The Japanese conquest of Timor (II)

Switch to guerrilla tactics By the end of February, the Japanese were in control of most of Dutch Timor and the area round Dili in the north-east. The Australians remained in the island’s south and east, however. The 2/2nd Independent Company was trained for stay-behind operations and had its own engineers and signallers, although it …

The Japanese conquest of Timor (I)

The Battle of Timor resulted in the Japanese seizure of the island of Timor, on which the colonial powers were the Netherlands and Portugal, to the north-west of Darwin in the Australian Northern Territory. The Japanese invaded the island on 20 February 1942 and were resisted by a small Allied force. This Sparrow Force comprised …

Japan’s greatest Pacific base – Truk atoll

The US geographical (rather than operational) codename for Truk atoll in the Caroline islands group of the central Pacific between 1941 and 1945 was originally ‘Anaconda’ and then ‘Panhandle’. A group of hilly islands, the tips of drowned mountain peaks, surrounded by a large barrier reef with five passes, Truk is a large atoll lying …

‘Fathead’ – A Far-Eastern ‘Mincemeat’?

The head of ‘GSI(d)’, one of the the British organisations responsible for deception activities in the Far East in World War II and which was merged in January 1944 with the Special Planning Section to create the ‘D’ Division, was Peter Fleming, a well known writer and brother of Ian Fleming, the creator of James …

Amphibious Warfare – The Dock Landing Ship

A dock landing ship (often formally designated as a landing ship, dock, or LSD) is an amphibious warfare ship incorporating a docking well into the stern for the accommodation, transport, and launch/recovery of landing craft and amphibious vehicles. Some ships with docking wells, such as those of the Soviet/Russian ‘Ivan Rogov’ class, also have bow …

Operations ‘Brewer’ & ‘Beefsteak’ – closing the door on the Japanese base areas of Rabaul and Kavieng

An account of the two US army operations ‘brewer’ and ‘beefsteak’, led against the Japanese during World War II.