Item:
ONSV22WON94

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Original Japanese WWII Navy Special Naval Landing Forces Rikusentai Paratrooper Type 03 Parachute Assembly With Harness - Storage Bag and More

Regular price $6,495.00

Item Description

Original Items: Only One Available. The Imperial Japanese Navy fielded naval paratroopers during World War II. The troops were officially part of the Special Naval Landing Forces (SNLF or Rikusentai). They came from the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Yokosuka SNLFs. The 2nd Yokosuka took no part in any airborne operations and became an island defensive base unit. They were under the operational control of the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service (IJNAS or Dai-Nippon Teikoku Kaigun Koku Hombu). Rikusentai paratroopers should not be confused with the Imperial Japanese Army paratroopers, known as Teishin.

Rikusentai units were grouped in battalion-level formations, named after the three naval districts, including Yokosuka. Paratroop units were only organized on the very eve of the war, beginning in September 1941. The lightly armed parachute units were intended to assault coastal areas, supporting amphibious landings, or enemy airfields and other strategic objectives. They were not meant to become entangled in heavy, pitched land battles. However, their operational use would prove to be contrary to this doctrine.

Formation and tactics
The 1st Yokosuka SNLF (Special Naval Landing Force) was formed 20 September 1941, at Yokosuka Naval District, round a battalion of 520 paratroopers. The 2nd Yokosuka also formed at the Yokosuka port area, 15 October 1941, with 746 men and trained as such, took no part in any airborne operations and became an island defensive base unit. The 3rd Yokosuka was formed on 20 November 1941, again at the Naval facility and consisted of 850 men. This unit was involved in the invasion of Dutch West Timor as airborne inserted infantry, setting off from the captured air base at Kendari.

The paratroopers were led by navy officers who had trained at the Imperial Japanese Army infantry school. Although Rikusentai basic training was different from that of the Japanese Army, the paratroopers were trained at the army base on Kanto Plain. Light arms were furnished from army stocks; heavier material was manufactured by the navy. The first training drop occurred on November 16, 1941.

The Japanese Navy planned to use the paratroop force as a diversion, by co-ordinating the timing of a seaborne assault and parachute drop to create maximum surprise at the point of contact. Rikusentai paratroopers would land inland from beaches where major amphibious assaults were to occur. In particular, it was intended that paratroopers would disable airfields, preventing enemy warplanes from interfering with amphibious landings. The lightly armed paratroopers would have to attack the air base defenses. If they were successful, it would also allow the Japanese to use the airfield for their own warplanes and was comparable to the use of German Fallschirmjager at the Battle of Crete, in May 1941.

Operational history
The 2nd Yokosuka SNLF saw action not as paratroopers, but as an amphibious assault force in the Borneo campaign, from December 1941.

Two companies, numbering 849 paratroopers, from the 1st Yokosuka SNLF, carried out Japan's first ever combat air drop, during the Battle of Menado, in the Netherlands East Indies, on January 11, 1942. Four hours before the airborne landings, the 1st Sasebo SNLF had come ashore by sea nearby.

On February 19, 630 paratroopers from the 3rd Yokosuka SNLF were dropped near Kupang, West Timor, and suffered heavy casualties in the Battle of Timor.

In mid-1942 the 1st Yokosuka SNLF returned to its namesake naval base and what was left of the 3rd Yokosuka took part in unopposed landings on islands in the eastern part of the East Indies archipelago. The 3rd Yokosuka returned to Japan by the end of October 1942.

Parachute and harness of the Rikusentai Paratrooper
The first specifically designed Japanese military parachute was the Type 01 of 1941, similar to the German RZ version, which had more in common with the Italian D-30 series chute in having a canopy diameter of 28 feet (8.5 metres) and in a pronounced hemispherical shape with skirting and a vent hole for stable flight.

The harness was modified in the later Type 03, leaving out the lift webs, and with the rigging lines brought to a single point connected to a large steel ‘D’ ring behind the paratroopers neck for a more upright controlled landing.

The particular Japanese method of opening the folded and packed chute through the use of static line was quite dangerous and liable to failure. Each paratrooper also carried a 24 feet (7.3 metres) reserve chest-pack, and the basic Japanese naval parachutist training program required jumps between 300–500 feet (90–150 m), which would not give much time to deploy the emergency chute, or let alone delay deploying the main canopy.

This Rare Example:
This is an incredible seemingly unissued condition, Type 03 (large D-Ring type) Parachute as used by the Imperial Japanese Navy Rikusentai Paratroopers during WWII. The condition is excellent and shows no sign of any heavy use or wear. We have not taken the canopy out of the harness due to the inability to be able to properly re-pack it, however, the canopy is still present and appears to be in excellent complete condition. The harness appears to be fully functional and all snaps, buckles and straps are still solid and present. The storage bag is in similar condition and even has line repairing equipment to splice and secure the lines and rigging.

This is a wonderful opportunity to add an incredibly rare Japanese WWII Navy Special Naval Landing Forces Rikusentai Paratrooper parachute assembly to your collection!

History of Japanese Parachutes in World War II:

Contrary to popular believe the Japanese military entered WW2 with an aircrew safety parachute and harness derived and copied from the A-type Leslie Irvin pattern, an American that emigrated to England who developed a chute to deploy with a rip cord to replace the static line used by most pilots and balloonists up to the 1920’s.

The first specifically designed Japanese military parachute was the Type 01 of 1941, similar to the German RZ version, which has more in common with the Italian D-30 series chute, having a canopy diameter of 28 feet (8.5 metre) in a pronounced hemispherical shape with skirting and vent hole for stable flight. The Italians used the Salvatore parachute that opened by hand grip rip cord and in the beginning were ardent users of paratroopers although by 1941 there were two understrength lightly equipped divisions. The parachute lines were connected by a single point length to the paratroopers belt and had the effect that the man hung slightly face downwards hunched in an ideal position for a face first landing.

The harness was modified in the later Type 03 leaving out the lift webs, and the rigging lines were brought to a single point connected to a large steel ‘D’ ring behind the paratroopers neck for a more upright controlled landing. Standard German teaching was to dive head first out the door and to take the landing in a forward roll, the British and Americans jumped feet first, although the particular Japanese method of opening of the folded and packed chute by static line was for safety sake, dangerous and liable to failure. Each paratrooper also carried a 24 feet (7.3metres) reserve chest-pack, and it should be noted that basic Japanese naval parachutists training program required jumps between 300-500 feet (90-150m), which would not give much time to deploy the emergency chute, let alone hesitate in deploying the main canopy. Japanese paratrooper training also required a jump from as low as 100ft, and were taught by the German instruction teams who were probably horrified by the sight of their teachings being taken to extremes.

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