(Captured EMB under test by an American soldier)

Explosive Motorboats based
at Shanghai, China, 1945

© 2011 Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp

Shanghai Area showing Zhoushan Islands

1842: Treaty of Nanking:
The Shanghai International Settlement is established as a treaty port at the end of the First Opium War. It begins as a British settlement, but American and French settlements follow to the north and south of the British settlement respectively.

British and American settlements unite to become the Shanghai International Settlement, but the Settlement remains sovereign Chinese territory. As more foreign powers enter into treaties with China, their nationals also become part of the settlement, but it remains predominantly British, until the late 1930s, when Japan's involvement in China becomes of increasing importance.

7 July 1937: The Marco Polo Bridge (The First "China") Incident:
Hun River, Lugouqiao, China. Japanese troops are on night maneuvers at the bridge. They fire blank cartridges. Chinese troops fire back, but do not cause injuries. Later, the Japanese discover a soldier missing and assume the Chinese captured him. They demand entry to Beijing to look for him, but the Chinese refuse. The Japanese shell the city and an undeclared war on China begins.

9 August 1937:
Seaplane tender/oiler KAMOI departs Sasebo with destroyer ASANAGI on a "secret" mission to photo-recon Chinese military bases at Hangzhou Bay, Shanghai.

10 August 1937:
KAMOI and ASANAGI arrive at Ma'an anchorage, Zhoushan (Shoushan) Islands, near Shanghai. The next day, they complete the mission in the afternoon and retire.

14 August 1937: "Bloody Saturday":
Shanghai. Flagship USS AUGUSTA (CA-31), carrying the CINC, U.S. Asiatic Fleet, Admiral Harry E. Yarnell (former CO of SARATOGA, CV-3), arrives from Tsingtao and anchors in the Whangpoa River. Later that day, the Chinese Air Force (CAF) under acting CO, retired USAAF Captain (later LtGen) Claire L. Chennault, launch aircraft to attack Vice Admiral Hasegawa Kiyoshi’s (31) Third Fleet flagship cruiser IZUMO and the Japanese fleet. The poorly trained CAF mistakenly bombs British cruiser HMS CUMBERLAND, but the bombs fall wide. Two bombs also fall close alongside AUGUSTA, but no one is killed. The inept and hapless CAF then accidentally bombs Shanghai, killing more than 1700 civilians and wounding 1800 others.

5 November 1937: Fall of Shanghai:
Zhoushan archipelago's Hangzhou Bay, 50 miles SW of Shanghai. Captain-Retired (later Rear Admiral) Katahara Tsunejiro’s (37) seaplane tender KINUGASA MARU participates in a successful landing of the IJA's 10th Army behind Chinese lines on the northern shore of the Hankow estuary that forces the Chinese forces to withdraw to the west. The landing enables the Japanese to capture Shanghai from Chinese Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek from the south. Shanghai lies on flat ground and is one of the largest ports in the world.

8 December 1941:
Shanghai. Whangpoo (Huangpu) River. About 0400, Captain Otani Inaho (51) and a detachment of Special Naval Landing Force (SNLF) troops arrive and board moored British river gunboat HMS PETEREL. Otani informs her CO, Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve Lt Stephen Polkinghorn, that their countries are at war and demands surrender of the ship. Polkinghorn refuses and orders the Japanese off at gunpoint. Illuminated by IZUMO’s searchlights, gunboats SETA and ATAMI, a destroyer and artillery pieces ashore then sink PETEREL by gunfire. Six of PETEREL’s crew of 21 men are lost, but Polkinghorn, although wounded, and the others survive and are made POWs.

Immediately following the attack on Pearl Harbor, Japanese troops storm the International Settlement. The French and Americans surrender the Settlement without firing a shot.

25 January 1945:
The 46th Shinyo Squadron is organized with an authorized strength of 52 Type 1 Shinyo Explosive Motorboats (EMB) and 189 men. That same day, the 104th Shinyo Squadron is formed with 25 Type 5 EMBs and 188 men. Lt (j.g.) Kamo is the CO.

(Type 1 Shinyo EMB)

The 114th Shinyo Squadron is organized with 25 Type 5 EMBs and 187 men. Lt (j.g.) Takeuchi Izumi is the 114th SSs' CO. The 115th Shinyo Squadron formed with 25 Type 5 EMBs and 191 men. Ensign Yamamoto is the 115th Shinyo Squadron's CO.

The IJN plans to base all of these units on Zhejiang Province’s Zhoushan archipelago. Zhoushan Island is Mainland China's third largest island, after Hainan and Chongming off Shanghai. [1]

A two-man Type 5 EMB at speed

5 May 1945:
The 52nd Shinyo Squadron is formed with a strength of 50 Type 1 EMBs and 192 men. Ensign Yamagishi is the CO. The IJN bases the 52nd Shinyo Squadron on Zhoushan Island in Hangzhou Bay.

11 May 1945:
IJN gunboat OKITSU (ex-Italian RM LEPANTO) departs Sasebo carrying 42 Shinyo crews and their personnel to Shanghai.

The 52nd Shinyo Squadron's crews use EMBs built at Shanghai. They are transported by four shipments. The first and fourth are by air. The second is by OKITSU. The third is by NYK wartime standard 1BT cargo ship BINGO MARU (4,643-tons) that departs Moji on 12 June 1945 and arrives at Shanghai on 29 June.

15 August 1945: Cessation of Hostilities:
Imperial Palace, Tokyo. At noon, the Emperor announces Japan's surrender that is broadcast by radio all over the Japanese Empire.

The Emperor recording surrender speech.

During the course of the war, the 52nd, 104th and 114th Shinyo Squadrons each lose one man killed.

2 September 1945: Japan Surrenders:
Tokyo Bay. The Japanese formally surrender to the Allies by signing the Instrument of Surrender aboard the USS MISSOURI (BB-63). Immediately following the signing ceremony, General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers (SCAP), issues General Order No. 1 for the surrender of Japanese forces. It assigns responsibility for demobilizing Japanese forces in China, Indochina and Formosa to Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek.

General Umezu Yoshijiro, Chief of the Army General Staff, signs the Instrument of Surrender of Japan aboard USS MISSOURI.

7 September 1945:
Shanghai. Chinese LtGen Cheng Tung-kuo (Zheng Dongguo), Third Chungking Army and staff officers arrive by USAAF aircraft. Later that day, LtGen Toii Minfu, Deputy Commander, Japanese 13th Army, receives surrender instructions from Cheng. LtGen Takuro Matsui, Commander, 13th Army, denigns to not meet with the Chinese, but is forced to comply with the surrender of his forces.

Crowd in Shanghai celebrating victory over Japan.

9 September 1945: Japanese Surrender of China
Nanjing (Nanking). The C-in-C of the IJA's China Expeditionary Army, LtGen Okamura Yasuji surrenders China to General He (Ho) Yingqin in accordance with General MacArthur's General Order No. 1.

Okamura presents the Instrument of Surrender of China to General He.

Authors' Notes:
[1] Also known as Chusan and Shoushan.

-Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp

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