The "Escuadron Aereo de Pelea 201" (201st Mexican Fighter Squadron) of the Mexican Expeditionary Air Force (Fuerza Aerea Expedicionaria Mexicana)
has the honor of being the only military unit that has fought outside
of Mexican Republic. This Squadron fought in the liberation of the
Philippines while assigned to the 58th Fighter Group, under the command
of Major Ed Roddy, a fighter ace with 8 kills to his credit while
assigned to the 348th Fighter Group under Col. Neal Kearby, 5th Fighter
Command, 5th Air Force; (six of its pilots had trained in dive-bombing
at NAS San Diego, California in 1944 in USN SBD's). Mexico joined the
allies against the Axis Powers (Germany, Japan and Italy) after May 28,
1942, when German U-boats had attacked and sunk two Mexican ships
without warning, even after the declaration of war Mexico would lose 5
201st Mexican Fighter Squadron
by Santiago A. Flores
By mid January 1943 the Anglo-American
naval blockade of Germany had reduced, step by step, the stocks of
those strategical materials the German were already short of (namely
rubber, tungsten, molibden, copper, vegetal substances, quinine and
some kinds of oils) and which were absolutely necessary to carry on the
war. All these goods, uncommon in Europe and whose production was
rather difficult, were on the contrary largely available in the Asiatic
regions conquered by the Japanese during the war. The Indonesian
Archipelago, the large and rich former Dutch colony, invaded by the
Japanese in the spring of 1942 after a rapid aeronaval offensive, could
supply Germany and the Asis countries with the strategical materials
they needed on condition that they were able to build ships fit for a
voyage out and home on a very long and dangerous course....
The U-Boat War in Indian Ocean
by Alberto Rosselli
The article about Marine Private Kauffman who was bayoneted by a Japanese soldier at USMC
Sumay Barracks on Guam Island on December 10th 1941...
The death of Private Kauffman on Guam, 1941
by Roger Mansell
The sloop Soemba was completed on April 26, 1925 and armed with 3 x 5.9 inch/50 Mark 6 guns. The Soemba
was originally meant as a patrol ship for the Netherlands East Indies,
and that's also where she was when the war broke out in May 1940. She
patrolled the water of the Archipelago until Japan attacked in December
1941. At the outbreak of war, she was stationed in Soerabaja as guard
ship of the western entrance of the harbour, and covered the minelayers Krakatau and Gouden Leeuw
when these ships laid minefields in Madoera Strait on the 15th of
December. She was stationed in the Riouw Archipelago from January 1 to
14, and during this period she was attacked once, by 3 aircraft on the
13th, but didn't sustain any damage. She was redirected to Lampong Bay
where she arrived on the 19th....
The story of RNN sloop Soemba
by Jan Visser
As the Ondina, a Dutch tanker, left the harbour of Fremantle on November
5 1942 for the Persian Gulf, her crew felt safe enough to rely on just
a corvette, HMIS Bengal, for her protection to her destination, Abadan
in the Persian Gulf.
German raider activities had virtually come to an end, while the Japanese
apparently didn't pay much attention to this area. At least, that's
what they thought...but they were wrong. It was true that the Japanese
had better things to do, being entangled in a fierce battle for
Guadalcanal, which consumed most of the efforts of the Japanese
war machine. But the Japanese, finally having expanded their empire to
the Indian Ocean, were afraid her "ally", Germany, might start sending
out yet more of her succesful merchant raiders to an area the Japanese
thought was their backyard. To satisfy the ever growing cry of the
Germans for keeping the pressure on the British merchant fleet after
the Imperial Japanese Navy's succesful attacks on Java and Ceylon, and
later, with a fleet of large submarines in the Mozambique Channel.
Especially the latter operation must be taken in account. It was mainly
conducted by submarines, but there were also two Japanese armed
merchant cruisers, the Aikoku Maru and the Hokoku Maru present....
The Ondina Story
by Jan Visser
The list of all major Imperial Japanese Navy Submarine Operations between December 1941 - December 1942.
The Japanese Submarine War 1941 - 1942
by Allan Alsleben
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands (8,293 sq km on 139 islands), are a
group of islands situated in the Bay of Bengal at about 780 miles from
Calcutta, 740 miles from Madras and 120 miles from Cape Nargis in
Burma. The British goverment used them as a penal colony for Indian and
African political prisoners, which were mainly put in the notorious
Cellular Jail in Port Blair, the biggest town (port) on the islands.
Today they are owned and administrated by India. With the close of the
Java Campaign, the Japanese continued their timetable for the last two
major operations. The is called the 4th stage with phases one and two.
Phase one was the occupation of Kutaradja and Sabang on Weh Island,
called Operation "T". We will dispense from this operation and go to
Phase two, the Andaman Operation known as Operation "D"....
The capture of Andaman Islands, March 1942
by Allan Alsleben
The Japanese having captured Tarakan and Menado were ready in the last
week of January 1942 to thrust their trident further south. One prong
aimed at Kavieng and Rabaul, another towards Ambon and Timor, and one
at Balikpapan, Bali and Java. On the far right the Japanese also
leapfrogged Singapore and landed on Sumatra then to the western part of
Java, near Batavia. These advances by the Japanese carried them across
the equator, established bases in Dutch and Australian territory, whence
they would advance onto the final objectives, the New Guinea mainland
and the isolation of Java. Lieutenant-Colonel Carr's 2/22 Battalion of
the AIF 23rd Brigade arrived at the crescent shaped island of New
Britain during March and April 1941 to garrison the port, protect the
airfield and seaplane anchorage and act as a link in a forward line
strung across the islands to Australia's north like a necklace around
The capture of Rabaul and Kavieng, January 1942
by Graham Donaldson
The First Independent Company's demise was almost completed except for
No.3 Section still operating on Bougainville Island for many more
months against the invading Japanese. There was also No.2 Section and
Platoon HQ on Vila, defending against Vichy French sentiments also
forming and training The New Hebrides Volunteer Defence Force as the
Imperial Japanese thrust extended south into the British and French
Polynesia, Solomons, whatever, plus there were stragglers from New
Ireland filtering south away from the enemy acquired island garrisons.
No.3 Independent Company was on New Calendonia for the
same reasons, security and training, that Australian Imperial Force
formation disembarked from the Great War veteran HMAS Adelaide....
The capture of Admiralty Islands, January 1942
by Graham Donaldson
No.3 Section, A' Platoon, was initially based at Kavieng, New Ireland,
north of Rabaul on New Britain, getting acclimatized to the tropical
weather and while other sections were detached to the outer island
outposts kept up their army training. Then at the beginning of October
1941. No.3 Section received marching orders to relieve No.9 Section, C'
Platoon, under Lieutenant Leverett on Buka island. The islands of
Bougainville and Buka are separated by a narrow sea passage about one
kilometer wide with vicious current rips propelling canoes crossing at
twelve knots, and were often carried way off course before reaching the
intended other side. Buka island is about 50 kilometers long by some 20
kilometers wide, most of the jungle clad island is flat with low hills
rising to 400 meters in the south, with approximately a population of
7,000 indigenous people. The main island of Bougainville was some 200
kilometers by about 65 kilometers in area, mostly covered in lush
tropical jungle, high mountain ranges rising to approximately 3500
meters that extended down the middle of the island, plenty of running
fresh water, and an indigenous population of roughly 60,000 people,
plus a couple of dangerously active volcanoes....
The capture of Buka Island, March 1942
by Graham Donaldson
In 1939 the Soviet Pacific Fleet, under command of Vize-Admiral Ivan
Jumasev, had 14 destroyers, 30 minesweepers, 92 patrol boats and more
than 80 submarines. The fleet in 1941 had slightly changed with 2 light
cruisers, built recently in that year, each of 8,800 tons, and could do
35 knots, there were also 16 destroyers and now 94 submarines. The
submarine fleet had various vessels, thirteen of Type 'L, forty-one of
Type 'Shch, thirty-three of Type 'M, six of Type 'S and only one of
Type 'K. Of the main Soviet naval base at Vladivostok for the Pacific
Ocean it was said that no other Soviet fleet in other seas had such
power, which is understandable if we consider the large number of
submarines and destroyers. Wartime operational activities and patrols
occurred mainly during August 1938 when Japanese Army invaded the
Soviet Union near Hasan Lake....
Soviets sail the Seven Seas
by Miltiades Varvounis
It was the Chinese Warlord Chang Tsolin who first introduced tanks in China. Surprised during the North Offensive by the
Chiang Kai Shek army, he bought several Renault FT Tanks (M1918) from France in 1927. It is uncertain how these tanks
were used in combat, but they were eventually captured by the Japanese and the Chinese Nationalists. The tanks captured by
the Japanese army were deployed in the Kwangtung Army and later used during the Manchurian Incident....
The Chinese Armour in World War II
by Akira Takizawa
In April 1941 one Jat squadron was detached from 8th King George's Own Light Cavalry and assigned to the newly raised
44th Cavalry then at Risalpur. Subsequently, this squadron was detached and redesignated as 100th Light Tank Squadron. It
was composed of three troops and equipped with obsolete light tanks...
Indian Light Tank Squadron in Malaya, 1942
by James A. Broshot
During its quite short colonial history, Italy occupied several African
territories such as Eritrea, Somalia and Libya: rather vast and
interesting dominions. It is lesser known, on the contrary, the story
of another small and far colony in China: Tientsin (a town ca. 200 km
south of Beijing) and the so-called commercial quarters of Shanghai and
Beijing (under the direct sovereignty of Rome as from 1901, after the
failed Boxers' revolt), two small Italian enclaves inside the Chinese
state, which hosted Italians as well as larger English, French,
Russian, German and Japanese territories since the end of XIX
The Italian Armed Forces in China, 1937-1943
by Alberto Rosselli
On September 12th 1940, a numerous Japanese delegation of 24 men, headed by their Minister of Trade and Industry,
Ichizo Kobayashi, arrived in Batavia to "renegotiate" political and economic relations between Japan and the Dutch East Indies.
Among the visitors were also six high-ranking military officers, one of them was Rear-Admiral Tadashi Maeda, who would later
became a commander of the Imperial Japanese Navy forces in the occupied Dutch East Indies...
Japan's need for oil and the Embargo (1940-1941)
by Arie Biemond
On Saturday, December 6, 1941, during a conference in Manila (the Philippines) between Admiral Thomas C. Hart, the
commanding officer of U.S. Asiatic Fleet and Admiral Sir Thomas Phillips, the British naval commander, Far East, an American
naval officer entered the room with an important message...
The Japanese landing assault at Kota Bharu, December 7th 1941
The IJN destroyer Shinonome (1,950 tons) was a powerful ship, completed in 1927 as one of the Fubuki Class fleet
destroyers. At the outbreak of war in the Pacific, she was under command of Commander Hiroshi Sasagawa. His ship had
been assigned to Destroyer Division 12 under the command of Commander Nobuki Ogawa, which was initially deployed as
escort for the valuable troop transports steaming towards the virtually unprotected shores of Malaya Peninsula...
Who sank IJN destroyer Shinonome, December 1941?
by Jan Visser
The Order of Battles for Imperial Japanese garrisons on the by-passed Pacific Islands 1944-1945...
Japanese garrisons on the by-passed Pacific Islands 1944-1945
by Akira Takizawa & Allan Alsleben
During a little-known raid, Japan's newest four-engine
flying boat was put to a challenging test:
a flight of more than 3,000 miles to attack Hawaii
The 2nd Air Raid On Pearl Harbor
by Anson H. Stage
Catalina flying boats make a fighting retreat from the Philipines.
US Patrol Wing 10 in the Dutch East Indies, 1942
by Allan Alsleben
Although the Australians were confident of their own ability, General Bennett was acutely aware of shortcomings in his force.
Not only did he lack one of his infantry brigades but he was also weak in artillery, having only two field regiments and one anti-tank
regiment (less one battery). His third field regiment was at Darwin, and he had no ‘army’ field regiment nor any anti-aircraft units.
The Gunners: A History of Australian Artillery
by David Horner