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Nakano Hidemitsu

Nakano Hidemitsu was commissioned an infantry officer in 1912, held numerous staff positions during the interwar period, and was given command of 51 Division just before the Pacific War broke out. He held this position throughout the war.

Nakano's division moved to Canton in December 1941 and transferred from there to Rabaul a year later. The division suffered heavily in the Battle of the Bismarck Sea while moving to Lae. By mid-1944 it had suffered such heavy losses at Wau, Lae and Hollandia that it had virtually ceased to exist (Miller 1958):

Holding Salamaua is the Division's responsibility. This position is our last defense line, and we will withdraw no further. If we are unable to hold, we will die fighting. I will burn our Divisional flag and even the patients will rise to fight in close combat. No one will be taken a prisoner.

However, Imperial General Headquarters ordered Nakano not to make a suicidal stand, but to withdraw if he could not hold the town. Half his men were lost retreating to Madang through the Finisterre mountains.

Service record

1912
Second lieutenant

1931     

Head, Jinan Special Agency
1935

Military advisor, Manchukuo
1937

Head, Jinan Special Agency
1938
Colonel     
Commander, 13 Regiment
1939

Head, Kwantung Special Agency
1940-3
Major general     
Commander, 39 Brigade
1940-12

Chief military advisor, Manchukuo
1941-11     
Lieutenant general     
51 Division

References

Fuller (1992)

Generals.dk (accessed 2008-1-12)

Miller (1958; accessed 2011-8-1)

Pettibone (2007)



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