Order of Battle - Japanese
Japanese Garrison Force Organization - Tarawa, 20 November 431
15 September 42 - Yokosuka 6th Special Navy Landing Force lands on Tarawa4
20 December 42 - 111th Pioneers begin construction duties5
15 February 43 - The 6th SNLF becomes the 3rd Special Base Force
22 February 43 - Rear Admiral Tomanari Saichiro takes command
17 March 43 - Sasebo 7th SNLF arrives to reinforce the garrison
May 43 - 4th Construction unit arrives
20 July 43 - Rear Admiral Shibasaki relieves Saichiro as base commander
20 November 43 - Invasion begins, Admiral Shibasaki killed in bombardment from US Navy destroyers.6
23 November 43 - Tarawa garrison effectively destroyed
The 7th Sasebo was formed on April 1st, 1943 and was assigned to the 4th Fleet. This unit was decimated at Betio, Tarawa Atoll and deactivated on March 4th, 1944.
Commander Takeo Sugai
This section to be completed.
1.Stockman, The Battle for Tarawa, Appendix F, p.80.
2.Courtesy of Dr. Leo Niehorster, "WWII Armed Forces Organization and Order of Battle"
4.Stockman lists 1,122 men and Alexander list 1,509 for the 6th SNLF. Stockman might not have included a rifle company temporarily detached to Makin until December 42. See p. 28-29 Alexander.
5.A task organization can be found in JICPOA Bulletin #8-44, "Japanese Forces in the Gilbert Islands."
6.Alexander, in Utmost Savagery, specualtes that this happened while Shibasaki was attempting to transfer his command post to the other side of the island to allow his large bombproof headquarters to be used as a hospital.
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Created September 1998 - Updated 14 July 2001