1. This chapter was originally prepared in Japanese by Capt. Atsushi Oi, Imperial Japanese Navy. Duty assignments of this officer were as follows: Personnel Bureau, Navy Ministry, Jan 41-Mar 43; Executive Officer, 21st Base Force (Soerabaja), 23 Mar-25 Jun 43; Staff Officer 1st Bureau (Operations), Imperial General Headquarters, Navy Section, 2 Jul-14 Nov 43; Staff Officer (Operations), General Escort Command, 15 Nov 43-21 Aug 45. All source materials cited in this chapter are located in G-2 Historical Section Files, GHQ FEC.
3. Daikaishi Dai Nihyakuhachiju-go Bessatsu: Chunambu Taiheiyo Homen Riku-kaigun Chuo Kyotei (Imperial General Headquarters Navy Directive No. 280, Annex: ArmyNavy Central Agreement re Central and South Pacific) 30 Sep 43.
5. Monthly aircraft production figures for the period August-October 1943 were as follows: August, 1,360; September, 1,470; October, 1,620. Dai Toa Senso Shusen ni kansuru Shiryo (Data Bearing on the Termination of the Greater East Asia War) Ministry of Commerce and Industry, 14 Aug 45, p. 22.
8. As of 1 September 1943, 2,497,000 gross tons of shipping were available for non-military use, while 2,844,000 gross tons were allocated to the Army and Navy. Even prior to the planning of the huge aircraft production program, the minimum estimated tonnage requirement for non-military use was 3,000,000 tons. Ibid.
9. Main combat strength of the Nineteenth Army consisted of the 5th Division on the Aroe, Kai, and Tanimbar Islands, and the 48th Division on Timor. These were reinforced in February 1944 by the 46th Division (less 145th Infantry Regt.), which was stationed on Soemba Island, west of Timor. (Interrogation of Col. Kazu Horiba, Staff Officer (Operations), Second Area Army.)
11. The provisional Area Army headquarters was set up at Davao in accordance with a directive by Imperial General Headquarters. It was not until 26 April, following the Hollandia landing, that the headquarters finally advanced into the Area Army's operational zone, establishing itself at Menado, in the northern Celebes. Gohoku Sakusen Kiroku (North of Australia Operations Record) 1st Demobilization Bureau, Jul 46, pp. 13-4, 107.
12. The 1st Field Base Unit was activated in Japan in October and assigned to Second Area Army to control all service and rear-echelon units in the Area Army zone of direct command. The 2d Field Base Unit, activated simultaneously, was assigned to Second Army to perform the same mission in Western New Guinea. Both were commanded by major generals and were the only headquarters of this type in the southern area. (Statement by Lt. Col. Kotaro Katogawa, Staff Officer (Operations), Second Area Army.)
15. The 36th Division, with a total strength of about 13,700, had been reorganized as a regimental combat team type division and equipped for amphibious operations. The artillery regiment was dropped, and a battalion of light artillery was made an organic part of each infantry regiment. Order of battle was as follows:
North of Australia Operations Record, op. cit. Annex I, Attached Table I.
20. U. S. Strategic Bombing Survey (Pacific), Naval Analysis Division, Interrogations of Japanese Officials, 1946. Vol. II, pp. 287-8. (Interrogation of Capt. Hironaka Komoto, Staff Officer (Operations), 23d Air Flotilla.)
22. The previous plan to transfer the 3d Division was cancelled because the division could not be released from its commitments in Central China. The 14th Division, currently stationed in Manchuria, was formally reassigned to Second Area Army on 10 February. (1) North of Australia Operations Record, op. cit., p. 50. (2) Imperial General Headquarters Army High Command Record, op. cit., p. 188.
23. The 14th Division was to be deployed as previously planned for the 3d Division, i. e., the division main strength in the Biak area, and one regiment in the Manokwari area. The other combat reinforcements were to be deployed as follows: Sorong, three infantry battalions; Halmahera, nine infantry battalions; Area Army reserve, three infantry battalions (each of these forces to have appropriate supporting artillery and tank units). (Statement by Lt. Col. Katogawa, previously cited.)
24. (1) Imperial General Headquarters Army High Command Record, op. cit., pp. 255, 229. (2) Statement by Col. Takushiro Hattori, Chief, Operations Section, Imperial General Headquarters, Army Section.
25. Following the enemy invasion of Kwajalein on 1 February, a powerful American naval task force carried out a destructive two-day attack on the key Japanese fleet base of Truk in the Carolines on 17-18 February, while an enemy amphibious force simultaneously landed on Eniwetok in the western Marshalls. These startling developments had sharp repercussions in the Army and Navy High Commands. On 21 February General Tojo, already serving concurrently as Premier and War Minister, took over the post of Chief of Army General Staff from Field Marshal Sugiyama, and Navy Minister Admiral Shigetaro Shimada concurrently assumed the post of Chief of Navy General Staff, replacing Fleet Admiral Osami Nagano.
27. On 10 March the chiefs of staff of all major subordinate commands under Second Area Army met at Davao for a conference on operational matters. In view of the suspension of the Area Army's shipping allocation, a major problem considered was an emergency plan for Western New Guinea to meet a possible enemy attack before the deployment of reinforcements to the theater could be carried out. Under this plan, the 36th Division in the Sarmi area was to prepare to move rapidly against an enemy force which might land to the east of Sarmi, but at the same time Second Army was to spread out its available forces to secure as many key points as possible. An implementing Second Army order issued 29 March called for the stationing of small units on Waigeo and Mapia Islands and at various points along the north coast of the Vogelkop Peninsula, while two companies were detached from the 222d Infantry on Biak to garrison Noemfoor and Sorong. The 2d Field Base Unit commander at Manokwari was placed in command of the Geelvink Bay defenses to the west of Biak. (1) North of Australia Operations Record, op. cit., pp. 49, 51, 81-3. (2) Interrogation of Lt. Gen. Takazo Numata, previously cited. (3) Second Army Operations Order No. 53, 29 Mar 44. ATIS Bulletin No. 1457, 20 Sep 44.
29. In a directive dated 4 April supplementing the assignment order, Imperial General Headquarters specified that the 219th Infantry Regiment, currently in Japan, was to be detached from the 35th Division to garrison the St. Andrew Islands, lying between Palau and Western New Guinea. The regiment embarked from Yokohama on 6 April for Palau together with the 35th Division headquarters, which was to trans-ship at Palau for Western New Guinea. Since detachment of an entire regiment would seriously upset existing plans for the defense of the Geelvink Bay area, General Anami instituted negotiations with Imperial General Headquarters while the convoy was en route to Palau and succeeded in obtaining a modification of the 4 April directive. Imperial General Headquarters now agreed to the trans-shipment of the main strength of the 219th Infantry from Palau to Western New Guinea, leaving only one battalion to garrison the St. Andrew Islands. (1) Dairikushi Dai Senkyuhyakuyonjuni-go (Imperial General Headquarters Army Directive No. 1942) 4 Apr 44. (2) Statement by Lt. Col. Katogawa, previously cited. (3) Personal diary belonging to a member of 35th Division covering the period 1 Apr-16 Jul 44. ATIS Bulletin No. 1500, 12 Oct 44.
31. The nine new airfields built in Western New Guinea under the September 1943 program were at Hollandia (Sentani and Cyclops), Sarmi (Sawar), Biak (Mokmer and Sorido), Noemfoor (Kamiri), Moemi, Manokwari and Sorong. In addition, six existing airstrips were improved. (1) 6th Air Division Operations Order (undated), ATIS Bulletin No. 1177, 22 Jun 44. (2) Statement by Comdr. Chihaya, previously cited.
32. Total strength of the First Air Fleet was about 500 land-based aircraft. The advance echelon, which had reached the Marianas prior to the American carrier force attack, numbered about 120 planes. USSBS, Interrogations of Japanese Officials, op. cit. Vol. II, p. 376. (Interrogation of Capt. Mitsuo Fuchida, Senior Staff Officer, First Air Fleet.)
34. In late January 1944, Imperial General Headquarters, anticipating the enemy invasion of Madang, ordered the transfer of three air regiments from Sumatra to New Guinea. Although these units were assigned to the Second Area Army, they were directed to operate with the Fourth Air Army. (1) North of Australia Operations Record, op. cit., p. 49. (2) Dairikushi Dai Senhappyakunijuroku-go (Imperial General Headquarters Army Directive No. 1826) 31 Feb 44.
35. The battle line of the Second Fleet, not including the Musashi, consisted of four battleships, 11 cruisers and four destroyer divisions. A-Go Sakusen (A-Go Operation) 2d Demobilization Bureau, Aug 47, p. 17.
36. Combined Fleet policy at this time was to refrain from committing its main battle strength in local operations in order to keep it intact for one decisive battle. USSBS, Interrogations of Japanese Officials, op. cit. Vol. II, p. 516. (Interrogation of Vice Adm. Shigeru Fukudome, Chief of Staff, Combined Fleet.)
38. (1) USSBS, Interrogations of Japanese Officials, op. cit. Vol. II, p. 432. (Interrogation of Comdr. Chikataka Nakajima, Staff Officer (Intelligence), Combined Fleet.) (2) Dai Niji Sekai Taisen Ryakureki Otsu Abridged Chronicle of World War II, B) 2d Demobilization Bureau, Mar 46, No. 2, p. 32, No. 3, p. 1.
39. Admiral Koga and most of his staff took off from Palau aboard two planes on the evening of 31 March. The flying boat carrying Admiral Koga was never heard from again, while the second plane carrying the Chief of Staff, Vice Adm. Fukudome, made a forced landing off Cebu Island, in the central Philippines, after detouring off course to avoid a typhoon. Vice Adm. Fukudome was picked up from the sea by Filipino guerrillas and taken to the headquarters of Col. James P. Cushing, American guerrilla leader on Cebu. Badly injured, he was shortly released to the Japanese authorities in exchange for a promise to stop retaliatory action against Filipino civilians. Admiral Koga's death was not publicly announced until 5 May, together with the announcement of Admiral Soemu Toyoda's appointment as Commander-in-Chief of the Combined Fleet. During the interim, Vice Adm. Shiro Takasu, Southwest Area Fleet Commander, was placed in acting command of the Combined Fleet. (1) USSBS, Interrogations of Japanese Officials, op. cit. Vol. II, p. 520. (Interrogation of Vice Adm. Fukudome, previously cited.) (2) Statement by Rear Adm. Iwao Kawai, Personnel Bureau, Navy Ministry.
40. On 24 March it was reported that a group of enemy agents had landed from a submarine in Tanahmerah Bay. A similar incident was reported in late March in the Aitape area, and there was another report that an Allied plane had dropped a radio instrument by parachute. These and other evidences seemed to indicate that enemy espionage activities were being rapidly expanded. Nanto Homen Sakusen Kiroku Sono San: Dai Juhachi Gun no Sakusen (Southeast Area Operations Record, Part III: Eighteenth Army Operations) 1st Demobilization Bureau, Sep 46, Vol. III, pp. 63-4.
44. "It was the opinion of our leaders.... that Allied fighter planes, which I presume were based at Nadzab, would not be able to accompany the long-range bombers due to their limited range.... However, we were completely fooled when these fighters were equipped with auxiliary tanks, enabling them to cover the rather long distance to Hollandia with ease." (Interrogation of Lt. Col. Nobuo Kitamori, Staff Officer (Communications), Second Area Army.)
45. Access to American operational documents during the preparation of this volume indicates that these enemy actions were part of a deliberate deception program instituted by General MacArthur's headquarters to cover the planned invasion of Hollandia and Aitape.
46. (1) "The High Command believed that Wewak would be attacked before Hollandia.. . . Although we were convinced that the Allies would eventually attack Hollandia, we rather believed that they would attempt to acquire an important position somewhere east of Aitape (first)" (Interrogation of Lt. Gen. Jo Iimura, Chief of Staff, Southern Army. (2) "Hollandia was expected to be attacked soon after a preliminary attack on Wewak. However, the attack on Hollandia was not expected until June." (Interrogation of Col. Arata Yamamoto, Senior Star Officer Second Army.) (3) "A study made by Col. Kadomatsu, senior intelligence officer of Second Area Army, estimated that the Americans would land first at Hansa Bay and then at Hollandia. This estimate was based on a graph of all enemy landing operations." (Interrogation of Lt. Gen. Numata, previously cited.)
47. During January 1944, 94 transport missions were logged through Hollandia en route to Wewak, Madang, Hansa Bay, Rabaul, and other important bases to the east. Critical cargo, mail, and passengers were thus moved despite the Allied sea blockade. Transport Journal, Fourth Air Army Liaison Station, Hollandia, Jan 44. ATIS Enemy Publications No. 170, 14 Aug 44.
50. At the end of March, about 50 landing barges and 30 fishing and powered sailing vessels were available in this area. Most of these boats had to be used for ferrying munitions, ordnance and supplies. At the Sepik River, it was at first impossible to put across more than 50 troops per day on this account, although a maximum of 770 per day was later reached. It was estimated that it would take until early June to move across all Eighteenth Army forces. (1) Ibid., pp. 44, 49-50. (2) Statement by Lt. Col. Tanaka, previously cited.
51. The Ninth Fleet had no ships of any importance and consisted only of the 2d and 7th Naval Base Forces, currently at Wewak. The 7th Naval Base Force had just completed a long and costly retreat from Lae-Salamaua via Madang and was shortly merged with the 2d Naval Base Force to form the 27th Special Naval Base Force. Teikoku Kaigun Senji Hensei (Wartime Organization of the Imperial Navy) Navy General Staff, 1944.
52. Maj. Gen. Masazumi Inada had been relieved as 2d Field Base Unit commander at Manokwari to assume command of the 6th Air Division. Maj. Gen. Shikao Fujitsuka, Chief of Staff, Second Army, took over the 2d Field Base Unit.
(1) North of Australia Operations Record, op. Cit., pp. 92-3. (2) Chart of Forces Landed at Hollandia, issued by 54th Line of Communications Unit, Mar 44. ATIS Bulletin No. 1055, 20 May 44. (3) Misc. Order Files and Strength Charts of Units at Hollandia. ATIS Bulletins No. 1051, 19 May 44; No. 1054, 20 May 44; No. 1139, 8 Jun 44; No. 1177, 22 Jun 44; No. 1187, 25 Jun 44 ; and No. 1284, 24 Jul 44.
58. The Humboldt Bay sector was defended mainly by Eighteenth Army troops under Maj. Gen. Toyozo Kitazono, while the Tanahmerah Bay sector was defended by airfield troops under Maj. Gen. Inada. Southeast Area Operations Record, Part III, op. cit. Vol. III, pp. 92-3.
(1) Ibid., pp. 110-111. (2) Various Personal Notebooks, Diaries, Order Files, and Official Strength and Situation Reports. ATIS Bulletins No. 1040, 16 May 44; No. 1054, 20 May 44; No.1095, 29 May 44; No. 1121, 3 Jun 44; and No. 1177, 22 Jun 44.
60. The Biak airfield was already usable by reconnaissance and fighter planes but lacked a store of torpedoes and hence could not be used by the 23d Air Flotilla's torepedo bombers. These units were forced to operate from Sorong, 600 miles from Hollandia. (Statement by Comdr. Chihaya, previously cited.)
63. Vice Adm. Yoshikazu Endo, Ninth Fleet Commander, had not been heard from since 22 April and was presumed killed in action. Naval personnel came under Maj. Gen. Inada's Command. (Statement by Rear Adm. Kawai, previously cited.)
65. General Anami planned to reinforce Biak, currently garrisoned only by the main strength of the 222d Infantry/36th Division, with the main strength of the 219th Infantry/35th Division, coming from Palau. (Cf. n. 27, p. 239). The 35th Division main elements, en route from China, were to take over from the 2d Field Base Unit the task of organizing the defenses of Noemfoor, Manokwari and Sorong, with division headquarters at Manokwari. The new plans further called for the immediate reorganization of all service units in the Western New Guinea area into provisional combat battalions. (1) North of Australia Operations Record, op. cit., pp. 89, 103-6. (2) Second Army Operations Order No. 68, 25 Apr 44. ATIS Bulletin No. 1457, 20 Sep 44.
69. No formal orders were received by Eighteenth Army either from Second Area Army or from Imperial General Headquarters directing Lt. Gen. Adachi to take any specified course of action as a result of the HollandiaAitape landings. He was left full discretion to shape Eighteenth Army's future operational plans according to local circumstances. His decision to counterattack Aitape was also dictated by the Army's desperate supply situation. In late April, the Army had only two months' rations on hand and, even counting upon additional food supplies obtained locally, would face wholesale starvation by October at the latest. (1) Statement by Lt. Col. Tanaka, previously cited. (2) Southeast Area Operations Record, Part III, op. cit. Vol. III, p. 112.
70. These advance elements fought successful actions against enemy outpost positions at Ulau, 9-16 May, east of Yakamul, 16-24 May, and west of Yakamul, 2-5 June, thence pushing on to the Driniumor River. These operations covered the assembly of the main Army strength west of Wewak and reconnoitered a line of departure for the projected counterattack. Southeast Area Operations Record, Part III, op. cit. Vol. III, pp. 157-64.
71. "By advancing to Hollandia (direct) ... the Allies cut the length of time required by one-third. Had they advanced to Wewak, then to Aitape, and then to Hollandia, we would have had time to prepare the defenses of Sarmi-Wakde, Biak, and Manokwari.. . . As it was, there was very little time to prepare for the defense of Sarmi. Biak and Manokwari were also placed well within bomber range." (Interrogation of Maj. Gen. Akinosuke Shigeyasu, Staff Officer (Operations), Second Area Army.)
72. The 35th Division elements awaiting shipment at Shanghai were the 220th and 221st Infantry Regiments and the 4th Independent Mountain Artillery Regiment. (Statement by Lt. Col. Katogawa, previously cited.)
73. Until February 1944 Japan's surface escort system was weak, partially due to the lack of escort forces and partially to the failure to develop an effective command system for individual convoys. In March 1944 the Navy adopted the policy of using large convoys, at the same time concentrating scattered escort forces into strong units. Under the new system, convoy formations were to be commanded by officers of rear admiral's rank with good sea records. Convoy headquarters, however, were usually undermanned because of the shortage of young staff officers.
82. General Anami's decision to station the one infantry regiment at Sorong was a mere token compliance with Imperial General Headquarters and Southern Army directives. (Statement by Lt. Col. Katogawa, previously cited.)
89. During March the 45th Fighter and 61st Bomber Regiments operated from Wakde. At the end of March the 45th Fighter Regiment was withdrawn to Moemi, on the east coast of the Vogelkop Peninsula, and the 61st Bomber Regiment to Galela, Halmahera. Field Diary of 20th Airfield Battalion, Wakde Expeditionary Unit, 1-31 Mar 44. ATIS Bulletin No. 1148, 11 Jun 44, p. 8.
90. In addition to these 14,000 troops, about 3,000 survivors of the Hollandia fighting, who succeeded in getting back to the Maffin Bay-Sarmi area, were integrated into the 36th Division combat forces during the latter phases of the fighting in that area. (Statement by Maj. Gen. Shintaro Imada, Chief of Staff, 36th Division.)
(1) North of Australia Operations Record, op. cit., Annex No. 1 and Attached Table 1. (2) Cohoku Sakusen Kiroku Furoku Dai Ichi: Dai Ni-Gun Sarumi Biaku Nunhoru oyobi Maru Sento Gaishi (North of Australia Operations Record, Supplement 1: General Outline of Second Army Operations at Sarmi, Biak, Noemfoor and Maru,) 1st Demobilization Bureau Jul 46, p. 3. (3) Western New Guinea Area and North of Australia Area Naval Operations, op. cit., p. 8. (4) Intelligence Report No. 7, 36th Division, 25 Jan 44, Supplement II, Attached Chart No. 5. ATIS Bulletin No. 1277, 22 Jul 44.
94. The activities of enemy torpedo boats and destroyers became so persistent that Lt. Gen. Tanoue issued an order on 12 May directing that each sector unit commander station a platoon of 75 mm howitzers in selected coastal positions to fire on enemy craft, and that armed patrols make a thorough search of the coast to mop up enemy agents and coast watchers. 36th Division Operations Order No. A 125, 12 May 44. ATIS Bulletin No. 1137, 7 Jun 44.
96. The only Japanese forces located to the east of the Tor were a two-gun artillery platoon and a small infantry element of the Right Sector Unit disposed there in compliance with the 8 May operation plan of the 36th Division. These troops withdrew at the beginning of the violent enemy naval gunfire preparation, and the Allied landing in the Toem-Arara sector was thus completely unopposed. (Statement of Maj. Hanami, previously cited.)
101. (1) 36th Division Operations Order No. A-147, 20 May 44. ATIS Bulletin No. 1179, 22 Jun 44. (2) Field Message, 36th Division Bridging Unit Commander, 21 May 44. ATIS Bulletin No. 1167, 19 Jun 44.
105. The Japanese pressure on the Toem-Arara beachhead caused a slowing down of the enemy's operations in the Maffln area and facilitated the subsequent seizure of the initiative by the Japanese. (Statement by Maj. Hanarni, previously cited.)
108. The main body of the 223d Infantry arrived in the area west of Mt. Saksin on 14 June. The 224th Infantry closed into the Mt.Sento position on the 16th. (Statement of Maj. Hanami, previously cited.)
110. The two airfields completed were the Sorido No. 1 and Mokmer fields. The Sorido No. 2 field was still under construction. In addition to these fields, provided for under the Army-Navy Central Agreement of 30 September 1943, the local forces planned the construction of three others in the Bosnek sector. Inability to obtain the necessary materials and equipment, however, prevented the start of actual construction on all but one of these fields. (1) Notes on Operational Preparation of Biak Airfields. ATIS Bulletin No. 1176, 21 Jun 44. (2) Statement by Comdr. Chihaya, previously cited.
111. One of the most effective stratagems employed by the forces on Biak was the emplacement of 75mm field howitzers in cave positions where they were masked from enemy observation. The naval force on the island also had a 105mm disappearing-gun battery on Hodai Mt. overlooking the airfield sector. This was the largest calibre gun available for the defense of the island. (Interrogation of Lt. Gen. Numata, previously cited.)
113. The headquarters, 2d and 3d Battalions, 221st Infantry were transported from Halmahera to Manokwari by light surface units of the Fourth Southern Expeditionary Fleet between 18-19 May, followed by the 1st Battalion on 23 May. The 219th Infantry (less 1st Battalion) was moved by the 16th Cruiser Division from Palau to Sorong between 20-24 May and trans-shipped by small craft from Sorong to Manokwari, despite Second Army's request to higher command to transport it direct to Biak, where the Allied invasion fell only a few days later. It completed its movement on 27 May. The 220th Infantry (less Hq. and elms) completed movement from Halmahera to Sorong by 1 June.
Although the 219th Infantry was slated for Biak under existing plans, the earlier arrival of the 221st Infantry at Manokwari caused Second Army to alter the plans, reassigning the 221st Infantry to Biak and the 219th to Noemfoor. The 2d Battalion, 221st Infantry began moving from Manokwari to Biak by small craft on 31 May, four days after the enemy landing on Biak. The 220th Infantry remained in the Sorong area as previously planned. (1) North of Australia Operations Record, op. cit., pp. 103-6. (2) Misc. Field Orders, Field Diaries, Personal Notebooks, and Dispositions Charts of 35th Division units. ATIS Bulletins No. 1264, 15 Jun 44; No. 1360, 18 Aug 44; No. 1396, 28 Aug 44; No. 1457, 20 Sep 44; and No. 1503, 12 Oct 44.
(1) Mimeographed Organization Tables of Biak Garrison, 29 Apr 44. ATIS Bulletin No. 1274, 19 Jul 44. (2) Miscellaneous documents published in following ATIS Bulletins: No. 1176, 21 Jun 44; No. 1231, 6 Jul 44; No. 1249, 11 Jul 44; No. 1283, 24 Jul 44.
116. The narrow Sorido-Mokmer airfield sector was attacked frequently by as many as 150 Allied planes at one time. Diary of Petty Officer Seishichi Kumada, 202d Pioneer Unit. ATIS Bulletin No. 1265, 16 Jul 44.
118. After a two-day stay on Biak, Lt. Gen. Numata was about to take off from Mokmer Airdrome on the morning of 27 May on his return flight to Menado when the Allied attack began. Enemy shelling of the airfield prevented the take-off, and Lt. Gen. Numata remained on the island until 10 June. Although not the ranking officer during this period, Col. Kuzume remained in operational command.
119. (1) North of Australia Operations Record, op. cit. Supplement I, p. 15. (2) The south coast of Biak, where the airfields were concentrated, was regarded as the most probable enemy landing point, and the Japanese defenses were strongest in that sector. Some possibility was also seen of a landing in the vicinity of Sawabas on the opposite side of the island, north of Bosnek, but troop strength was inadequate to organize that area. (Statement by Lt. Col. Katogawa, previously cited.) (3) Interrogation of Lt. Gen. Numata, previously cited.
126. The only unfavorable development at this time was a shortage of rations and, to a lesser extent, of ammunition. The rapid enemy landing in the Bosnek sector had overrun vast stocks of supplies piled near the beach preparatory to dispersal to inland dumps. The naval shelling also destroyed considerable quantities of stores. (Interrogation of Lt. Gen. Numata, previously cited.)
127. This message was addressed to Southern Army, Second Area Army, Fourth Air Army, Fourth Southern Expeditionary Fleet, Southwest Area Fleet and Combined Fleet. North of Australia Operations Record, op. cit., p. 120.
128. The operational planning staff of the Combined Fleet estimated that there was a slightly smaller probability of an enemy invasion of the Marianas area. In the outline plan of the A-Go Operation, the decisive fleet battle areas were designated as (a) the Palau area and (b) the western Carolines. The plan provided that, should the enemy move toward the Marianas or into both the Marianas and one of the above areas simultaneously, that portion of the enemy in the Marianas area would be attacked only by the base air forces in the Marianas. The main factor in this concept of operations was the acute shortage of fleet tankers which made it impossible to give logistical support to any largescale operation in the Philippine Sea at this time. (1) Combined Fleet Top Secret Operation Order No. 76, 3 May 44. ATIS Limited Distribution Translation No. 39, Part VIII, p. 170. (2) Statement by Capt. Toshikazu Ohmae, Staff Officer (Operations), First Mobile Fleet.
130. The 2d Amphibious Brigade was one of several special units of this type organized and stationed at strategic points in readiness to move, by naval ships, to any sector invaded by the enemy. These units were developed to offset Japan's inability to garrison all sectors of its overextended area of operations with adequate troop strength. Authorized wartime strength of an amphibious brigade was 5,400. It was made up of three infantry battalions, a machine cannon unit, a tank unit, and appropriate service elements.
132. The Army General Staff adhered to the line of the 9 May directive, taking the stand that it was tactically and strategically unfeasible to commit additional troops to the defense of Biak in view of the enemy's possession of air bases at Hollandia and Wakde. The Navy's strong insistence on the necessity of holding Biak, however, finally won the consent of the Chief of Army General Staff. (Statement by Col. Hattori, previously cited.)
(1) Western New Guinea Area and North of Australia Area Naval Operations, op. cit., p. 12. (2) USSBS, Interrogations of Japanese Officials, op. cit. Vol. II, p. 450. (Interrogation of Capt. Momochiyo Shimanouchi, Staff Officer (Operations), 16th Cruiser Division.)
134. The transport group consisted of the 19th Destroyer Division and carried only a portion of the 2d Amphibious Brigade, numbering about 600. The 27th Destroyer Division was its screening group. Western New Guinea Area and North of Australia Area Operations, op. cit., p. 15.
139. This radical departure from the plan of operations as laid down in the original A-Go Operation was made possible by a great improvement in the fleet tanker situation as a result of the release of a number of commercial tankers to the Navy. This, however, had an adverse effect on the fuel situation in the homeland. (Statement of Capt. Ohmae, previously cited.)
140. These units of the First Air Fleet actually were unable to operate effectively in the A-Go Operation due to combat losses and depletion of flying personnel by sickness during operations in Western New Guinea. A-Go Operation Record, op. cit., pp. 86-7.
143. The Japanese fleet consisted of nine carriers, five battleships, and 11 heavy cruisers in addition to smaller combat units; and the air strength employed aggregated 800 carrier and shore-based aircraft. The American fleet included 29 carriers of all types, 14 battleships, and 10 heavy cruisers; and air strength employed aggregated 1400 carrier-based and 900 land-based aircraft. (1) A-Go Operation Record, op. cit., pp. 17-8, 46-7. (2) United States Strategic Bombing Survey (Pacific, Naval Analysis Division), Campaigns of the Pacific War. Appendix 74, p. 234.
144. The failure to locate the enemy force was caused by an error in its reported position due to an uncorrected compass deviation. After sustaining severe losses in combat against the intercepting enemy planes, some of the Japanese aircraft headed for land bases on Guam and suffered further losses when they ran into a large number of enemy fighters in that vicinity. The use of Guam as a return base had been planned since many of the fliers were insufficiently trained in carrier landings, and also to enable the aircraft to strike at the longest possible range. (1) A-Go Operation Record, op. cit., pp. 67-70. (2) Statement by Capt. Ohmae, previously cited.
145. The land-based air forces of the First Air Fleet had already been crippled in the three-day series of enemy air attacks on Marianas bases preceding the Saipan landing. A-Go Operations Record, Op. Cit., pp. 87-8.
149. The naval units mustered a force of about company strength, while the airfield construction units were able to put about 300 men into the line. These units participated in the defense of Mokmer airfield, operating out of West Cave. Ibid.
151. Prior to the unsuccessful attempt to retake Mokmer airfield on 9 June, the morale of the Biak defenders had been very high. Under the combined impact of shortage of rations and water, disease, and tactical failure, the detachment first showed signs of defeat on 9 June, and its disintegration was very rapid thereafter. (1) Interrogation of Lt. Gen. Numata, previously cited. (2) Summary of Biak Battle, op. cit., p. 10.
152. The first reinforcements to arrive were the headquarters and two companies of the 2d Battalion, 221st Infantry, which landed at Korim Bay, on the north coast of Biak, on 4 June. These troops had reached the West Cave area by 8 June but were kept in reserve during the abortive 9 June attack to retake Mokmer airfield. On 16 June about 700 additional reinforcements of the 2d Battalion, 219th Infantry, landed at Korim Bay. These troops did not reach the vicinity of West Cave until 23 June. Summary of the Biak Battle, op. cit., pp. 5, 10, 13.
153. Under orders to return to Second Area Army headquarters, Lt. Gen. Numata left West Cave on 10 June and departed Korim Bay on the 14th by landing craft. He arrived at Manokwari on 19 June. After leaving West Cave, Col. Kuzume was killed in action on 2 July north of Borokoe airfield. Rear Adm. Senda died the following December after spending seven months hiding in the jungle.
154. The Japanese forces in the Sarmi area were obliged to become totally self-sufficient. While they still had military supplies, however, they conducted sporadic defensive operations against the enemy and held out until the end of the war, although they were powerless to prevent Allied development and use of the Maffin airfield.
Noemfoor Detachment Operation Orders No. A-2, 27 May 1944; No. A-22, 6 Jun 44; No. A-31, 16 Jun 44; No. A34, 17 Jun 44; No. A-37, 20 Jun 44; No. A-39, 25 Jun 44; and No. A-40, 28 Jun 44. ATIS Bulletins No. 1360, 18 Aug 44; No. 1326, 6 Aug. 44, and No. 1289, 26 Jul 44.
157. The Japanese force first learned from Allied radio broadcasts on 13 July that this reinforcement had been accomplished by dropping parachute troops on Kamiri field. North of Australia Operations Record, op. cit. Supplement I, pp. 26-7.
158. The assault forces were to be composed of 6,600 men of the 20th Division, 10,700 of the 41st Division, and 2,860 in Army reserve (of which 2,000 were from the 51st Division). The main body of the 51st Division was included in the Wewak Defense Force. (1) Southeast Area Operations Record, Part III, op. cit. Vol. III, pp. 165. (2) Statement by Lt. Col. Tanaka, previously cited.
A small coastal detachment consisting of one company from the 237th Infantry supported by a battery from the 41st Mountain Artillery Regt. and some infantry cannons from the 237th Infantry, attacked across the mouth of the Driniumor and penetrated as far as Chakila before being annihilated by an enemy counterattack on 15 July. (1) Southeast Area Operations Record, Part III, op. cit. Vol. III, pp. 197-201, 282. (2) Operations Order No. 67, 1st Battalion, 41st Mountain Artillery Regiment, 9 July 44. ATIS Bulletin No. 1392, 27 Aug. 44. (3) Statement by Lt. Col. Tanaka, previously cited.
163. These positions were believed to constitute the enemy outpost line guarding the main defenses near Aitape. Enemy strength holding this line was estimated at about three infantry battalions, with supporting artillery. Ibid.
(1) Southeast Area Operations Record, Part III, op. cit. Vol. III, pp. 209-15, 223. (2) Statement by Lt. Col. Tanaka, previously cited.