Saturday, August 29, 2009

Type 99 Pontoon Bridge

One of the key success to the invasion of Malaya was the genius of the Japanese combat engineers. Rivers and beaches were often used to outflank the British forces. The Type 99 Pontoon Bridge is a craft for the river-crossing of the tank and heavy artillery. It combines with three boats, which are collapsible like Type 95 Collapsible Boat. The outboat motor is also available. The crafts were also responsible for making transporting vital troops trucks and tanks across major river like the Muar river towards the front. Their contribution to the success were not highlighted compare with their infantry or armored units. There were special engineer units for river-crossing of tank or heavy artillery. They were Jyumon-kyo (heavy pontoon bridge) units equipped with Type 99 Pontoon Bridges.

3rd Tank Group Engineer Unit and 5th Independent Engineer Company of Jyumon-kyo Unit and The OOB of 3rd Tank Group Engineer Unit HQ 1st Company (6 Type 99 Pontoon Bridges, 42 trucks) 2nd & 3rd Companies (Standard engineer companies)

Type 99 was widely used in the China and in the Pacific War. Especially, it showed outstanding performances in the Malaya campaign.

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