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  1. #1
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    Japanese Relics - Buin South Bougainville

    Here are a few photos of an prefabricated armoured plated pill box. They have two machine gun mounts inside each with a viewing slot. In the dome there is also a viewing platform and hatch. There are quite a few doted along the coast in front of the old Japanese airfield of Kahili intermingled with concrete pill boxes. With the sampled I viewed it would've been a squeeze to gain entry so didn't get any internal photos and was unable to investigate the suspended platform. They are all in immaculate condition.

    Also shown here is a photo of a Japanese army built bridge on the road they built to Kahili airfield. Part of the road is still used today.

    Cheers,
    Robert
    IMGP8222 a.jpg IMGP8225 a.jpgIMGP8223 a.jpgIMGP8247 aa.jpg
    Last edited by BOUGAINVILLE; 16th January 2016 at 01:06 PM.

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  3. #2
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    Shown here is a Japanese army tank graveyard on the perimeter of the old Kahili airfield. parts had been scavenged for other tanks to keep them operational.

    Also shown are the remains of a 75mm gun and a IJN 25mm AA gun, the barrels long gone.

    Cheers,
    Robert

    IMGP8236 a.jpgIMGP8238 a.jpgIMGP8239 a.jpgIMGP8240 a.jpgIMGP8242 a.jpgIMGP8243 a.jpg

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  5. #3
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    An excellent example there of the prefab metal pillbox. Have you seen them elsewhere in Bougainville or anywhere in the Solomons? I've encountered a couple on Tarawa (though in a much rougher condition...) but never anywhere else.




    Tom.

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    A quick google search brought me to this article referencing assorted Japanese emplacements on Tarawa. It notes the prefab pillboxes.

    http://www.lonesentry.com/articles/jp-betio-island/

    When stationed in Italy years ago I spent a lot of time on the beach. Western Italian coast. One area had at least 6 old WW2 vintage "pillbox" fortifications crafted from the surrounding rock. Near impossible to pick out from even a short distance. One looked to have been pretty well shot up, so they weren't THAT well camouflaged. Looking through the firing ports allowed a commanding view of the beaches. Can't imagine the angst one felt when faced with an armada of landing craft full of armed folks heading in your direction. I'm thinking anything "prefab" might lessen one's sense of safety from incoming.
    Last edited by Slick; 16th January 2016 at 10:00 PM.
    Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.

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  8. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snufkin View Post
    An excellent example there of the prefab metal pillbox. Have you seen them elsewhere in Bougainville or anywhere in the Solomons? I've encountered a couple on Tarawa (though in a much rougher condition...) but never anywhere else.
    Tom.
    It is the first time that I have seen them. There is a heap of them and all look perfect nick.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slick View Post
    A quick google search brought me to this article referencing assorted Japanese emplacements on Tarawa. It notes the prefab pillboxes.

    http://www.lonesentry.com/articles/jp-betio-island/
    Thanks for the link Slick. So according to the Intelligence of the time, they were command posts positioned amongst other dugouts and pillboxes.



    Quote Originally Posted by BOUGAINVILLE View Post
    It is the first time that I have seen them. There is a heap of them and all look perfect nick.
    Thanks. I had read somewhere that they were unique to Tarawa, but that is clearly not the case.

    This is one I photographed on Betio Island (Tarawa) - used as a pig pen.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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  11. #7
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    Looking at the photos of the construction of these pillboxes, it must have been extremely hot inside them when the hatches were closed. What sort of plate was used on these and what form of protection did they offer?

    Not seen these before, so thanks for showing the pictures

    regards Kev

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    Could the steel pillboxes have been earth covered during the war? -would have provided better camouflage and some insulation too.

    Interesting that the concrete ones are being used for house foundations, one of the ways local NZ emplacements were camouflaged was to build 'house' type structures on top.

    Bob

  13. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by butterfly View Post
    Looking at the photos of the construction of these pillboxes, it must have been extremely hot inside them when the hatches were closed. What sort of plate was used on these and what form of protection did they offer?

    Not seen these before, so thanks for showing the pictures

    regards Kev
    1/4 inch armour plate the same as the tanks. No signs of rust or decay even though positioned along the coast in a very warm humid and salty tropical environment. In such conditions most other steel object would not last as well.

    Reading the link that Slick gave it mentions that coconut fronds were draped over the steel thus giving some protection against the heat of the sun.

    Peering inside I could see the voice tubes coming down from the command platform and the machine gun mounts.

    Being pre fabricated these command posts must have a type number. I will eventually find it in the multitude of Japanese manuals that I come across.

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    Hey Robert! I envy your travels to these places! Great photos, glad you resisted touching all the scattered ordnance all over the place! Can't wait to see some more pictures. What a pleasure it has to be crawling around and inside those relic japanese tanks...

    Jim
    JapaneseOrdnance at Yahoo.com

 

 
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