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Operation Shiden (Heute Europa)

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Operation Shiden
DateAugust 12th, 1945 - January 27th, 1946
ResultAxis victory
Combatants
New Zealand
United States of America
Empire of Japan

Operation Shiden (Violet Lightning) was the invasion of New Zealand during Mid 1945.


Planning

By mid 1945, the Japanese came to realize that their invasion of Australia had stalled. the Brisbane line had yet to be penetrated, and American support was increasing. the submarine warfare to cut the line from the US to Australia had yet to reap benefits. so in June 1945, a high level conference was called up by the Japanese government, to decide what to do next. General Hajime Sugiyama called for an invasion of New Zealand, to cut the supply line. All American supplies to Australia ran through New Zealand, with Auckland the Major port for all American traffic heading east. with its capture, the road from the US to Australia would be cut, and final victory achieved. the plan was approved on an almost unanomous vote. Operation Shiden was sceduled for early August.


Opposing Forces

Japanese Forces The plan was to land 2 divisions of troops in the first wave, with support from carrier born fighters, mostly the KI-84 Hayate, along with some of the new Nakajima Ki-201 Karyu jet fighter and Nakajima J9Y Kikka Jet Attack Bomber, which were just coming into production from German supplied plans.

Kikka jet

A Japanese Nakajima J9Y Kikka Jet Attack Bomber, used during Operation Shiden.

New Zealand and American Forces Due to its position, as the hub of all traffic moving towards Australia, New Zealand had a garrison of 20,000 American troops, in addition to the 15,000 New Zealand troops. they would have air cover in the shape of 50 P51 Mustang fighters, who were one of the best planes in the world at the time. their tank forces were superior to the Japanese, with M4 Shermans and some M26 Pershings.

Auckland Landings

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