Kenpeitai distribution in the Pacific

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shidan
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Kenpeitai distribution in the Pacific

Post by shidan » 13 Sep 2011 20:44

I was wondering what kind of distribution of the Kenpeitai there was on the islands and atolls of the Pacific? Were the numbers static, in that there was a set number per division? Was the Kenpeitai number varied and dependant upon how large the civilian population was on the island? I saw George Forty's book on the IJA and he has numbers for the Kenpeitai in the 1000's in China and Japan and lower numbers (100's) in places like the Philippines, Formosa, and Borneo. How many Kenpeitai would there be on Guam, Tinian, and Saipan for example? or Peleliu? Any info. would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Tom

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kgbudge
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Re: Kenpeitai distribution in the Pacific

Post by kgbudge » 14 Sep 2011 04:33

There may not have been many on the Pacific islands, which would have been in the Navy's domain of responsibility. You would have had Tokkeitai instead. I have very little information on their numbers.

For the Kempeitai, the breakdown I've found (from Lamont Brown's book) is roughly:

11,000 in Japan
almost 2000 in Korea
over 11,000 in China
almost 5000 in Manchuria
almost 6000 in the remainder of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.

I'm not sure how reliable Brown is. The book is somewhat sensationalized.

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Akira Takizawa
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Re: Kenpeitai distribution in the Pacific

Post by Akira Takizawa » 14 Sep 2011 05:33

Basically, Kempeitai was deployed at Army or Area Army. In the Pacific, 6th Field Kempeitai(275 men) was deployed at 8th Area Army at Rabaul and 8th Field Kempeitai(381 men) was deployed at 2nd Area Army on Halmahera. On other islands, Kempeitai was not deployed and some Kempais were stationed. They were from a few to dozens. For example, there were 5 kempais on Guam. But, the research of such a small number of personnels is difficult and the details of Kempais on Pacific islands are unknown.

Taki

shidan
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Re: Kenpeitai distribution in the Pacific

Post by shidan » 14 Sep 2011 07:06

Thank you kgbudge and Taki for the info. Much appreciated!

Tom

cstunts
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Re: Kenpeitai distribution in the Pacific

Post by cstunts » 16 Sep 2011 04:18

Hello,

This pertains to another island in the Nam'po, but may be useful information nonetheless:

Third Field Kenpeitai was formed out of a Manchurian Kenpei Training Regiment in Changchun (Xinjing, Manchukuo) in the summer of 1941.

It comprised Four companies of 60 men each (240 total) plus 20 commissioned officers, and one attached commissioned officer, MAJ Ikeyama Yasushi + Vice Commander CAPT Takayabu Saichiro, all commanded by Third Field Kenpeitai Commandant COL Kuzumi Kenzaburo.

Jan 3, '42 3rd FK was ordered to mobilize, left station at Mudanjiang on 6 Jan & arrived Dalian on 15 Jan '42. Set sail for the Southern regions 22 Jan. '42.

It was immediately attached to 16th Army under LT GEN Imamura Hitoshi, and joined this army in Cam Ranh Bay, Indo-China. From there it was sent to Java [earlier than planned] following the rapid collapse of Singapore on 15 Feb '42.

The majority of 3rd FK were in the invasion force that "landed" at Bantam Bay in the first assault echelon in the middle of the night of 28 Feb/1 March...These men were in fact dumped into the waters off the bay when their transport was sunk during the Battle of Sunda Strait between HMAS Perth, USS Houston (CA-30), and the Japanese navy's covering forces...There were casualties suffered by 3rd FK at this time also.

Ultimately the 3rd FK reached Batavia on 5 March via Serang. They went to work assuming police control functions and intelligence-gathering, etc. It is worth noting that these men had been trained for work in Manchukuo, where "training consisted primarily of individual squad combat drills of the type used in anti-Soviet operations, with special emphasis on gruelling ant-gas drills using actual poison gas that simulated real warfare." Training, such as it was, for operations in the Nam'po was received aboard ship during the trip south from Dalian to Taiwan, and down into the NEI. As one may imagine this was scarcely adequate preparation for what 3rd FK would encounter in Java...Because they were so "over-burdened" with controlling the thought and behavior of the peoples they had "liberated" they were unable to carry out their numerous "trials" with as much attention to scrupulous legalities as these procedures merited... Or, so they later argued in their own defense.

By 1944 there were about twice as many Kenpei on Java (522), and at war's end, the numbers may well have been as high as 800-1000 members, although certainly augmented by local auxiliaries.

Almost 40% of Japanese convicted of war crimes by the Dutch after WWII were Kenpeitai; almost 200 of whom served on Java. The Dutch executed some 85 Kenpeitai members after the war.

HTH

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Akira Takizawa
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Re: Kenpeitai distribution in the Pacific

Post by Akira Takizawa » 16 Sep 2011 05:07

The 3rd Field Kenpeitai was reorganized to 16th Army Kenpeitai in April 1942. The members of 16th Army Kenpeitai were 772 men at the end of the war.

Taki

shidan
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Re: Kenpeitai distribution in the Pacific

Post by shidan » 16 Sep 2011 19:55

Thanks for the added info.!

Tom

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