British Naval Heritage in Micronesia:
|200mm coastal defense guns||--||--||--||--||4|
|150mm coastal defense guns||7||6||8||3||4|
|150mm field artillery||--||5||--||--||--|
|140 mm coastal defense guns||3||--||--||--||--|
|127 mm twin-mount dual purpose||4||6||5||6||8|
|120 mm coastal defense guns||--||2||2||--|
|100 mm mortars||2||--||--||--||--|
|80 mm dual purpose guns||4||--||--||4||1|
|75 mm anti-aircraft guns||9||--||--||--||9|
|75 mm anti-tank guns||--||--||--||--||24|
|70 mm infantry guns||--||--||2||--||--|
|50 mm naval infantry guns||--||--||1||--||--|
|37 mm anti tank guns||2||6||--||?||12|
|25 mm twin mount anti-craft guns||6||3||3||3||24|
|20 mm anti-aircraft guns||--||26||2||15||?|
|13.2 mm twin mount anti-craft guns||4||17||21||6||?|
|7.7 mm anti-craft guns (heavy)||10||20||7||20||?|
|7.7 mm anti-craft guns (light)||70||--||--||--||?|
|6.5mm anti-aircraft guns||--||23||35||6||?|
In total, well over 600 guns of various kinds had been emplaced on the various bases in the Marshall Islands. The ocean side of the islands was fortified by a series of strong points. Each strong point consisted of one or more batteries of coastal and anti-aircraft or dual purpose heavy guns emplaced in well constructed concrete and coral or coral and coconut-log revetments. The coastal and dual purpose gun batteries were commanded by a battery commander, an officer of the IJN, while the army operated several of the medium and especially light AA positions (Oishi 1947; Fueta 1947).
The coastal defense system on the Japanese bases encompassed a four-fold strategy, consisting of strong points build around heavy coastal defense gun batteries for the long-range defense, and pillboxes, personnel trenches and beach defenses against landing operations.
The construction of the defense system consisted of the deployment of tactical units made of a standardised design. Despite the standardisation, however, the designs were flexible enough to accommodate various needs. A good example for this is the sniper post, which has a small compartment directly next to it. In some occasions this compartment was used for ammunition storage, in others for additional personnel protection.
Each strong point consisted of one or more batteries of coastal and anti-aircraft or dual purpose heavy guns emplaced in well constructed concrete and coral or coral and coconut-log revetments. The coastal and dual purpose gun batteries were commanded by a battery commander, an officer of the navy, while the Army operated several of the medium and especially light AA positions (Oishi 1947; Fueta 1947). The heavy guns were supported by medium caliber automatic weapons and by machine guns.
Most gun batteries seem to have been fixed installations. Mobile heavy artillery, such as used on Wotje (Yoshimi 1947:54), does not have been part of the most army units deployed in the Marshall Islands.
The Japanese were masters in providing dummy emplacements and other misleading structures. Commonly bomb craters and coconut logs were used as imitation 5- or 6-inch gun barrels to create a dummy coastal defense gun position, thereby drawing the fire away from the real gun position (cf. Beebe 1944:J-1 fig.9). As is evident from the admissions in the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey (1947a:35) these positions were rather effective in fooling the attacking U.S. aircraft. In the archaeological record, such positions should be easily recognisable as gun emplacements without guns. It should be noted, however, that some emplacements, although made in the style as those for larger guns were used for heavy machine guns.
The gun batteries were directed by fire observation posts and fire control stations. Commonly there was one fire control per battery. On Mile Island, for example, there were only five observation posts scattered around the shoreline and three fire control stations, all of which had been destroyed by U.S. bombing raids before surrender. Ammunition was the batteries was generally stored in small bunkers in the immediate vicinity of the individual gun or battery. A single 150mm coastal defense gun located at the southeastern point of Mile Island apparently had no independent fire control.
Today the observed gun emplacements are located inmidst a maze of bomb craters, indicating the fierceness of the bombing raids. Some reason for the number of bomb craters stems from the fact that the dive-bombing raids against the gun emplacements were not very accurate and repeated runs were necessary to obtain hits:
"On the basis of the figures available and using the figure of 775 sorties,
it took 5.49 sorties in order to obtain one hit on, or within 20feet of a
single target.. a figure of 5.22 bombs which must be dropped in order to get
one bomb on, or within 20 feet of the target revetment. This figure is
undoubtedly too low and should probably vary anywhere up to 10, because of the
fact that 3 bombs were carried on most sorties and exact determination of the
location of all three hits is not known .." (U.S. Marine Corps 1944i).|
The Japanese employed six inch guns as the standard armament on most pre-World War I and World War I period warships, and an additional number of such guns had been manufactured from emplacement as coastal defense guns on the Japanese homeland.
The Japanese distinguished following the two main gun types, both of their own production, but of British design: 150mm type 33 (1900) and 150mm type 41 (1905) guns. In addition, the Japanese used a number of pieces from foreign manufacture, especially British guns.
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