General Minoru Sasaki
|Born||January 1, 1893|
Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan
|Died||April 27, 1961 68)(aged|
|Years of service||1914 - 1945|
|Commands held||4th Cavalry Brigade,|
Nanto (Southeast) Detachment
|Battles/wars|| World War II |
• Solomon Islands campaign
• Battle of New Georgia
Minoru Sasaki (佐々木 登, Sasaki Minoru, 1 January 1893 – 27 April 1961) sometimes referred to as Noburo Sasaki, was a Lieutenant General in the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II.
Sasaki was born in Hiroshima Prefecture and studied at Shudo Junior and Senior High School. He graduated from the 26th class of Imperial Japanese Army Academy in 1914 and served as a junior officer wth the IJA 5th Cavalry Regiment. He graduated from the 35th class of the Army Staff College in 1923, and subsequently served in administrative positions within the Imperial Japanese Army General Staff. He was sent as a military attaché to the Soviet Union and Poland in the 1920s, returning to the General Staff afterwards. He was promoted to colonel in August 1937 and to major general in August 1939, when he was attached to the Army Ordnance Headquarters.
In October 1939, Sasaki became commander of the IJA 4th Cavalry Brigade, which was active in the Second Sino-Japanese War. In December 1940, he became Chief of Staff of the IJA 6th Army. Assigned to Hailar, in Inner Mongolia which was also the site of an extensive Japanese static military fortification system, it was primarily a reserve and training garrison force. He returned to Japan in July 1942 to the staff of the Armored Warfare Department within the Army Ministry, and promoted the development of tanks and armored warfare within the Japanese military.
However, as the war situation continued to deteriorate for the Japanese military in the Solomon Islands, Sasaki was reassigned to command the Southern Detachment in May 1943. He led the Japanese forces during the Battle of New Georgia from June 1943 to August 1943. After fighting an effective, but ultimately unsuccessful delaying campaign, his forces retreated to Kolombangara, only to be bypassed and left to starve, with little chance of reinforcement or resupply. He and his surviving forces managed to successfully escape by barge to Choiseul and Bougainville and then to Rabaul. In the Battle of New Georgia his outnumbered forces stood off nearly four Allied divisions and successfully evacuated 9,400 men to fight again. In the official history of the United States Army, Sasaki was evaluated with uncharacteristic effusiveness that "the obstinate General Sasaki, who disappears from these pages at this point, deserved his country's gratitude for his gallant and able conduct of the defense."
From November 1943, he was on the staff of the IJA 8th Area Army at Rabaul, where he remained to the end of the war. Sasaki was promoted to lieutenant general in October 1944.Sasaki died in 1961.
Operation Cartwheel (1943–1944) was a major military operation for the Allies in the Pacific theatre of World War II. Cartwheel was an operation aimed at neutralising the major Japanese base at Rabaul. The operation was directed by the Supreme Allied Commander in the South West Pacific Area (SWPA), General Douglas MacArthur, whose forces had advanced along the northeast coast of New Guinea and occupied nearby islands. Allied forces from the Pacific Ocean Areas command, under Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, advanced through the Solomon Islands toward Bougainville. The Allied forces involved were from Australia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the US and various Pacific Islands.
The Allies of World War II conducted an air attack upon a cruiser force at the major Japanese base of Rabaul in November 1943. In response to the Allied invasion of Bougainville, the Japanese had brought a strong cruiser force down from Truk, their major naval base in the Caroline Islands about 800 miles north of Rabaul, to Rabaul in preparation for a night engagement against the Allied supply and support shipping. Allied carrier- and land-based planes attacked the Japanese ships, airfields, and port facilities on the island of New Britain to protect the Allied amphibious invasion of Bougainville. As a result of the Rabaul raids, the Japanese naval forces could no longer threaten the landings. The success of the raid began to change the strongly held belief that carrier-based air forces could not challenge land-based air forces.
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The New Georgia campaign was a series of land and naval battles of the Pacific campaign of World War II between Allied forces and the Empire of Japan. It was part of Operation Cartwheel, the Allied strategy in the South Pacific to isolate the Japanese base around Rabaul. The campaign took place in the New Georgia group of islands, in the central Solomon Islands and followed the Allied capture of the Russell Islands. The main fighting took place on New Georgia island itself, although significant actions also took place around the island chain throughout the campaign.
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The Solomon Islands campaign was a major campaign of the Pacific War of World War II. The campaign began with Japanese landings and occupation of several areas in the British Solomon Islands and Bougainville, in the Territory of New Guinea, during the first six months of 1942. The Japanese occupied these locations and began the construction of several naval and air bases with the goals of protecting the flank of the Japanese offensive in New Guinea, establishing a security barrier for the major Japanese base at Rabaul on New Britain, and providing bases for interdicting supply lines between the Allied powers of the United States and Australia and New Zealand.
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The Battle of Wickham Anchorage took place during the New Georgia campaign in the Solomon Islands during the Pacific War from 30 June – 3 July 1943. During the operation US Marines and US Army troops landed by ship around Oleana Bay on Vangunu Island and advanced overland towards the anchorage where they attacked a garrison of Imperial Japanese Navy and Army troops. The purpose of the attack by the U.S. was to secure the lines of communication and supply between Allied forces involved in the New Georgia campaign and Allied bases in the southern Solomons. The U.S. forces were successful in driving the Japanese garrison from the area and securing the anchorage, which would later be used to stage landing craft for subsequent operations.
The Drive on Munda Point was an offensive by mainly United States Army forces against Imperial Japanese forces on New Georgia in the Solomon Islands from 2–17 July 1943. The Japanese forces, mainly from the Imperial Japanese Army, were guarding an airfield at Munda Point on the western coast of the island that the U.S. wished to capture as one of the key objectives of the New Georgia campaign. After landing around Zanana on 2 July from Rendova, U.S. troops began a westward advance towards the airfield at Munda. Held up by difficult terrain and stubborn Japanese defense, elements of three U.S. regiments advanced slowly along the Munda trail over the course of two weeks. The slow progress resulted in a reorganization of the U.S. forces assigned to the drive, and preparations were made for a corps-level offensive, but before this could be launched, the Japanese launched a counterattack on 17 July.
The New Georgia counterattack was a counterattack on 17–18 July 1943 by mainly Imperial Japanese Army troops against United States Army forces during the New Georgia campaign in the Solomon Islands. The U.S. and its allies were attempting to capture an airfield constructed by the Japanese at Munda Point on New Georgia with which to support further advances towards the main Japanese base around Rabaul as part of Operation Cartwheel.
The Battle of Munda Point was a battle, from 22 July – 5 August 1943, between primarily United States Army and Imperial Japanese Army forces during the New Georgia Campaign in the Solomon Islands in the Pacific War. The battle took place following a landing by U.S. troops on the western coast of New Georgia from Rendova, as part of an effort to capture the Japanese airfield that had been constructed at Munda Point. This advance had become bogged down and while the Allies brought forward reinforcements and supplies, the Japanese had launched a counterattack on 17–18 July. This effort was ultimately unsuccessful and afterwards U.S. forces launched a corps-level assault to reinvigorate their effort to capture the airfield. Against this drive, Japanese defenders from three infantry regiments offered stubborn resistance, but were ultimately forced to withdraw, allowing U.S. forces to capture the airfield on 5 August. The airfield later played an important role in supporting the Allied campaign on Bougainville in late 1943.
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