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    Shumshu Island (Shimushu Island) Kurlie Islands (Chishima-Rettō) Russia
Location
Shumshu Island is located at the northeastern end of the Kurlie Islands (Kuril). To the southeast is Paramushir Strait and Paramushir Island. To the northeast is the Kuril Strait and Kamchatka. Part of the shipping route to Russia via Kamchatka and the Kurilsky Strait. Also known as Ostrov Shumshu or Shimushu-To.

Wartime History
Shumshu was fortified with a garrison of roughly 8,000 Navy and Army personel. During 1943-1945, attacked by American aircraft flying from Alaska.

Allied missions against Shumshu Island (Shimushu)
June 19, 1944 - August 12, 1945

Battle of Shumshu
Although Japan officially surrendered to the Allies on August 15, 1945, the Soviet Union hoped to occupy the Kuries Islands to extend their borders and before American occupation forces arrived in Japan. In accordance with the surrender, the Japanese garrison in the Kurlie islands had begun prepairing for disarmament.

On August 18, 1945 a Soviet force of 8,360 troops supported by naval and air forces made an amphibious landing on Shumshu. Forty Japanese tanks from the Japanese Army 11th Tank Regiment commanded by Col Zueo Ikeda attacked the Soviet landing force in "self-defense". During a vicious close-quarters battle in the fog that lasted more than two hours, the tanks claimed to have killed over 100 Soviets until their anti-tank guns were deployed and disabled twenty-one of their tanks. Two days later on August 20, a cease fire was signed and the Battle of Shumshu officially ended on August 23, 1945 with the surrender of the island's garrison, ending the last battle of World War II in the Pacific.

Postwar
After the war, the Soviets removed the Japanese garrison who were now prisoners of war to labor camps, along with able bodied civilian men from the islands. Other civilians were deported back to Japan. In 1946, the island was officially annexed by the Soviet Union. Japan formally gave up sovereignty under the terms of the San Francisco Peace Treaty of 1951.

Today
Since the war, the island was considered part of the Soviet Union (Russia). The wrecks of several transport ships still remain. There are many bomb craters in the area. Several dozen tanks from the August 18, 1945 battle remain in situ, including a Type 97 Chi-Ha Medium Tank.

Bettobi
Located near the north coast includes Bettobi Airfield and Bettobi Seaplane Base and Bettobi swamp

Kataoka (Bajkovo, Байково)
Kataoka Harbor and Kataoka Fortress

Miyoshino Airfield
Japanese airfield, seaplane base and Headquarters 5th Fleet

Cape Minami
Located on the southern coast of the island, site of a Japanese Army radar and prewar fish cannery.

Tank Battle Memorial
A memorial shaped like a quadrant and plaque is located on a hill nearby the August 18, 1945 battlefield where about forty Japanese tanks attacked the Soviet forces for two hours resulting in the loss of twenty-one tanks.

B-25J Mitchell 43-36140
Pilot Lewis force landed May 19, 1945 entire crew POW

B-25J Mitchell 43-36149
Pilot Larsen crashed May 10, 1945 in sea off Shumshu

B-25 Mitchell
Recovered in 2003, possibly B-25J 43-36140

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Last Updated
November 16, 2018

 

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