THE PACIFIC WAR
THE UNTOLD STORIES 1941-1945

The Pacific War: The Untold Stories 1941-1945


The Pacific War: The untold stories section is a group of written articles dedicated to the lesser known combatants so their experiences of war could be read by all who would like to read more about forgotten battles and soldiers of World War II in the Pacific and Southeast Asia area.

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 more ships....

  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 her neck....

  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 century...

  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



Bibliography . Article List . Geographic Names
Copyright © Klemen. L. 1999-2000
Forgotten Campaign: The Dutch East Indies Campaign 1941-1942

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