A formal portrait of Lt. Gen. Takashina.
|Native name||高品 彪|
25 January 1891|
Chiba Prefecture, Japan
|Died||28 July 1944
|Allegiance||Empire of Japan|
|Service/branch||Imperial Japanese Army|
|Commands held||29th Division|
|Battles/wars||World War II
Battle of Guam †
Takeshi Takashina (高品 彪 Takashina Takeshi?, 25 January 1891 – 28 July 1944) was an Imperial Japanese Army general who served in the Pacific War of World War II. He was killed in action during the Battle of Guam.
Takashina was born in Chiba Prefecture and was a graduate of the 25th class of the Imperial Japanese Army Academy in December 1913. He initially served with the IJA 66th Infantry Regiment. In November 1922, he graduated from the 34th class of the Army Staff College. During his career, he served at the Keelung Fortress in Taiwan, as a battalion commander with the IJA 50th Infantry Regiment, and from 1933-1934 as instructor at the Army Engineering College. From 1934-1935, he was attached to the 4th Regiment of the Imperial Guards, and from 1935-1936 was on the staff of the 16th Depot Division in Kyoto. From 1936-1937, Takashina was attached to the IJA 3rd Infantry Regiment and from 1937-1938 was commandant of Takao Fortress in Taiwan. He became commanding officer of the IJA 60th Infantry Regiment in 1938 and was promoted to major general in March 1940 when he was assigned command the IJA 27th Infantry Brigade in 1940.From 1940-1942, he was the commanding officer of the infantry group of the IJA 14th Division, and from 1942-1943 commanded the IJA 17th Independent Mixed Brigade. In October 1943, he was promoted to lieutenant general.
Takashina was in command of the 29th division when it was transitioned from a garrison and training command in Manchukuo to Guam in the Mariana Islands. He was overall commander of the island's defenses from early 1944 onward. Guam had approximately 18,000 Japanese Soldiers and Marines. On 21 July, the island was invaded by the United States. Two days after the 3rd Marine Division landed on Guam, 25 July, Takashina planned a counterattack to push the Americans back into the sea. His method was to gather up every Japanese unit on the island and make one huge offensive to hope and flush the Americans out of their positions on the beachheads. After unsuccessful attacks on the Japanese positions at Fonte Hill, the Marines' left and right flanks were forced back by the Japanese. Approximately six battalions were ready to attack the Americans by that time, and they made an offensive in the rain on the night of 25 July. The offensive was made during that weather in order to take the Marines by surprise, but white illumination shells fired by the US fleet gave the Marines the chance to detect the attack. The Marines were saved by tanks, and the attack ended early in the morning of 26 July. Over 3,500 Japanese soldiers died in the attack. After the failure of the counteroffensive, the Japanese began evacuations of their defenses at Fonte Hill, as ordered by Takashina. However, Takashina was killed in action while overseeing the retreat. His superior Hideyoshi Obata assumed command of the army on Guam, but committed suicide on 11 August, a day after Guam was captured by US forces.
- Fuller, Richard (1992). Shokan: Hirohito's Samurai. London: Arms and Armor. ISBN 1-85409-151-4.
- Tanaka, Kengoro (1980). Operations of the Imperial Japanese Armed Forces in the Papua New Guinea Theater During World War II. Tokyo: Japan Papua New Guinea Goodwill Society.
- Leckie, Robert. 1962. Strong Men Armed: The United States Marines Against Japan. Da Capo Press. ISBN 978-0-306-80785-5
- Ammenthorp, Steen. "Takashina Akira". The Generals of World War II.
- Budge, Kent. "Takashina Akira". Pacific War Online Encyclopedia.
- "The Battle of Fonte Hill, Guam, 25-26 July 1944 | Marine Corps Gazette". Mca-marines.org. Retrieved 2012-08-25.
- "Marines Find Little Pleasure in Guam-Chewing « Today's History Lesson". Todayshistorylesson.wordpress.com. Retrieved 2012-08-25.
- Cushman, Lt. Col. Robert E., "The Fight at Fonte," Marine Corps Gazette, April 1947, p. 14