5th Division (Imperial Japanese Army)


5th Division (Imperial Japanese Army)

Infobox Military Unit
unit_name= 5th Infantry Division


caption=
dates= 1888 - 1945
country=Empire of Japan
allegiance=
branch=Imperial Japanese Army
type=Infantry
role=
size=
command_structure=
garrison=Hiroshima City, Japan
current_commander=
ceremonial_chief=
colonel_of_the_regiment=
notable_commanders=
identification_symbol=
identification_symbol_2=
nickname="Carp Division"
patron=
motto=
colors=
colors_label=
march=
mascot=
battles=First Sino-Japanese War
Russo-Japanese War
anniversaries=
decorations=
battle_honours=
The nihongo|5th Infantry Division|歩兵第五師団|Hohei daigo shidan was an infantry division in the Imperial Japanese Army. Its call-sign was the nihongo|Carp Division|鯉兵団|Koihei-dan.

History

The 5th Division was formed in Hiroshima in January 1871 as the nihongo|Hiroshima Garrison|広島鎮台|Hiroshima chindai, one of six regional commands created in the fledgling Imperial Japanese Army. The Hiroshima Garrison had responsibility for western region of Honshū (Chugoku district), ranging from Hyōgo Prefecture to Yamaguchi Prefecture. The six regional commands were transformed into divisions under the army reorganization of 14 May 1888.

As one of the oldest Divisions in the Imperial Japanese Army, the 5th Division saw combat in the First Sino-Japanese War. Elements of the 5th Division were the first Japanese forces to land in Korea, and the 5th Division was in charge of the southern Korean garrison and participated in the invasion of the Liaodong Peninsula in China. It was the main Japanese element in the multi-national coalition during the Boxer Rebellion, and received praise from foreign observers for its bravery, professionalism and discipline. In the Russo-Japanese War, under the command of General Nozu Michitsura, it saw combat at the Battle of Sandepu and Battle of Mukden.

Assigned to Manchuria from 1911-1913, the bulk of the Japanese forces in the Siberian Intervention came from the 5th Division.

In the Second Sino-Japanese War, it participated in the invasion of Chahar, and the Battle of Xuzhou before being reassigned to the south China front around Guangzhou.

After the start of the Pacific War the 5th Division was reassigned to the southern front under Field Marshall Terauchi Hisaichi's Southern Command based in Saigon. With its combat experience and record in China, it was considered one of the best divisions in the Imperial Japanese Army, and was one of the divisions assigned to the conquest of Malaya and Singapore.

Battle of Singapore

On the night of 8 February 1942, six battalions of the 5th Infantry Division, under command of Lieutenant General Matsui Takuyo as part of Lieutenant General Yamashita Tomoyuki’s 25th Army along with the IJA 18th Division crossed the Johor Strait using landing craft.

On the Singapore side, Sarimbun beach was heavily defended by 2 companies, one each from the 2/20th and 2/18th battalions of the 22nd Australian Brigade, supported by a machine gun company, three artillery batteries and an anti-tank battery. However, the Japanese troops managed to penetrate the British defense perimeter, and the Australian troops retrograded after midnight allowing the 5th Infantry Division, to move on to Ama Keng village and established a beachhead, where they fired a red starshell over the straits to indicate the their success to General Yamashita.

Immediately after this important victory, the 5th Infantry Division moved inwards into Singapore to capture more strategic areas such as Tengah Airfield on 9 February 1942. The unit fought against the 2/29th, 2/20th, 2/18th battalions of the 22nd Australian Brigade and the Jind Indian Infantry Battalion, the airfield garrison. On 11 February 1942, Bukit Timah Road was captured by the 5th Infantry Division after fierce fighting. Singapore surrendered 4 days later.

ubsequent history

The 5th Division subsequently saw action in Rabaul and Guadalcanal and various islands in the Dutch East Indies, before surrendering to the Allies on Ceram, in the Dutch East Indies.

Some of its more noteworthy commanders included Nozu Michitsura, Oku Yasukata, Yamaguchi Motoomi, Ueda Arisawa, and Terauchi Hisaichi.

Organization

The original Order of Battle of the IJA 5th Division included:
* 11th Infantry Regiment
* 21st Infantry Regiment (Shimada)
* 42nd Infantry Regiment (Yamaguchi)
* 5th Special Operations Regiment
* 5th Field Artillery Regiment
* 5th Construction Regiment
* 5th Transport Regiment.

As of July 1937

IJA 5th Division (Motorized Square Division) - General Seishiro Itagaki
*9th Infantry Brigade
**11th Infantry Regiment
**41st Infantry Regiment
*21st Infantry Brigade
**21st Infantry Regiment
**42nd Infantry Regiment
* 5th Mountain Artillery Regiment
* 5th Cavalry Regiment
* 5th Engineer Regiment
* 5th Transport Regiment

The IJA 5th Division was a "motorized" square division, being equipped with 500 trucks. The trucks were for the heavy equipment and the artillery, whereas every soldier not riding in a motor vehicle rode a bicycle.

Reference and further reading

* Madej, W. Victor, Japanese Armed Forces Order of Battle, 1937-1945 [2 vols] Allentown, PA: 1981

ee also

* List of Japanese Infantry Divisions

External links

* [http://www.niehorster.orbat.com/014_japan/41-12-08_army/ija_ground-units/_4-rgt_organization.html Organization, 1941 Infantry Division (square) 8 December 1941]


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