41st Division (Imperial Japanese Army)

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The 41st Division (第41師団 Dai-yonju-ichi Shidan?) was an infantry division of the Imperial Japanese Army. It was formed on 2 October 1939, under the command of Lieutenant General Moritake Tanabe.[1] The division's infantry group consisted of the 237th, 238th and 239th Infantry Regiments and it was supported by the following elements: the 41st Reconnaissance Regiment, 41st Mountain Artillery Regiment, 41st Engineer Regiment, 41st Transport Regiment, and a divisional signals unit.[1] Upon the outbreak of the Pacific War on 7 December 1941, the division was based in Tsingtao in China. Under the command of Shimizu Tsunenori, the division was subordinate to First Army.[2]

In November 1942 the division, under the command of Lieutenant General Heisuke Abe, was scheduled to be deployed to Guadalcanal.[3] However, after attempts to reinforce the Japanese garrison on the island failed, the decision was made to divert the 41st Division, along with the 20th Division, which was being shipped from Korea at the same time, and land them on New Guinea. Consequently the 41st Division arrived at Wewak on 12 February 1943,[3] where they were attached to the Eighteenth Army and subsequently took part in the New Guinea campaign throughout 1943–45, fighting against Australian and United States forces, before being destroyed.[2]


  1. ^ a b "41 Division (Japan)". Axis History Factbook. Retrieved 3 January 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Budge, Kent G. "Japanese Order of Battle, Part 1". The Pacific War Online Encyclopedia. Retrieved 30 December 2010. 
  3. ^ a b Tanaka 1980, p. 48


  • Tanaka, Kengoro (1980). Operations of the Imperial Japanese Armed Forces in the Papua New Guinea Theater During World War II. Tokyo, Japan: Japan Papua New Guinea Goodwill Society. OCLC 9206229. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Madej, Victor (1981). Japanese Armed Forces Order of Battle, 1937–1945. Allentown, PA: Game Publishing Company. OCLC 8930220.