ORIGINAL: Roger Neilson 3
Unless its a mod, see Treespider's post above....
I was intrigued by his comment on using them prior to the fall of Singapore.
In the mods, we do get to play with things. Your typical Daihatsu had squat for specs, but it was configured to carry enough fuel, as cargo, to enable a 300nm movement. Certain mods make this possible by adding endurance (and fuel), while correspondingly reducing cargo capacity. Six of one, half dozen of the other.
There were three significant Japanese barge operations in the first several months of the conflict:
1. Battalion sized elements of the IJA Guards Div conducted coastal barge landing operations, in conjunction with the 3rd Shipping Eng Regt, from Kuala Kongsor to Port Swettenham, and thence to Batu Pahat, as a flanking force. This is the specific imperitive for the Malaysia map changes in Babes. To give that opportunity;
2. In North Borneo, Kawaguchi sent (then) Maj Watanabe with a short battalion element of 35th Brigade eastwards, from Miri to Sandakan, Labaun, etc., while the remainder of the Brigade moved westwards towards Kuching. This was the genesis of kawaguchi's love affair with barges, that led to;
3. The fateful barge movement of substantial portions of 35th Brigade, from Shortlands to Tassafaronga during the first phase of the Guadalcanal campaign.
Other significant barge supported operations were movement of reinforcements and supply from New Georgia to Lae (once the Allies precluded movement by ship), and redeployment of IJA assets along the coast of NG. By 2/43, over 50% of all IJA Shipping Eng assets were deployed to the Solomons/NG front. And don't forget, these guys were IJA, not IJN. Woof !!