62nd Division (Imperial Japanese Army)
|Active||1943 - 1945|
|Country||Empire of Japan|
|Branch||Imperial Japanese Army|
Battle of Okinawa
The 62nd Division (第62師団 Dai-rokujūni Shidan) was an infantry division of the Imperial Japanese Army. Its call sign was the Stone Division (石兵団 Ishi Heidan). It was formed on 1 May 1943 at Taiyuan, simultaneously with the 63rd division as a security (type C) division. The nucleus for the formation was the 4th and a part of the 6th independent mixed brigades. As a security division, it lacked an artillery regiment. The division was initially assigned to the 1st army.
Upon formation, the 62nd division has performed a garrison duties of the independent mixed brigades it replaced.
From March 1944, it was assigned to 12th army and participated in the Henan part of Operation Ichi-Go. After the fighting subsided in July 1944, the 62nd division was removed from the front lines and subordinated first to China Expeditionary Army and later directly to Emperor`s control.
In August 1944, the 62nd division was subordinated to 32nd army and sent to Okinawa main island. The main batch of troops have left Wusong District in Shanghai 16 August 1944 and arrived to Naha 19 August 1944. Soon one of the divisional transports, Tsushima Maru, was sunk 22 August 1944 with the heavy death toll, majority being evacuated schoolchildren. In December 1944 the 62nd division has left the coastal defenses and manned the now vacant positions left by 9th division leaving for Taiwan. From February 1945, the positions were further changed including now more of the large cities, with the goal to train a militia units from the local population. This deployment have resulted in significantly lowered morale due to abandonment of nearly complete coastal fortification which were decided to use as false targets only by Mitsuru Ushijima.
From 1 April 1945 it fought in Battle of Okinawa, countering an initial US advances at Chatan-Toguchi at north and Naha-Yonabaru on the south. Also, the 2nd and 3rd battalions of the 22nd infantry regiment been transferred from 24th division to the area of now Kadena Air Base under 62nd division command. As front lines stabilized, the 62nd division was defending the positions in the battle of Kakazu ridge. The 13th independent infantry battalion has fought with a particular distinction. Other important battlegrounds were Makiminato, Ganeko and Wauke (和宇慶) line. The 62nd division was forced to start a retreat 23 April 1945 and was completely annihilated 22 June 1945 on the southern tip of Okinawa island by the 1st Marine Division.
- This article incorporates material from Japanese Wikipedia page 第62師団 (日本軍), accessed 13 June 2016
Reference and further reading
- 62nd Division (Ishi)
- IJN Second Class Destroyer TSUGA: Tabular Record of Movement
- Christopher Chant, "The Encyclopedia of Codenames of World War II (Routledge Revivals)", p. 88
- George Feifer, "Battle of Okinawa: The Blood and the Bomb", p. 145-146
- Robert O'Neill, "The Pacific War: From Pearl Harbor to Okinawa", chapter "THE LAST STAND"
- Madej, W. Victor. Japanese Armed Forces Order of Battle, 1937-1945 [2 vols]
Allentown, PA: 1981