Title: Disarming the Menace – Australian Soldiers with the British Commonwealth Occupation Force Japan 1946
Author: Smith, Neil AM (Lieutenant-Colonel)
Edition: 1st Edition
Publication Date: 2012
Cover: Hard Cover without Dust Jacket – 258 pages
Comments: Containing a list of over 20,000 Australian soldiers, both men and women, indexed and in hard cover, this book reveals the largely forgotten history of the Australian troops who went to Japan to do an important job – dismantle the Japanese war machine.
An examination of the Australian Army men and women of the British Commonwealth Occupation Force in Japan 1946-1952 with a short history of BCOF and the long awaited nominal roll, which it was said couldn’t be compiled. This detailed roll is now complete and records 20,000 Australian Military Force men and women. The book comprises 263 pages and also contains a Time Line, unit lists, index and photographs. Hard case cover.
The British Commonwealth Occupation Force (BCOF), was the name of the joint Australian, Canadian, British, Indian and New Zealand military forces in occupied Japan, from 21 February 1946 until the end of occupation in 1952. At its peak, BCOF comprised about 40,000 personnel, equal to about 25% of the number of US military personnel in Japan.
While US forces were responsible for military government, BCOF was responsible for supervising demilitarisation and the disposal of Japan’s war industries. BCOF was also responsible for occupation of the western prefectures of Shimane, Yamaguchi, Tottori, Okayama, Hiroshima and Shikoku Island. They were also supported by the Women’s Auxiliary Service (Burma). BCOF headquarters was at Kure.
For most of the occupation period Australia contributed the majority of the BCOF’s personnel. The initial BCOF presence included the Australian 34th Infantry Brigade, British 5th Infantry Brigade, Indian 268th Brigade and the 2nd New Zealand Expeditionary Force (in J-Force). The position of commanding officer was always filled by Australians: Lt Gen. John Northcott, February to June 1946; Lt Gen. Horace Robertson, June 1946 to November 1951, and; Lt Gen. William Bridgeford from November 1951 until the end of the occupation.
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