Zhabei Force 1937

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marek O.
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Joined: 26 Aug 2005 17:11
Location: Bialystok, Poland

Zhabei Force 1937

Post by marek O. » 19 Sep 2023 10:20

Hello gentlemen,
I have few questions about Zhabei Force.
Found lately few infos about Shanghai battle. Mostly from internet pages. That's why they need to be confirmed.
According to internet sources:
Zhabei Force was IJN unit, created on October 27th 1937. I don't know the name of commanding officer.
Force consisted from: Shanghai SNLF 2nd Batalion [lt. Sano Shigeshi],
3rd Batalion [lt. Ito Shigeru],
6th Batalion [lt. cmdr. Baba Kinji],
10th Batalion [lt. cmdr. Haji Kitaro],
12th Batalion [?]. 12th Battalion is a ne information. Until now I was sure that Shanghai SNLF have had 10 battalions. And now this. Logically, if there were 12th, then 11th is also a must. So I have this questions:
1st. Who commanded Zhabei Force?
2nd. Who commanded 11th and 12th Battalions from Shanghai SNLF? If, of course, such units existed at all.
Another thing is Sihang Warehouse battle. 10th Battalion [lt. cmdr. Haji Kitaro] was supposed to be supported in the battle by some other IJN units. I have found info that they were: 2nd Independent Company from Yokosuka SNLF ; 8th, 9th Companies from 4th Battalion Shanghai SNFL. I suspect in the case of Yokosuka Unit it might be a typo, and it was Independent Company from 2nd Yokosuka SNLF. And 4th Battalion was supposed to be disbanded before battle for Shanghai broke out, few months before Sihang Warehouse. By the way I found information that 4th Battalion was under command of lt. Fukumi Koichi. I don't know when it was, if at all. Your comments would be very appreciaeted.

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Akira Takizawa
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Location: Japan

Re: Zhabei Force 1937

Post by Akira Takizawa » 19 Sep 2023 16:59

1st. Who commanded Zhabei Force?


2nd. Who commanded 11th and 12th Battalions from Shanghai SNLF? If, of course, such units existed

Sasebo 4th SNLF was called 11th Battalion and Sasebo 2nd SNLF was called 12th Battalion. The commander of Sasebo 4th SNLF was Lt. Cdr. Taketani Kiyoshi and the commander of Sasebo 2nd SNLF was Cdr. Ohnishi Shigeaki. Note that 11th Battalion was not in Zhabei Force, but in Northern Detachment.


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Re: Zhabei Force 1937

Post by adachi » 19 Sep 2023 22:12

I don't know the commander, but Sasebo 2nd SNLF Commander/11th Battalion Commander Lt.Cdr. Onishi Shigeaki (大西茂昭) was the most senior officer in the Zhabei Force. It's possible the Zhabei Force fell directly under R.Adm. Okochi's command though.

Before the 1937 Battle of Shanghai the Shanghai SNLF had five battalions (Command Battalion, 1st-3rd Battalions (infantry battalions) and 4th Battalion(Artillery)), plus special units such as the armored company. Over the battle it was reinforced with nine more SNLF battalions and six independent SNLF companies. However only the 9th and 10th and independent SNLF companies were officially part of the Shanghai SNLF, the rest were technically independent SNLF units that fell under the Shanghai SNLF's command.

Essentially it was as follows

Command Battalion (Shanghai SNLF) - Lt.Cdr. Sakakibara Kenzo (KIA) (not confirmed, but I think Lt.Cdr. Esaka Wataru replaced him)
1st Battalion (Shanghai SNLF) - Lt.Cdr. Hashimoto Uroku (replaced with Lt.Cdr. Tadano Sashichiro in September)
2nd Battalion (Shanghai SNLF) - Lt. Sano Shigeshi
3rd Battalion (Shanghai SNLF) - Lt. Ito Shigeru
4th Battalion (Shanghai SNLF) - Lt.Cdr. Fukuzaki Noboru
5th Battalion (Sasebo 5th SNLF) - Lt.Cdr. Shibakita Akira
6th Battalion (Kure 2nd SNLF) - Lt.Cdr. Baba Kinji
7th Battalion (Kure 1st SNLF) - Lt.Cdr. Higuchi Teiji
8th Battalion (Yokosuka 1st SNLF) - Lt.Cdr. Takeshita Nobutoyo
9th Battalion (Shanghai SNLF reinforcements formed at Sasebo) - Lt.Cdr. Tsukioka Toraju
10th Battalion (Shanghai SNLF reinforcements formed at Sasebo and Kure) - Lt.Cdr. Haji Kitaro
11th Battalion (Sasebo 4th SNLF) - Lt.Cdr. Takeya Kiyoshi
12th Battalion (Sasebo 2nd SNLF) - Lt.Cdr. Onishi Shigeaki
13th Battalion (Sasebo 3rd SNLF) - Lt.Cdr. Miyata Yoshinobu
Yokosuka 1st and 2nd Independent Companies (Shanghai SNLF)
Kure 3rd and 4th Independent Companies (Shanghai SNLF)
Sasebo 5th and 6th Independent Companies (Shanghai SNLF)

Fukumi Koichi was an adjutant/staff of the Shanghai SNLF.

The 4th Battalion continued to exist during the battle but often its men were deployed to different areas and placed under the command of other battalions.

During the Japanese assault on Sihang Warehouse, the Zhabei Force Southern WIng headed by Lt.Cdr. Haji Kitaro's 10th Battalion participated. While they were a two company organization of about 539 men, they were reinforced with the Yokosuka 2nd Independent SNLF Company (Kobayashi Company) and the Kure 1st SNLF 2nd Company (Koizumi Company), so they actually were a four company battalion with closer to 1000 men for the assault. The 8th and 9th Companies from the 4th Battalion also provided artillery support.

To note: while Chinese sources regard the defense of the warehouse as very costly for the Japanese, they are mostly fabrications. The IJN meticulously recorded their losses and only a single officer from the 10th Battalion died of his wounds during the assault, with minimal injuries sustained by the rest of the participating troops.

marek O.
Posts: 434
Joined: 26 Aug 2005 17:11
Location: Bialystok, Poland

Re: Zhabei Force 1937

Post by marek O. » 21 Sep 2023 11:54

Thank You gentlemen, both of You.
Adachi, in case of Your answer, it's almost an article.
Biggest possible regards,

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