Australian War Memorial - AJRP

Home | About | Database | Research | Maps | Sitemap | Search | Links | Thanks | Translations | What's New | Japanese

Series title: AWM 82 captured Japanese documents
AJRP details
AJRP module: Australian War Memorial official records
Location details
Institution: Australian War Memorial
Institution series: AWM 82
Series qualities
Quantity: approx. 800 items
Access: Open subject to condition
Series type: Unpublished, Published, Private, Official
Finding Aids: none
Series content
Creation date range (year):c1928 to 1946
Conflict code: Pacific War (1941-1945), Japan (1945-1957), Post-war (related to WW2)
Australian unit names: 11TH DIVISION
Allied unit names:
Japanese unit names:Southern Area Army
Philippines Expeditionary Army
Imperial Japanese Navy
Languages: English, Japanese
Area:Melanesia (PNG, Irian Jaya & Solomon Islands)
Netherlands East Indies (Indonesia)
Biographical / Institutional info:This collection was transferred to the Australian War Memorial in 1954 from the Directorate of Military Intelligence (DMI) in Sydney. The two sources of the material were the Allied Translator and Interpreter Section (ATIS) and Headquarters 8th Military District (Rabaul). ATIS was formed in Sep 1942 to translate seized Japanese documents and to provide interpreters for the interrogation of POWs. It was based in GHQ SWPA (Melbourne, then Hollandia, Leyte and Manila) with advanced echelons located close to the front lines.
Content:This collection consists of original Japanese documents dating from the Second World War and the immediate post-war period. It includes official documents of an administrative and operational nature, as well as personal items, some of which have been returned to families in Japan. The first comprehensive listing of the material occurred in the early 1980s, but the current physical and intellectual arrangement of the collection was not carried out until 1997.

The material in AWM 82 collected by ATIS is important historically as an accessible addition to sources on Australia and Japan during the war. Although ATIS collected large numbers of documents during the Pacific War, the current location of those shipped to Washington DC after the war is unclear. Perhaps more important is the material from Rabaul, which provides a coherent documentary record of the immediate post-war arrangements for the surrender, repatriation and investigations of war crimes.

AWM 82 has been categorised into seven sub-sections according to the collecting authority and location, as follows:
1. Items captured at Milne Bay, 6/10/42 (call no. 1/1/-). These 11 items consist of nominal rolls, embarkation orders, unit organisation charts and a medical records book. They were captured from the Japanese naval force that landed in Milne Bay in August 1942. Although they bear no ATIS registration stamps or numbers, they all have a hand written note indicating that they were received at ATIS on 16 Oct 1942.
2. Items registered by ATIS as "B" documents (call no. 1/2/- ). This is the largest sub-section of the series, consisting of approximately 360 items, including pay books, savings books, orders, battle reports, maps and diaries. "B" documents were considered not likely to be of operational value to the Allies, but were retained, without being translated, for possible later use.
3. ADVATIS material captured in the Philippines, 1944-45 (call no. 1/3/-). These items consist of "B" documents collected by the Advanced ATIS (ADVATIS) in Manila. They consist of pay books, savings books, orders, battle diaries, personal diaries, and a large number of letters and postcards. One exception is the diary of a medical officer which still has an ATIS scanning sheet attached indicating that it was an "A" document, and as such contained information considered of operational value to the Allies.
4. Items registered by ATIS as "A" documents (call no. 1/4/-). These 12 items consist of maps, orders, pocketbooks, savings and pay books, and military manuals. Most of these items appeared as ATIS spot reports translated for the use of forward tactical units.
5. Post-surrender material received from HQ 8 Military District "Rabaul" (call no. 2/-). These 350 items relate to the post-war period of administration of Japanese forces in Rabaul by the Australian forces. They consist of official documents relating to the surrender and repatriation, administrative documents concerning day-to-day life in the internment camps, and items of a personal nature such as diaries, letters, song and poem books, and educational material.
6. Miscellaneous material (call no. 3/-). These seven items were either part of the Memorial's relics collection transferred to the Research Centre for more appropriate classification and conservation, or were items donated to the Memorial from private individuals. They consist of a map, unit diary notes, an accounts book and several manuals on the preservation of leather and rubber goods.
Other information
Last modified:11/12/1999 04:53:32 PM

The AJRP has wound up its activities at the Memorial for the moment.
Please contact the relevant officer of the Australian War Memorial for assistance.
Internet implementation by Fulton Technology and AJRP staff .
Visit the Australian War Memorial home page.
Visit the award-winning web-site of the Australian War Memorial