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18th Division (Imperial Japanese Army)

18th Division (Imperial Japanese Army)

The 18th Division (18 Dai-juhachi Shidan) was an infantry division in the Imperial Japanese Army. Its call
sign was the Chrysanthemum Division ( Kikuhei-dan).

The 18th Division was formed in Kurume, Kysh on 13 November 1907, together with the 17th Division, as part of
the post Russo-Japanese War expansion of the standing Japanese military. In World War I it was strengthened by an
additional infantry regiment (the 29th) and given an independent command in the siege of the German colony of
Tsingtao in the Shandong peninsula, China. Abolished at the end of World War I, it was revived for participation in
the Siberian Intervention.
However, in 1925, it was again dissolved as one of the four divisions cancelled by Minister of War Ugaki Kazushige
as part of a cost-saving measure during the Kato Takaaki administration.
The 18th Division was resurrected in September 1937, and assigned to the 10th Army with the start of the Second
Sino-Japanese War. It took part in the Battle of Shanghai. As part of the China Expeditionary Army, it participated
in the Battle of Nanjing (and subsequent Nanjing Massacre), and various campaigns throughout China, cumulating in
the Canton Operation of 1938.
In 1941 the division was under the command of Lieutenant-General Renya Mutaguchi. It was re-assigned to the 25th
Army (which was under the command of General Yamashita Tomoyuki). It participated in the invasion of Malaya
and Singapore. Afterwards, it was transferred to the Japanese Fifteenth Army and the Burma front, where it suffered
over 3000 casualties from food poisoning and malaria. In 1942, the division's Kawaguchi Detachment, comprising
the 35th Infantry Brigade and 124th Infantry Regiment, was detached and sent to Guadalcanal. There, it took heavy
losses in the battles of Edson's Ridge and Henderson Field.
Late in 1943, Mutaguchi was promoted, and replaced in command of the division by Lieutenant-General Shinichi
Tanaka. Transferred to the Japanese Thirty-Third Army, and operations in northern Burma, 18th Division fought
against the American-led Chinese divisions advancing on Mogaung and Myitkyina, and against the British Chindits
operating behind their lines. Although sufferering heavy losses, the division nevertheless inflicted many casualties
and imposed severe delays on the Allies.
In the aftermath of the disastrous invasion of India in 1944, Lieutenant-General Tanaka exchanged appointments
with Lieutenant-General Eitaro Naka, formerly Chief of Staff at Burma Area Army. In the 1945 campaigning season,
the division once again lost many thousands of men in the Battle of Central Burma, particularly at the Battle of
Meiktila south of Mandalay. It ended the war in southern Burma.
Of the 31,444 men sent to Burma, more than 20,000 did not make it home to Japan.

The original Order of Battle of the 18th Division included:

55th Infantry Regiment (Omura)

56th Infantry Regiment (Kurume)
114th Infantry Regiment (Fukuoka)
13th Rapid Response Battalion
21st Heavy Field Artillery Battalion
18th Mountain Artillery Regiment

12th Construction Regiment

12th Transport Regiment.

18th Division (Imperial Japanese Army)

Reorganized as a square division in World War I, at the time of the Siege of Tsingtao, in 1914 it had a strength of
23,000 men. It was commanded by Lieutenant-General Mitsuomi Kamio, its 23rd Infantry Brigade by Major General
Yamada and its 24th Infantry Brigade by Major General Horinehi.
18th Division
23rd Infantry Brigade
46th Infantry Regiment
55th Infantry Regiment
24th Infantry Brigade
48th Infantry Regiment
56th Infantry Regiment
22nd Cavalry Regiment
24th Field Artillery Regiment
18th Engineer Battalion
It was reformed in 1937 as a square division for the Second Sino-Japanese War.
18th Division
23rd Infantry Brigade
55th Infantry Regiment
56th Infantry Regiment
35th Infantry Brigade

114th Infantry Regiment

124th Infantry Regiment
18th Mountain Artillery Regiment
22nd Cavalry Battalion
12th Engineer Regiment
12th Transport Regiment

Reference and further reading

Madej, W. Victor, Japanese Armed Forces Order of Battle, 1937-1945 [2 vols], Allentown, PA: 1981
Jon Latimer, Burma: The Forgotten War, London: John Murray, 2004 ISBN 0-7195-6576-6
Tsingtao Campaign by Colin Denis [1]

[1] http:/ / www. gwpda. org/ naval/ tsingtao. htm

Article Sources and Contributors

Article Sources and Contributors

18th Division (Imperial Japanese Army) Source: Contributors: Alansohn, Asiaticus, Bendono, Bomzibar, Carom, Chris the speller,
Cla68, Coyets, Farside6, HLGallon, Jaraalbe, JeltLuthor, Luna Santin, MChew, NotWith, Noveltyghost, Staygyro, 5 anonymous edits

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