Christmas Island Defenses

Discussions on WW2 in the Pacific and the Sino-Japanese War.
OldBill
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Christmas Island Defenses

Post by OldBill » 28 Nov 2017 07:32

I'm trying to pin down the defenses of Christmas Island before it was taken by the Japanese. I know it had a 6" gun as a shore battery (looks like a 6"/50 (15.2 cm) BL Marks XI ) with a gun crew of 1 Officer, 4 NCO's and 27 gunners from the Hong Kong and Singapore Artillery Regt. There was also a detachment of volunteers numbering 41 men. One source lists the 6"gun, an "anti submarine gun", and concrete blockhouses in Flying Fish Cove. I've found photographs of the 6" gun, but seen nothing other than a reference to the anti-submarine gun or the concrete blockhouses. Were these installed by the RN or later by the Japanese? What was the anti submarine gun? Sources I've found online are below.

http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/rev ... 1uy5q.html

http://www.malayanvolunteersgroup.org.uk/node/58

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jwsleser
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Re: Christmas Island Defenses

Post by jwsleser » 03 Dec 2017 19:12

Bill

I looked at my sources and didn't find anything. I would have bet that the Australian officials (either Army or Navy) would have some details, but basically nothing. The naval history simply states that the island was occupied on 31 March. One sentence and that was it.

It appears that the island was under the Malaysian government, so I guess the lack of detail in the Aust. works isn't surprising.

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udondave
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Re: Christmas Island Defenses

Post by udondave » 11 May 2020 12:53

Hello everyone,

I'm looking for wartime images of Christmas Island, especially under Japanese occupation, for a project that I'm working on.

Many thanks.

David
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Akira Takizawa
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Re: Christmas Island Defenses

Post by Akira Takizawa » 12 May 2020 05:11

From Japanese wartime magazine "Shashin Shuho". All photos of both pages are on Christmas Island.

Taki
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udondave
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Re: Christmas Island Defenses

Post by udondave » 12 May 2020 11:55

Hi Taki,

Many thanks! Stay safe and well, David

wwilson
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Re: Christmas Island Defenses

Post by wwilson » 12 May 2020 17:19

Hi OldBill,

Leo Niehorster's site has the defenses as two 6-inch guns at the start of the Pacific War. URL:

http://niehorster.org/017_britain/41-12 ... mmand.html

Also of interest.

https://web.archive.org/web/20160121080 ... stmas.html

OldBill
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Re: Christmas Island Defenses

Post by OldBill » 13 May 2020 06:11

Thanks Gentlemen!

udondave
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Re: Christmas Island Defenses

Post by udondave » 13 May 2020 07:37

Hello,

I always believed that only a single 6-inch gun was emplaced at CI. Can we cross check this?

Cheers, David

cstunts
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Re: Christmas Island Defenses

Post by cstunts » 13 May 2020 17:46

The invasion & seizure is covered in some detail in Volume 26 of BKS/Senshi Sōsho (1969), which is now available in English translation. No indication of more than one 6" gun in the Smith Pt. battery, however, and no Allied AA defenses to speak of AFAIK.

The Japanese records state that the garrison put up white flags all over the place within ~6 mins of the initial shelling from the sea on 31 March.

FWIW

udondave
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Re: Christmas Island Defenses

Post by udondave » 13 May 2020 22:36

Hi FWIW,

Is the Volume 26 of BKS/Senshi Sōsho (1969) available online?

I read a report last night from 1945 when the island was reoccupied that the Japanese had erected two 6-inch dummy guns on the island.I also found a Japanese pill box overlooking Flying Fish Cove when I visited the island.

Thanks for your help, Dave

udondave
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Re: Christmas Island Defenses

Post by udondave » 14 May 2020 02:04

Answered my own question. Thanks again !

https://www.cortsstichtingen.nl/news/14 ... sho-volume

Cheers, Dave

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Akira Takizawa
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Re: Christmas Island Defenses

Post by Akira Takizawa » 14 May 2020 05:28

In the account of a war correspondent who was accompanied with the landing of Christmas Island, he wrote that there was only one cannon on Christmas Island. The account is included in the book 「秘録大東亜戦史 蘭印篇」.

Taki

udondave
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Re: Christmas Island Defenses

Post by udondave » 14 May 2020 05:45

Thanks Taki. Does this publication have any photos or diagrams?

Best regards, Dave

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Akira Takizawa
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Re: Christmas Island Defenses

Post by Akira Takizawa » 14 May 2020 07:50

No, only illustrations as shown below. In the middle of the text, "only one cannon of the island defense" is written.

Taki
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udondave
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Re: Christmas Island Defenses

Post by udondave » 14 May 2020 09:20

Okay, thanks again Taki.

Cheers, Dave

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