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Japanese Bicycle infantry in WWII

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Japanese Bicycle infantry in WWII

Old 05-07-21, 12:50 PM
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mlau
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Japanese Bicycle infantry in WWII


I was playing this video during my lunch break.
Just thought you'all would get a kick out of this.
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Old 05-07-21, 09:41 PM
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The video starts ridiculing the use of bikes in military campaigns, but around WWI many armies employed them, https://bsamuseum.wordpress.com/ww1-...d-war-one-wwi/ . Full-size folding bikes were, in particular, pushed and Montague even developed a military model relatively recently. Well, the Japanese were succeeding using equipment that seemed ridiculous for the time. A parallel story has been that of the British using the so-called 'Funnies' in the invasion of Normandy. These were offered to the US, but the equipment was considered ridiculous and declined. The effect was of a carnage for the US forces but not British. The development of the 'Funnies' stemmed from the WWI British experiences at Gallipoli.
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Old 05-10-21, 01:39 PM
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I guess that I missed the ridiculing part....but I'm pretty dense.

Personally, I think that bikes make/made a ton of sense for personelle and logistics transport.
No need for gas (Japan had very limited oil supplies, which lead to the destructive use of the Mitsubishi Zeros as suicide planes) or fodder (again, limited resources).
Versatile, efficient, mostly silent.

Similar tactics were used by Vietcong decades later to good effect against one of the best militaries in the world.

Just thought it was interesting.

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Old 05-10-21, 11:55 PM
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Originally Posted by mlau View Post
Personally, I think that bikes make/made a ton of sense for personelle and logistics transport.
No need for gas (Japan had very limited oil supplies, which lead to the destructive use of the Mitsubishi Zeros as suicide planes) or fodder (again, limited resources).
Versatile, efficient, mostly silent.

Similar tactics were used by Vietcong decades later to good effect against one of the best militaries in the world.
Sure, you have to keep an open mind and a nominally low-level technology can defeat a high-level one. Finns effectively fought Russian tanks by pushing tree trunks into tank drivetrains. Dropped tin foil strips over Hamburg were rendering radar systems ineffective, etc.

The poles mounted along seat tubes in the Vietnam video are interesting, letting you walk the loaded bike without the need to lean down. Interestingly, you have hard time finding bikes these days in Vietnam. Those leftover from former times are ridden by elderly males. Walking loaded bicycles continues to be common, though, in Africa. On one hand, motorcycles are too expensive for many people. On the other, horses cannot survive in much of Africa because they get defeated by malaria. However, I do not recall a pole mounted along the seat tube there. At times the walked bicycle might be loaded high. However, otherwise, people uncomfortably lean down when walking a loaded bike.
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Old 05-11-21, 09:56 AM
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As a bike lover, I'm just thrilled to see unorthodox uses for bikes....even if I'm not a fan of the WW2 Japanese occupation of Asia.
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