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Item title: New Britain: defences of Rabaul and the Gazelle peninsula
Title (kanji)
Location:Australian War Memorial (AWM55 12/39)
View information about obtaining a copy of this document
AJRP details
AJRP module: Australian War Memorial official records
AJRP series: Allied Translator and Interpreter Section (ATIS) publications
AJRP sub-series: ATIS research reports
AJRP folder:
Location details
Institution: Australian War Memorial
Call number: AWM55 12/39
Inst. series: AWM55
Inst. sub-series: AWM55 12/-
Item: RR-61
Item qualities
Quantity / desc: 89 pages
Access: Open
Item type: Unpublished, Official
Category: Information report
Item content
Creation date range (d/m/y): 25/2/1944 to 18/4/1944
Conflict code: Pacific War (1941-1945)
Australian unit names:
Allied unit names:
Japanese unit names:18th Army
1st Shipping Regt
8th Fleet
66th Infantry Regt
15th Machine-gun Unit
Oigawa Maru
Names: OGINO Seiichi, Head Pte
Languages: English
Area:Gazelle Peninsular [Melanesia (PNG, Irian Jaya & Solomon Islands), Bismarck Archipelago, New Britain]
Kabakaul [Melanesia (PNG, Irian Jaya & Solomon Islands), Bismarck Archipelago, New Britain, Rabaul Area]
Rabaul Area [Melanesia (PNG, Irian Jaya & Solomon Islands), Bismarck Archipelago, New Britain]
Rabaul [Melanesia (PNG, Irian Jaya & Solomon Islands), Bismarck Archipelago, New Britain, Rabaul Area]
Kokopo [Melanesia (PNG, Irian Jaya & Solomon Islands), Bismarck Archipelago, New Britain, Rabaul Area]
Malaguna [Melanesia (PNG, Irian Jaya & Solomon Islands), Bismarck Archipelago, New Britain, Rabaul Area]
Content: This is an Allied Translator and Interpreter Section (ATIS) research report on the defences at Rabaul and the Gazelle Peninsula. The enquiry was received on 25 February 1944 and an answer despatched on 18 April 1944. The report contains general information on the topography, navigational features, road network, communications, harbours, wharves and lighthouses in the Rabaul area. Specific data is included on patrols, radar and searchlights, observation posts, fortifications, weapons, logistics, air defences, and the strength and composition of land, naval and air forces. Most of the report is a collection of appendices. They include: a detailed map of Rabaul (March 1943), Kabakaul (December 1942), Kokopo (January 1943) and surrounds, a table of the strength and disposition of combat units under the command of the 18th Army in May 1943, a sketch of garrison and anti-aircraft positions in Rabaul, a sketch of Rabaul in February 1942 by a prisoner of war, guard regulations for the 1st Shipping Regiment, a sketch of the 15th Machine-cannon Unit positions in Rabaul in January 1943, a chart on installations in Kokopo and field goods depots in Rabaul in March 1943, three sketches of gun positions at Zunan and Kokopo in July 1943, maps showing anti-aircraft positions in Rabaul and Kokopo, a sketch map of the disposition of garrison troops in the Kokopo area in January 1943 and a map identifying billeting areas at Kabakaul.

Among the longer items in the appendix is an extract of a report of a meeting held by the Commander of the 8th Fleet in Rabaul on 10 June 1943. It details the combat readiness of naval forces, coastal defences and gun batteries in New Britain. Another appendix item is a booklet, dated 20 January 1943, entitled "Local tactical project for officers", which appears to be a training exercise for the 66th Infantry Regiment. Appendix "S" is based predominantly on interrogation reports for OGINO Seiichi, also known as HAGIHARA Seiichi (see IR-66D to IR-66I). When his boat, Oigawa Maru, sank in March 1943, he left a satchel which contained a complete index of all code designations. However, he prided himself on remembering the codes and told the interrogators. During a series of interrogations between June 1943 and August 1945, OGINO provided detailed information on Japanese Army divisions and their code names. The report contains details of capture, identification of various units, positions and supply depots in the Rabaul area, identification of various persons, comment on Allied combat tactics, morale and propaganda, location of Australian prisoners of war in Rabaul, casualties, chemical warfare and medical services. A collection of seven aerial photographs show the precise locations of various sites of strategic interest in Rabaul and the Gazelle Peninsula.

This research report would have been used to locate bombing targets during the Allied campaign to isolate Japanese forces in New Britain.
Other information
Last modified:03/05/2009 09:04:14 AM
Source:AJRP staff

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