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 Post subject: Defense structures
PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2006 8:00 pm 
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Taken from The Handbook of Japanese forces, US war Department

Japanese defense structures have not followed a set pattern to date, but have been made to conform as nearly as possibl to the surrounding terain and to meet the immediate tactical requirments. with some exceptions, these structures have been relatively flat, extending 3-5 feet above ground level, or irregualry shaped positions built around the bases of trees. A Japanese manual on field fortifications states that 'it is ost important not to adhere blindly to set forms in construction work, but to adapt such work to fit the tactical situation''.

when forced to take up active defense, the Japanese apparently follw the theory that construction of defensive positions involves a continual process of development. First the positions merely constitue a series of foxholes; subseuently, if time and circumstances permit, these are linked together to form a coordinated defense system. The third stage involves the construction of strong ponts, bunker and pillbox types of earthworks,a nd log positions.

japanese positions have included bunkers, pillboxes, dugouts, shelters, blockhouses, rifle and machinegun emplacemnts, fox holes, trenches, and antiaircraft emplacemtns and revetments. The terms ''bunker,'' ''pillbox,'' and ''dugout,'' have been used fairly loosely, and its sometimes diffecult to do more than roughly differentiate between them.

In New Guinea the Japanese terrain utilization betwwen Buna Village and the cocunut plantation at cape Endaiadere was an excellent example of a complete defensive system. With the sea to their rear, they anchored their right flank on Buna Village where the unfordable Girua River and Entrance Creek enter the sea, and their left flank on the sea below Cape Endaiadere. They built a system of bunkers with connecting trenches on all the high ground; this forced the attacking force to advance frontally along the rather narrow corridors of dry ground or through impassable swamps.

Generally speaking, bunkers may be said to differ from pillboxes by their size, shape, and shallow foundations. Usually they have been found ona large scale on those areas where high water levels preclude the digging of deep trenches, and in more or less open terrian.
The finished interior of bunkers varies from 4-6 feet in height, 6-10 feet in width and 12-30 feet in length. the larger bunkers are sometimes found with 2 bays, or compartments, seperated by a large solid block of earth. each bunker has 1 or more narrow firing slits, diffecult to hit even at close ranges. these slits are covered with some form of camoflage when not in use.
In the Buna_Gona area, bunkers and pillboxes were built along the same general lines. with a shallow trench as a foundation, log columns and beams were erected, log revetment walls were constructed, and a ceiling then was made of several layers of logs, laid laterally to the trench. with the completeion of this basic superstructure, the revetment walls were reinforced by such materials as sheets of iron, oil drums and ammunition boxes filled with sand, and additional piles of logs. Lastly, the outside was covered with dirt, rocks, cocunuts, and short pieces of logs. For camoflage, the surface was planted with fast growing vegetation.

Different types of entrance were used. some had direct openings from fire trenches, while others had tunnels from the rear. with very few exceptions, all openings were made in such a way that the explosion of a grenade inside the entrance would not injure personnel inside the bunker.
A few bunkers were used to shelter accompanying weapons such as antitank guns and there for had large direct openings.

to be continued.......................

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2006 6:58 pm 
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They also used death comps on some locations as bunkers.
Have this information from the Osprey collection of books.

If i have the time i will scan some of it.

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