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    After occupying Borneo and the islands of the Celebes and Ambon, Japanese forces turned their attention to securing Sumatra and Java. The occupation of these areas would mark the completion of the first phase of operations in the southern area and bring the abundant natural resources of the region under Japanese control. Units for the operation from the 2nd, 38th, and 48th Divisions staged from nearby islands and French Indo-China.

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Campaign name

Sumatra and Java campaigns

Campaign dates

February March 1942

Campaign codename

Sumatra: T Operation
Java: H Operation

Campaign overview

Frame 1Feb – Mar 1942
Japanese forces move from Camranh Bay, Borneo, and the Celebes to occupy Sumatra and Java, thus occupying a region rich in natural resources.
Frame 214–15 Feb 1942
Japanese paratroopers and elements of the 38th Division secure the airfield and refineries around Palembang. The town is occupied by 17 February.
Frame 319 Feb 1942
The Kanemura Detachment lands and secures the airfield at Denpassar, on Bali. Japanese aircraft quickly advance to support the Java operations.
Frame 420–24 Feb 1942
The 229th Infantry Battalion moves south from Palembang, occupying southern Sumatra by 24 February.
Frame 527 Feb 1942
An Allied naval force suffers heavy damage in an encounter with the Japanese invasion force. The battle of the Java Sea delays landings by one day.
Frame 628 Feb 1942
While attempting to move through the Sunda Strait, Perth and Houston are met and sunk by the Japanese western invasion force.
Frame 71 Mar 1942
The Sakaguchi Detachment lands at Kragan and occupies Tjilatjap by 7 March. Surabaya is captured the following day by the 48th Division’s main force.
Frame 81 Mar 1942
The Shoji Detachment lands at Eretan. It occupies the Kalidjati airfield, then presses south towards Bandung.
Frame 91 Mar 1942
The main strength of the 2nd Division lands at Bantam Bay. It moves on Bandung in two echelons, finally accepting the Allied surrender on 12 March.


Campaign strength

Southern Sumatra


16th Army
38th Division
Lt Gen Sano Tadayoshi
    38th Infantry Group Headquarters
    229th Infantry Regiment (Col Tanaka Yoshisaburō)
    38th Infantry Regiment (part strength)
    Other units

3rd Army Air Corps
Lt Gen Sugawara Michio
    Direct units
      81st Sentai
    12th Air Brigade
      1st Sentai 1st Squadron (fighters)
      11th Sentai (fighters)
    3rd Air Brigade
      15th Independent Air Unit
      59th Sentai (fighters)
      64th Sentai (fighters)
      27th Sentai (minus part strength, assault aircraft)
      75th Sentai (light bombers)
      90th Sentai (light bombers)


1st Southern Expeditionary Fleet
Vice Adm Ozawa Jisaburō
    Escort Fleet (Rear Adm Hashimoto Shintarō)
      Sendai, 3rd Torpedo Squadron
      Yura, Shimushu
    Support Group
      Chōkai (flagship)
      7th Squadron (Kumano, Suzuya, Mikuma, Mogami)
      Aircraft carrier (Ryūjō), 2 special submarine tenders, 6 destroyers, etc
    Air Unit
      22nd Air Flotilla (Rear Adm Matsunaga Sadaichi)
    Waterway Unit
      9th Base Force (Rear Adm Hiraoka Kumeichi)

Paratrooper Unit (Palembang landing)
    2nd Paratrooper Regiment

Northern Sumatra


25th Army
Imperial Guards Division
Lt Gen Nishimura Takuma
    5th Imperial Guards Regiment
    Imperial Guards Reconnaissance Regiment
    Imperial Guards Engineer Regiment
    Imperial Guards Field Artillery Regiment (minus part strength)
    6th Imperial Guards Tank Regiment (minus part strength)
    Other units
Kobayashi Detachment
Maj Gen Kobayashi Takeshi
    Imperial Guards Infantry Group Headquarters
    3rd Imperial Guards Infantry Regiment
    1st Imperial Guards Field Artillery Battalion
    Other units

Kunishi Detachment
Col Kunishi Kentarō
    4th Imperial Guards Regiment (minus part strength)
    5th Mortar Battalion
    6th Tank Regiment (one company)
    15th Independent Engineer Regiment (minus part strength)
    Other units

Yoshida Detachment
Col Yoshida Katsu
    4th Imperial Guards Regiment, 3rd Battalion
    15th Independent Engineer Regiment (one company)
    Other units



16th Army
Lt Gen Imamura Hitoshi (Chief of Staff: Maj Gen Okazaki Kiyosaburō)

2nd Division
Lt Gen Maruyama Masao
    2nd Infantry Group Headquarters
    4th Infantry Regiment
    16th Infantry Regiment
    29th Infantry Regiment
    2nd Reconnaissance Regiment
    2nd Supply and Transport Regiment
    Other units

38th Division
Lt Gen Sano Tadayoshi
    229th Infantry Regiment
    230th Infantry Regiment
    38th Mountain Artillery Regiment
    38th Engineer Regiment
    Light Armoured Car Unit
    38th Supply and Transport Regiment
    Other units

    Shōji Detachment
    Col Shōji Toshishige
      230th Infantry Regiment (minus one battalion)
      4th Tank Regiment, 1st Company
      38th Mountain Artillery Regiment, 3rd Battalion
      2nd Independent Rapid-fire Gun Battalion (minus one company)
      Engineer company
      Anti-aircraft company
    Eastern Detachment
    Maj Gen Itō Takeo
      38th Infantry Group Headquarters
      228th Infantry Regiment (Col Doi Sadashichi)
      38th Mountain Artillery Regiment, 2nd Battalion (minus one company)

48th Division
Lt Gen Tsuchibashi Yūitsu
    48th Infantry Group Headquarters
    1st Formosan Infantry Regiment
    2nd Formosan Infantry Regiment
    47th Infantry Regiment
    48th Reconnaissance Regiment
    48th Mountain Artillery Regiment
    48th Engineer Regiment
    Other units

    Kanemura Detachment
    Maj Gen Kanemura Matabei
      1st Formosan Regiment, 3rd Battalion (minus one company)
      One mountain artillery platoon
      One independent engineer platoon

Sakaguchi Detachment
Maj Gen Sakaguchi Shizuo
    146th Infantry Regiment
    56th Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Battalion
    Armoured car unit
    Other units

Attached units
    2nd Tank Regiment (minus light tank company)
    4th Tank Regiment
    17th Field Heavy Artillery Regiment (armoured)
    2nd Independent Rapid-fire Gun Battalion
    5th Independent Rapid-fire Gun Battalion
    18th Field Air Defence Headquarters
    16th Anti-aircraft Regiment
    23rd Anti-aircraft Regiment (minus searchlight company)
    44th Field Anti-aircraft Battalion
    45th Field Anti-aircraft Battalion
    48th Field Anti-aircraft Battalion
    168th Motor Park Headquarters
    138th Motor Park Headquarters
    15th Signals Regiment
    2nd Field Transport Headquarters
    39th Independent Motor Car Battalion
    102nd Independent Motor Car Battalion
    28th Motor Car Regiment
    45th Independent Motor Car Battalion
    Other units

3rd Army Air Corps
Lt Gen Sugawara Michio
    Direct units
      81st Sentai
    12th Air Brigade
      1st Sentai 1st Squadron (fighters)
      11th Sentai (fighters)
    3rd Air Brigade
      15th Independent Air Unit
      59th Sentai (fighters)
      64th Sentai (fighters)
      27th Sentai (minus part strength, assault planes)
      75th Sentai (light bombers)
      90th Sentai (light bombers)

Southern Area Force
Vice Adm Kondō Nobutake
    Atago (flagship)
    3rd Squadron (Hiei, Kirishima, Kongō, Haruna)
    4th Destroyer Squadron

Mobile Carrier Fleet
Vice Adm Nagumo Chūichi
    1st Air Flotilla (Akagi, Kaga)
    2nd Air Flotilla (Sōryū, Hiryū)
    4th Squadron (Takao)
    8th Squadron (Tone, Chikuma)
    1st Torpedo Squadron
      17th Destroyer Squadron
      27th Destroyer Squadron [minus part strength])
    18th Destroyer Squadron (Akigumo)

Malaya Force
Vice Admiral Ozawa Jisaburō
    Chōkai (flagship)
    7th Squadron (Kumano, Suzuya, Mikuma)
    4th Air Flotilla (Ryūjō, 2 special submarine tenders, etc)
    3rd Torpedo Squadron
    22nd Air Flotilla
    11th Air Flotilla (joined later)

Netherlands East Indies Force
Vice Admiral Takahashi I
    Bali Invasion Force
    Rear Adm Kubo Kyūji
      11th Destroyer Squadron
      8th Destroyer Squadron
    Eastern Java Invasion Force (4th Torpedo Squadron)
    Vice Adm Nishimura Shōji
      2nd Destroyer Squadron
      9th Destroyer Squadron
      24th Destroyer Squadron (minus part strength)
      2nd Base Force
      Itsukushima, Chitose (submarine tender), etc.
    Western Java Invasion Force (5th Torpedo Squadron)
    Rear Adm Hara Kensaburō
      5th Destroyer Squadron
      22nd Destroyer Squadron
      6th Destroyer Squadron (minus part strength)
      Other units
    Submarine Units
      A Submarine Unit
        4th, 6th Submarine Squadrons
      B Submarine Unit
        5th Submarine Squadron
      C Submarine Unit
        2nd Submarine Squadron

    11th Air Fleet
    Vice Adm Tsukahara Nishizō
      21st Air Flotilla (1st Air Attack Force)
      23rd Air Flotilla (2nd Air Attack Force)
      22nd Air Flotilla (3rd Air Attack Force, formed from part of Malaya Force)
      2nd Air Flotilla (Hiryū, 7th Destroyer Squadron, other units)

Campaign casualties

Sumatra campaign: ?
Java campaign: 950 killed and wounded

Printer version

Hong Kong, Pacific
Celebes, Ambon, Timor
New Britain
Sumatra, Java

Reference links
Show details for Dispositions–DeathsDispositions–Deaths
Show details for CampaignsCampaigns

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