Sonoda Force

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Peter H
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Sonoda Force

Post by Peter H » 16 Oct 2010 23:56

Described by Gordon Rottman in his Japanese army in World War II: conquest of the Pacific 1941-42 as the "tank-heavy Sonoda Force (sometimes referred to as a "tank brigade")" under Colonel Sonoda Seinosuke,it saw intense action in Luzon,Bataan in 1941/1942.

Rottman gives its composition as the 7th Tank Regiment,4th Tank Regiment,1 Battalion/2nd Formosa Inf Regt and a Company of the 48th Engineers.Initially Sonoda commanded the 7th Tank Regiment.


From a 1943 Japanese Commerative Magazine on the Battle for the Philippines (published in both Japanese and English).
A war correspondent calls on Sonoda (Killed in action),Commanding Officer of a tank unit,in the vicinity of Orani..
Colonel Sonoda was later killed in the Bataan fighting? Has anyone any further details on this officer?
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Peter H
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Re: Sonoda Force

Post by Peter H » 17 Oct 2010 00:00

A destroyed Japanese tank is also shown.

According to here ( http://www.history.army.mil/books/wwii/5-2/5-2_12.htm ) eight Japanese tanks were lost in the Battle of Baliuag?
At about 1700 the tanks of Company C, led by Lt. William Gentry, moved out to the attack. As the two platoons approached the enemy, the covering artillery fire, presumably supplied by the 71st Field Artillery, lifted. A bitter fight ensued. The American armor made a shambles of that part of Baliuag in Japanese hands. The tanks rolled through the streets, firing into bahays, smashing through the nipa huts as if they were so many toy houses, and scattering hostile infantry right and left. A brief but wild tank-versus-tank action followed. In the fading daylight American and Japanese tanks chased each other up and down the narrow streets, while enemy foot soldiers, in a futile gesture, fired small arms at the tankers. The SPM's and artillery remained idle, unable to fire for fear of hitting their own tanks. When Company C finally broke off the action, it had knocked out eight Japanese tanks with little loss to itself.
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Peter H
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Re: Sonoda Force

Post by Peter H » 17 Oct 2010 00:02

More of Sonoda's tanks?
Street fighting in Tayabas..
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Peter H
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Re: Sonoda Force

Post by Peter H » 17 Oct 2010 00:14

From: http://www.history.army.mil/books/wwii/5-2/5-2_12.htm

Sonoda's lunge in the east to cut off the retreat to Bataan.
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hisashi
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Re: Sonoda Force

Post by hisashi » 17 Oct 2010 03:23

園田晟之助(Sonoda Seinosuke) 1895-1942

Before Philippine Campaugn 1941-1942 IJA alloted tank 4th and tank 7th regiment to Homma's 14th army. Somoda was a colonel and Lt.Col. Kumagaya (possibly Kumagai) Shoji led the 4th. It seems that Sonoda was authorized to direct Kumagaya and the two was named Sonoda detachment (Sonoda Shitai). From landing to Lingaen to the fall of Manila the two regiments fought as GHQ units of the 14th army. They might have fought with 48th division in 14th army in this period and appeared on the front as a tenporal mixed force, by the order of attached division's leader.

After Jan 1942 48th division and yank 4th regiment moved to Indonesia. IJA was optimistic to wipe out Bataan, but they were wrong. IJA reinforced 4th division from China theater and GHQ artilleries deployed to take Hongkong.

In the assault in April 1942 Sonoda's tank 7th regiment was at the disposal of 4th division. In 5 Apr IJA occupied the peak of Mt.Samat but allied resistance by artillery fire was still fierce. Next day (6 Apr) IJA occupied nearby artillery positions and during this battle Sonoda fell by artillery fire. IJA gave him the rank of major general.

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Peter H
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Re: Sonoda Force

Post by Peter H » 17 Oct 2010 04:51

Thanks hisashi.

I found this as well: http://www.31stinfantry.org/HTMLobj-213 ... ctober.pdf
Remnants of the 31st Infantry’s Antitank Company, totaling three 37mm antitank guns, were positioned to cover the Pilar-Bagac Road. As six Japanese tanks appeared, two of the 37mm guns fired over 40 rounds, mortally wounding the Japanese 7th Tank Regiment’s commander, Colonel Sonoda, and disabling two of his tanks. The remaining tanks spotted the two antitank guns and knocked them both out.

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Akira Takizawa
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Re: Sonoda Force

Post by Akira Takizawa » 17 Oct 2010 04:51

> A destroyed Japanese tank is also shown.

No, it was not destroyed. Only camouflaged.
Type89Phil743.jpg
> More of Sonoda's tanks?

No, they are Type 97 Tankettes from 16th Recon Regiment.

Taki
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Peter H
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Re: Sonoda Force

Post by Peter H » 17 Oct 2010 05:08

Thanks Taki.

Emblem indicates 7th Tank Regiment?
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Akira Takizawa
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Re: Sonoda Force

Post by Akira Takizawa » 17 Oct 2010 05:11

Sonoda Seinosuke

Born in Hyogo Pref. 36th graduate of IJA University. Speciality is infantry.
7/15/1938 Colonel
9/18/1939 Chief of China Section of General Staff Office
3/1/1941 Commander of 7th Tank Regiment
4/6/1942 Killed in action during Bataan Campaign. Posthumous Major Gen.

Taki
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Akira Takizawa
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Re: Sonoda Force

Post by Akira Takizawa » 17 Oct 2010 05:13

Peter H wrote:Emblem indicates 7th Tank Regiment?
Yes, it indicates the 2nd Company of 7th Tank Regiment.

Taki

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Peter H
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Re: Sonoda Force

Post by Peter H » 17 Oct 2010 07:06

Thanks Taki.

More tanks of the same unit then.
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Peter H
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Re: Sonoda Force

Post by Peter H » 17 Oct 2010 07:08

The photo of Sonoda posted by Taki suggests this is him here with glasses.Note facial features also match in my view.
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Re: Sonoda Force

Post by Akira Takizawa » 17 Oct 2010 11:04

Peter H wrote:The photo of Sonoda posted by Taki suggests this is him here with glasses.Note facial features also match in my view.
No, Sonoda is him.
Type89Phil743.jpg
I also upload his photo just before the Philippines Campaign.
Sonoda2.jpg
Taki
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Peter H
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Re: Sonoda Force

Post by Peter H » 17 Oct 2010 16:08

Thanks Taki.

Have you any figures on tank losses for the 7th,4th Tank Regts in the Philippines campaign?

Peter

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Akira Takizawa
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Re: Sonoda Force

Post by Akira Takizawa » 17 Oct 2010 16:24

Peter H wrote:Have you any figures on tank losses for the 7th,4th Tank Regts in the Philippines campaign?
No, I don't.

Taki

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