38th Division (Imperial Japanese Army)
Soldiers of the 228th regiment of 38th division entering Hong Kong, December 1941
|Active||1939 - 1945|
|Country||Empire of Japan|
|Branch||Imperial Japanese Army|
|Engagements||Battle of Hong Kong
Dutch East Indies campaign
New Britain campaign
Admiralty Islands campaign
The 38th Division (第38師団 Dai sanjūhachi shidan?) was an infantry division of the Imperial Japanese Army. The division saw heavy action during the Pacific campaign of World War II, including the conquest of Hong Kong in 1941, the Dutch East Indies in early 1942, and the Guadalcanal Campaign from October 1942 to February 1943. The division took heavy losses in the failed attempt to retake Guadalcanal from Allied forces and was thereafter assigned to the defense of the Admiralty Islands, New Britain, and New Ireland until the end of the war.
The division's main line units were the 228th, 229th, and 230th Infantry regiments. The 228th consisted mainly of conscripts from Nagoya, Japan, the 229th from Gifu Prefecture, and the 230th from Shizuoka Prefecture. While the rest of the 229th Infantry Regiment was on Guadalcanal, its 3rd Battalion fought in the Buna area of Papua /New Guinea from 11/1942 to 1/1943 where it was destroyed. The division was disbanded at the end of World War II with the dissolution of the Imperial Japanese Army.
The division's soldiers were often accused of committing war crimes during their operations in the Pacific theater. One of the division's senior officers, Takeo Itō, was convicted of war crimes by an Allied military tribunal after the war.
Chief of Staff
|02.12.1940||01.03.1941||Col. Yoshimitsu Abe|
|01.03.1941||23.03.1943||Maj. Gen. Yoshimitsu Abe|
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