2nd Tank Division (Imperial Japanese Army)
|2nd Tank Division|
Japanese tanks moving toward Manila
|Active||1942 - 1945|
|Country||Empire of Japan|
|Branch||Imperial Japanese Army|
|Nickname(s)||撃 = Geki (Attack)|
|Engagements||Second Sino-Japanese War
Invasion of Lingayen Gulf
Battle of Luzon
The 2nd Tank Division was raised in Manchukuo on June 24, 1942. Stationed in Mudanjiang in northeastern Manchukuo, it was tasked primarily with border patrol of Manchukuo's eastern frontier with the Soviet Union under the overall command of the Japanese First Area Army.
In February 1944, the 11th Tank Regiment was sent to the Kuriles. In the following month, the Recon Unit was renamed the 27th Tank Regiment and with the AA unit, sent to China. As the situation in the Pacific War against the Allies deteriorated for Japan, in early August 1944, the remaining units of the 2nd Tank Division was reassigned to the Japanese Fourteenth Area Army, and sent to the Philippines, where it was deployed on the main island of Luzon. In October 1944, the US forces made amphibious landings on Luzon and the army units pushed inland in late January 1945. General Tomoyuki Yamashita held back the tank division and had them withdraw inland to the north. During this time, the 2nd Tank Division came under heavy air attacks. Most of the 2nd Tank Division, dug in around San Jose. It lost 108 of its 220 tanks in heavy fighting in just over a week. The remaining tanks were used to support infantry or were dug in like pillboxes and annihilated during the remainder of the Battle of the Philippines in various engagements on Luzon, Leyte and Mindanao by joint Filipino and American troops.
The 2nd Tank Division was reconstituted in Japan as a training unit after the disaster in the Philippines. In February 1945, its 11th Armored Regiment was transferred to the control of the Japanese Fifth Area Army and attached to the 91st Infantry Division. It was stationed in the northern Kuril Islands, where it was in combat against the Soviet Red Army at Paramushir during Invasion of the Kuril Islands at the end of World War II. It was officially demobilized in September 1945 with the rest of the Imperial Japanese Army. Also, the reconnaissance regiment was transferred to Okinawa where it was converted to the 27th armored regiment attached to the 24th Division, and finally anti-aircraft company was transferred to 20th Army.
|1||Lieutenant General Tasuku Okada||20 September 1942||7 December 1943|
|2||Lieutenant General Yoshiharu Iwanaka||27 December 1943||30 September 1945|
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