Japanese occupation of the Andaman Islands

Japanese Occupation Of The Andaman Islands

Japanese occupation of the Andaman Islands

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The Japanese occupation of the Andaman Islands occurred in 1942 during World War II. The Andaman and Nicobar Islands (8,293 kmĀ² on 139 islands), are a group of islands situated in the Bay of Bengal at about 780 miles from Kolkata, 740 miles from Chennai and 120 miles from Cape Nargis in Burma. Until 1938 the British government used them as a penal colony for Indian and African political prisoners, who were mainly put in the notorious Cellular Jail in Port Blair, the biggest town (port) on the islands. Today they form a Union Territory of India.

The only military objective on the islands was the city of Port Blair. The garrison consisted of a 300 man Sikh militia with 23 British officers, augmented in January 1942 by a Gurkha detachment of 4/12th Frontier Force Regiment of the 16th Indian Infantry Brigade. Following the fall of Rangoon on March 8, however, the British recognized that Port Blair had become impossible to defend, and on March 10 the Gurkhas were withdrawn to the Arakan peninsula.

The Invasion Force

The Japanese, seeking to secure their seaward flank, dispatched a force to seize the islands. The force was composed of the following units and ships:

Distant Cover:
:*Cruiser (flagship) Chokai
Carrier Division 4:
:*Carrier Ryujo (although listed, she did not conduct air operations)
Cruiser Division 7:
:*Heavy cruisers- Kumano, , Mikuma, Mogami
Destroyer Division 11:
:*Destroyers-Fubuki, Hatsuyuki, Shirayuki,...... ...

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