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147th Division (Imperial Japanese Army)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

147th Division
第147師団
Active1945–1945
CountryEmpire of Japan Empire of Japan
Allegiance52nd army
BranchImperial Japanese Army
TypeInfantry
Size8547[1]
Garrison/HQMobara
Nickname(s)North protection division
Engagementsnone

The 147th Division (第147師団, Dai-hyakuyonjūnana Shidan) was an infantry division of the Imperial Japanese Army. Its call sign was the Hokkaido Protection Division (護北兵団, Koho Heidan). It was formed 28 February 1945 in Asahikawa as a square division. It was a part of the 16 simultaneously created divisions batch numbering from 140th to 160th.

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  • ✪ WW2 in Australia | Bombing Of Darwin (1942)
  • ✪ Battle of Iwo Jima | WW2 in Color | USMC Documentary | 1945

Transcription

On the morning of 19 February 1942, fighters, bombers, and aircraft carriers from the japanese navy was louched for the air raids on Darwin, the largest single attack ever mounted by a foreign power on Australia. Also known as Australian Pearl Harbor, This, is The Bombing of Darwin. Darwin is the capital city of the Northern Territory of Australia, situated on the Timor Sea. It was a small town with limited civil and military infrastructure, with a population of 5,800 people. Due to its strategic position in northern Australia, the Royal Australian Navy, RAN, and Royal Australian Air Force, RAAF, had constructed bases near the town in the 1930s and the early years of World War II. As early as August 1941, Darwin had been a key in the South Pacific air ferry route, designed to avoid routes through the Japanese mandate in the central Pacific for bomber reinforcement of the Philippines. By November 1941, the allies envisioned Darwin as the hub of transshipment efforts to support the java and philippine forces, and due to its importance, the Australian government considered it as a vital asset in Australia's defense against an expanding imperial of Japan. Australia lay directly south of the newly consolidated Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, where Japanese military leaders feared that it would be used as a base by the Allies to strike at Japan's newly won empire. Commander of the Combine Fleet, Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, feared Darwin was a possible hindrance to Japanese operations in Java and Timor. He submitted proposals for an amphibious invasion of the Darwin area, but the Navy and Army General Staff rejected that option, indicating that the continent required more troops to subdue and garrison than Japan had to expend. So Australia’s northern ports had to be neutralized instead, and the islands above it had to be seized as a buffer to prevent Allied counterstrokes against Japan’s newly vital islands and resource centers. Destroying Darwin was the first step in that process and offered the additional advantage of diverting Allied resources to Australia’s defense, and away from the fighting in Southeast Asia. Following the outbreak of the Pacific War in early December 1941, Darwin's defenses were strengthened. In line with plans developed before the war, several Australian Army and Royal Australian Air Force units stationed in the town were sent to the Netherlands East Indies to strengthen the defenses of the islands of Ambon and Timor. the harbor underwent improvements to coastal defenses and port facilities, while local airfield facilities were also upgraded, and the garrison was steadily increased. following the outbreak of the war, all but 2,000 civilians were evacuated from the town to the southern Australia state. Despite Darwin's strategic importance to the defense of Australia, the city was poorly defended. The Australian Army's 14th Heavy Anti-Aircraft Battery comprised sixteen QF 3.7 inch AA guns and two 3-inch AA guns to counter aircraft flying at high altitudes, and 8 Lewis Guns for use against low-flying raiders. The crews of these guns had conducted little recent training due to ammunition shortages. Also stationed at darwin was the headquarters of Brigadier David Blake’s 7th Military District, with about two militia battalions of the Citizen’s Military Forces. The air forces stationed in the town was RAAF Number 12 Squadron, which was equipped with 5 unserviceable CAC Wirraway advanced trainers used as fighters, and RAAF Number 13 Squadron with 3 Lockheed Hudson light bombers. Also present on the day of the attack were ten P-40 Warhawk fighters from the US 33rd Pursuit Squadron of the US Army Air Force, which had arrived darwin on 15 February. They were due to take-off for Timor, on their way to java. There was an air-warning radar unit in the city, but the equipment was incomplete, and the last of radar equipment would not arrive at darwin until 22nd of February. To support the invasion of Timor, and to interdict the flow of material and supplies to Java from Darwin, a surprise air raid was planned against port darwin. An internal draft plan of operation was drawn by Southern Task Force Commander, Vice Admiral Nobutake Kondō. For the attack on Darwin, Kondō had assembled a large strike force, the IJN 1st Air Fleet, under the command of Vice-Admiral Chūichi Nagumo. This force comprised the aircraft carriers, akagi, Kaga, Hiryū, and Sōryū, escorted by 2 heavy cruisers of 8th cruiser division, and 1st destroyer squadron, comprised of a light cruiser and 7 destroyers. Each carrier had an established strength of 63 to 72 aircraft, comprising 27 Nakajima B5N2 "Kate" torpedo bombers, 18 Aichi D3A1 "Val" dive-bombers, and 18 Mitsubishi A6M2 "Zero" fighters: a total of 432 aircraft with reserves, led by air group Commander, Mitsuo Fuchida. The carrier-borne aircraft were manned by experienced pilots and crews, around 80 percent of whom had participated in the Pearl Harbor attacks. 3 submarines of the 6th submarine squadron also grouped with the force. These task force would leave Palau and proceed to Timor sea, 350 km northwest of Darwin. Their objective was to conduct a surprise attack and to destroy the port facilities, sink as many ships in the harbor as possible, and destroy infrastructures like oil storage and the army base. In addition to the carrier-borne aircraft, 54 land-based naval bombers also would carry out the raid on Darwin on the same day. These units comprised of 27 Mitsubishi G4M 'Betty' medium bombers from the Kanoya air group based at kendari, and 27 Mitsubishi G3M 'Nell' medium bombers from the 1st air group operating at Ambon. Both air groups were comprised of the IJN 21st air flotilla, under the command of the 11th air fleet commander, Vice Admiral Nishizō Tsukahara. Their objective was to conduct the noon raid and to destroy the RAAF base. on 9 february 1942, the suggestion of a strike on darwin by Rear Admiral Tamon Yamaguchi was followed up by the Southern Area Fleet Commander, Vice Admiral Nobutake Kondo. Kondo then relayed it to commander of Combine Fleet, Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto. At 1020 on 10 February, a Mitsubishi C5M2 'Babs' reconnaissance aircraft belonging to 3rd Air Group took off from Ambon, to carried out a covert photoreconnaissance over Port Darwin. After stealthily reconnoitring over and taking photos of Port Darwin, the C5M2 'Babs' landed on Ambon at 1720. The crew reported that they identified an aircraft carrier, five destroyers and 21 merchant ships in Darwin Harbour, as well as 30 aircrafts at the town's two airfields. Although at the time, there is no aircraft carrier at darwin. The crew had sighted a former aircraft carrier converted to seaplane tender, USS langley, who left on 11 february. On the 15 February, 1 US Army Transport ship, and 3 civilian transport ships, carrying troops for Timor Reinforcement, consisted of US Army of the 147th and 148th Field Artillery, and Australian troops of the 2/4th Pioneer Battalion departed darwin at 02:00. The convoy was escorted by a heavy cruiser, USS Houston, one destroyer, USS Peary, and two royal Australian navy sloops. On the same day, at 14:00, the IJN 1st carrier air fleet task force, left Palau for Timor sea, for the attacks on Port Darwin. One of the carriers, The IJN Kaga, was limited to 18 knots because she had struck an uncharted reef, while shifting mooring positions. On the afternoon of 18 February, the allied convoy, that was bound for Timor had returned to darwin. The convoy had to reverse course on 16 February, after Supreme commander of ABDA-Command, General Wavell had received intelligence information, that indicated the invasion of Timor was imminent. he also feared that a Japanese carrier was in the area to cover the landing. The constant air attack on the Timor Convoy was one major piece of that evidence. The Houston and the Perry then were ordered to leaved darwin, and joined Rear-Admiral Doorman strike force at Chilachap, after a Japanese invasion convoy for Bali had been sighted on Makassar strait. The Houston and the Peary departed on that day. Shortly after departure, The Peary sonar detected a suspected submarine and launched a search that lasts several hours, while Houston continued alone. However, they found nothing and return to darwin for a refuel. This took longer than expected, and USS perry commander, Lieutenant Commander Keith, decided to remain at darwin overnight and sail for Chilacap on the next morning. By Dawn of 19 February, after cautiously sailed to the south, Vice Admiral Nagumo carriers task force had arrived at a pre-arranged launch point, 350 km northwest of Darwin. A weather reconnaissance aircraft had been launched from the cruiser, Tone, at dawn and arrived over Darwin at around 08:30. With the weather fine and clear, the attack on darwin was confirmed and Nagumo ordered the strike. At 08:30, The carriers launched The first wave, consists of 81 B5N2 “Kate” torpedo bombers, but functioning as level bombers, escorted by 18 A6M2 “Zero” Fighters. At 09:00, the second wave is launched with 71 D3A1 “Val" dive bombers, escorted by 18 A6M2 “Zero” Fighters. The second wave would catch up with the first wave before arriving over Darwin. a total of 188 aircraft was launched. The attack was led by commander, Mitsuo Fucheda, aboard a Nakajima B5N2 "Kate". The order also was given to land-based bombers and flying boats of IJN 21st air flotilla. The land-based bombers would attack the darwin airfield at 11:30, while flying boats will seek the enemy in the Arafura Sea and the Timor Sea. Twenty-seven Mitsubishi G4M 'Betty' medium bombers of Kanoya air group, led by Lieutenant Commander Toshie Irisa , departed kendari at 0905, while 27 Mitsubishi G3M 'Nell' medium bombers of 1st air group, led by Lieutenant Commander Takeo Ozaki, departed ambon 5 minutes later. They were to joining over banda sea before headed for darwin. As morning on 19 February came around, it seemed like another normal day in Darwin. The freighter, MV Neptuna, carrying material for the extension of the harbor boom and 200 tons of depth charges, was at the wharf’s outer berth. the Australian freighter, SS Barossa, with wood to extend the wharf, was also present. There were three American transport ships, USAT Meigs, Mauna Loa, and SS Port Mar, of the returned Timor convoy. There was the British ship, MV Tulagi, also from the returned Timor convoy. The British tanker, MV British Motorist, was there to replenish Darwin’s stocks of fuel. The hospital ship, HMAHS Manunda, originally bound for Singapore, was in the anchorage; as was the Australian freighter, SS Zealandia, carrying ammunition. Destroyer, USS Peary, was trying to get topped off with fuel to head to Java. A destroyer-seaplane tender, The USS William B. Preston was servicing its Catalinas. There were some 47 vessels in all. 6 remaining Hudsons from RAAF No.2 squadron, who had evacuated Dutch Timor, also arrived early in the morning. Also, Five PBY Catalinas of Patrol Wing 10, had gone out on a routine patrol over the Timor Sea. one of those patrols the area around Bathurst Island. In addition to the vessels in port, the US supply ships, USAT Don Isidro, and SS Florence D, were near Bathurst island. They were bound for Philipines, bringing ammunition to General Douglas MacArthur’s besieged forces there. For Don isidro, after being discovered by the japanese float-plane a day before, her captain decided to reverse course and head back for darwin. At 09:15, Ten P-40 Warhawks of the US Army Air Force 33rd Pursuit Squadron, under command of Major Floyd Pell, took off and heading west for Timor on the first leg of their journey to Java. However, they were recalled back 20 minutes later because of bad weather. By 09:15, as the 1st air attack fleet En route to Darwin, the formation encountered a Patrol Wing 10 PBY Catalina, flown by Lieutenant Thomas Moorer, who was on patrol out of Darwin. nine Kaga’s Zeros was broke from formation, to intercept an American patrol. one of the zeros, flown by Naval Air Pilot, 1st Class Yoshikazu Nagahama, bounced the Catalina, before Moorer’s crew knew what hit them. With both engines dead, Moorer PBY Catalina forced to makes a hard landing on the sea. 8 Kaga zeros then return to the main formation, while one zero loses from formation and proceeds to darwin alone. Observing the action was a small Filipino merchant ship, the SS Florence D, altered course and rescued the crew a short time later. At 09:37, Father McGrath of the Sacred Heart mission, on Bathurst Island, who was also an Australian coastwatcher, observed a large force of aircraft heading south, and sent a message using a pedal radio to the coastal radio station at Darwin. However, no general alarm was given at darwin. The RAAF officers judged that the aircraft, which had been sighted was ten P-40 Warhawks, who had recalled back after bad weather. A grave error was made, considered that P-40 is not coming from the north rather than from the west. As the attack fleet flew across the Tiwi Islands, 6 zero from Hieryū, split from the main formation, and strafe the Bathurst island Mission and a stranded C-53 on the airstrip. The aircraft was destroyed, and several buildings, including the radio shack, were damaged. At 09:40, 10 P-40 Warhawks was back at darwin. Five Warhawks landed to refuel, while the remainder, patrolled over Darwin's sky. At the same time, The main Japanese force crosses the coast east of Darwin and then turns over the 35 km peg, on its approach to the town from the southeast, in an effort for some deception. Despite the main force having been reported, but not yet over Darwin, The first Japanese aircraft to arrive was a lonely Zero, flown by Nagahama, who had broken off early from the main formation. Between 09:37 and 09:45, He quickly engaged five P-40 Warhawks of the 33rd Pursuit Squadron, who still in the air, as they attempted to protect the other five who were already landing. Nagahama Zero was too quick. Four Warhawks were quickly shot down, while one managed to break off over the flights, and heads to the southeast. At 09:55, the main formation approached the target from the southeast, and discovered that still no alarm had been sounded in Darwin. Like the attack on Pearl Harbor, the IJN task force once again had achieved a complete surprise on darwin. The attack commenced when nine low-flying Zero fighters from kaga, who had split from the main formation, strafed an auxiliary minesweeper, HMAS Gunbar, as a prelude to commencing the major attack. At 09:58, The air raid sirens of Darwin were sounded. 16 3.7-inch heavy anti-aircraft guns opened fire. The five Warhawks, which had landed were shocked to discover that they were under attack by Japanese Zeros. They tried to take off again. Two were able to get to the sky, including squadron leader, Major Pell, but immediately shot down by Japanese zeros from Hiryū, and was killed when he parachuted out of the aircraft. The other Warhawks on the ground were destroyed, as they tried to take off. Darwin's air defense now had been eliminated. what left is 16 3.7-inch heavy AA guns on the ground to do the job. Meanwhile, Mitsuo Fuchida air fleet began their run over the harbor and town. at 09:59, All "B5N2" kate level bombers began attacking ship at the harbor, while the fighter group strafed AA position and other targets of opportunity. 800kg Bombs struck the wharf, blowing the pier’s train into the harbor. Explosions destroyed water mains, oil pipes, and much of the pier. Strings of bombs moved across the hospital, post office, police barracks, and through the town’s government offices. They were smashed and left in smoldering ruins. The Japanese had learned a lesson from the past. They were not making the same mistake again as they made at pearl harbor, by attacking only the ships. As the Kate high-level bombers complete their bombing run, at 10:03, Val dive-bombers began their attack. 71 D3A1 "val" dive bombers were divided into two groups, All "Val" dive bombers from akagi, Hiryu, Soryu, and part of Kaga dive bombers to attack port and military installation, while the other part of kaga dive bombers attacks the Parap Civil Airfield and the RAAF Station. At 10:10, The situation deteriorated rapidly. at the dock, shipping riding at anchor was then being subjected to devastating pattern-bombing, dive-bombing, and machine-gun sweeps. Both Barossa, and Neptuna, at the dock, took early bomb hits and were set afire. The three PBY of Patrol Wing 10 on the water, were destroyed by gunfire from Kaga zeros. Swan, Warrego, Peary, and William B. Preston, managed to get underway. However, it was the destroyer Peary that was the largest warship in the harbor, and she took more than her share of Japanese Air attack. After evading the first few bombs, Peary took five bomb hits in rapid succession. the ship broke apart. She sank later at 13:00, along with her commanding officer. The Manunda, a hospital ship, then sent out rescue boats to rescued Perry surviving crew. Shortly afterward, she was hit by a "Val" dive bomber. Despite 12 killed and 47 wounded among the crew and medical staff, Manunda continued to function as a hospital ship. US army transport, USAT Meigs, was ablaze and sinking. Mauna Loa, had a broken back, and was going down by the stern, although her entire crew was rescued. A British tanker, MV British Motorist was sinking by the bow. Port mar was beached. At about the same time, Zealandia took a bomb down her hatch that exploded deep in the hold. The port and harbor, were racked by an almost volcanic explosion, as the 200 tons of depth charges on the blazing Neptuna detonated, and sent shock waves through the harbor. The nearby Barossa, being towed clear when Neptuna exploded, had to be beached, and her timber cargo completely lost. At the same time, Swan was badly damaged by a near- miss. At 10:30, about 30 minutes after it had started, The strike force commander, Commander Mitsuo Fuchida, signals the last of the enemy aircraft to return to the carrier task force. at 10:45, As they headed back, however, they spotted two Philippine cargo schooners, the USAT Don Isidro and the SS Florence D. and reported it to 1st carrier Fleet Commander, Vice Admiral Chuichi Nagumo. Before they headed back, Nine Zeros from the carrier Soryu, attack the freighter, Don Isidro, to slow it speed. Darwin’s agony was not over yet. The second wave, making up of 54 land-based medium bombers from kanoya air group, and 1st air group, arrived over Darwin just before midday. At 11:58, the town air raid siren was sounded. As the bomber force approached Darwin at 18,000 feet, They ignored the town and harbor, instead, they concentrate on the military airfield. What little the first wave had left untouched, the bombers finished off. One of these formations attacked RAAF Base Darwin from the south-west, while the other approached from the north-east. The two formations arrived over the base at the same time, and dropped their bombs simultaneously. This massive load of explosives from 54 aircraft struck the entire area of the airfield simultaneously and with terrifying force. the highly disciplined waves of bombers then wheeled and turned, rearranged themselves in tidy formations, and swept back over the RAAF base for another simultaneous release of up to 13,000 kg of high explosive. At 18,000 feet the bombers were well beyond the range of the machine guns. the Australian heavy anti-aircraft flak gunners were unable to shoot down, or damage any of the high-flying Japanese aircraft, due to defective fuses. The second wave raid inflicted extensive damage on the RAAF base. The highly accurate pattern bombing destroyed two hangars, runways, four dormitories, the hospital, mess halls, equipment stores, and several other buildings. six Hudson light bombers were also destroyed, and another Hudson, and a Wirraway were badly damaged. The second raid last only 20 minutes, and at about 12:20, all 54 japanese medium bombers, left Darwin. After receiving reported that 2 cargo ships were spotted, Vice Admiral Nagumo, immediately ordered the cruisers, Tone, and Chikuma, to probe the spotted vessel, while ordering Sōryū, and Hiryū, to attack it after they received the 1st wave aircraft. Tone launched an Aichi E13A1 "Jake" Reconnaissance Float-plane, to scout the reported ships. A Jake Reconnaissance Float-plane later located Don Isidro, at about 15:00. two bombs were dropped, but neither hits the ship. At much the same time, nine D3A1 "Val" dive bombers on each of the carriers, Sōryū, and Hiryū, were launched. The planes from Sōryū found the ship, one and half hours later. The nine dive bombers scored five direct hits, leaving the ship heavily damaged and afire. She was beached on the north coast later to avoid sinking. Just 50 km to the south, Florence D picked up a distress call from Don Isidro, and immediately changed course to assist. However, they were spotted by an E13A1 “Jake” Reconnaissance float-plane. Unarmed and with a top speed of only 10 knots, the captain decided that it was useless to outmaneuver the float-plane. The Reconnaissance float-plane dropped two bombs, but neither hit the ship, before flying off to the west. Under the threat from japanse bombers, Florence D captain decided that it was too dangerous to proceed to the philippine, and turned back for Darwin. Unfortunately, Approximately 2 Hour later, Hiryū nine D3A1 "Val" dive bombers, found the freighter, and launched an immediate attack. Two bombs were hits, on a cargo ship full of ammunitions, ensuring the end of Florence D. Florence D went down by the bow within minutes. At the end of this horrific day in Darwin, nine ships had been sunk, 9 P-40s from USAAF 33rd pursuit squadron destroyed in the air, while two more P-40s, all six RAAF number 2 squadron Hudsons, and one LB-30 destroyed on the ground. 3 US Navy Patrol wing 10 also burned in the harbor. Another 278 RAAF personnel were considered to have deserted as a result of the raids, although it has been argued that the "desertions" were mostly the result of ambiguous orders, given to RAAF ground staff after the attacks. Some 250 people had been killed, mostly on the Peary, and Neptuna. The government in Canberra suppressed these casualty figures, out of fear for panic among the Australian population. Darwin was destroyed as a serviceable base. Coming on the heels of the Singapore disaster, the raid was interpreted as a prelude to an invasion on the continent. Australia's now living in the darkest hour. Any request by the allies, to send Australian corps to outer territories had been blocked. After the 19 February raid, the Japanese made 64 more bombing attacks on the Northern Territory, and parts of Western Australia’s north coast, between 4 March 1942 and 12 November 1943. But none of the attacks are devastating as the darwin raid. For the Japanese, the 1st Air Fleet strike on Darwin succeeded in eliminating all of these threats to the Timor invasion. The timor convoys were undetected until they reached their destinations, and unloading was unimpeded. They had achieved complete surprise on darwin, as they did on pearl harbor. Despite the heavy fire from Australian AA guns, the Japanese lost only one “Zero”, and two “Vals”, over Darwin. one “Kate” was also forced to ditch in the ocean on the return flight, but its crew was rescued. Another 34 planes were damaged in varying degrees. So in this respect, the Darwin raid was a successful operation. However, Nagumo’s described the operation as, “using a sledgehammer to break an egg,” while Fuchida would later say that, “the job to be done seemed hardly worthy of the Nagumo Force.” After the attack, the Nagumo carrier fleet headed to Kendari for refueled and resupply. They were joined by Vice-Admiral Nobutake Kondō, with the 4th Cruiser Squadron, and 2/3rd Battleship Squadron. They are getting ready for the Indian Ocean, for the end game of java.

Action

Initially the 147th division has stayed on Tomakomai positions vacated by 77th Division. After formation of the 147th division was complete, it was assigned to newly created 52nd army and sent to Mobara in Chiba Prefecture.

The 147th division was tasked with the coastal defense. The division did not see any combat until surrender of Japan 15 August 1945 except for air raids.

Shortage of equipment during 147th division formation was severe. Only one of seven men had rifles, with the balance equipped with bamboo spears, and bayonets were forged from the rails of the Asahikawa Electric Railway.[2]

Teiichi Tamura, the commander of the 426th infantry regiment, was executed according to the verdict of the controversial International Military Tribunal for the Far East for his role in the killing of the downed Allied pilot in the course of the Ichinomiya-machi incident.[3]

See also

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Independent Mixed Brigade
Independent Mixed Brigade
Infantry Division (including guard divisions)
Infantry Division (including guard divisions)
Independent Armored Brigade
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Armored division
Armored division
Japanese infantry and armored units in Home Islands, 15 August 1945

Notes and references

  • This article incorporates material from Japanese Wikipedia page 第147師団 (日本軍), accessed 13 July 2016
  • Madej, W. Victor, Japanese Armed Forces Order of Battle, 1937–1945 [2 vols], Allentown, PA: 1981.
  1. ^ "勇払平野の防御陣地". Archived from the original on 2016-09-14. Retrieved 2016-07-13.
  2. ^ 本土決戦の準備の貧弱な実態
  3. ^ 2007年08月14日 私は師団から一杯食ったようだ」と、連隊長が述懐した
This page was last edited on 3 October 2019, at 21:13
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