Tomitarō Horii

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Tomitarō Horii
Horii Tomitaro.jpg
Rikugun Shōshō Tomitarō Horii
Born (1890-11-07)November 7, 1890
Hyōgo prefecture, Japan
Died November 23, 1942(1942-11-23) (aged 52)
New Guinea
Allegiance Empire of Japan
Service/branch War flag of the Imperial Japanese Army.svg Imperial Japanese Army
Years of service 1911–1942
Rank Lieutenant General
Commands held 55th Infantry Division
Battles/wars Second Sino-Japanese War
World War II
In this Japanese name, the family name is "Horii".

Tomitarō Horii (堀井 富太郎 Horii Tomitarō?, November 7, 1890 – November 23, 1942) was a lieutenant general in the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II.


Born in Hyōgo Prefecture, Horii became an infantry officer following his graduation from the 23rd class of the Imperial Japanese Army Academy in 1911.[1] He was later assigned to the headquarters of the Shanghai Expeditionary Army during the January 28 Incident from January 28 – March 4, 1932.[2]

From 1935–1937, he was attached to the IJA 12th Infantry Regiment. He became commander of the IJA 78th Infantry Regiment in 1938, after his promotion to colonel the previous year. Horii was appointed commander of the IJA 55th Division, part of the South Seas Force, in 1941. Horii led this organization in the Japanese invasion and subsequent capture of Guam during December 8–10, 1941; following this engagement, Horii served briefly as the Japanese military Governor of Guam.

During the New Guinea campaign, Horii and his South Seas Detachment were assigned to the invasion of Port Moresby, but were turned back by Allied forces during the Battle of the Coral Sea. As a result, after landing in the BunaGarara area in July 1942, Horii led a column of 8,500 men of the IJA 144th Regiment overland on the Kokoda Trail over the treacherous Owen Stanley mountain range in an attempt to capture Port Moresby.[3] However, after heavy fighting against a small Australian Army and Militia force, the Japanese were delayed and defeated, and Horii was forced to withdraw with his surviving soldiers in the Kokoda Track campaign from September 1942. Horii drowned while crossing the Kumusi River when his raft capsized on November 1942 in Territory of New Guinea.[4]


  1. ^ Dupuy, Encyclopedia of Military Biography
  2. ^ Ammenthorp, The Generals of World War II
  3. ^ Gamble, Darkest Hour
  4. ^ Hayashi, Kogun Hirohiro's Samurai


  • Dupuy, Trevor N. (1992). Encyclopedia of Military Biography. London: I B Tauris & Co Ltd. ISBN 1-85043-569-3. OCLC 59974268. 
  • Gamble, Bruce (2001). Darkest Hour: The True Story of Lark Force at Rabaul – Australia's Worst Military Disaster of World War II. St. Paul, MN: Zenith Press. ISBN 0-7603-2349-6. OCLC 71288724. 
  • Hayashi, Saburō (1959). Kogun: The Japanese Army in the Pacific War. Quantico, VA: Marine Corps. Association. OCLC 1133179. 

External links[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by
Walter McNicoll
as Administrator of New Guinea
Commander of Occupied New Guinea
Succeeded by
Hyakutake Seikichi