Battle of Shimushu

Discussions on all aspects of the Japanese Empire, from the capture of Taiwan until the end of the Second World War.
FreyFox
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Re: Battle of Shimushu

Post by FreyFox » 17 Oct 2013 23:29

A formation of Type-96 Land-Based Attack Aircraft flies above the Pacific Ocean and over snow covered Kuril Island mountains.
http://www.t3licensing.com/video/clip/7 ... l%2Cisland

Imperial Japanese Army troops practice infantry artillery and anti tank warfare tactics and then ski as they engage in cold weather maneuvers in the Kurile Islands.
http://www.t3licensing.com/video/clip/7 ... l%2Cisland

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Japanese military men patrol the seas and fly aircraft, even in harshly cold conditions.
http://www.t3licensing.com/video/clip/7 ... l%2Cisland

Map Illustration Paramushir Island Battle Battle Japanese bombed military bases
http://www.t3licensing.com/video/clip/9 ... paramushir

FreyFox
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Re: Battle of Shimushu

Post by FreyFox » 02 Nov 2013 11:49

In June of this year. During the expedition found the remains of a Japanese soldier in the underground galleries of the destroyed bunker at Cape Takeda, Shumshu island.

A fragment of the Japanese paper, which describes it:
http://foto.kurilstour.ru/images/storie ... un0813.jpg

FreyFox
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Re: Battle of Shimushu

Post by FreyFox » 24 Nov 2013 22:49

The Japanese heavy gun, Paramushir island.

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Whether it is possible to translate inscriptions?

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tom!
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Re: Battle of Shimushu

Post by tom! » 27 Nov 2013 16:16

Hi.

Looks like a Type Meiji 45 15 cm cannon.

Yours

tom! :wink:

gebhk
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Re: Battle of Shimushu

Post by gebhk » 16 Jan 2014 14:13

Dear all

Please forgive this imposition on your goodwill. Deal Wargames Club in Deal (UK) have been putting together a demonstratioin miniature wargame to draw attention to the subject in the UK. The demo game is accompanied by a leaflet and we are keen that it is as accurate as it can be. It has been drawn together from (scattered, sometimes contradictory and often elusive) information available to the neophite in the English and Polish languages. This forum has proved very helpful. I am hoping that this august group of folk will be willing to review my feeble efforts and provide some constructive feedback.

So here goes - the introduction:

On 9th August 1945 the Soviet Union unleashed arguably the largest ‘blitzkrieg’ in the history of warfare, against Japanese forces in Manchuria, North China and Korea. Putting everything learned from the war in Europe into practice, within approximately a week an area the size of Western Europe was overrun and nearly a million Japanese troops including the vaunted Kwantung army were destroyed or forced to surrender. This disaster was one of the factors which prompted the Japanese unconditional surrender of August 15th.

However the Soviet Empire had not yet finished with that of Japan. While Japan was beginning to dismantle its armed forces, the Soviets had concluded that a ‘favourable situation’ had arisen to regain the Kurile Island chain extending between the northernmost tip of Japan and Kamchatka. The islands had once been colonised by Russia but Japan had been in control since 1875. Maj general AR Gnechko was tasked with planning an amphibious assault with forces available in the Kamchatka Defence Region and Petropavlovsk Naval Base.

Time was at a premium, as it was essential that the operation be completed before US forces could establish themselves in the region. The amphibious force set sail on 17th August and arrived in the early hours of the next day. The first objective and the northernmost island in the chain, closest to the Soviet mainland, was Shumshu (Shimushu or Shumshir). The Soviet plan was to land troops in waves. The Forward Detachment consisted of 355 Naval Infantry Battalion with one company replaced by a company from 60th Naval Border Guards Detachment; smg company and scout and chemical platoons from 302 Rifle Regiment and a sapper company from 119 Independent Sapper Battalion. Its mission was to land on beaches on the north end of the island between capes Kokutan and Kotomari, establish a bridgehead and protect the landing of the main force.

The first echelon of the main force consisted of 138 Infantry Regiment with two infantry battalions and regimental support units; a howitzer battalion (of 428 regt: 12 122mm howitzers), 2nd artillery battalion (of 279 regt: 8 122 mm howitzers, 4 3” guns); 169 Independent Anti-tank Battalion and an anti-tank rifle company. This echelon was to strike out from the bridgehead towards Murokami-Saki and across the island to capture Kataoka. The second echelon consisting of 373 Rifle Regiment, two battalions of 279 Artillery Regiment and the detached marine infantry company, and was to reinforce the first echelon either directly or if resistance was weaker than expected, by a secondary landing near lake Bettobu. If resistance on Shumshu proved to be feeble, second echelon was to progress immediately to land on and capture the next island in the chain – Paramushir (Paramoshiri, Horomushiro).

The third and smallest group consisted of two rifle and one smg coy with supporting recce, sapper, MMG and mortar platoons. It’s role was principally diversionary and usage was going to depend on how events unfolded. The Petropavlovsk Naval Base provided a supporting fleet divided into fire support, minesweeping, assault boat, landing boat, security and covering detachments – a total 14 transport ships, 16 assault boats, 2 self-propelled barges, 4 Kawasaki cutters, 8 costal cutters, 4 trawlers 2 cutter-trawlers, the minelayer Okhotsk and the coastal escort ships Dzierzhinski and Kirov. The operation was supported by 78 aircraft of the 128 Mixed Aviation Division (P64 King Cobra fighters; A-20 Havoc, PV1-Ventura and SB bombers) and a naval aviation regiment (Il 4, DB3, A-20G and A-20H torpedo bombers).

Throughout the war, Shumshu was primarily a Naval base – it had been, for example, the assembly point for the invasion of the Aleutian Islands. However, given the proximity to the Soviet mainland and US Alaska, a strong army presence was also maintained to discourage any coup de main attempt by the Allies. There had been sporadic US air raids throughout the war leaving relics of downed bombers some of which remain on the island to this day. While some troops and much of its airpower had been withdrawn from Shumshu towards the end of the war to defend the Japanese mainland, the island still had formidable defensive capacity. The army was represented by 73rd Infantry Brigade of the 91st Infantry Division (4 battalions of infantry) under gen Iwao Sugino, 2 divisional artillery battalions, an anti aircraft battalion, the 11th Tank Regiment plus 2nd independent tank company (over 60 tanks in total) under colonel Zueo Ikeda, a divisional sapper unit and a 320mm spigot mortar coy (4 tubes) of capt Genichi Ogura’s 18th Independent Mortar Battalion. The army air arm was represented by 4 Ki 43III (Oscar) fighter planes of 54 Air Regiment based on the Imizaki Navy airfield near Kataoka. More Ki 43 and Ki 44 (Tojo) fighters were available on the adjacent island of Paramushir.

The navy was represented by 32nd AA unit of 18 men and by 151 guard unit (942) which contained a company of 10 Ka-Mi swimming tanks. They were protecting the Navy’s Kuril Base Unit HQ, 12th Air Fleet HQ and the 42-man strong Shimushu signals Unit. The navy air arm had, by 1945, only a modest representation – up to 19 A6N (Zero) fighters (of Hokuto Kokutai), 4 B5N2 (Kate) and 1 B6N (Jill) light bombers (of 203 Kokutai), maintained and operated by 189 ground and air crew. Kataoka-Imizaki also sported facilities on the harbour for the massive H6K2 (Mavis) flying boats but it is almost certain that none remained there by August 1945. It would also appear that Miyoshino airfield in the centre of the island, which flew B5N2 and G3M (Nell) Navy bombers as well as Ki 43 army fighters earlier in the war, had no operational planes by August 1945.

From an engineering perspective the landable beaches were protected with heavy gun emplacements, pillboxes and fieldworks. Fortress Kataoka on the South tip of the island was protected from the landward side by formidable anti-tank ditches and fortifications with command, medical and workshop facilities deep underground. While these resources looked formidable on paper, the Japanese had a serious handicap. For 3 days they had been on a peacetime footing and were efficiently dismantling their war machine in compliance with the surrender conditions. For example it would appear that all the tanks of 11th tank regiment had had their armament removed. When the Soviet navy hove into view, the tanks were rearmed at breakneck speed but in the event (according to some sources at least), only 20 or so could be made ready in time. It is equally uncertain just how many of the aircraft were combat ready that fateful morning, but some sources suggest only 3 fighters could be launched.

The Soviets had a different problem. Given the virtual parity in numbers of men and light weapons, and the Japanese being fortified and having total superiority in armour, the Soviets needed to establish an adequate bridgehead quickly to land their artillery, the only tool at their disposal in which they had clear superiority. This was not going to be an easy feat as the landing fleet did not have at it’s disposal any small landing craft. A jetty would have to be built by engineers, probably under fire, to allow the large transport ships to disgorge the guns and other paraphernalia of modern artillery combat.

Please be gentle 8O

FreyFox
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Re: Battle of Shimushu

Post by FreyFox » 30 Jan 2014 23:39

Specifications in the text are necessary to you?

gebhk
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Re: Battle of Shimushu

Post by gebhk » 02 Feb 2014 22:59

FreyFox your response much appreciated. Alas, I'm not entirely sure what you mean :(

FreyFox
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Re: Battle of Shimushu

Post by FreyFox » 06 Feb 2014 23:16

I am sorry. I use the electronic translator and consequently the sense of the written can vanish.)

Whether it is necessary to correct errors in your test? To add something?


For example - "16 assault boats" - 16 Landing Craft Infantry (LCI (L)), entering into 5th separate battalion of landing vessels (5-й отдельный дивизион десантных судов (ОДДС)).

"The Forward Detachment consisted of 355 Naval Infantry Battalion" - 355 battalion of marines participated in storm of the city of Sejsin and was not at war on Shimushu.
For landing operation the separate battalion of marines (no number) in amounts approximately 700 persons has been generated.


?

gebhk
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Re: Battle of Shimushu

Post by gebhk » 20 Feb 2014 13:28

Thanks FreyFox, your help is much appreciated and no apology is needed!

I must apologise however for not responding sooner, i have been away from my computer.

You are absolutely right, I am looking for any corrections or additions more knowledgeable people can add.

I picked up the 355 designation from a Japanese source. While the Seijin business concluded on 15th August, I believe, it is a stretch to imagine the battalion could have been transported to Petropavlovsk by the early hours of the 17th. Do you know who the personnel of the battalion were? What photos I have seen from Shumshu suggest they are uniformed as marine infantry rather than sailors pressed into service.

While on the subject I was unable to ascertain whether this battalion had a normal Soviet Infantry battalion structure (HQ, signals platoon. 3 rifle companies, machine gun company, mortar company) or a different one. For the moment we have assumed the former, but we are keen to review if the reality was different.

You are quite right on the subject of 'landing boats' (which I quoted after Glantz). While technically the LCI(L) is a landing boat, this term does not do it justice.

I will upload the second part on the actual battle shortly, also with a plea for corrections/additions.

gebhk
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Re: Battle of Shimushu

Post by gebhk » 20 Feb 2014 14:04

Here goes:

As the Soviet fleet steamed towards the Kuriles, Soviet airplanes bombed Shumshu and Paramushir. At 04.30 on 18th August and in dense fog, the Forward Detachment made landfall on the beach between capes Kokutan and Kotomari. The surprised Japanese beach defenders were quickly driven off, however the advance from the beaches stalled in the fire of Japanese defences on Cape Kotomari and hill complex 170.7 (Hills 171 and 165). The Japanese counterattacked with infantry and tanks but were eventually driven off by naval gunfire losing many tanks.

With a beachhead of sorts secured, the first echelon of the main force and the diversionary unit began landing at 06.30. As the fog lifted the Japanese opened up a withering fire on the incoming landing craft and 5 out of the 16 LSI(L)s engaged were sunk while two others sustained direct hits. The minesweeper Okhotsk was severely damaged and 15 crew members were killed. To make things worse, during the landing operation the radios assigned to the forward detachment were ruined by seawater. The HQs on-board ship were therefore blinded to the situation on land for 5-6 hours and the naval artillery was denied forward observation. Consequently the Soviet response to the Japanese artillery proved ineffective as the Japanese batteries were well fortified and camouflaged.

The first echelon completed its landing at 09.00 to be followed by the 2nd echelon which completed its landings at 13.00. Very little artillery could be landed until sailors and sappers constructed an extemporised quay under fire, to enable the landing of the heavy guns, albeit at a slow rate. Heavy fighting raged for the hill 170.7 complex as the second echelon reinforced the first and the Japanese were reinforced with elements of 73rd Infantry Brigade. At 14.00 the Japanese counterattacked with infantry and about 18 tanks. The attack was eventually repulsed with most of the tanks destroyed by anti-tank rifles and naval gunfire.

Interestingly, Japanese sources do not mention any morning or afternoon tank attacks. Instead they describe one attack at 6.50pm by 30 vehicles of col Ikeda’s tank regiment which overran a company of Soviet infantry near Mt Shirei (?Hill 171). At 7.50 pm they then charged towards the landing beaches where in the evening mist, a deadly two hour-long close range battle developed between the tanks and hastily unloaded Soviet anti-tank guns. With the misty conditions favouring the defence, the regiment was annihilated. Over 100 Soviet troops died as well as 96 Japanese tankers including col Ikeda and 4 of his 6 company commanders. 21 tanks were destroyed. It is difficult to reconcile the Soviet and Japanese accounts unless one assumes a translation error and the times quoted were in fact 6.50am and 7.50am.

After 5 hours of heavy fighting during which time the hills changed hands three times, the Soviets finally captured the heights. Seamen Nikolai Vilkov and Piotr Iljichev were awarded the Hero of the Soviet Union for covering gun ports of Japanese emplacement on hill 171 with their own bodies. During the night of 18-19 August, assault groups finally seized capes Kotomari and Kokutan. As a result eleven more artillery pieces could be landed on the morning of 19th August tilting the balance firmly in the Soviet favour. A cease fire was signed on 21 August although sporadic fighting continued until the garrison officially surrendered on 23 August.

On 21 August the minelayer Okhotsk (capt Moisenko) was attacked by two Japanese small wooden motor torpedo boats (MTBs) with a torpedo which missed and machine gun fire which caused light damage. One of the boats was sunk and the other driven off by the minelayer in the only action of the war between surface units of the Japanese and Soviet navies

Due to the heavy fog, air operations could not commence till around noon on 18 August. Thereafter groups of 8-16 Soviet aircraft primarily raided Kataoka and the Kashiwara base on Paramushir to prevent Japanese reinforcements reaching Shumshu. In their turn the Japanese bombed the Cape Lopatka costal batteries which were providing fire support to the landings from the Soviet mainland. Soviet landing craft were also attacked. The same day, between 10.30 and 13.30, either 2 or 7-8 Japanese aircraft attacked minesweeper T-525. They were shot down or driven off by the ships AA fire, one crashing ashore on Shumshu. Some sources indicate that minesweeping cutter KT-152 was sunk or damaged by a Japanese Kamikaze attack on 18 or 19 August in the Shumshu area.

Between 22nd August and 4th September the remainder of the Kuriles were occupied against lighter resistance. Overall the Soviets captured over 50,000 POWs, over 20,000 rifles, 900 machine guns, 300 guns and mortars and 60 tanks.

DocB
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Re: Battle of Shimushu

Post by DocB » 28 May 2014 05:13

Dear gebhk,let me make a couple of additions, too. Regarding the timeline of the events: all Russian sources use Kamchatka time, which is 3 hours ahead of Tokyo time, that is used by the Japanese. In the afternoon of the August 17th, Soviet planes, including lend-leased "Catalinas" of 128 SAD bombed and photographed targets on Shimushu. At 23:50 the 945th Independent Artillery Battery from Cape Lopatka (long-range coastal artillery) fired upon the Japanese ships in Shimushu Strait by the grounded ex-Soviet tanker "Mariupol", which now had the Japanese AA battery installed. The firing continued at least until 02:35 of August 18th, when it was seen from the landing crafts, entering the Shimushu Strait. At 04:06 the fire of the 945 IAB was reopened to the shores of Shimushu. There is an opinion, however, that the first shot was fired by mistake from one of the Soviet ships, rather than by coastal battery from Lopatka. At 04:10 the forward detachment of the first echelon started the landfall, which was completed by 5 am with minimal losses. Japanese AA battery from "Mariupol" opened fire on the landing crafts as early as 04:11, followed by the batteries from capes Kokutan and Kotomari. By 06:46 the fog became very dense, nevertheless, few Soviet crafts were damaged by the Japanese artillery. The second echelon was ordered to start landing only at 08:12.
That's it for now, I'll try to be back soon!
Regards,
Boris

gebhk
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Re: Battle of Shimushu

Post by gebhk » 26 Jun 2014 11:08

Dear Bori

Many thanks. Apologies, I'd given up on this and so missed your post. Very helpful. I havn't thought of time zone differences between Japanese and Soviet sources. The only problem is that unless I've got into a muddle, this makes the 'tank battle' discrepancies bigger rather than smaller?? :(

FreyFox
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Re: Battle of Shimushu

Post by FreyFox » 10 Jul 2014 01:00

Lieutenant Synod Tamio (筱 田 民 雄) commander of the 1st platoon of the 2nd Company of the 11th Tank Regiment.


"18.08 - day of destiny. As in a dream I heard the voice of Mr. Tanaka watch officer: "The enemy is attacking Kokutai and began landing. Anxiety! "
On the phone received an order from the commander of the regiment. The enemy landed at Cape Kokutai and began to attack our defenses. The battalion commander collects platoon commanders. Returning, a platoon commander gave the order to prepare for battle tanks. Until dawn. Three hours and thirty minutes Tokyo time (3.30). Previously, we were ordered to prepare to disarm tanks, and now to fight. Received an order to refuel and get ammo. Platoon commander urges, preparing to enter first. Six in the morning dawn. Tank battalion commander does not start, and he's nervous.
Polk came to the heights that went out and ready for battle, and the battalion commander was forced to change on the car commander of the first platoon.
Before the fight, I usually replaced winter clothes summer uniforms, sprinkled on the shape and underwear from the vial of perfume, brought from home, I was ready to die. On that day, in the morning there was a thick fog ahead and could not see anything. Tank first entered the fog and headed north through Bisindzyan. Approached the ravine, stopped to clarify the situation. The regimental commander and the commander decided to walk forward. We were waiting. I suddenly noticed on the eastern slope Sirindzyan standing on road light tank. Coming out of the tank, said that it was a tank captain Ito, commander of the fourth company. He was in the forefront and was hit from anti-tank rifle. Gone crawl. To reassure myself, took out a cigarette. But Ito himself gave me a cigarette from the emperor (ritual). She was eligible at the time. Cigarette residue gave subordinates. Ito said the situation at the front, said that the regimental headquarters is located at Sirindzyan.
Height was covered in mist. Ahead I could see nothing. Walked into the mist. When approached the saddle, was heard team. On the right side Otaydzan - see the outlines of the tank. Fog prevented navigate the terrain. Neighboring company commander said signal flag and immediately moved forward under the nose of the enemy and turned left. I had to look out from the tower on the field to see where the enemy is. If you notice the black pieces, fired guns and rifles. Flew out of the fog a little black lumps, fell and exploded in the bumper. These were hand grenades. Command pulled rifle and where I saw the enemy, shot, I shot with a pistol. Anti-bullet hit right in the tower. Tank flushed and began to burn like a torch with an unusual noise. There was a feeling that melts metal."


Maybe there are translation errors? About what the battalion commander can we talk?


Original in Russian:

Лейтенант Синода Тамио (篠田民雄) командир 1-го взвода 2-й роты 11-го танкового полка.

"18.08 – день судьбы. Как во сне слышу голос вахтенного офицера господина Танака: «Враг атакует Кокутан и начал высадку. Тревога!!!»
По телефону поступил приказ от командира полка. Враг высадился на мысе Кокутан и начал атаковать нашу оборону. Командир батальона собирает командиров взводов. Возвратившись, командир взвода отдает приказ готовить танки к бою. Пока не рассвело. Три часа тридцать минут по токийскому времени (3.30). Ранее мы получили приказ готовить танки к разоружению, а сейчас к бою. Поступил приказ заправиться топливом и получить боеприпасы. Командир взвода торопит, готовится выйти первым. Рассвело в шесть утра. Танк командира батальона не заводится и он нервничает.
Полк подошел к высотам, что вышли и готовы к бою, а командир батальона вынужден был пересесть на машину командира первого взвода.
Перед боем я обычную зимнюю одежду сменил на летнюю форму, побрызгал на форму и нижнее бельё из флакончика духов, привезенных из дома, я был готов к смерти. В тот день с утра был густой туман и впереди ничего не было видно. Танк вошел в туман первым и двинулся на север через Бисиндзян. Подошли к оврагу, остановились, чтобы выяснить обстановку. Командир полка и комбат пошли пешком вперед. Мы были в ожидании. Я вдруг заметил на восточном склоне Сириндзян стоящий на дороге легкий танк. Выходя из танка, уточнил, что это был танк капитана Ито, командира четвертой роты. Он был в авангарде и был подбит из противотанкового ружья. Прошли мурашки по телу. Чтобы себя успокоить, вынул сигарету. Но Ито сам угостил меня сигаретой от императора (ритуальная). Она была подходяща в тот момент. Остаток сигареты отдал подчиненным. Ито рассказал обстановку на фронте, рассказал что штаб полка находится на высоте Сириндзян.
Высота была покрыта туманом. Впереди ничего не было видно. Шли в тумане. Когда приблизились к седловине, стала слышна команда. В правой стороне Отайдзан – видны очертания танка. Туман мешал ориентироваться на местности. Соседний командир роты заметил сигнальный флаг и сразу двинулся вперед под носом у врагов и повернул налево. Пришлось из башни выглядывать на поле, чтобы увидеть где враг. Если замечали черные фигуры, стреляли из пушки и винтовки. Из тумана вылетали маленькие черные комочки, попадали в бампер и взрывались. Это были ручные гранаты. Командир вытащил карабин и где видел врага, стрелял, я стрелял из пистолета. Противотанковая пуля попала прямо в башню. Танк вспыхнул и начал гореть как факел с необычным шумом. Было ощущение, что плавится металл."

FreyFox
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Re: Battle of Shimushu

Post by FreyFox » 24 Sep 2014 00:48

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Destroyed Japanese tank Shumshu island.
The question is, what do the tactical symbols on this tank?
Whether it is possible for them to find out who was in the tank, a crew?

FreyFox
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Re: Battle of Shimushu

Post by FreyFox » 24 Sep 2014 00:58

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Japanese bunker, which was destroyed by Soviet marines. The entire garrison was killed bin along with the commander Sekine Fumio.


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The current state of the bunker after the excavation.

Remains were found the remains of Japanese soldiers, they were taken to Sakhalin, and will be transferred to the Japanese officials.

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