individual daimyo warships were requisitioned and were made part of the navy. Centralization played a key role, hoping to avoid further Western Imperialism the Meiji Restoration has made an effort to expand and modernize the Navy.

 

field marshal Shunroku Hata (left) and staff officers on a japanese navy ship deck (china 1939)

The Meiji Government has put every effort into the build up of a modern navy, many ships were purchased from outside countries due to Japan’s limited natural resources. The Navy is governed by the Ministry of the Military, specifically the Naval Lord. The Navy has been seen as the primary tool to extend Japanese Influence, and has been effectively used against Korea and Taiwan

 

 

The Japanese Imperial Forces

 

 

 

is the chief military force for Japan.

 

 It is divided into the Japanese Imperial Army (home defense), Japanese Imperial Navy (training), and the Imperial Japanese Air Force (elite). The army owns three companies for use within the military.

It is led by Dai Nippon Minister of Defense Dokomo

Organization

The Japanese Imperial Forces is commanded directly by the Minister of Defense who reports directly to the President.

 

 

 

 

The military is organized into three divisions.

 The first, the Japanese Imperial Army,

 is a defense force, made up primarily of immobile citizens who are grounded due to political duties.

 

Japanese General.Anami Korechika 

Commander 2nd Guard Regiment.

 

The second is the Japanese Imperial Navy,

 the largest division, which consists of soldiers who have not achieved Field Marshal rank or been promoted to the elite squads.

The third is the Japanese Imperial Airforce

 

General Takeo Yasuda

Takeo Yasuda was a general in the Imperial Japanese Army. While serving as director of the Army’s Aviation Technology Research Institute during World War II, he was a key figure in scientific and technological development for the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force, most notably his involvement in the early development of a Japanese atomic bomb during the early stages of the war.

 

The Imperial Japanese Air Force consists of the country’s strongest and most active soldiers. Both the JIN and IJAF are mobile units capable of moving throughout the world and operating in the interests of the Japanese people and its allies. Each division is split into six-person squads, which are led by a Chusa who is responsible for distributing weapons and evaluating soldier readiness. Some squads are led by higher ranked Chujos and Shosos. The head of the military has the rank of Gensui.

The military operates a Q5 weapons factory under the JIA, and a Q1 weapons company as part of the JIN. The JIA also owns a Q1 defense system builder, which is currently inoperable. Gifting for the military is done in collaboration with the Japanese Interior Service, which runs a Q1 gift company.

 

 

 

Dai Nippon Teikoku Rikugun propaganda poster

 

 

 

While in Tokyo

 

 Major-General Kawaguchi

was informed that the enemy strength in British Borneo was estimated at approximately 1,000 regular soldiers (mostly Indians) and 2,500 native volunteers, with a probable further

 

5,600 Dutch soldiers in Dutch Borneo.

 Intelligence sources reported that the entire island was covered with dense jungle with only a few poor roads near the river mouths. The only means of transportation was possible by water. Information in regard to weather and terrain was very scant and not very reliable and there was only one small scale map of the island available.

Immediately upon his return to

 

 

Canton

 

 from Tokyo, the Detachment commander proceeded to

 

 

 

Sanya,

 

 

Hainan Island,

to attend a conference with the Commander-in-Chief of the Southern Expeditionary Fleet and the Direct Escort Fleet commander in order to reach an agreement on co-operative measures in the event of war.

It was decided that the first Japanese landings would be made at aerawk in

 

Miri

and

 

Serian

in order to capture vital oilfields and airfields in these towns. Part of the force would remain in this area to reestablish Miri oilfield while the main body would advance and capture the Kuching airfield. All units of the Kawaguchi Detachment had to receive special training in landing under cover of darkness and in jungle fighting, and naturally they also had to change their equipment and would have to be given special survival and field sanitation training.

.

 

General Tomoyuki Yamashita

General Tomoyuki Yamashita was a general of the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II. He was most famous for conquering the British colonies of Malaya and Singapore, earning the nickname “The Tiger of Malaya”.

On 6 November 1941,

Yamashita was put in command of the Twenty-Fifth Army.

 

On 20 November 1941,

 The Kawaguchi’s Brigade was activated in Tokyo (Japan), and placed under

 the direct command of the Southern Army.

It was commanded by

 

Major-General Kiyotake Kawaguchi

 

 

 and it was composed mainly of

 

 the following Japanese units stationed at Canton, southern China, which had been previously

 under the command of the Japanese  18th Infantry Division:

Order of Battle for Japanese forces
Sarawak, December 1941

Major-General Kiyotake Kawaguchi (commander)

 

35th Infantry Brigade Headquarters

 

 

124th Infantry Regiment

one platoon of the 12th Engineer Regiment

a unit from the 18th Division Signal Unit

a unit from the 18th Division Medical Unit

4th Field Hospital, 18th Division

a unit from the 11th Water Supply and Purification Unit

In addition, the following units from Japan and Manchuria were to be used to reinforce the Detachment:

33rd Field AA Battalion

one company of the 26th Independent Engineer Regiment
(minus two platoons)

2nd Independent Engineer Company

80th Independent Radio Platoon

37th Fixed Radio Unit

a unit from the Oil Drilling Section of the 21st Field Ordnance Depot

1st Field Well Drilling Company

2nd Field Well Drilling Company

3rd Field Well Drilling Company

4th Field Well Drilling Company

48th Anchorage Headquarters

118th Land Duty Company

 

November,27th,1941

A Dutch East Indie Karbouw 3 1/2 cent with  Return card Had paid( Briefkaart Met betaal Antwort) had sent from Yen Shiu Yui c.o Dr Liauw Thiam Soe ,Kenongo Air Toeloeng Agoengm CDS Toeloeng Agoeng  27-11-1941(ten days before Peral Harbor attacked) to The Book Store Bing Sin Kepoeteran Street Soerabia, with massage :

after receiving this letter, please sir let me know (information () perhaps there are regulation’s book of  contract, the lending auction, huurkoop (sale and purchase), and other commisie How much does it cost to write a letter of agreement? Or tuay Sir  give description of other books like diatas.dan kemungkinyajuga
After making the ACC (approved ) i will send postwesel (postal money order) OI am waiting Other news of my master  and I  send  thank you very much .
SGY 27-11-41
Yours sincerely
  Yen Yi Shiu (S.Y.Yen)

Original massage

 setelah menerima surat ini ,harap tuan memberi kabar(informasi() barang kali masih ada tersedia buku-bukuperaturan contract,hutang-piutang lelang, huurkoop(jual beli), commisie dan lain-lain.peraturan menulis surat perjanjian Berapakah harganya? Atau tuab berikan keterangan buku-buku lain seperti diatas.dan kemungkinyajuga

Stelah ACC(disetujui( akan saya kirimkan postwesel(postal money order )Lain Tiadam kabar tuan saya tunggu dan banyak terima kasih saya haturkan.

SGY 27-11-41

Hormat saya

 Yen shiu Yi(S.Y.Yen)

In the front of the postcard handwritten Note:

1,. If I am not mistaken the price is approximately 3 guldem and the other two guilders,

2,DDO (reply) 9-12-1941

 (two days after Pearl Harbor attack)

 ‘Give news

 Bussiness correspondence books 2. guilders

 to the publisher 2.25 guilders

 True price of 4.25 guilders
Understanding  book  2.15 guilders

Origina info

1,.Kalau saya tidak keliru harganya lebih kurang  3 guldem dan lainya 2 gulden,

Ddo(dibalas) 9-12-041(dua hari setelah serngan Pearl Harbor)

‘Beri Kabar

Buku korespondensi Dagang 2 gulden

Dengan penerbit 2,25  gulden

Harga sejati 4,25 gulden

Buku pengertia 2,15 guldem

Surabaya City in 1941

 

 

 

Soerabaja (Surabaya) Stadswacht in 1941

 

The surabaya city wtch in 1941

On the opposite bank of the river lies Chinatown and the Red Bridge, where that forever industrious race live in a confusion of narrow lanes and alleys. Two-storeyed shophouses vividly splashed with crisscross symbols, the wail of Chinese music from an open fronted cafe where, in passing by, a glimpse is seen of deftly manipulated chopsticks picking food from hand-cupped rice bowls. In the air a mixture of typical smells of the Orient: gums and spice, with an occasional whiff of gutter stink and incense. The klaxon hooting and ringing of bicycle bells, the noise of the always congested traffic on the street, until dusk falls and the office front door is slammed shut.

Tulung Agung City in 1941

 

Read more about surabayas(Semethini)

 

Photo Source: flickr.com

 

The river they call Brantas. Winding its way through Surabaya, the merry town of the Thirties, in the Netherlands East Indies.

Entering the town in the suburb of Darmo, it flows for a while by a rolling green vista of well-kept gardens and lawns sweeping down from the terraces of residences where the prominent live. Dignity and firm security displayed in robust granite ballustrade and stained-glass doors and windows at the front.

The boulevards and avenues respectably quiet and undisturbed. A stillness accentuated by the rustle of the wind in tall casuarina trees along the riverbank, and the distant jangle of the tram. A mile further down, the Brantas enters the Gubeng district, passing by fenced-in backyards of dwellings of lesser status, the boarding houses and private hotels. A street vendor calls monotonously. The clip-clop of the horse of a hire-surrey is momentarily drowned in the low-humming swoosh of a motor car.

With measured intervals a gong is struck before a cottage near the corner, announcing the forthcoming public auction of the departing householder’s furniture and other possessions.

 At the upper-town railway station, a hissing of spurting steam, a mournful hoot and clanging engine. On the sharply curving street leading to the Gubeng bridge, tyres screech beside tram wheels grinding in their rail grooves.

 Under the bridge oddly shaped clusters of garbage and flotsam riding the quietly moving water halt, revolving slowly. Then, still turning lazily, they resume their trip, passing close to the reed banks of the park with its lotus pond and canna beds, and the silvery, glinting gossamer of water sprinklers. Magpies scamper on the sun-dappled grass under the sycamores.

 

Photo Source: Moesson

 

Photo Source: Surabaya Memory/Petra Christian University

Further down, the river flows by lofty palm fringed driveways to stately offices of authority and government – frowning, rigid and aloof in marble and colonnade. The Dutch tricolour flies proudly from the mast. Further down again, the river, sluggish and muddy now, passes by the agitated hustle and bustle of William’s Quay in downtown Surabaya. Domain of merchants, brokers and bankers, money-making amidst clattering typewriters, ringing telephones and buzzing ceiling fans. At the door the name of the company is richly embossed on copper plate, leaving an impression of infallibility and trustworthiness.

 

Photo Source: Surabaya Memory/Petra Christian University

Photo Source: Surabaya Tempo Dulu

On the opposite bank of the river lies Chinatown and the Red Bridge, where that forever industrious race live in a confusion of narrow lanes and alleys. Two-storeyed shophouses vividly splashed with crisscross symbols, the wail of Chinese music from an open fronted cafe where, in passing by, a glimpse is seen of deftly manipulated chopsticks picking food from hand-cupped rice bowls. In the air a mixture of typical smells of the Orient: gums and spice, with an occasional whiff of gutter stink and incense. The klaxon hooting and ringing of bicycle bells, the noise of the always congested traffic on the street, until dusk falls and the office front door is slammed shut.

Finally the river reaches its estuary with the bobbing masts of gaily adorned native sailing craft from Madura and Makassar, the river water casting dancing reflections of light on the slender prows, moored in clusters along the ancient quay and its mossy dents, notches and century-old, corrosion-bated mooring rings.

Nimble-footed coolies walk rhythmically on narrow, swaying gangplanks, heavy baskets with dried fish and copra on neck and shoulders, the corded ridges of their deep brown backs dripping with sweat. A flock of sparrows peck madly at rice grains spilled on the quay. On a small, barnacle-rimmed jetty a native woman squats, beating her wash on a flat stone. Her shoulders, back and bottom, in the faded sarong hitched under the armpits, flow out in the contours of a guitar. Flitting black streaks of swallows skim the river that now finally, languidly delivers its water into the sea in gradually deepening colours of blue and green. Out in the Roads of Surabaya, on the slowly rising and falling swell, white-dotted with seagulls, a towering ocean liner growls, drowning out the clang of busily spinning winches and long-necked cranes on the wharves. Below the storm warning mast on the harbour master’s office roof, a tugboat hoots an answer, her screws eagerly churning the brackish water. The dockyards and quay of Surabaya where shirt-drenching heat shimmers as a glistening pool on the tacky-hot bitumen. Where ships come from all over the world, each containing an atmosphere typical of her home port.

 

Photo Source: malang.endonesa.net

Visible and invisible little things in master and crew that make up the Briton, Norwegian, Dutchman and Greek. The world of big shipping. After work, one may be invited to come on board again for a quiet beer while listening to tales of Liverpool, Piraeus, Oslo and Vancouver.

Day is done, darkness has fallen, the worst of the heat gone. Pastel-coloured lampshades shine gently through a filigree of potted plants and shrubs. In the warm, scented evening we read and talk out in front on the open porch. A thin spiral of grey smoke eddies up from a coil of mosquito repellent burning on a saucer on the floor. A wide-eyed brown kitten stalks, with great display of fuss, an imaginary prey between the magnolias. Back in the house the clock ding-dongs through soft radio music. The light circle of the porch lamp does not quite reach the dark hibiscus hedge at the front gate, where a lone cricket chirps incessantly. It is Saturday evening, after dinner time. All the news is read, all events of the day discussed, bemoaned or laughed about.

 

Photo Source: Zoo Leven Wij in Indie

A drive is then suggested and agreed upon. Soon we have joined the long line of motor cars out on the road for a little cruise to the entertainment district of Surabaya and on to the harbour for an hour of cool, refreshing sea breeze. The hood of the car is let down to make the most of the cool evening air. The motor sings, the wheels fly with a soft burr. Tall arc lights are caught in a dull shine moving along the gleaming body of our car. Everyone is in a lighthearted mood of Saturday evening, the whole night in front and all the free Sunday after that. When we enter Palm Lane we spot a burst of red neon on the left side. That’s the “Tabarin” bar and dancing establishment, closed now, its opening time of ten o’clock catering to the after-theatre and supper folk. Opposite is the “Shanghai” restaurant, adorned with strings of pastel-coloured Chinese lamps on the open terrace. Munching and drinking people served by wooden-faced Indonesian waiters deftly balancing trays laden with delicacies. At the front of the restaurant a few native boys carrying boxes with cigarettes loiter about. They will be there the whole night. On the corner of Palm Lane and Simpang Road, the Maxim Cinema blazes in floodlights, flanked by a file of Fiat Balilla taxis waiting for the end of the first session. The traffic signal switches to red, halting our car with a silent throb of its motor. We are facing the whitewashed facade and marble floors of the Simpang Club, select and suave, its members restricted to a better salaried class of people. Cozy little lampshades glow on small wicker tables on patios in front, where gentlemen with their lady companions are seated, sipping an aperitif or after-dinner coffee and liqueur. Blue cigar smoke and, now and then, a quiet sparkle of jewelry. Tyres crunch on the gravelled drive to the carpeted club entrance. The solid snap of an expensive automobile’s door. New guests have arrived.

The signal flashes to green. Our route goes by the park. In the distance strings of orange lights adorn the bandstand from which come muffled snatches of drums and clashing cymbals. We drive through the Tunjungan now with its numerous bars, hotels and theatres. The brilliant shop windows of the newly opened Japanese department store Tjijoda, and the more soberly illuminated facade of Whiteway Laidlaw. High above in the night air, the jumble of multi-coloured neon advertising, motionless or in running flashes. Further down the road, Town Hall Gardens with trees full of red, white and blue lights. Something must be on again there in Town Hall Gardens, where the small-income man finds diversion in word, music and dance. Perhaps a jubilee or congress of sorts, doubtlessly celebrated with endless speeches and a boring play. Then, to top it off, a ball with the inevitable Hawaiian band with its guitars twanging sweet melodies of moonlight and dreams come true in Waikiki and Honolulu. Girls, some in rather garish coloured dress, will try to follow the astonishingly complicated dance maneuvers of their escorts in suits of every taste and shade.

Entering downtown, the night seems here deeper and still, with myriads of tiny moths circling the globes of tall lamp posts on William’s Quay and Red Bridge, strangely quiet and deserted at this hour. An oil wick flutters in the small cabin of a native barge on the dark river. Glowing pinpoints light up and darken again in the porticoes and doorways of the locked up business houses along the quay, where Madurese wharf labourers are smoking their favourite cheroots of clove-saturated tobacco rolled in maize leaf. Proud and independent, spending the night outdoors on a bed of jute bags, anywhere they may fancy, rather than having to return dutifully to the one and same address.

Finally we reach the Heads and the car is brought to a halt. At the mouth of the Brantas the last ferry boat from Madura eases along her berth with a deep throb of her engines, her green and red lights shining through billows of swirling steam. High above, invisible in the darkness, a night bird cries for its mate. Far out in the Roads a yellow beacon winks slowly with measured intervals across a sea which lies there serene and peaceful. The Western Fairway, between two citadels armed to the teeth, Fort Menari and Fort Piring, their big guns rendering suicidal any attempt to enter the harbour by an aggressor, whoever it may be.

Another car pulls up near where we are. For a while we hear the intonation of its passengers filter through the mild sea breeze. They laugh a little, then fall silent. So pleasingly quiet it is here.

This town, this beloved Surabaya, twinkling its lights, breathing under the stars. [1] [2]

On the porch, back home, the mosquito repellent has collapsed into a brittle whitish coil of ash. The air is chilly. Inside now, perhaps to a game of cards or to bed. Tomorrow is another day.

 

Frank Samethini
Photo Source: Frank Samethini Collection

Another day breaks through in Surabaya, where generations of carefully planned colonisation have left a stamp of prosperity, peace and unshakable security. This town with its unforgettable memories of leaving school, first job, first pay envelope. That terrific feeling of young manhood, when life seems at its best, exciting, promising. The homecoming on Saturdays from work, with all that long, free weekend waiting; the girls, the big soccer match. The ups taken for granted, the downs shrugged off, in the Golden Indies of pre-war time.

Visible through the open porthole in the cabin, the Madura Straits in late afternoon. Wind blowing hard on a taut sail, flash of sunlight exploding soundlessly off a speedboat’s windscreen, the spray from her bow flaring out in a glittering transparent fan. The workday over, it is good to rest a while before going home. Even the buzz from the only surviving fly in the captain’s cabin, deftly darting away from his angry, slapping hand, seems to belong, to fit in the drowsy atmosphere of satisfaction. Conversation, in the beginning rather agitated, has settled to a bored monotone. The Old Man has been upset about a character called Hitler, who has been much in the news lately. The chap appears to be up to some mischief in Germany.

So what? That’s thousands of miles away, too far to bother about. It’s nice and cool here, and that’s a good drop of beer. The captain says that the people in Germany are drawing a blueprint for another big war. But lots of people say that is not so. Was not the Great War fought to end all wars? It’ll blow over in time, you’ll see. All one should be concerned about is having a good time. Why not? You’re young only once, so make the most of it. In another half-hour or so, home for a shower, dinner and later that redhead. Should be an interesting evening with that figure and temperament. And in two more weeks, holidays coming up. That little bungalow in the hills, walks through the coffee plantation, Mum pottering in the vegetable garden, a dip in the mountain stream at the back, great fun. How am I to know about what is to come? The terrible blow, the kick sending me reeling down the hill, rolling and tumbling over and over, until I finally hit the bottom and cannot sink lower any more.

_______________________________________________________

Footnotes

[1] The Dutch names of the Surabaya landmarks and geography Frank mentions are:
William’s Quay = Willemskade
Red Bridge = Rode Brug (today called Jembatan Merah)
Palm Lane = Palmenlaan (today called Jalan Panglima Sudirman)
The Western Fairway = Het Westerwater

 

Photo Source: Surabaya Tempo Dulu

[2] Whiteway Laidlaw (Whiteway, Laidlaw & Co., Ltd.) was a Scottish firm that operated a chain of department stores throughout the Far East. This photo shows the Surabaya store as it appeared in the 1930s

 

Stadswacht Overvalwagens

(   Assuat Vehichle of  Homeguards )

Introduction
On the picture below  you can see a 1940 “Overvalwagen” (assault
vehicle) or armoured personnel carrier of the Dutch East Indies Homeguards (Stadswacht).

This  was in fact an armoured truck on Chevrolet 4×2 chassis. Little is known about them and they  deserve more attention.

To dismiss them as “improvised” or “armour clad” trucks is definitely
outdated. Overvalwagens were relatively well made and series produced.

Although the  Overvalwagens had many deficiencies and often played roles they were not up to, they were used extensively by the Dutch, the Australian army on Timor, then by the Japanese and after that both Dutch and Indonesians during the Indonesian Independence War (1945-50).


In all 90 Overvalwagens of all types were built.
Much is known about the use of these vehicles, but not about the technical features.

Common  knowledge says the chassis were Chevrolet 4×2 (and since the Overvalwagens were produced in 1940, most if not all must have been 1940 models).

In the original plan to raise and arm Homeguards (Stadswacht/Urban Guards) provision was made  for around 65 Overvalwagens. It is not sure how many were produced. Several dozen of these
Stadswacht vehicles have been identified.

Chassis were provided by General Motors at Tandjong Priok (Chevrolet), while shipyards (Batavia  Droogdok Maatschappij e.g.) provided the armour cut from steel ship plating.

The sides of the  vehicle were double plated and the troops usually stuffed their bedrolls and rucksacks between  the two plates.

The armour protecting the driver and commander in the front was just one plate
however.

The troops as well as the driver had to embark and disembark through a steel door at  the rear end of the Overvalwagen.

The troops sat facing inward on steel benches, one on each side of the vehicle. If seated they  would have a considerable protection, if standing they would be exposed to enemy fire from their
waist up.

 The driver’s and commander’s compartment were enclosed at the top. The commander  could open a hatch in the roof and use it as a shield.
The Stadswacht was meant to maintain order while the Army (K.N.I.L.) would do the real fighting.

The Overvalwagens were therefore basically designed for the internal security role and were to be  deployed in and near the larger urban centres.

They were organised in mobile columns (rapid
reaction forces).

 

In addition to the armoured Overvalwagens there would be also unarmoured  troopcarriers or “manschappenauto’s”, light trucks and motorcycles.

Only in case of an airborne  assault on the city the Stadswacht and its Overvalwagens would be in the front line.

As the war  approached and the lack of real armour was felt, most Stadswacht Overvalwagens were taken  over by the K.N.I.L.

 Many were sent to other parts of the NEI and used as APC or armoured cars in  various actions (notably Eastern Sumatra, Palembang, Timor).
The Stadswacht vehicle had no fixed armament but the troops it carried could fire their guns and  light machineguns from various points while standing in the back. Next to the driver (on his left,
Overvalwagens were all right-hand drives) a light machine gun could also be fired through a firing  port.
All Stadswacht vehicles seem to have the same hull, but the position and construction of  headlights differed. It seems that headlights were added to the vehicles locally.

Referring to the  headlights one could distinguish at least 4 different production series: Batavia, Eastern Java
(Soerakarta and Soerabaja), Makassar (Celebes/Sulawesi) and Medan (Sumatra) types.

 

Overvalwagen of the Stadswacht (Home Guard) of Batavia (now Jakarta).

Designed and built in late 1940 on 1940 Model Chevrolet 4×2 trucks. The

Batavia Stadswacht operated 12 of these vehicles. Note the armoured wheels, designed to protect the tyres from bullits and to make sure the vehicle could  get home with a flat tyre, running on the steel plate.

 

Front view of same vehicle (picture from Orient Magazine 1941) during a  parade in Batavia late 1941.

The coat of arms of the Batavia Stadswacht is  painted on the front of the vehicle. Note small searchlights on hull sides.

The engine received fresh air through a radiator below the nose of the vehicle (visible in this picture).

To reach the engine the top of the hood could be opened.
Visibility from inside the overvalwagen was poor, especially for the driver.  Crews complained about this and the vehicle was especially difficult to  maneuvre when turning or driving backwards.
In the last case the vehicle commander had to stand up and expose himself to give directions to the driver.

 

Batavia Stadswacht undergoing Overvalwagen drill. Note rear
door. All crew members and troops had to enter and leave the
vehicle through the rear. Backpacks and bedrolls were usually
stowed inside against the hullsides.

Note the shields that protected the vehicle commander. Driver and
gunner sat under semi-enclosed hull front (pic: unspecified).

 

This is probably a picture of the vehicle park
of a company of the Batavia Stadswacht (that
had 1350 men by 1942 in 6 companies) (pic:
JJ Nortier. De Japanse aanval op Java, 1994)

 

This is a picture of a heavily modified ex-Stadswacht overvalwagen, used by the Dutch Army during
the Indonesian Independence War around 1948/49.

 

 In the Dutch Army the overvalwagen was known
as “pantserknots”. This particular vehicle was used by the HQ company of  a Dutch infantry batalion at
Poerbolinggo. The picture can be found in a book by Hans Gerritsen, Hinderlaag bij Sindoeradja. The
overvalwagen has been “cut down” at the rear where a low placed Vickers machine gun is visible. The
chassis is by no means original and a discussion by Wheels and Tracks Magazine several years back,
revealed that this was a 4×4 CMP truck chassis.

 

Hans Heesakkers provided this picture of a similar vehicle (or possibly
the same?) employed by the Dutch Army in the same period. The
driver’s  and commander’s hatches have been improved to provide
better visibility. The front bumper is most likely an ex-CMP truck’s
bumper. Radiator louvres have been added to improve colling of the
engine. A spare wheel is fitted behind the left mudguard. Overall, this
overvalwagen looks much better and since it seems to be based on a
4×4 chassis, it must have been a usefull vehicle.
The headlights suggest this is an ex-Batavia Stadswacht vehicle.

 

The Soerakarta Stadswacht in Central Java possessed one vehicle. Note the
different headlights: these are built against front mudguards. Many
overvalwagens carried ladders on the outsides of the hull. This vehicle boasts
an antenna and must be equipped with a radio, which was rare. Note crew
wearing German Stahlhelm and brandishing Mauser guns. Some NEI auxiliary
forces used this type of helmet, most notably the Soerakarta and Medan
Stadswacht (pic: Stabelan Magazine).

 

Rear view of same vehicle, showing
rear door. Note vulnerability of troops
standing (Picture from Djokja
en Solo).

 

Yokyakarta, 1949. The Indonesain Independence War
is ending. The Dutch forces abandon the city. An
Overvalwagen is still in use with them. It is of the same
“Eastern Java” series as the Soerakarta and
Soerabaja vehicles (headlights built against front
mudguards). Note steel plate covering front wheel is
missing (pic: Marsroutes en dwaalsporen).

 

Parade of Soerabaja (Surabaya) Stadswacht in 1941. A city
with a large European population it had a 1200 strong
Stadswacht with an unknown number of Overvalwagens. Here
are two with similar headlights as the Soerakarta type.
Leading the way is a 1941 civilian Chevrolet 4×2 1,5 ton truck,
locally converted to open troopcarrier or squadcar (Picture
from Soerabaja: Beeld van een Stad).

 

Overvalwagen of the Makassar Stadswacht (on the
island of Celebes/Sulawesi. The Makassar Home
guards had at least 3 vehicles. Note the streamlined
headlights (Picture from Zwaan: Gouvernementeel
Intermezzo).

 

Remnants of an Overvalwagen on Timor, 1945.
The Australian Forces defending Timor in 1942
operated a small number of Overvalwagens.
Headlights built to the front of mudguards. Same
series as Makassar vehicles (picture from
AWM
site).

 

Overvalwagens of the Medan (Sumatra) Stadswacht. One of a series of five
vehicles delivered, these cars have the headlights fitted to the bonnet sides.
These Overvalwagens were to be used intensively by K.N.I.L. Landstorm and
Militie companies during the Japanese assault on Northern Sumatra. (pic:
Zwaan)

 

Medan Stadswacht Overvalwagen. Headlights
as above. Crew and troops in German
Stahlhelm (picture from: Medan, beeld van
een stad).

 

In september 1945 the Imperial Japanese Army handed in its
equipment on the island of New Britain to the Allies after
surrender. Hundreds of tanks and other vehicles were parked
on an airstrip. On this picture 3 ex-Stadswacht Overvalwagens
can be seen. The first one can be identified by its headlights
as an ex-Medan (Northern Sumatra) vehicle (picture from the
Australian War Memorial).

 

 

HAWAII

 

HAWAII

 

INFANTRYMEN DURING A FIELD INSPECTION in the Hawaiian Islands, January 1941. From 1935 on the U.S. garrison in the Hawaiian Islands was larger than any other American overseas outpost. However, by 1910 there was a shortage of modern equipment and trained personnel, and not until February 1941 did troop reinforcements and up-to-date equipment begin to arrive in Hawaii, The United States was not prepared for war and the men and equipment did not meet the necessary requirements.

 

COAST ARTILLERY BATTERY training in Hawaii. Man at left is placing a round in the manual fuze setter of a 3-inch antiaircraft gun M1917M2. A plan for the defense of the Hawaiian Islands had been set up and joint maneuvers (land, air, and naval forces) were held periodically to test the various security measures.

 

4.2-INCH CHEMICAL MORTAR CREW in action during maneuvers. As in all U.S. military commands, the Hawaiian Department was faced with the problem of training the largely inexperienced forces available at the time.

 

75-mm. GUN M1917A1 in a camouflaged position.

 

BROWNING ANTIAIRCRAFT MACHINE GUN on a runway at Wheeler Field, Oahu, in the Hawaiian Islands. Early in December 1941 all the U.S. troops, including antiaircraft batteries, were returned to their stations from field maneuvers to await the signal for riot duty. Trouble was expected, and while Japanese diplomats in Washington talked peace, their Pearl Harbor Striking Force was moving eastward toward Hawaii. During this movement the fleet maintained radio silence and was not detected as it approached the islands. (.50-caliber antiaircraft machine gun, water-cooled, flexible.)

 

The Onslaught

(December 1941 – March 1942)

 

7 December, 1941.

Hundreds of Japanese airplanes attack in the early morning hours, without provocation or warning, the assembled fleet of the United States of America in Pearl Harbour Hawaii.

 

The bulk of the naval power of a country not at war with Japan is sunk or crippled. The infamy of Pearl Harbour. The dreaded words are broadcast by radio to all of the Dutch East Indies. We are now also at war with Japan. [1]

(- Frank Samethini, The Sky Looked Down)

The storm had broken at last. With the news of war arrived the order for general mobilization.

 

Read More at another E-book In CD_ROM

“The Dai Nippon War In Pearl harbor “

The sample of info

 

FLYING FORTRESSES, Boeing B-I7C heavy bombers, burning at Hickam Field, Oahu,

 on 7 December 1941. At 0730

on 7 December the first waves of Japanese aircraft struck the U.S. defenses. Although a few U.S. fighter planes managed to get into the air and destroyed some of the Japanese planes, the attack wrought severe damage. After neutralizing the airfields the Japanese struck at the U.S. Navy warships in the harbor.

 

WRECKAGE AT THE NAVAL AIR STATION at Pearl Harbor, after the enemy attack, 7 December.

 

THE DESTROYER USS SHAW EXPLODING during the attack on Pearl Harbor, 7 December. The first attack on the U.S. warships anchored in the harbor was delivered at 0758. By 0945 all the Japanese aircraft had left Oahu and returned to their carriers. The U.S. Pacific Fleet suffered a major disaster during the attack which lasted one hour and fifty minutes. Sunk or damaged during the attack were the destroyers Shaw, Cassin, and Dowries; the mine layer Oglala; the target ship Utah; and a large floating drydock. Also hit were the light cruisers Helena, Honolulu, and Raleigh; the seaplane tender Curtis; and the repair ship Vestal.

 

U.S. BATTLESHIPS HIT AT PEARL HARBOR. Left to right: West Virginia, Tennessee, and Arizona.

 

THE WEST VIRGINIA aflame.

 

DAMAGED WARSHIPS. The U.S. destroyers Dowries, left, and Cassin, right, and the battleship Pennsylvania, in background, shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Of the eight battleships hit, the Arizona was a total loss; the Oklahoma was never repaired; the California, Nevada, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Tennessee were repaired and returned to service. The slight depth of Pearl Harbor made possible the raising and refitting of these ships.

 

DESTROYED CURTIS P-40 FIGHTER PLANE at Bellows Field. Of the Army’s 123 first-line planes in Hawaii, 63 survived the attack; of the Navy’s 148 serviceable combat aircraft, 36 remained. Only one small airfield on the north shore near Haleiwa was overlooked during the raid.

 

WRECKED PLANES AT WHEELER FIELD after the 7 December attack.

 

JAPANESE MIDGET SUBMARINE which ran aground on the beach outside Pearl Harbor, 7 December. Early on the morning of 7 December at least one Japanese submarine was reconnoitering inside Pearl Harbor, having slipped past the antisubmarine net. After making a complete circuit of Ford Island the submarine left the harbor and later ran aground on the beach where it was captured intact.

DESTROYED HANGAR AT HICKAM FIELD, 7 December. During the attack the Army lost 226 killed and 396 wounded; the Navy, including the Marine Corps, lost 3,077 killed and 876 wounded. The Japanese attack was entirely successful in accomplishing its mission, and the U.S. forces were completely surprised both strategically and tactically.

 

SOLDIERS LEAVING PIER to board trucks for Schofield Barracks, Honolulu. As a result of the disaster at Pearl Harbor, the Hawaiian command was reorganized. There was little enemy activity in the Central Pacific after the 7 December attack. The Japanese had seized Wake and Guam and were concentrating on their southern campaigns. As the build-up of men and equipment progressed, reinforcements began to pour into Hawaii for training and shipment to Pacific stations.

 

CONSTRUCTION WORK AT WHEELER FIELD, 11 December 1941. After the Japanese raid many destroyed or damaged buildings were rebuilt.

 

ARMY TROOPS IN LCP(L)’S, during an amphibious training exercise leave Oahu for a beach landing. After the entry of the United States into World War II training was intensified, and specialized training in amphibious landings was given the troops arriving in the Hawaiian Islands since most of the islands to be Taken later would have To be assaulted over open beaches In February 1943 the Amphibious Training Area, Waianae, Oahu, was activated for framing units in amphibious landings LCP(L)-S had no bow ramp for disembarking troops.

 

DEPLOYING FOR ADVANCE INLAND after landing on the beach. During the war more than 250,000 men were given instruction in amphibious assault operations.

 

 

Read More

(Setyawati Soelaiman,the private notes during Dai nippon Occupation)

Happy circumstances changed quickly,

after Jepanese attacked  Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941.

 

Three days earlier Faculty of Letters, Dies natalist still partying in the streets of a building Kramat.

 

 We sing, dance and food of Indonesia.
While it has entered a new student who is very artistic, too.
Morning, Bernet Kempert along with his wife and also dating several other professors. Apparently Professor Bernet Kempert diligent student visiting parties.

Now  occur  the war  and Japan will surely continue the business in Pacific perperangan Dutch government therefore be prepared for it later when the Japanese army attacked aka tone of resistance both on the beach around the headland Priok UTRA strengthened, Civilian population forming voluntary troops,

Stadwacht (city guard) and to protect the population Sipil.Kemudian Landwacht Luchteweerf and the lady there fussing with Covis and learn first aid.

The Professor was not immune from the resistance Sikarela and began giving lectures in various Kempert Bernet seragam.Prof clothes as well.
Already several times Kemajoran Airport was bombed,

Mini library books dipindahkanke main warehouse is further strengthened by a thick wall of concrete. We all helped to bring the books.

By the time we stopped the bombing of college and had to take shelter under the stairs room F until there are signs the situation was critical clear.Meskipun all our college students remains except a few people who have been displaced interior

We still ride a bike to Gambier and chatted at cantin  if no studi .Although  at a time, when Prof. Sorel Bernet Kempert showed pictures of Pompei and Herculeneus no sign of another bombing.

We should be going into F, the professor was saying when it showed a tengkurup: “This pose is good to die …”.

Later he shook tanggan with each student and the student to ask himself /
We moved very sad at having to part from our professor who, though only known since December 1940 has been very close to us.

 

Original info

Keadaan yang berbahagia cepat berobah, setelah Jepng mnyerang Pearl harbor  tanggal 7 desember 1941. Tiga hari sebelumnya Fakultas Sastra masih berpesta Dies natalis  dalam sebuah gedung dijalan kramat. Kami menyanyi ,menari dan  menyediakan makanan Indonesia .

Sementara itu  sudah masuk beberapa mahasiswa baru yang sangat artistic  juga.

Pagi,Bernet Kempert beserta isteri dating juga  dan beberapa professor lain . Rupanya Prof bernet Kempert  rajin mengunjungi pesta-pesta mahasiswa.

Sekrang terjadi perperangabn  dan Jepang pasti akan meneruskan usaha perperangan di Pasifik karena itu pemerintah Hindia Belanda bersiap-siap untuk nanti bila Balatentara Jepang menyerang aka nada perlawanan baik di pantai utra sekitar tanjung Priok  diperkuat, penduduk  Sipil membentuk Pasukan sukarela,

Stadwacht(penjaga Kota) dan Landwacht untuk melindungi penduduk Sipil.Kemudian ada Luchteweerf dan para Nyonya menyibukkan diri dengan Covis dan belajar pertolongan pertama.

Para Professor juga tidak luput dari usaha perlawanan Sikarela  itu dan mulai memberikan kuliah dalam pakaian seragam.Prof Bernet Kempert beragam juga.

Sudah beberapa kali Bandar Udara Kemajoran  dibom,

Buku-buku perpustakaan Mini dipindahkanke gudang Utama yang lebih diperkuat dengan dinding tebal  dari beton .Kami semua membantu membawa buku-buku itu.

Pada saat pemboman kami berhenti kuliah  dan harus berlindung dibawah tangga ruangan F sampai ada tanda all clear.Meskipun keadaan sudah gawat kami mahasiswa tetap kuliah  kecuali beberapa orang  yang telah mengungsi kepedalaman.

Kami masih tetap naik sepeda  ke Gambir dan mengobrol dikantin kalau tidak ada kuliah.Namum pada suatu saat ,ketika Prof Bernet Kempert  memperlihatkan gambar sorel tentang Pompei dan Herculeneus  ada tanda pengeboman lagi.

Kami harus segera pergi keruang F ,professor masih mengatakan ketika memperlihatkan seorang yang tengkurup:” Ini pose yang baik untuk meninggal…”.

Kemudia ia berjabat tanggan dengan masing-masing mahasiswa dan mahasiswi untuk minta diri /

Kami sedih amat terharu karena harus berpisah  dari professor kami  yang meskipun baru kenal  sejak Desember  1940 sudah amat dekat dengan kami.

 

THE IMPERIAL JAPANESE
COMBINED FLEET


Four Japanese surface forces participated in SHO-GO, including every type of ship in their inventory.

 

 

Three Japanese surface battleship-cruiser-destroyer forces would drive the Americans from

 

 the Leyte beachhead.

The fourth force, consisting of aircraft carriers and two old hybrid carrier-battleships, would be used as a decoy to draw

 

 ADM Halsey’s

 

Third Fleet northward,

 

 away from Leyte.

During this stage of the war, due to fuel shortages, the majority of these warships were stationed at two widely dispersed locations. Located in the Japanese homeland at

 

 Kure Naval Base in the Inland Sea

were the Mobile Fleet’s remaining aircraft carriers. Far to the south at

 

Lingga  island Roads,

near Singapore, were the major surface combatants.
Four Japanese surface forces participated in SHO-GO, including every type of ship in their inventory. Three surface battleship-cruiser-destroyer forces would drive the Americans from the Leyte beachhead.

The fourth force, consisting of aircraft carriers and two old hybrid carrier-battleships, would be used as a decoy to draw ADM Halsey’s Third Fleet northward, away from Leyte.

During this stage of the war, due to fuel shortages, the majority of these warships were stationed at two widely dispersed locations. Located in the Japanese homeland at Kure Naval Base in the Inland Sea were the Mobile Fleet’s remaining aircraft carriers. Far to the south at Lingga Roads, near Singapore, were the major surface combatants.

 

 

 

The Northern Force was led by VADM Jisaburō Ozawa. He was considered the most talented Japanese Naval Officer remaining in the fleet. Originally, he was scheduled to attack from the north with Japan’s remaining carrier forces. After the “Great Marianas Turkey Shoot” in June 1944, the Mobil Fleet’s total carrier aircraft strength was depleted to just over one hundred aircraft. Thus Japan had large fleet carriers remaining in her fleet, she just didn’t have the aircraft or trained pilots to man them. It was then decided the force VADM Ozawa would take to Leyte would be used as a decoy to draw the American Third Fleet north. The decoy force consisted of:

SeeI.J.N. Warship Pronunciation (opens in new window)

  • Carrier Division THREE’s (VADM Ozawa)  29,000 ton large carrier and flagship ZUIKAKU (RADM T. Kaizuka). She was a veteran of the Pearl Harbor attack and nearly every other major Japanese campaign including the Battle of the Philippine Sea, where she was damaged.

To make his decoy force a more tempting target, three light carriers, ZUIHŌ (CAPT K. Sigiura), CHITOSE (CAPT Y. Kishi), and CHIYODA (CAPT E. Zyo) were included:

  • ZUIHŌ, 14,000 tons, was a veteran of the original Philippine invasion. She also served at Midway, the Aleutians, Santa Cruz (where she was damaged), and the Battle of the Philippine Sea. Prior to the Battle of Leyte Gulf her anti-aircraft armament was increased to sixty-eight 25mm guns.
  • Two 13,600 ton sister carriers completed the bait. CHITOSE and CHIYODA, originally completed as seaplane carriers, were refitted as light carriers in 1943 and 1944 respectively. Both served in the Battle of the Philippine Sea and were capable of operating 30 aircraft apiece.


Under normal circumstances these four carriers would carry a total of 174 aircraft; but these were anything but normal circumstances. During the slaughter of the Marianas campaign, and most recently, the highly successful American strikes on Formosa, VADM Ozawa’s total carrier aircraft strength was only one-hundred and eight aircraft. As if this was not bad enough, the majority of the remaining pilots were inadequately trained for carrier landings and once launched, they were not expected to return to their carriers successfully.

The big guns of the Northern Force were laid in the hands of two hybrid battleship-carriers in Carrier Division FOUR (RADM Chiaki Matsuda):

    • Originally built in 1915-1818, ISE (RADM N. Nakase) and HYŪGA (RADM T. Nomura) were later modified twice. After their defeat at Midway which cumulated in the loss of four fleet carriers, the Japanese had removed the after turrets on ISE and HYŪGA and replaced them with make-shift flight decks. This, their last major modification, reduced their main armament from twelve to eight 14-inch, 45 caliber guns. This drastic alteration never realized its full intended potential as the seaplanes they were intended to carry were never made available. Now, going to sea planeless, this wastefulness seemed more apparent than ever. Of special note was the installation of one hundred-eighty 5-inch rocket launchers placed in six thirty-rocket boxes placed near their stern.

 

U.S. Archives Photograph

Vice Admiral Jisaburō Ozawa, IJN
Commander, Northern Force

Northern Force VADM Ozawa

Fleet carrier ZUIKAKU
Light carriers CHITOSE
CHIYODA
ZUIHŌ
Battleships HYŪGA
ISE
Light cruisers ŌYODO
TAMA
ISUZU
Destroyers SHIMOTSUKI
HATSUTSUKI
WAKATSUKI
AKISUKI
FUYUTSUKI
SUZUTSUKI
KUWA
MAKI
SUGI
KIRI
The decoy force. 
 

U.S. Archives Photograph

Vice Admiral Jisaburō Ozawa, IJN
Commander, Northern Force

       

Escorting the carriers and battleships were

 

the light cruisers ŌYODO,

 

TAMA,

and

 

ISUZU.

All three ships were capable of speeds up to 36 knots.

  • Completed at Kure Dock Yard on April 28, 1943, ŌYODO was the largest and most capable of the three. She displaced nearly 11,500 tons fully loaded and carried an impressive main armament of six 6-inch, 60 caliber guns.
  • ISUZU was half ŌYODO‘s size at 5,570 tons and was completed in 1923. After completing modification in 1933, she was finally rearmed as an anti-aircraft cruiser and flagship for anti-submarine groups in 1944.
  • The eldest of the lot was TAMA. Completed in 1921, by July 1944 she was armed with five 5-inch, 50 caliber guns, two 5-inch AA guns, forty-four 45mm AA guns, and six 13mm machine guns.

The screening ships of the Northern Force consisted of

 six AKIZUJI Class 3,700 ton destroyers.

 

AKIZUKI,

 

SUZUTSUKI,

 

 

HATSUTSUKI,

 

WAKATSUKI,

 

SHIMOTSUKI,

 

and FUYUTSUKI

were all built from 1940 onward. They were highly impressive ships boasting eight 3.9-inch, 65 caliber DP guns, four 25mm AA guns, 72 depth charges, and four 24-inch torpedo tubes. Originally planned as AA cruisers they were completed as destroyers with torpedo armament.

 

Four Japanese lighter warships of

 

the MATSU Class completed the decoy force.

  • KUWA, MAKI, KIRI, and SUGI were all completed within one month of each other in July-August 1944. Built as destroyer escorts they were equipped with Type 31 radar, three 5-inch, 40 caliber AA guns, twenty-four 25mm AA guns, 36 depth charges, and four 24-inch torpedo tubes.

The Northern Force, an impressive array of Japan’s few remaining warships, would be the sacrificial lamb, laid on a plate for the Americans to consume. In order for SHO-GO to work, this force would have to draw ADM Halsey’s Third Fleet north, away from the Leyte invasion beach. The Japanese striking forces would then have a chance to rush in behind Third Fleet and disrupt the invasion. If VADM Ozawa’s force could achieve this goal his mission would be considered successful.

The strike on the American Leyte invasion force would come from the three remaining forces of the Japanese Combined Fleet.

The most powerful group, the formidable First Strike Force “A” and “B”, was comprised of thirty-two front-line warships. From their training location near Singapore these two groups would transit together to Leyte Gulf via

 

the Sibuyan Sea

 

 and San Bernardino Strait.

 

This route was the long way around and would take a considerable amount of time and consume a large amount of precious fuel oil.

In addition, they would have to rely upon friendly air cover if their sortie was to be successful. Upon reaching the Philippine Sea, First Strike Force was to sweep down the east coast of Samar from the north and attack the invasion beach and shipping. Any American warships encountered along the way were to be destroyed.

 

 National Archives Photograph

“Opponent at Samar”


Vice Admiral Takeo Kurita, IJN

Commander First Strike Force “A” and “B”
Later designated as “Centre Force”

 

Admiral Toyoda,

 

Commander of the Combined Fleet, placed his trust in seasoned warrior VADM Takeo Kurita to command First Strike Force. Under his experienced guidance, First Strike Force was to lead the Japanese Navy back on the road to victory. Late in the war, he was second in ability only to VADM Ozawa as a tactician. He had under his command five battleships in two divisions:

  • Battleship Division (BATDIV) One’s YAMATO and MUSASHI, 71,000 ton giants, with nine 18.1-inch, 45 caliber guns apiece, were the center pieces of First Strike Force. Recognized as the largest and most powerful battleships in the world, their 150,000 shaft-horse-power could propel them through the water at a speed of 27 knots.
  • Their division mate NAGATO, 43,581 tons, had eight 16-inch, 45 caliber guns, and a top speed of nearly 25 knots. Although she was over twenty years old, she was fully capable of causing mass destruction if let loose among the American transports in Leyte Gulf.
  • Slightly smaller were Battleship Division (BATDIV) Three’s 32,000 ton KONGŌ and HARUNA, each carrying eight 14-inch, 45 caliber guns. They were the most “Japanese” looking battleships in the fleet, sporting the oriental-style pagoda masts, from which the battle bridge and lookout posts were situated. Laid down in 1911 and 1912 respectively, they were both rebuilt twice and each carried an impressive secondary armament of fourteen 6-inch, 50 caliber guns, later reduced to eight. This reconstruction added an additional 4,000 tons to their overall weight. Both were capable of speeds approaching 30 knots.

First Strike Force “A” VADM Kurita

Battleships YAMATO
MUSASHI
NAGATO
Heavy cruisers ATAGO
TAKAO
CHŌKAI
MAYA
MYŌKŌ
HAGURO
Light cruiser NOSHIRO
Destroyers Ten ships

First Strike Force “B” VADM Kurita

Battleships KONGŌ
HARUNA
Heavy cruisers KUMANO
SUZUYA
CHIKUMA
TONE
Light cruiser YAHAGI
Destroyers Five ships
Later designated as Centre Force


Though the Americans held the advantage in the total number of ships during the Battle of Leyte Gulf, the Japanese advantage was in their well-seasoned group of heavy cruisers. Cruiser Divisions (CRUDIV) Five and Seven, all veterans of the Pacific war, consisted of ten front-line warships. They constituted the fastest striking power of First Strike Force; each of these magnificent ships weighing in at 13,000 to nearly 15,000 tons. Coupled with their capable speeds well in excess of 30 knots, their main armament of eight to ten 203mm, 8-inch guns had destroyed many American warships through the Pacific war:

  • NACHI Class heavy cruisers MYŌKŌ and HAGURO displaced 14,980 tons, both being built between 1924 and 1929. Modernized from 1939 to 1941 they carried ten 8-inch, 50 caliber guns, eight, 127mm (5-inch), 40 caliber DP guns, AA guns, torpedoes, and 3 aircraft.
  • ATAGO Class heavy cruisers TAKAO, ATAGO, MAYA, and CHŌKAI were the backbone of the fleet. They were a modified MYOKO design, completed in 1932 and modernized in 1938/1939/1941. Originally displacing 12,986 tons, after modernization they weighed 15,781 tons fully loaded. Each ship carried ten 8-inch, 203mm, 50 caliber guns placed in five turrets in a three-forward low-high-low, two-aft, high-low configuration. This class was known for its impressive, almost battleship-like, large bridge structure.
  • The MOGAMI Class heavy cruisers SUZUYA and KUMANO were the last two ships built in their class, both completed on October 31, 1937. Weighing in at 13,887 tons they were capable of sustained cruising at 35 knots. Originally armed with only torpedo tubes, in 1939/1940 they were rearmed as heavy cruisers with ten 8-inch, 203mm, 50 caliber guns, significantly increasing their firepower.
  • TONE Class cruisers TONE and CHIKUMA were designed originally as MOGAMI Class light cruisers. Each had eight 8-inch, 203mm, 50 caliber guns in four turrets forward in a low, high, low, low configuration. Aft, they were able to accommodate five aircraft, as they were designated as float plane-carriers, intended to operate with carrier task forces, providing long-range air scouting.

Destroyer Squadron’s (DESRON) Two and Ten, each led by one light cruiser, boasted 15 capable destroyers, all armed with the dreaded long-lance torpedo.

  • AGANO Class light cruisers NOSHIRO and YAHAGI were both completed in 1943 and were armed with six 6-inch, 50 caliber guns. Secondary armament consisted of AA batteries, torpedo tubes, and two float planes.
  • Destroyer Squadron Ten’s five KAGERŌ Class destroyers URAKAZE, ISOKAZE, YUKIKAZE, HAMAKAZE, were all completed in 1940, except NOWAKI, completed in 1941. They displaced 2,490 tons and at the time of Leyte Gulf each carried four 5-inch, 50 caliber DP guns, fourteen 25mm AA guns, 36 depth charges, and four 13mm machine guns. Their most potent weapon were their eight 24-inch torpedo tubes.
  • Destroyer Squadron Two boasted nine destroyers of the YŪGUMO Class. These included NAGANAMI, FUJINAMI, KISHINAMI, OKINAMI, HAMANAMI, ASASHIMO, KIYOSHIMO, HAYASHIMO, and AKISHIMO. These were possibly the best destroyers remaining in the fleet and could maintain 35 knots. Their standard armament was two 5-inch, 50 caliber DP guns, two 5-inch, 40 caliber guns, twelve 25mm AA guns, eight 24-inch torpedo tubes, and 36 depth charges.

DESRON Two’s remaining destroyer was of the one-of-a-kind SHIMAKAZE, sole ship of her Class. She was armed to the teeth with six 5-inch, 50 caliber guns, twenty-eight 25mm AA guns, four 13mm machine guns, eighteen depth charges, and fifteen 24-inch torpedo tubes.

Aiding VADM Kurita was Strike Force “C,” commanded by VADM Shoji Nishimura. His force was directed to attack the American invasion fleet from the south of Leyte via Surigao Strait. With First Strike Force, they would meet up in Leyte Gulf, close the pincher, and shoot up the transport ships and shell the troops on the beachhead.

 

Vice Admiral Nishimura had at his disposal the old battleships’ YAMASHIRO and FUSŌ:

  • Both 40,000 ton battleships were completed during World War I. Designed as “super-dreadnoughts”, each mounted twelve 14-inch, 45 caliber guns in six turrets and fourteen 6-inch, 50 caliber guns in single turrets. In 1930/1935 both were given a pagoda-style mast, new machinery, and boilers enabling them to average about 25 knots.
  • The most capable ship in the Southern Force Van was the heavy cruiser MOGAMI. Lead ship in her class, she had to be rebuilt less than one year after her completion because of design flaws. Severely damaged at Midway, she was rebuilt as a seaplane-carrier cruiser with six 8-inch, 203mm, 50 caliber guns forward in a low, low, high configuration and a seaplane deck aft, able to accommodate eleven aircraft.

 Four destroyers completed the Southern Force Van:

  • Three 2,370 ton ASASHIO Class ships MICHISHIO, YAMAGUMO, and ASAGUMO were completed in 1937/1938. Each carried six 5-inch, 50 caliber DP guns, and by 1944 each had eighteen to twenty-four 35mm AA guns, and four 13mm machine guns. In addition to their depth charges, they all carried eight 24-inch torpedo tubes.
  • SHIGURE was a SHIRATSUYU Class destroyer, the first destroyers armed with quadruple torpedo tubes. She displaced 1,980 tons and was armed with five 5-inch, 50 caliber guns, two 13mm AA guns, and 16 depth charges. She had the reputation as a “lucky” ship, being able to survive each battle she entered.

 

 National Archives Photograph

Vice Admiral Shoji Nishimura, IJN
Commander, Southern Force Van

Strike Force “C” VADM Nishimura

Battleships YAMASHIRO
FUSŌ
Heavy cruiser MOGAMI
Destroyers YAMAGUMO
ASAGUMO
MICHISHIO
SHIGURE
Later designated as Southern Force Van 
 

 National Archives Photograph

Vice Admiral Shoji Nishimura, IJN
Commander, Southern Force Van

       


The last leg of the Japanese pincher that was also planned to storm into Leyte Gulf was a cruiser-destroyer force led by VADM Kiyohide Shima. This force was designated as the Second Striking Force by the Japanese GHQ.

The firepower of Second Striking Force came from its two 8-inch gun heavy cruisers:
  • NACHI and ASHIGARA. Both were modern, battle-tested ships displacing 14,980 tons each, fairly larger than their American counterparts. Built between 1924 and 1929 they were modernized from 1939 to 1941, maintaining their impressive armament of ten 8-inch, 50 caliber guns in five turrets. They also operated 610mm torpedo tubes and three aircraft.

Light cruiser ABUKUMA, was a Pearl Harbor veteran.

  • ABUKUMA, completed in 1925, was given a new bow in 1930 after a collision in Tokyo Bay. In 1943 her armament was altered to five 5-inch, 50 caliber DP guns, twenty-two 25mm AA guns, two 13mm machine guns, and twenty-four 24-inch torpedo tubes.

Four supporting destroyers completed the force.

  • Two, of the FUBUKI Class, AKEBONO and USHIO, were completed in 1931. After many modifications they were 2,427 ton ships with four 5-inch, 50 caliber DP guns, twenty-two 25mm AA guns, ten 13mm machine guns, and thirty-six depth charges.
  • KASUMI was completed in 1939. One of ten ships of the ASASHIO Class, three of her sister ships served in the Southern Force Van.
  • SHIRANU was a KAGERŌ Class destroyer. Five of her sister ships served in Destroyer Squadron Ten, under VADM Kurita’s First Strike Force.

These ships had sailed from the Inland Sea earlier in the month and, on October 21, were located in Coron Bay on Mindoro Island.

Vice Admiral Shima had not been included in the SHO-GO planning initially. Now, as a last-minute ploy, his forces were directed to “cooperate” with those of VADM Kurita’s. In addition, he was also directed to “cooperate” with VADM Nishimura’s Striking Force “C.” This poor, last minute planning by the Staff at General Headquarters in Tokyo only complicated matters. Not only did the plan suffer from poor organization, but a personal conflict also existed.  

National Archive Photograph

Vice Admiral Kiyohide Shima, IJN
Commander, Southern Force Rear 

 

National Archive Photograph

Vice Admiral Kiyohide Shima, IJN
Commander, Southern Force Rear

Second Strike Force VADM Shima

Heavy cruisers NACHI
ASHIGARA
Light cruiser ABUKUMA
Destroyers SHIRANUI
KASUMI
USHIO
AKEBONO
Later designated as Southern Force Rear


Vice Admiral Shima’s six months’ seniority

 

to

 

VADM Nishimura

caused the latter much discontentment. The relationship between the two admirals was anything but cordial.

 Vice Admiral Shima was a political power within the fleet and had thus worked his way up through the rank structure. In contrast, VADM Nishimura was a salty “sailor’s admiral,” gaining his flag rank through the command of sea-going ships and squadrons. As it turned out, due to their personal differences or stubborn pride, the coordination of their attack would be non-existent.

The General Headquarters staff’s decision to attack during daylight did not sit favorably with

 

VADM Kurita

and his senior officers. They had trained for months for a night engagement, a tactic the Japanese Navy had developed a great proficiency in. They knew they stood no chance of victory during a daylight engagement with the Americans with their overwhelming superiority in carrier aircraft.

So great was their distaste for a daylight engagement, VADM Kurita felt a few words of encouragement were needed; here are his words: l.”

 

 

On December 8, 1941

Han Samethini was conscripted into

the KNIL 6th Infantry Battalion in Balikpapan in 1941

 

KNIL ID Card

This was the core unit of the town’s 1,100 man garrison

 

.Balikpapan  BPM management

 

 

 

hurriedly arranged evacuation of the employees’ families to Java.

Embracing Anna and Margie one last time before they departed, Han could only hope they would be safe at his mother’s house in Surabaya.

Certainly there was no better place to send them. Java was the redoubt, the home territory, to be stoutly defended even if all the other islands fell to the enemy.

From across the Far East came reports of Japanese attacks, Japanese advances, Japanese victories.

 

Early on the morning of 8 December the U.S. forces in the Philippines

were notified that a state of war existed and a full war alert was ordered. On the same day the first Japanese aerial attack on the Philippines took place. This was followed by others and on 10 December enemy landings were made on Luzon.

 

 Before dawn on December 8,

 

Japanese  had bombed Singapore

 

 

Japanese soldiers parading through Singapore, 1942

 

 

 

Bombing of Singapore. 8 Dec 1941. The Japanese

and

Japanese landed troops

 

 in Malaya.

 

At midday, Japanese warplanes struck the Philippines, smashing half of the American air force on the ground.

 

Japanese Infantry utilizing the 70 mm gun in Urban Combat, Hong Kong 1941

 

 

 

On 8 December,1941

he launched an invasion of Malaya, from bases in French Indochina.

 

 December 10th,1941

Bangkok was taken by Japanese on the 9th.

On December 10,

 

 

CAVITE NAVY YARD,

Luzon, during a Japanese aerial nii.uk. Early on <he morning ol H December H) I i Uic Japanese struck the rJiilippme Islands. By tlie end of the first day the U.S. Army Air Torres had lost half of its bombers and a ‘bird of its fighter planes h.tsrd ilierc. During the morning of 10 December practically the entire Navy yard at Cavite was destroyed by enemy bombers. The first Japanese landings on Luzon also look place

 on 10 December.

after the Japanese bombing raid of 10 December.1941

After the destruction of the Navy yards at Cavite, the remaining II naval patrol bombers were flown to the Netherlands East Indies, The ground forces were left with little or no air support. The Japanese, having control of the air over the Philippines, began to mass their troops for the capture of the islands.

 

 

MEDIUM BOMBERS, B-18’S (top) and pursuit planes, P-36’s (bottom) of the U.S. Far East Army Air Force attack infantry troops during 1941 maneuvers in the Philippines. When the Japanese attacked the Philippine Islands the United States had some 300 aircraft in the Far East Air Force, but of these only 125 were suitable for combat. The 300 planes represented over 10 percent of the total U.S. air strength at this time. The pilots and crews were well trained and lacked only combat experience.

 

JAPANESE ADVANCING during the drive on Manila. The medium tank is a Type 94 (1934) , with a 57-mm. gun with a free traverse of 20 degrees right and left. It had a speed of 18 to 20 miles an hour, was manned by a crew of 4, weighed 15 tons, and was powered by a diesel engine.

 

CAMOUFLAGED 155-MM. GUN M1918 (GPF) parked on the Gerona-Tarlac road, December 1941.

The Japanese forces moved down Luzon forcing the defending U.S. troops to withdraw to the south. On 30 December a large-scale attack was launched and the U.S. troops were driven back ten miles to Gapan. After another enemy attack they fell back twenty miles farther. A secondary enemy attack at Tarlac failed to achieve important gains. The northern U.S. force protected the withdrawal of the southern force by a delaying action. All troops were beginning to converge in the vicinity of Manila and the Bataan Peninsula.

When

 

 General MacArthur

 

 told Marshall on 10 December that what Japan feared most was Soviet entry into the war, he emphasized a fact well understood in Washington.

 That did not mean, however, that military authorities were unanimously in favor of Soviet participation.

 

Admiral Stark,

 for example, seriously questioned the advisability of such a move because of the effect it would have on the war in Europe.

 

 General Marshall

agreed fully that any move that would weaken Soviet resistance on the eastern front would be disastrous to the Allied cause.

 But it was undeniable, he pointed out, that a Soviet attack against Japan would improve America’s position in the Pacific. The fact that Japan had not attacked the Maritime Provinces seemed to him significant. “If immediate fighting in the Manchukuo front is disadvantageous to Japan,” Marshall declared, “it is, for that reason, immediately advantageous to us.

and had sought to make the necessary arrangements with the Soviet Union. These efforts had been unsuccessful, but as late as November 1941, General Marshall was still optimistic and confided to a group of newsmen that “arrangements are being made to provide landing fields for flying fortresses in Vladivostok” and that the Philippine-based B-17’s would shuttle between Clark Field and Vladivostok in the event of war, dropping their bombs en route on the “paper cities of Japan.”2

The Pearl Harbor attack gave impetus to the efforts to complete arrangements with the Soviet Union for American use of the Maritime Provinces.

 On the day after the attack

 

Secretary Hull

sounded out

 

 Maxim Litvinov, the Soviet Ambassador,

 on this question and Marshall raised it in military conference. But Litvinov, on instructions from his government, quickly put an end to such hopes.

To

 

the President Rosevelt ,

 during a visit to the White House, and to Mr. Hull later, he made it perfectly clear that the USSR would have to maintain a neutral position in the Far East.

His country,

 

Litvinov explained,

 was too heavily committed in the war against Germany and “could not risk an attack by Japan.”3

 

Stalin’s

reluctance to engage in discussions dealing with the Far East was in marked contrast

 to

 

 Chiang Kai-shek’s eagerness for concerted action.

 China had not been included in the prewar discussions of strategy and no plans had been made for the use of Chinese bases or troops in the event of war with Japan.

The first suggestion that China become an active partner in such a war came from Chiang who, when he heard of the Pearl Harbor attack, summoned the American and Soviet ambassadors and told them of his hopes for a military alliance of all the anti-Axis nations under American leadership.

This thought the Ambassadors passed on to their governments, but it was not until the 11th that

 

 the Generalissimo

 formally proposed such an alliance, as well as the preparation of comprehensive plans for concerted action against Japan and the formation of a military mission headed by an American, with headquarters at Chungking.4

In Washington, the desirability of international military collaboration was fully recognized and plans for a meeting were already being made. Chiang’s suggestions, therefore, though they were not entirely in accord with American views, were readily accepted by Roosevelt, but with the proviso that several conferences, not one, be held to co-ordinate the efforts of the Allies.

 All together there would be three: one in Chungking, one in Singapore, and one in Moscow, and invitations went out immediately.

 Chiang quickly agreed, as did the British, who were scheduled to meet separately with the Americans in Washington later in the month.

 But Stalin asked that his country not be pressed into any action against Japan, and Roosevelt’s invitation for a meeting in Moscow trailed off in a series of inconclusive messages.5

Preparations for the other two meetings, to be held concurrently and to consider ways to halt the Japanese, were quickly completed. Representing the United States at Chungking would be Generals Brett, then in India, and Magruder, head of the mission to China. Lt. Col. Francis G. Brink, military observer in Singapore and an old hand in the Far East, would attend the meeting there. The results of these conferences, Roosevelt stipulated, were to be forwarded to Washington by 20 December so that they could be used in the forthcoming meeting with Churchill and the British Chiefs of Staff, scheduled for 22 December.

 

1(US Army In WW II)

But participation by the Soviet Union in the war against Japan was not the only way that nation could aid the Allied cause in the Far East. In the Maritime Provinces were bases that lay within bombing distance of the industrial heart of Japan. In the hands of American forces, these bases would constitute a formidable threat to the Japanese enemy. The possibility that the Soviet Union would allow the United States to base its forces in the Maritime Provinces was a specter that haunted the Japanese and was always a factor in their planning. The Americans had considered this possibility in their prewar plans and estimates,

December,13th.1941

At 1300 on 13 December 1941,

the Japanese invasion convoy left Cam Ranh Bay, Indo-China, with an escort of cruiser Yura (Rear-Admiral Shintaro Hashimoto) with the destroyers of the 12th Destroyer Division, Murakumo, Shinonome, Shirakumo and Usugumo, submarine-chaser Ch 7 and the aircraft depot ship Kamikawa Maru and 10 transport ships carried the Japanese 35th Infantry Brigade HQ under the command of Major-General Kiyotake Kawaguchi (known as Kawaguchi Detachment), 124th Infantry Regiment from the Japanese 18th Division, 2nd Yokosuka Naval Landing Force plus the 4th Naval Construction Unit.

 

 

On 14 December1941

 the remaining fourteen U.S. Army bombers were flown to Port Darwin, Australia, and the ships that were undamaged after the attack were moved south.

 

RESIDENTS OF CAVITE evacuating the city

 

the Malaya and Borneo operations northeast of Natoma Island from 15 to 17 December 1942

The Support Force consisted of

 

Rear-Admiral Takeo Kurita

With

 

 the cruisers Kumano

 and

 

 Suzuya

 

and the destroyers Fubuki

and

 

Sagiri.

 

Distant cover for the Malaya and Borneo

 

operations northeast of Natuma Island from 15 to 17 December 1942

 is provided by

 

 

Vice-Admiral Nobutake Kondo

with

 

the heavy cruisers Atago

and

 

Takao,

 

the battleships Haruna

and

 

 Kongo and

 

 the destroyers Ikazuchi,

 

 Inazuma,

 

Asashio,

 

 Oshio,

 

 Michishio

and Arashio. To protect westwards,

 

the Japanese submarines I-62, I-64, I-65 and I-66 are stationed in the passage between Natuma Island and northwest Borneo.

The convoy at first proceeded toward the southwest but, during the night, it changed course to the southeast and made directly for Miri.

About this time the Left Flank Unit aboard IJN

 

transport ship Hiyoshi Maru separated from the main body and proceeded toward Seria. The Japanese invasion plan called for a landing to be made at

 

 

Miri city centre

Miri

 

and Serian

 

to capture the oil fields.

A large force would then be left behind to initiate repairs to these oil facilities, while the rest of the force would then make their way to capture

 

 Kuching

 

 

 

 

 

and

 

 

 

its nearby airfield.

(Dr Iwan ever visit Kuching,Serian,Miri,Brunei,Labuan Island and Kota Kinibalu(before North Borneo) read the adventure of Dr Iwan)

Japanese destroyer Fubuki.
The destroyer took part in the British Borneo Operation, December 1941, as part of Support Force
.

 

(2)Japanese aircraft sank

 

the HMS Repulse and

 

Prince of Wales,

eliminating the only Allied capital ships in the region.

The invasion of Luzon commenced the same day. In both Malaya and the Philippines, Japan’s tough, superbly trained armies quickly overcame forward defenses and swept south towards Singapore and Manila. Hong Kong surrendered on Christmas Day.

 

Japanese infantry storms ashore in the Natuna Islands, west of Borneo
Photo Source: The Dutch East Indies Campaign

 

The Japanese offensive in Malaya and the Dutch East Indies
(Click map to enlarge)

 

 

Map of Borneo with arrows indicating the locations of Tarakan, Samarinda, and Balikpapan
(Click map to enlarge)

Following their rapid thrusts against the British and the Americans, the Japanese launched a great, three-pronged offensive against the Netherlands East Indies. The invasion of Borneo began on the night of

December 16th/1941

 

1st Lieutenant J.G.M. Nass (Korps Mariniers) in conversation
with an Indonesian native, Java Island, late 1941
Copyright © Mariniers Museum Rotterdam & Felix Bakker

 

December,17th,1941

 

When the Chungking Conference convened on 17 December

 

 Neither

 

 Lt. Gen. Sir Archibald Wavell, the British delegate, nor

 

let. Gen.Brett was present. Nevertheless the Generalissimo took the opportunity to present his plans for the formation of an Allied general staff at Chungking, and for the prosecution of the war against Japan.

 On the 22d,December,1941

 

Let.Gen.Brett, who had just received orders to go to Australia and take command of U.S. Army forces there, arrived with Wavell and the conversations with the Chinese began in earnest. Brett’s instructions from Washington were to join with the others in seeking ways to take advantage of Japan’s “present over-extension” — MacArthur’s thesis — and to reassure the Chinese that the United States was not abandoning the Philippines or its partners in Asia.

 After considerable discussion, a plan that placed control in Washington and called for only limited operations in Asia was evolved by the delegates and sent to Washington.

The Generalissimo thought it unsatisfactory and sent his own. Neither contained any concrete suggestions on command or logistics, two problems that would plague the Allies in China for the next three years. The conference ended on the 23d, having produced, one of the planners wrote, “very little in the way of concrete results.”6

December 18-20 th 1942

The Singapore Conference (18-20 December),

 though it produced no plan to halt the Japanese drive, was more fruitful, for from it came the first concrete proposal for

 

an Allied command in the Southwest Pacific.

 

 Colonel Brink’s instructions were to present MacArthur’s views on Far East strategy, which General Marshall summarized for him as follows:

American, Australian, and Dutch air and naval forces should cooperate to keep open line of communications from Australia to Philippines.

 Successful defense of Philippines considered essential to maintenance of Allied defensive structure in the Western Pacific.

Plans for immediate Philippine reinforcement definitely dependent for success upon establishment of air traffic between Philippines and bases south. Every effort should be made to supplement air supply by re-establishment of limited sea communications between Australia and Philippines.

These views, Marshall added “are generally concurred in by the President.” At the same time he informed MacArthur of the forthcoming meetings and of his instructions to the American delegates, adding the suggestion that he correspond directly with them “if practicable from the viewpoint of secrecy.”7

With these instructions and with the additional statement from MacArthur and Hart, couched in MacArthurian language, that “the Far East area is now the dominant locus of the war,

” Colonel Brink presented to the Singapore conferees 1941

 the American view of the importance of the Philippines and the necessity for keeping open the lines of communication. But the British view of the importance of Singapore predominated.

The report of the conferees, therefore, while it called for large reinforcements to the Southwest Pacific and adopted all of MacArthur’s suggestions for the protection of the air and sea lanes between Malaya and the Philippines, gave second place to the defense of the Philippines.

Japanese conquest of Singapore, the conferees thought, would be a disaster of the first order. Not only would it make certain the loss of the Netherlands Indies with is vast resources in oil and rubber, but it would also place the enemy in position to isolate Australia and New Zealand and to separate the British and American fleets in the Far East.

The importance of the Philippines was limited, in the report of the Singapore Conference, to its use “as an advanced and flanking base for offensive action against Japanese lines of communication.”8

The most important result of the Singapore meeting was the proposal made by Brink for a unified command.

The conference, he told the Chief of Staff, “dearly indicated the need for one supreme head over a combined allied staff” to co-ordinate the efforts of the American, British, Australian, and Dutch forces in the area and to make plans for the future. The “unofficial opinions” of the conferees, he added, indicated that the appointment of an American familiar with the Pacific area to this post “would not only be acceptable but desirable.”

 If such an appointment were made and a headquarters established, Brink suggested that it be located in Java. But he did not fail to point out that the majority of the delegates believed the major base of Allied operations in the Southwest Pacific should be in Australia, with an advance base in the Indies.9

Brink’s suggestion was quickly picked up in Washington. In the Army War Plans Division, where it went first for comment, the idea of a unified command in the Far East was described as “an absolute essential for the successful prosecution of the war effort in this theater,” and a matter that ought to be discussed with the British. Action in the division ended with the note, “This matter is being considered by the Chief of Staff. It has been discussed at the White House.”10

December,22th.1942

Preparations for the other two meetings, to be held concurrently and to consider ways to halt the Japanese, were quickly completed. Representing the United States at Chungking would be Generals Brett, then in India, and Magruder, head of the mission to China.

Lt. Col. Francis G. Brink, military observer in Singapore and an old hand in the Far East, would attend the meeting there.

 The results of these conferences, Roosevelt stipulated, were to be forwarded to Washington by 20 December so that they could be used in the forthcoming meeting with Churchill and the British Chiefs of Staff, scheduled for 22 December.

This meeting, which lasted

from 22 December 1941 to 14 January 1942

By the time the reports of the Singapore and Chungking Conferences reached the War Department, Churchill and his Chiefs of Staff had arrived in Washington for the first of the many wartime conferences which marked the most successful military alliance in the history of warfare.

 

 

This meeting, which lasted from 22 December 1941 to 14 January 1942 and is known by the code name ARCADIA,

 was in many respects the most important of the conferences held during the war. It established an organization for the conduct of coalition warfare that survived all the stresses and strains of conflicting national interests; reaffirmed the basic decision to make the major effort in Europe at a time when the American people had not yet recovered from the shock of Pearl Harbor and when disaster threatened in the Pacific and Asia; established the first Allied command of the war; and laid down a broad program for the future as well as a plan for immediate action.11

 

The divergence between British and American views, which had been plainly evident at the ABC meetings early in 1941, was again apparent at the ARCADIA conference. The Americans believed that their national interests would best be served and the security of the United States best assured by the early defeat of Germany and Japan. This objective they put ahead of all others and made the measuring rod for every problem put before them. The British, too, sought the early defeat of the enemy, but they differed with the Americans on how to do it. Further, their national interests encompassed the security and future of a far-flung empire with its long lines of communication.

Their task was more complex than that of the Americans and their path to victory more circuitous. For them, the Middle East, Singapore, Malaya, Australia, India — all held an importance the Americans could not grant on purely military grounds. The British pressed hard for the allocation of Allied resources to the defense of these positions, not only at ARCADIA but at the conferences that followed, while the Americans pushed single-mindedly for those operations that would bring about the defeat of the enemy. But determination to agree and good will on both sides overcame all differences.

About one thing, the major objective of Allied strategy, there was no disagreement. The principals subscribed to a basic statement of war aims that served as the strategic objective for the year 1942 and the basis for the division of the resources of the two nations. “Much has happened since February last,” the conferees noted, “but notwithstanding the entry of Japan into the War, our view remains that Germany is still the prime enemy. and her defeat is the key to victory.

Once Germany is defeated the collapse of Italy and the defeat of Japan must follow.”12 It was agreed therefore, as “a cardinal principle” of American and British strategy, “that only the minimum of force necessary for the safeguarding of vital interests in other theater should be diverted from operations against Germany.”

In terms of the existing situation, this “cardinal principle” meant that the production of armaments would have to be stepped up; that essential positions would have to be defended; that the vital lines of communication would have to be held; and that, by a combination of bombing, blockade, and propaganda, German resistance would have to be reduced so that the Allies could land on the Continent in 1943.

But the principle of minimum force in the Pacific was one that could be interpreted variously and usually was, depending on the situation. There were always those who could justify additional forces for the Pacific on the ground that they were required to safeguard vital interests there. This was the Navy’s position, argued forcefully and consistently by Admiral King.

In the Pacific and Far East, the Americans and the British Chiefs of Staff agreed, it would be necessary to maintain the security of Australia, New Zealand, and India; to support China; and to gain “points of vantage” from which an offensive against Japan could “eventually be developed.”

These were long-range objectives; the “immediate object” was to hold Hawaii, Alaska, Singapore, the Malay Barrier, the Philippines, Rangoon, and the route to China.

As a general statement of strategy, the objectives outlined by the U.S. and British Chiefs of Staff had little relevance to the immediate emergency in the Far East where the Japanese were advancing rapidly on every front.

 What was needed was agreement on the apportionment of the resources of both nations to that area, and, specifically, the amount to be assigned each of the vital positions still in Allied hands but defended by a variety of national forces and independent commanders.

 

Both sides were apparently reluctant to enter into detailed discussions of this subject, but they agreed that the planners should study the question of the disposition of the forces in and en route to the Southwest Pacific.

This study, the Chiefs stipulated, should be based on three alternative assumptions; first, that the Allies would hold both the Philippines and Singapore; second, that they would hold Singapore and the Netherlands Indies but lose the Philippines; and third, that they would lose Singapore and the Philippines.

The planners went to work on the problem immediately and quickly produced a report the Chiefs approved on the last day of the year. Recognizing that the forces then in the area could not hold the positions prescribed and that immediate reinforcements would have to be provided, the planners framed the following statement of Allied aims:

 

  1. Hold the Malay Barrier, that is the Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, Java, and the islands stretching eastward to northwest Australia, “as the basic defensive position”; and Burma and Australia “as essential supporting positions.”
  2. Re-establish communications with the Philippines and support the garrison there, while maintaining communications to Burma and Australia and within the Far East area.

 

Appended to the report were lists of the forces already in the theater and scheduled to arrive by 1 February.

These the planners

recommended be deployed “as now arranged,” if the Philippines and Singapore held, If they did not, the reinforcements should be used to defend the Malay Barrier, Burma, and Australia, with American troops being used on the east side of the barrier (Australia), British and Commonwealth forces on the west (Burma and India).

Should the Philippines alone fall to the Japanese — an admission the Americans were not yet willing to make to the British who firmly believed that Singapore would hold — then U.S. reinforcements would be employed along the barrier and the lines of communication to the east.13

By the time this study was approved, the Chiefs of Staff had already decided to set up a unified American command in the Far East. The dangers and disadvantages of command by co-operation had been made abundantly clear by the disaster at Pearl Harbor, and Marshall felt very strongly that unity of command was perhaps even more important than the allocation of resources or the assignment of troops. On the 25th, after he had Brink’s report on the Singapore Conference, he raised the problem with his American and British colleagues. “The matters being settled here,” he told them, “are mere details which will continuously reoccur unless settled in a broader way. . . . I am convinced that there must be one man in command of the entire theater. . . . If we make a plan for unified command now, it will solve nine-tenths of our troubles.”

 

 Without minimizing the difficulties of establishing such a command over the forces of four nations, Marshall believed that it could be done and was willing “to go the limit” to achieve it. “A man with good judgment and unity of command,” he said, “has a distinct advantage over a man with brilliant judgment who must rely on cooperation.” But the consensus of the meeting was not in Marshall’s favor and the subject was dropped after polite comment.14

The next day Mr. Roosevelt, apparently after discussion with Marshall and King, raised the question of a unified command in the Far East at a White House meeting with Churchill and others.

The Prime Minister, like his military advisers, did not favor the idea and there the matter rested for the moment. But neither the President nor General Marshall abandoned their fight and both privately did their utmost to change Churchill’s mind.15

In this they were successful so far as the principle of unified command was concerned but agreement on the officer who would exercise such a command and the limits of his authority was not so easily reached. Oddly enough, the British wanted an American and the Americans favored a British officer

 

motorcyclists of the snlf on guard duty (hong kong 1941)

 

 

AERIAL VIEW OF CORREGIDOR ISLAND off the tip of Bataan.

On 25 December,

 Headquarters, United States Army Forces in the Far East, was established on Corregidor. Manila was declared an open city on the following day and the remains of the naval base at Cavite were blown up to prevent its supplies from falling into enemy hands.

 

 

TANK OBSTACLES AND BARBED WIRE strung to delay the enemy advance on Bataan (top); members of an antitank company in position on Bataan (bottom).

As the Japanese advanced,

the defending forces withdrew toward the Bataan Peninsula. The rugged terrain, protected flanks, and restricted maneuvering room on Bataan limited the enemy’s ability to employ large numbers of troops. Preparations for the defense of the peninsula were intensified and the stocks of supplies were increased.

 

28 December1941

, specifically

 

General Wavell, then Commander-in-Chief, India, for the post.

Finally on 28 December,

 

Churchill

 agreed to the American proposal and Wavell was alerted to his coming appointment. It was decided also that Wavell, when he assumed command, would report to the Combined Chiefs of Staff, then being established, and that his headquarters would be located in Java.

Meanwhile U.S. Army planners had been working on a directive designed

 

 

Universal Carrier captured by Japanese in HONG KONG, Dec.1941

 

 

 

North Borneo,

 

Miri Serawak at the border of Brunei,

 

 

 

 

 

 

Serian serawak.

 

commander of the 2nd Yokosuka Naval Landing Force Lieutenant Colonel Watanabe giving orders to his troops before landing (Borneo, december 1941)

In Malaya

there was no clear demarcation between the first and second phase. There the Japanese, driving in two columns down the east and west coasts of the peninsula, continued to advance without halt.

 

 

troops of the japanese army 5th infantry division landing on a beach in malaya (december 1941)

 

troops of the japanese army 5th infantry division landing on a beach in malaya (december 1941)

The war in British Borneo,

December 1941 – January 1942

The convoy crossed the South China Sea without being sighted, and

at about 2330 on the 15th,

the main body of the convoy arrived at the Miri anchorage, approximately two nautical miles from the shore, while the Hiyoshi Maru arrived at the Seria anchorage at midnight.

Immediately upon reaching the anchorage, both flank units commenced to transfer to landing barges. At first the sea was relatively calm but

about 0100 on the 16th,

the wind velocity increased and the waves grew high. Transfer from ships to barges was extremly difficult until it became impossible to keep the landing barges close to the ships and the units were forced to continue the transfer operation by ship’s crane.

 

commander of the 2nd Yokosuka Naval Landing Force Lieutenant Colonel Watanabe giving orders to his troops before landing (Borneo, december 1941)

 

 Finally between 0510 and 0610

 the Right Flank Unit completed its landing, while the Left Flank Unit landed about 0440. The Right Flank Unit quickly captured the government buildings and the post office at Miri as well as the surrounding district with plantations.

In the meantime, the Left Flank Unit landed on the west coast near Serian and occupied the large copra plantations, the Serian oilfields, and the strategic sector north of Serian to prepare for an attack against Brunei. There was offered very little resistance by the British forces, and during the morning on the 16th, the two units secured the oilfield at Serian and oilfields and airfield at Miri. The main body of the Kawaguchi Detachment found only about 50 members of the police unit defending Miri. They surrendred with very little fighting. Two companies of the 2nd Yokosuka SNLF landed on the coast near Lutong and within two and a half hours captured the important Lutong oil refinery. It then proceeded to occupy and secure the Miri airfield without meeting any resistance.

Part of the Detachment was immediately assigned the mission of restoring the oilfields at Miri and Seria, while, after 17 December, the main body of the Detachment prepared for the next operation – the landing at Kuching. The Japanese troops suffered only 40 casualties between 16 and 23 December, most were drownings as a result of Japanese amphibious operations.

News of the landing did not reach Air Headquarters, Far East,

 until 9 p.m. on the 16th.

Reconnaissance aircraft from Singkawang II were ordered to investigate

at daylight on the December,17th.

 

New Airbase in Singkawang: Ki-43 of the 77th

Singkawang:

 Up and running; an AIR HQ is on it’s way and will unload tommorow, so it will soon be VERY up and running! But I already have planes, 2 Base Forces there

Photo Taken at our New Airbase in Singkawang: Ki-43 of the 77th Sentai:

In the meantime, the word of the invasion had also reached Tarakan Island on the eastern coast of Borneo, where the three Dornier flying boats of Naval Air Group GVT-7 (Marine Luchtvaart Dienst) were immediately prepared for attack. These three aircraft, (with registrations X-32, X-33 and X-34) were Dornier Do-24K’s, capable of carrying a payload of 1,200 kg.

 Japanese attacked in the early morning of December 17th.1941

 The flying boat X-34 (Luitenant ter Zee 3e klasse A. Baarschers) never made it to Miri. He had to made an emergency landing in the jungle, while it was heading for the Japanese invasion fleet near Miri

DECEMBER 17th, 1941:
After the reconnaissance report from 2 Vl.G.I,

Dutch Air Headquarters ordered 1 Vl.G.I, which operated from Samarinda II airbase, to attack the same target.

In the early afternoon

three flights (Flight Commanders Beckman, Butner and Vrijburg) flew to Miri. When they reached the target area, they observed a burning Japanese warship.

 Though the crews thought that this must have been the result of 2 Vl.G.I’s earlier attack, P.C. Boer credits this damaged ship to the Dorniers of Naval Air Group GVT-7, since we already saw that van den Broek’s crews claimed no hits during their first raid.

The first two flights (Beckman and Butner) bombarded the ships with no results (“far from near misses”) but were attacked by Mitsubishi F1M fighters.

One of the crews of the third flight claimed a hit on a Japanese transport but this Glenn was also attacked by F1M floatplanes, one of which was shot down.

The last plane to attack the Japanese fleet was the Glenn Martin of the Flight Commander of the third flight (Vrijburg).No Japanese fighters and AA fire this time, so Vrijburg took his time to drop his two 1000 pounders on a large destroyer.

They could not again find the ship after the attack and claimed it as destroyed, which was not confirmed by Air Headquarters by the way.

 

In late 1941,

 a total of 24 Hurricane Mk IIB´s in crates on route to Singapore for the Royal Air Force were rerouted to Tjililitan (Java) for use by tbe Dutch East Indies Air Force.

DECEMBER 18th, 1941:


Two flights of 2 Vl.G.I (Flight Commanders Theunissen and Cooke) repeated the attack in the early morning of this day. The weather was excellent and so were the bombing results.

The first flight (Theunissen) to attack scored two hits on a large transport which, according to Japanese records, was badly damaged but did not sink.

 Again the Glenn Martins were intercepted by F1M floatplanes but the air gunners shot down one of them. The second flight (Cooke) hit a “cruiser” and the belly gunners of the Glenns observed it as it went down.

Cooke’s flight was also attacked by Japanese fighters and this time the Glenn Martin M571, flown by Lieutenant Groeneveld, was shot down. Groeneveld and his crew bailed out and eventually ended up at Long Nawang (Borneo) where they were executed by Japanese troops in August 1942.

 P.C. Boer credits Cooke’s flight with the sinking of IJN destroyer Shinonome since this attack was made near Lutong (4 24’N – 114 00’0) whereas the Dorniers made their attack near Seria (20 miles north-east of Miri).

The 1 Vl.G.I also tried to attack the Japanese fleet again later that day, but by now the weather conditions had changed completely. Only two planes managed to reach the target area but were unable to locate the ships.

[2] This is the article written by Allan Nevitt “Fleeting Glory: The Fubukis of DesDiv 12” at Nihon Kaigun. There are more errors in this article, in the passages about later operations by this division.

This work was delayed

Dutch naval aircraft attacked the ships at anchor later that day and

again on the 18th December 1941

, but without effect.

 On the 19th December 1941

 the Dutch flying boat X-32 from Tarakan Island


IJN destroyer Shinonome

sank the Japanese destroyer Shinonome (Cdr. Hiroshi Sasagawa)

 of 1,950 tons off Miri, while another flying boat X-33 damaged a transport ship.

The destroyer could not take the pounding and went down with her entire crew of 228 officers and men. Kuching realized that its turn was soon to come and work went on day and night to complete the airfield defences.

.

Read more info

Who sank IJN destroyer Shinonome, December 1941?

 

The IJN destroyer Shinonome (1,950 tons) was a powerful ship, completed in 1927 as one of the Fubuki Class fleet destroyers. At the outbreak of war in the Pacific, she was under command of Commander Hiroshi Sasagawa. His ship had been assigned to Destroyer Division 12 under the command of Commander Nobuki Ogawa, which was initially deployed as escort for the valuable troop transports steaming towards the virtually unprotected shores of the Malaya Peninsula. On December 16, she left Cam Ranh Bay (French Indochina) for Miri, British North Borneo, together with the other two ships of Destroyer Division 12, the IJN destroyers Shirakumo and Murakumo, the light cruiser Yura, the seaplane depot ship Kamikawa Maru, a few sub-chasers and two minesweepers. In addition, a cover force (Rear-Admiral Takeo Kurita) with two heavy cruisers Kumano and Suzuya, a light cruiser Kinu and the destroyer Fubuki were sent out as reinforcement. The invasion fleet reached Miri in the night of 15 and 16 December 1941, where the troops went ashore almost unopposed. The 2,500 men of the Kawaguchi Detachment were able to capture Miri and Lutong without much fighting.

IJN destroyer Shinonome

The next day proved to be far less comfortable for the Japanese invasion force. In the early morning of December 17, 1941 a flight of 2 Vl.G.I, operating from Singkawang II airbase, found several Japanese ships near Miri. That same morning the 1st “Patrouille” (Flight Commander Van den Broek) of 2 Vl.G.I attacked these ships from 4,500 meters but claimed no hits. The crews reported heavy AA fire and two of the Glenn Martin bombers returned slightly damaged [1].

In the meantime, the word of the invasion had also reached Tarakan Island on the eastern coast of Borneo, where the three Dornier flying boats of Naval Air Group GVT-7 (Marine Luchtvaart Dienst) were immediately prepared for attack. These three aircraft, (with registrations X-32, X-33 and X-34) were Dornier Do-24K’s, capable of carrying a payload of 1,200 kg.

 They attacked in the early morning of December 17.

 The flying boat X-34 (Luitenant ter Zee 3e klasse A. Baarschers) never made it to Miri. He had to made an emergency landing in the jungle, while it was heading for the Japanese invasion fleet near Miri.

He later reached, together with two of his crew members, a refugee camp at Long Nawang, only to be massacred there by Japanese troops in August 1942.

The other two flying boats X-33 and X-32 were able to attack the fleet. The X-33 (Officier-Vlieger 2e klasse J.G. Petschi) attacked a Japanese transport ship without succes, while X-32 (Officier-Vlieger 2e klasse B. Sjerp – unit commander) did far better.

He dropped 5 bombs of 200 kg each, scoring two hits on a IJN destroyer Shinonome and a near miss. The latter apparently did most of the damage, as the target was immediately rent by a thunderous explosion, and fires broke out aboard. A few minutes later, when the smoke cleared, the waves closed over the Shinonome, who had disappeared beneath the surface, taking below its captain, Commander Hiroshi Sasagawa, and the entire crew of 228 men.

Dornier Do-24K

After the war, a committee was formed to assess the casualties the Allied naval and airforces had inflicted on the Japanese Navy and merchant navy during the war. They reached a remarkable conclusion regarding Shinonome’s loss. This warship was supposedly sunk by a Dutch mine. Although the author has little doubt about the true cause of the sinking, it is interesting to see how the committee reached this conclusion.

 

 In 1998, an article was posted on the Nihon Kaigun website, narrating the history of Destroyer Division 12 during its short career [2]. The passage about the Shinonome mentions that the Commander of Destroyer Division 12, Commander Nobuki Ogawa, thought she had been lost to a mine or an internal explosion. He nor anyone else had apparently observed the air attack by the flying boats. The Assessment Committee adopted this theory, and never gave other possibilities much thought. There may be a few reasons why the Imperial Japanese Navy thought a mine was responsible:

There were no survivors of IJN destroyer Shinonome to account for her loss.
The stormy weather prevented the Dutch aircraft from being sighted, and therefore caused the confusion.

I put in a few hours of research to try to find out if there were any mines in the vicinity, but I am pretty sure there were none in the area. The Dutch minelayer Prins van Oranje made a sortie to British Borneo to pick up Japanese inhabitants, but there is no record of any mine being laid. The same goes for the British Royal Navy in Singapore, which restricted her operations to the waters of Malaya.


Note This article was written by JAN VISSER (The Netherlands). Much thanks also goes to BERT KOSSEN (the Netherlands).

[1] The description of this event according to P.C. Boer’s excellent book “De Luchtstrijd rond Borneo”:

Evacuated from Borneo in December 1941,

Anna and Margie returned to Surabaya as planned. They lived in the Brantas straat house with mother-in-law Emma and sister-in-law Elisabeth, who was now pregnant. (hans semethini)

 

on the December 19th

 by a raid on the town by fifteen Japanese bombers which set fire to a large petrol store but otherwise did little material damage. A large part of the native population however fled from the town, and labour, which had been difficult to obtain before, became almost unprocurable

 

 

On the 22nd December1941

 the main body (two battalions) of the Japanese invasion force re-embarked at Miri and left for Kuching, leaving one battalion to secure all British Borneo outside Sarawak.

Although after the occupation of Miri the Detachment commander, Major-General Kawaguchi, was unable to obtain any additional information in regard to the enemy’s strength or disposition, he did learn that there is one small railway on the western coast and no roads through the jungle. Consequently, an attack on north Borneo would have to be made from landing barges.

The first signs of the increased tempo of Japanese operations in the Netherlands Indies came very quickly.

Then, on 22 December, 1941

General Homma put the bulk of his 14th Army ashore at Lingayen Gulf, north of Manila.

 

japamese army officer Lieutenant General Kyoji Tominaga shaking hands with raiders of the Kaoru Special Attack Corps before leaving to a mission against a USAAF landing strip on Leyte (oct 1944)

 

Lieutenant General Kyoji Tominaga giving sake wine to soldier of the Kaoru Special Attack Corps before leaving to a mission against a USAAF landing strip on Leyte (oct 1944)

The remainder landed two days later at Lamon Bay, south of the capital, to form the southern arm of a giant pincer movement converging on Manila. But Homma quickly discovered he was dealing with a determined and able foe.

MacArthur did not, as Homma and Imperial General Headquarters expected, stay to fight it out on the central plain of Luzon. Instead he put into effect the long-standing ORANGE plan and withdrew his forces to the Bataan Peninsula in a skillful and dangerous double retrograde movement, made in two weeks under the most difficult circumstances and constant pressure. At the same time he proclaimed Manila an open city and transferred his headquarters to Corregidor. Thus, when Homma,

On returning back to Miri on 28 December1941,

Major-General Kawaguchi ordered Lieutenant Colonel Watanabe to advance on the 31st by landing barges to Brunei with one infantry battalion and there to collect small boats to be used for the attack on north Borneo.

The Japanese soldiers of the Watanabe Force, however, discovered that the British had already destroyed all big ships in the harbour, so that only small native boats remained.

 

The ABDACOM Interlude

While the American and British heads of state with their military staffs were in Washington establishing the strategic basis and the organization for the conduct of the war, the Japanese Army and Navy had continued their drive into Southeast Asia and the Southwest Pacific with unabated vigor.

 

Operations during the first phase of their plan for seizing the southern area had been remarkably successful and

.

 In the last week of December1941,

 Field Marshal Hisaichi Terauchi, commander of the Southern Army, and Vice Adm. Nobutake Kondo, 2d Fleet commander, jointly recommended advancing the schedule of operations against Sumatra and Borneo, thus making possible the invasion of Java a month earlier than planned.

 At Japanese  Imperial General Headquarters

 the Terauchi-Kondo proposal met a favorable reception, for it would not only speed operations in the south and keep the enemy off balance but it would also make available at an earlier date the troops needed in Manchuria if the Soviet Union should enter the war — a danger that continued to haunt the Japanese. Early in January, therefore, Imperial General Headquarters approved the recommendation and advanced the timetable for the seizure of the southern area.29

Late in December 1941

the Japanese had gained control of British Borneo and the South China Sea approaches to the Malay Barrier

 tHE END oF THE pROLOG

please read more

the dai nippon occupation java will upload later

the end 2 copyright 2012

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4 responses to “The Dai Nippon Occupation Indonesia 1942-1945 history collections

  1. always i used to read smaller content that also clear their motive, and that is also happening with this article which I am reading
    now.

  2. may I know how you get the complete info about dai nippon history and if there any info regarding Commander Toyoaki Horiuchi?

    • hallo rere
      I am a consultan of history information
      I can find the comander Toyoaki Horiuchi for you but you must paid 20 US $ and communication via my email iwansuwandy@gmail.com
      donnot forget to upload your ID Copy and adress and recent photos
      After you upload ypour ID and working history short info and upload the money transfer, to send money very simple you go to post office and send money insid ethe enveloped and send registered to my adress , I will send my adress, please send First Day Cover with souvenier sheet stamps on it, I am a stamp collectors or youcan send the japanese old stamps especially the first stamps.
      you must fast to eply because in 14 july until 1 august I will visit euro, and you must waiting the info after that in august 2015
      thanks for communicatiobn
      sincerely
      Dr Iwan

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