Japanese forces in Indo-China 1940/41

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Peter H
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Japanese forces in Indo-China 1940/41

Post by Peter H » 29 May 2006 10:35

1940

http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/Wo ... /japan.htm

On September 22, following a Japanese ultimatum involving a threat of force, a military agreement concluded between the French and Japanese authorities provided for Japan's use of three airdromes and for the transit, in case of operations against China, of Japanese troops. Notwithstanding this agreement, Japanese forces attacked Indochina and occupied several strategic points there.


Photo from Corbis.Near Haiphong.
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Post by Peter H » 29 May 2006 10:41

1941

http://www.ibiblio.org/pha/timeline/410717bmie.html

As was made known to the Chief of Staff July 16,1941, the Japanese Government on July 12, 1941, delivered what amounts to an ultimatum to the Vichy Government, the terms of which, among other items, provided for the occupation by Japanese armed forces of eight air bases and two naval bases in Southern Indo-China...

2. It is the considered opinion of this Division that this Japanese movement as planned, while opportunistic in conception, was also strategically defensive in character and designed primarily to prevent British and American influence from shutting off supplies of rubber, tin and rice from Thailand and Indo China which are badly needed by Japan.


Can anyone supply details on the Japanese divisions,units involved in both 1940 and 1941?

More photos from Corbis.
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asiaticus
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West Indochina Expedionary Force.

Post by asiaticus » 30 May 2006 01:17

Accordin to the Japanese - Vichy accord the Japanese were to be allowed a garrison force of 6000men and allowed a transit and garrison strength of 25,000men.

The garrison force was the West Indochina Expedionary force commanded by Lieutenant-General Takuma Nishimura according to my Babblefish tranlation of this source :

IJA in China orbat, 1937 to 1945 1937 to 1945
http://www.china-defense.com/forum/show ... php?t=1168

印度支那派遣军司令官西村琢磨少将,参谋长长勇大佐,1940年9月5日编成,1941年7月5日撤消。
下辖:印度支那派遣步兵团团长樱田武少将:近卫步兵第2联队联队长小菌江邦雄大佐、印度支那派遣军战车队、印度支那派遣军高射炮队。

it was composed of these units:

West Indo-China Expeditionary Force commanders major general ??, colonel ??, formed on September 5, 1940, abolished on July 5, 1941.

Next governs:
Indo-China dispatch Infantry Regiment commander Major General ????:
2nd Imperial Guard Infantry Regiment Regimental commander Colonel ???? ,
Indo-China expeditionary force tank unit,
Indo-China expeditionary force anti-aircraft gun team.

Note Babblefish doesnt translate Japanese names very well! :^(
-------------------

The accord mentioned above was signed on the 22nd of September with the
Expeditionary force was aboard a task force offshore ready to land but permission was not forthcomming because something went wrong.

Within hours of its signing three columns of IJA's 5th Division from the bordering province of Kwangzi came over the border heading for the railhead at Lang Son.
Soon there was fighting with a brigade of French Colonial forces and Foreign Legionaries. The fighting lasted to the 25th when the capture of Lang Son opened the way to Hanoi. Still Vichy defenders in the north, south, and fresh battalions barring the route from Lang Son to Hanoi were in position.

Hsu Long-hsuen and Chang Ming-kai, History of The Sino-Japanese War says on pg. 317 that the 5th Division moved into Vietnam.
I dont know the strengths of these columns but the Japanese were still holding on to western Kwangzi against the Chinese so I am doubtful these columns were the full 5th Divison because it is mentioned in IJA in China orbat, 1937 to 1945 as moving from Nanning to Shanghai in Oct. 1940. However a large number of 5th Divison troops, if not all, were evacuated from China thru Indochina.
It would be nice to get some clarifiation on all this.

General Nishihara, and joined the task force. In the morning of Sept. 24th Japanese aircraft began flights for reconnaissance and intimidation.
Vichy envoy came to negotiate, but meantime shore defenses remained under orders to open fire against any attempt to force a landing.
On September 26th Japanese forces came ashore at Dong Tac, south of Haiphong, and began moving on the port. A second landing put tanks ashore and Haiphong was bombed. By early afternoon the Japanese force of some 4500 troops and tanks was outside Haiphong.

Meanwhile on September 23rd Vichy had approached the government in Tokyo to protest breach of the agreements by the South China Front Army forces.
On September 25th Emperor Hirohito ordered an end to hostilities, and by the evening of September 26th fighting had died down.

Apparently General Nishihara, was relived and replaced by a General Sumida. Japan took possession of airfields at Gia Lam, Lao Kay, and Phu Lang Thuong and stationed 900 troops in the port of Haiphong and a further 600 in Hanoi.

More detail on all this at:
http://stonebooks.com/history/vichyvsjapan.shtml

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Post by Akira Takizawa » 30 May 2006 05:43

North Indochina in 1940

5th Division - Lt. Gen. Akihito Nakamura
Indochina Expeditionary Army - Major Gen. Takuma Nishimura
 Indochina Expeditionary Infantry Group - Major Gen. Takeshi Sakurada
 2nd Imperial Guards Infantry Regiment - Col. Kunio Osonoe
 Indochina Expeditionary Tank Unit (14th Tank Regiment)
 Indochina Expeditionary AA Gun Unit, Signal Unit and others

South Indochina in 1941

25th Army - Lt. Gen. Shojiro Iida
Imperial Guards division - Lt. Gen. Takuma Nishimura
21st Independent Mixed Brigade (Stayed in North Indochina)
14th Tank Regiment
21st Field Artillery Battalion
23rd AA Gun Regiment
21st Independent Flying Unit
5th Railway Regiment
25th Army Signal Unit and others


Taki

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Peter H
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Post by Peter H » 30 May 2006 10:10

Thanks to all.

A link here on the 1942-45 situation in Indo-China as well:

viewtopic.php?t=76655

Regards,
Peter

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Transfers from 22nd Army to Indochina and elsewhere in 1940

Post by asiaticus » 30 May 2006 15:45

Here are a list of transfers from 22nd Army to Indochina and elsewhere in 1940 from a tranlation of:
IJA in China orbat, 1937 to 1945
http://www.china-defense.com/forum/show ... php?t=1168

On October 1st, 5th Division was ordered to move from Nanning to Shanghai coming under under Supreme Headquarters command on the 12th.

October 1940, the 近卫 [Imperial Guard] Division ,ie Guards Mixed Brigade] joined other Japanese units occupying French Indo-China.

In Mid-November, the 22nd Army headquarters and the Taiwan Mixed Brigade were to transfer to Taiwan.

The 近卫[Imperial Guard]Division [2nd Imperial Guard Brigade?] formed in Tokyo on June 3, 1940 , on June 26 enrolled in the 22nd Army order of battle, the same date set sail from Tokyo Bay, landed July 20 to 25th in Gulf of Tonkin's Qinzhou, transfers to the Guangdong [povince], Zhongshan County. [Leichou Pennnsula].

On November 19, the 22nd armed force order of battle is abolished, its headquarters demobilized; the Imperial Guard Division is turned over to South China Front Army control.

--------

Was wondering if these are correct?

Also was wondering when the 2nd Imperial Guard Brigade on the Leichou Pennnsula but under South China Front Army
control were relieved and sent to Indochina to link up with the Guard Mixed Brigade?

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Re: Transfers from 22nd Army to Indochina and elsewhere in 1

Post by Akira Takizawa » 30 May 2006 17:41

> coming under under Supreme Headquarters command on the 12th.

placed under the direct-control of the QHG on Oct. 12th.


> October 1940, the 近卫 [Imperial Guard] Division ,ie Guards Mixed Brigade] joined other Japanese units occupying French Indo-China.

Guards Mixed Brigade returned to Guards Division in July 1940 at Nanning. So, it is Guards Division.


> The 近卫[Imperial Guard]Division [2nd Imperial Guard Brigade?] formed in Tokyo on June 3, 1940

Imperial Guard Division was mobilized at Tokyo on June 3, 1940


> Also was wondering when the 2nd Imperial Guard Brigade on the Leichou Pennnsula but under South China Front Army
control were relieved and sent to Indochina to link up with the Guard Mixed Brigade?

2nd Guard Brigade was reorganized to the Infantry Group of Guards Division in Nov. 1940. Guards Division was assinged to 25th Army on July 5th, 1941 and departed from Hainan to South Indochina on July 25th.


Taki

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Thanks

Post by asiaticus » 30 May 2006 20:55

Ok. That clears up some confusion on my part I think.

So does this seem right:

The Imperial Guard Division [HQ and 2nd Imperial Guard Brigade, with supoorts] was mobilized in Tokyo on June 3, 1940 , on June 26 enrolled in the 22nd Army order of battle, the same date set sail from Tokyo Bay, landed July 20 to 25th in Gulf of Tonkin's Qinzhou, transfers to the Guangdong province Zhongshan County [Leichou Pennnsula].

Guards Mixed Brigade returned to Guards Division as the 1st Guards Brigade in July 1940 at Nanning.

2nd Imperial Guards Infantry Regiment under Col. Kunio Osonoe from 1st Guards Brigade was assigned to Indochina Indochina Expeditionary Army.

October 1940, the remainder of 1st Guards Brigade [1st Guard Regiment?] joined other Japanese units occupying French Indo-China?

2nd Guard Brigade was reorganized to the Infantry Group of Guards Division in Nov. 1940.

In June 1941, the 5th Guards Infantry Regiment joined Infantry Group of Imperial Guards Division on Hainan Island and the Imperial Guard Division was brought up to full planed strength as a triangular division.

In April 1941, 1st Guards Brigade returned to Tokyo, but did not re-join the Imperial Guards Division.

Guards Division was assinged to 25th Army on July 5th, 1941 and departed from Hainan to South Indochina on July 25th, 1941.

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Re: Thanks

Post by Akira Takizawa » 31 May 2006 03:14

> October 1940, the remainder of 1st Guards Brigade [1st Guard Regiment?] joined other Japanese units occupying French Indo-China?

In Dec. 1940, 1st Guard Regiment returned to Japan and it was demobilized.

> In April 1941, 1st Guards Brigade returned to Tokyo, but did not re-join the Imperial Guards Division.

1st Guards Brigade became Indochina Expeditionary Infantry Group. It was demobilized in Feb. 1941.


Taki

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1st Guard Regiment

Post by asiaticus » 31 May 2006 07:22

> October 1940, the remainder of 1st Guards Brigade [1st Guard Regiment?] joined other Japanese units occupying French Indo-China?

In Dec. 1940, 1st Guard Regiment returned to Japan and it was demobilized.


So from September 1940 did the 1st Guard Regiment remain in Kwangzi until the 22nd Army withdrew from Nanning-Qinzhou to Hainan Island ? or Taiwan? in November or did it go to Indochina in October before it is sent to Japan in December?

The Chinese seem to have thought they were facing the Guard in Kwangzi after the occupation of Indochina and some of the Japanese from Longzhow and western Kwangzi withdrew into Indochina on Oct. 26th. Would that have been the 1st Guard Regt.?

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Re: 1st Guard Regiment

Post by Akira Takizawa » 31 May 2006 08:39

> So from September 1940 did the 1st Guard Regiment remain in Kwangzi until the 22nd Army withdrew from Nanning-Qinzhou to Hainan Island ?

Yes

> did it go to Indochina in October before it is sent to Japan in December?

No

> The Chinese seem to have thought they were facing the Guard in Kwangzi after the occupation of Indochina and some of the Japanese from Longzhow and western Kwangzi withdrew into Indochina on Oct. 26th. Would that have been the 1st Guard Regt.?

It will be Guard Division. The 1st Guard Regiment was under the Guard Division.


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Re: 1st Guard Regiment and the 39-40 Winter Offensive

Post by asiaticus » 01 Jun 2006 10:35

Ok. That helps. Now I know where all the peices went.

Thanks Taki

I am going to cover more about the Chinese Chinese Winter Offensive (Late Nov 1939 - Late March 1940). The book has a very sketchy listing of the Chinese units involved in these operatons and even worse for the Japanese side in the text but there is more in the map of the thing. I think I will cover this by the Japanese Front Army involved. So since I have covered South China already in the previous article, I will do Central China then the North.

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Post by Peter H » 18 Dec 2006 13:31

Lang Son 1940:

http://history.sandiego.edu/gen/WW2Text/wwt0042

Within hours of the accords being signed, the Japanese 5th Infantry Division of the Army of Canton, withdrawing from China, crossed the border at three points in the vicinity of the rail junction at Lang Son which lies
some 16 kilometers inside Indo-China. This movement contravened the new accords so that Vichy authorities in Hanoi faced an immediate crisis....

...On the Vichy side, the Lang Son sector, under the command of General Mennerat of the 2nd Brigade, included five battalions of infantry, a group of tanks, a group of 75's and a battery of 155's; all told, about 5000
troops representing elements of 3rd Regiment Tirailleurs Tonkinois, 9th Regiment d'Infanterie Coloniale, and 5th Regiment Etrangere d'Infanterie.

The Japanese attack began at 2200 on 22 September 1940. The northern column took Bi Nhi on the border and advanced up the road to the north toward That Khe (defended by one company), away from the main battle. The main effort came from the central column which crossed the border at Nam Quam, pushed aside two companies of II/3rd RTT, and then turned south at Dong Dang along the road and railway. The southern column rolled through the platoon holding Chima and attacked Loc Binh; there the bulk of a company of II/3rd RTT withdrew southward to cover Na Dzuong (reinforced there by elements of 9th RIC) while the Japanese pushed northward to support the central column's drive on Lang Son and cut the railroad to Hanoi. Thus Lang Son was threatened by the southern column and by the central column moving down from the north.

As the Japanese columns advanced on 23 September, Vichy commanders desperately attempted to impose control on the confused situation. Reserves were dispatched to the sector, but by afternoon enemy spearheads were already approaching Lang Son from the north. The airstrip there was bombed out in the afternoon.

The next day, IV/3rd RTT, brought up from its frontier posts in the night,attempted to counterattack in the direction of Dong Dang but was forestalled by a Japanese thrust from that town toward Khanh Khe conducted
by part of the central column. Most of the native troops of the Vichy battalion melted away, leaving only the French elements.

Meanwhile, the central and southern Japanese columns continued to tighten their hold on Lang Son. The local Vichy commander contemplated withdrawal while a route remained open, but was ordered by General Martin in Hanoi to hold the town. South of the Song Ky Kong, the Japanese column took advantage of confusion among the defenders to push to the edge of town.North of the river in Ky Lua, the Japanese opened their 25 September
assault against I/3rd RTT with heavy artillery preparation at 0530. Three hours later General Mennerat notified Hanoi that Lang Son, isolated and untenable without air and artillery support, must surrender. At 1040
General Martin granted permission and, following local negotiations, the bulk of I/3rd RTT and II/5th REI, remnants of I/9th RIC, and brigade HQ fell into Japanese hands.

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Post by Peter H » 20 Jan 2007 06:51

From Sekai Gahou (Pictorial Post),1941,

Japanese troops parade through Saigon.
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Post by Peter H » 20 Jan 2007 06:56

July 1941 again
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