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Adachi file photo [8725]

Hatazo Adachi

Given NameHatazo
Born17 Jun 1884
Died10 Sep 1947


ww2dbaseHatazo Adachi was born into a poor family in Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan. He entered the very competitive Tokyo Cadet Academy, and upon completion of studies there he entered into the Imperial Japanese Army Academy, graduating in 1910. He served with the 1st Imperial Guards Division, and then graduated from the 34th class of the Army War College in 1922. He was transferred to the Kwangtung Army in the early 1930s. In 1934, he was promoted to the rank of colonel. In 1936, he was given command of the 12th Infantry Regiment. In Jul 1937, he led troops in the Second Battle of Shanghai. In Sep 1937, he was injured by a mortar barrage, which permanently damaged his right leg. In 1938, he was promoted to the rank of major general and was given command of the 26th Infantry Brigade. He was well liked by his staff officers and troops for he was always willing to quarter where the ordinary soldiers lived and always welcomed comments. In Aug 1940, he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant general and was given the command of the 37th Division. Between 1941 and 1942, he was the chief of staff of the North China Area Army. On 9 Nov 1942, he was appointed the commanding officer of the newly formed 18th Army; en route to Rabaul, New Britain, Solomon Islands to take his command, the transport convoy was attacked by Allied aircraft, resulting in the loss of eight transport ships (containing much of his men from the 51st Division), but he arrived safely. As his troops were isolated by Allied forces during the island hopping campaign, he instituted some policies to grow crops for food, but his men still suffered from disease and malnutrition terribly. When the war ended in Sep 1945, he surrendered the 13,000 men under his command to the Australian 6th Division at Wewak, New Guinea, symbolically surrendering his sword to Major General Horace Robertson after signing the instrument of surrender. Under the custody of Australians, he was charged for war crimes committed by men under his command, and he accepted the responsibility for the atrocities his men committed. He was sentenced to life imprisonment, but in the morning of 10 Sep 1947, he committed ritual suicide with a rusty paring knife at Rabaul.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Dec 2009

Hatazo Adachi Interactive Map


Australian soldier Frederick Bishop driving Japanese Lieutenant General Hatazo Adachi to the Wom Airstrip, New Guinea for the formal New Guinea surrender ceremony, 13 Sep 1945Japanese General Hatazo Adachi, circa 13 Sep 1945
See all 3 photographs of Hatazo Adachi

Hatazo Adachi Timeline

17 Jun 1884 Hatazo Adachi was born.
13 Sep 1945 General Hatazo Adachi surrendered the remnants of his 18th Army to the Australians near Wewak in Australian Territory of New Guinea. Of his original force of 100,000 men, only 13,000 survived, sick and half starved after being abandoned without supplies for months.
10 Sep 1947 Hatazo Adachi committed ritual suicide with a rusty paring knife at Rabaul, New Britain.

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Barbara Slater says:
2 Apr 2015 06:25:26 PM

I have 4 photos of the signing of Adachi taken by my father. Are they any use to any one.
2. Mike Keating says:
7 Aug 2015 02:06:37 AM

My mother, Catherine Keating nee Leahy, was one of only two women who atteneded this surrender, she served as a Army nurse in New Quinea.
Please feel free to contact me if you wish.
3. Mike Keating says:
2 Sep 2015 02:31:17 AM

I question the comment about Adachi being carried to the table at the surrender, my mother was present and she did not mention him being carried.
4. Commenter identity confirmed C. Peter Chen says:
2 Sep 2015 07:52:09 PM

Thank you for raising the question Mike, I have removed that note for now and will research further.
5. AnoSteven Balcombenymous says:
15 Jun 2016 08:17:13 AM

My father, Pte (later Lance Sgt Alan Balcombe, C Coy 2/7th Bn AIF was one of the soldiers who took Adachi into custody when he emerged from the jungle. He was being carried in a sedan chair by some of his staff. H e was ordered to stand, and walk to the surrender point. This was at Kiarivu Airstrip. The original surrender was to Col Parbury, the C.O. Adachi was later flown to Wewak for a formal surrender to Maj Gen Robertson.
6. Martin Kaalund says:
18 Jun 2016 12:25:36 AM

Adachi was a target in the Battle of The Bismark Sea,on route from Rabaul to Lae,not on route to Rabaul,East New Britain,PNG.Basil Lidell Hart stated that Japanese sources indicated that Adachi hoped to fight through the Americans at Aitape and join forces behind Hollandia with other Japanese forces.His 18th Army was half support staff of older men.
7. Mike Keating says:
13 Aug 2020 03:45:02 AM

My Mum, Catherine Leahy, was one of only two women to attend the official surrender at Cape Wom

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More on Hatazo Adachi
Event(s) Participated:
» Second Battle of Shanghai
» Battle of South Shanxi
» New Guinea-Papua Campaign, Phase 3
» Japan's Surrender

Hatazo Adachi Photo Gallery
Australian soldier Frederick Bishop driving Japanese Lieutenant General Hatazo Adachi to the Wom Airstrip, New Guinea for the formal New Guinea surrender ceremony, 13 Sep 1945Japanese General Hatazo Adachi, circa 13 Sep 1945
See all 3 photographs of Hatazo Adachi

Famous WW2 Quote
"The raising of that flag on Suribachi means a Marine Corps for the next 500 years."

James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy, 23 Feb 1945

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