Double Victory: Minorities and Women During World War II
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Saeki Shizuo (1894–1980)

Japanese army officer. Born on 20 February 1894 in Hiroshima, Saeki Shizuo joined the army in 1913 and was initially trained as a cavalry officer. When the Japanese army reorganized its cavalry scout units into mechanized units, in 1941 Lieutenant Colonel Saeki took command of the 5th Scout Regiment attached to the 5th Division, the mainstay of General Yamashita Tomoyuki's Twenty-Fifth Army.

On 8 December 1941, the 5th Division landed in Singora, Thailand, and moved south to break the British defense line at Jitra in northern Malaya. A detachment was organized around Saeki's 5th Scout Regiment. With 580 infantrymen, 18 tanks and armored vehicles, and two artillery pieces, Saeki conducted a mini-blitzkrieg on British defenses at Jitra, which was held by 6,000 defenders. This successful attack led to the total collapse of the British defenses in northern Malaya.

Promoted to colonel, in July 1944 Saeki took command of the 29th Tank Regiment. In April 1945, he received command of the 2nd Independent Tank Brigade organized for the defense of the Japanese home islands. Saeki died in Tokyo on 15 May 1980.

Tohmatsu Haruo


Further Reading
Allen, Louis. Singapore, 1941–1942. London: Davis-Poynter, 1977. Reprint, London: Frank Cass, 1993.
 

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