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Guards battalions in Malaya and Sumatra

Discussions on all aspects of the Japanese Empire, from the capture of Taiwan until the end of the Second World War.
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Guards battalions in Malaya and Sumatra

Postby mariandavid on 15 Nov 2012 23:57

I have been able to determine the artillery etc strength of what became the 2nd Guards Division, thanks to the detailed comments found in Axis History. The main point of which I am still unsure is whether the infantry battalions had four or three companies each, this affecting their strength in terms of MG, mortar etc. And I suppose the linked question of whether there was a change in its composition when converted from motorised when transferred to serve split up in Sumatra. Of course that (being 'de-motorised') is an assumption of mine which may be incorrect.
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Re: Guards battalions in Malaya and Sumatra

Postby Akira Takizawa on 16 Nov 2012 09:52

In Malaya and Sumatra Campaign 1942, infantry battalions of Guard Division consisted of four infantry companies, one MG company and one battalion gun platoon.
In 1944, 2nd Gaurd Division (former Guard Division) was converted to the ocean division. The organization of the ocean division is quite different from that of conventional division. Ocean division had two different types of infantry regiments. One infantry regiment had tank company, AA machine cannon company and engineer company. Its infantry battalions consisted of three infantry companies, one infantry mortar company and one artillery company, Other two infantry regiments had artillery battalion and engineer company. Their infantry battalions consisted of three infantry companies and one infantry gun company. The conversion of 2nd Guard Division to ocean division had not finished when the war ended. It is unknown to what extent this organization realized in 2nd Guard Division.

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Re: Guards battalions in Malaya and Sumatra

Postby mariandavid on 17 Nov 2012 03:00

Akira:

As always thanks for your prompt and valuable reply. It did raise one issue that has puzzled me - the time when (in this case Burma and the rest of the region) medium mortars started to appear in number in IJA battalions. As far as I could tell, the only ones at first were the 5cm, then (it seems) large numbers of British 3-inch were distributed after the Fall of Singapore and then Japanese mortars started to appear. I thought that this happened in late 1942 and 1943 - certainly your example suggests it for 1944 - but I am not really sure.

But in any case many thanks.
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Re: Guards battalions in Malaya and Sumatra

Postby Akira Takizawa on 17 Nov 2012 05:36

5cm? You would say about grenade discharger, which is called knee mortar in the west. It is not infantry mortar.

When the Pacific War began, most infantry battalions had Type 92 70mm Infantry Guns. After that, they were replaced with Type 97 81mm Infantry Mortar. But, they were not completely replaced and Type 92 70mm Infantry Guns were used until the war ended.

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Re: Guards battalions in Malaya and Sumatra

Postby mariandavid on 17 Nov 2012 15:04

Of course you are right - I just think of the 5cm as a mortar - a rifled mortar that could also fire grenades. I read that the United States medical corps thought that it had inflicted about 50% of all the ground casualties of the Americans in the Pacific War. It certainly seems to have been 'better' than a western mortar in both its fuse and its ability to fire at low angles,
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