2012/12/11

[Fun] Invasion of Christmas Island, 1942

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This was followed on 7 March by an initially cautious and somewhat cursory bombardment of the island’s commercial installations by the battleships Haruna and Kongo. Unsure as to whether it might be being used as a submarine or air base, the ships approached from a distance, using their floatplanes to first reconnoiter the island. After they had determined that the British defences were minimal, the floatplanes dropped 60-kilogram bombs on the island—two of which dropped by one of Kongo’s aircraft destroyed the island’s telegraph station—before directing the battleships’ fire.
The bombardment appears to have been desultory—Haruna reportedly only fired a total of three 14-inch and fourteen 6-inch rounds—but was nevertheless sufficient to convince the island’s defenders to capitulate. As a white flag was raised on the island, the two ships ceased firing and observed as a motorboat, also bearing a white flag, came out to meet them. But as neither the IJN nor the Imperial General Headquarters had planned to occupy Christmas Island at this point—that decision came around one week after the battleships’ bombardment— the two battleships departed, leaving the undoubtedly confused defenders behind.

from here, pp 111-112 
  
IJN Battleship (or "battlecruiser") Haruna, 1944


File under "Stuff you don't want to be reminded about." or "Hilarious stuff if you're not from a particular country."


Now that was a "War on Christmas!" ;)
 

S Ortmann
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