52nd Division (Imperial Japanese Army)

The 52nd Division (第52師団, Dai-gojūni Shidan) was an infantry division of the Imperial Japanese Army. Its call sign was the Oak Division (柏兵団, Kashiwa Heidan).It was formed on 10 July 1940 at Kanazawa, simultaneously with 51st, 54th, 55th, 56th, and 57th divisions. The formation nucleus was the headquarters of the 9th division. The men for the 52nd division were recruited from Ishikawa, Toyama and Nagano prefectures.

52nd Division
Active1940–1945
CountryJapan
Branch Imperial Japanese Army
TypeInfantry
Nickname(s)Oak division
EngagementsOperation Hailstone

The 52nd division was the provisional unit, intended to form sub-units usable by other military units, rather than being used itself. In particular, 16th mountain artillery regiment and 52nd cavalry regiment were detached in October 1943. The division was renamed Kanazawa mobilization district in 1941 (not to be mistaken with the Kanazawa mobilization district command formed in 1945).

In January 1944, the 52nd division was reformed as marine division, absorbing artillery and engineer units into infantry regiments, and sent to Chuuk Lagoon, to be incorporated into the 31st army formed 18 February 1944. As Allies have bypassed the Japanese supply center of Chuuk Lagoon (Truk), the 52nd division has not seen much action or hardship besides being occasionally bombed during Operation Hailstone.

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Reference and further readingEdit

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