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5th Division (Imperial Japanese Army)

5th Division (Imperial Japanese Army)
5th Division
5th Division HQ, Hiroshima
Active 18881945
Country Empire of Japan
Branch Imperial Japanese Army
Type Infantry
Garrison/HQ Hiroshima City, Japan
Nickname "Carp Division"
Engagements First Sino-Japanese War
Russo-Japanese War
World War II
The 5th Division ( 5 Daigo shidan) was an infantry division in the Imperial Japanese Army. Its call-sign was
the Carp Division ( Koihei-dan).
The 5th Division was formed in Hiroshima in January 1871 as the Hiroshima Garrison ( Hiroshima
chindai), one of six regional commands created in the fledgling Imperial Japanese Army. The Hiroshima Garrison
had responsibility for western region of Honsh (Chugoku district), ranging from Hygo Prefecture to Yamaguchi
Prefecture. The six regional commands were transformed into divisions under the army reorganization of 14 May
As one of the oldest Divisions in the Imperial Japanese Army, the 5th Division saw combat in the First
Sino-Japanese War. Elements of the 5th Division were the first Japanese forces to land in Korea, and the 5th
Division was in charge of the southern Korean garrison and participated in the invasion of the Liaodong Peninsula in
China. It was the main Japanese element in the multi-national coalition during the Boxer Rebellion, and received
praise from foreign observers for its bravery, professionalism and discipline. In the Russo-Japanese War, under the
command of General Nozu Michitsura, it saw combat at the Battle of Sandepu and Battle of Mukden.
Assigned to Manchuria from 19111913, the bulk of the Japanese forces in the Siberian Intervention came from the
5th Division.
In the Second Sino-Japanese War, it participated in the invasion of Chahar, and the Battle of Xuzhou before being
reassigned to the south China front around Guangzhou but was defeated heavily in the Battle of Kunlun Pass where
the 21st Brigade was wiped out.
After the start of the Pacific War the 5th Division was reassigned to the southern front under Field Marshal Terauchi
Hisaichi's Southern Command based in Saigon. With its combat experience and record in China, it was considered
one of the best divisions in the Imperial Japanese Army, and was one of the divisions assigned to the conquest of
Malaya and Singapore.
5th Division (Imperial Japanese Army)
Battle of Malaya
The 5th Division landed on the east coast of Thailand at Singora and Patani on December 8, 1941 as part of General
Tomoyuki Yamashita's 25th Army. The 5th Division fought its way through northern and central Malaya. It was
particularly successful at the Battles of Jitra and Slim River where, in both battles, it defeated the Indian 11th
Infantry Division. At the Battle of Slim River, the 5th Division's 41st Infantry Regiment, supported by tanks, swept
through sixteen miles of British defenses, shattering the exhausted 11th Indian Division and inflicting an estimated
3,000 casualties.
The 5th Division did not have it all its own way during the Battle of Malaya, suffering heavy casualties during the
Battle of Kampar and again when it faced the 8th Australian Division during the Battle of Muar at Gemensah Bridge.
Battle of Singapore
On the night of 8 February 1942, six battalions of the 5th Division, under command of Lieutenant General Matsui
Takuro as part of Lieutenant General Yamashita Tomoyuki's 25th Army along with the IJA 18th Division crossed
the Johor Strait using landing craft.
On the Singapore side, Sarimbun beach was heavily defended by 2 companies, one each from the 2/20th and 2/18th
battalions of the 22nd Australian Brigade, supported by a machine gun company, three artillery batteries and an
anti-tank battery. However, the Japanese troops managed to penetrate the British defense perimeter, and the
Australian troops retrograded after midnight allowing the 5th Division, to move on to Ama Keng village and
established a beachhead, where they fired a red starshell over the straits to indicate the their success to General
Immediately after this important victory, the 5th Division moved inwards into Singapore to capture more strategic
areas such as Tengah Airfield on 9 February 1942. The unit fought against the 2/29th, 2/20th, 2/18th battalions of the
22nd Australian Brigade and the Jind Indian Infantry Battalion, the airfield garrison. On 11 February 1942, Bukit
Timah Road was captured by the 5th Division after fierce fighting. Singapore surrendered 4 days later.
Subsequent history
The 5th Division subsequently saw action in Rabaul and Guadalcanal and various islands in the Dutch East Indies,
before surrendering to the Allies on Ceram, in the Dutch East Indies.
The division's headquarters in the homeland were on the grounds of Hiroshima Castle. The headquarters buildings,
like the castle itself were destroyed by the atomic bomb explosion on 6 August 1945.
Some of the division's more noteworthy commanders included Nozu Michitsura, Oku Yasukata, Yamaguchi
Motoomi, Ueda Arisawa, and Terauchi Hisaichi.
The original Order of Battle of the IJA 5th Division included:
11th Infantry Regiment
21st Infantry Regiment (Shimada)
42nd Infantry Regiment (Yamaguchi)
5th Special Operations Regiment
5th Field Artillery Regiment
5th Construction Regiment
5th Transport Regiment.
5th Division (Imperial Japanese Army)
As of July 1937
IJA 5th Division (Motorized Square Division) Lt. General Seishir Itagaki
9th Infantry Brigade
11th Infantry Regiment
41st Infantry Regiment
21st Infantry Brigade
21st Infantry Regiment
42nd Infantry Regiment
5th Mountain Artillery Regiment
5th Cavalry Regiment
5th Engineer Regiment
5th Transport and Logistics Regiment
The IJA 5th Division was a "motorized" square division, being equipped with 500 trucks. The trucks were for the
heavy equipment and the artillery, whereas every soldier not riding in a motor vehicle rode a bicycle.
Reference and further reading
Madej, W. Victor, Japanese Armed Forces Order of Battle, 19371945 [2 vols]
Allentown, Pennsylvania: 1981
External links
Organization, 1941 Infantry Division (square) 8 December 1941
[1] http:/ / www. niehorster.orbat. com/ 014_japan/ 41-12-08_army/ ija_ground-units/ _4-rgt_organization. html
Article Sources and Contributors
Article Sources and Contributors
5th Division (Imperial Japanese Army) Source: Contributors: Aisteco, Anotherclown, Asiaticus, Bendono, Bomzibar, Boneyard90,
Carom, Colonies Chris, Coyets, Darren Wickham, Drmies, I dream of horses, KU, LanternLight, LilHelpa, MChew, Mhardcastle, Nick Number, ProudIrishAspie, SFX 1, Tim!, Tristan benedict,
Woohookitty, 12 anonymous edits
Image Sources, Licenses and Contributors
File:Hiroshima Chindai Headquarters.JPG Source: License: Public Domain Contributors: M9106TB,

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