Japanese suicide boats – end of occupation, WW2, possibly related BAAG reports
Elizabeth Ride: KWIZ [Kweilin Weekly Intelligence Summary] has the following reports of the building of wooden boats, and I wonder if some of these could refer to the suicide boats mentioned in the article linked below:
KWIZ #66, 15.9.44 : Aberdeen Dock coolies “are being used to fell trees on the Peak for converting into charcoal, as well as for shipbuilding” (Source agent “Halo”, BAAG)
KWIZ #72, 27.10.44: “Taikoktsui shipyards. About 20 “square-headed wooden vessels” [characters] under construction in 3 of the shipyards in Taikoktsui under the supervision of the Governor’s Department. 13 of these wooden vessels have been completed”. (Source agent “Mitre”, BAAG)
KWIZ #79, 29.12.44: “Suicide surface craft. Various shipyards in Hongkong have received orders to build motor speed boats called “Despatch Boats” or “Surface Flying Mines”. These are of all-wood construction, 15′ in length, and fitted with diesel engines. With a one-man crew and explosives loaded in the bow, they are designed for suicidal attack on enemy shipping. They will be carried on transports”.
KWIZ #82, 19.1.45: “Tsunan Shipyard. This yard is still engaged in the construction of wooden vessels, and employs 1,300 workers.
Ngauchiwan Shipyard. Ten small wooden craft are produced monthly by this yard.”
The image on the Home Page is of British seamen with a “homemade captured EMB” after the liberation of Hong Kong from Japanese occupation. Courtesy: www.combinedfleet.com
- For general information about the Elizabeth Ride collection, her father Sir Lindsay Ride, and the British Army Aid group during WW2 a very useful introduction is through http://gwulo.com/node/13968
- The BAAG papers are kept at the Hong Kong Heritage Project
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