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Karafuto Fortress

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Title: Karafuto Fortress  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Karafuto, History of Sakhalin, Military history of Japan, Karafuto Prefecture
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Karafuto Fortress

The Karafuto Fortress was the defensive unit formed by the Karafuto fortification installations, and the Karafuto detachment of Japanese forces, the 88th Division. The headquarters was in Toyohara, capital of the province, based on the Suzuya plain, in the Southern Karafuto area, not far from the ports of Otomari and Maoka.


  • Conformation of Fortified district in Karafuto Prefecture 1
  • Karafuto Fortification system 2
    • Southern Karafuto Fortress area 2.1
    • Toyohara Sub-Prefecture 2.2
    • Otomari Sub-Prefecture 2.3
    • Maoka Sub-Prefecture 2.4
    • Northern Karafuto Fortress Area 2.5
    • Shikuka Sub-Prefecture 2.6
    • Esutoru Sub-Prefecture 2.7
  • Karafuto Detachment 3

Conformation of Fortified district in Karafuto Prefecture

One example of such defensive structure was in Japanese fortifications to the north of Koton (Naramitoshi) Fortress (now Pobedino) part of Shikuka Fortified District (FD). It extended twelve kilometers along the front and was thirty kilometers deep, between the cities of Hanno, Futaro, Horomi, Miyuki and Horonai with central command in Koton. In this area, along the principal railroad that crossed the island from north to south, there were 17 permanent emplacements, 31 artillery and 108 machine gun bunkers, 28 artillery and 18 mortar positions and 150 shelters, these installations was constructed by Obishiro Nayaro in 1939 over ancient fortifications from the Russian-Japanese War period. The Karafuto Japanese 88th Division defended the FD organization. Together with support units it numbered up to 20,000 officers and men. The Japanese had 10,000 Military veterans serving as reservists and civil volunteer defenders. This structure was very similar in the following areas:

additionally including airbases, Naval bases, some Army or Navy detachments and others, along with civil defence units inland.

Karafuto Fortification system

Special frontier unit with HQ in Toyohara and detachments and fortified installations in:

Southern Karafuto Fortress area

Toyohara Sub-Prefecture

Toyohara Fortified District

  • 3 detachments
  • 3 fortifications
  • 1 airfield

Otomari Sub-Prefecture

Toyo-Sakae Fortified District

  • 1 detachment
  • 4 fortifications
  • 1 airfield

Otomari Fortified District

  • 2 detachments
  • 5 fortifications
  • 1 airfield
  • 1 naval base

Rutaka Fortified District

  • 2 fortifications
  • 1 airfield

Maoka Sub-Prefecture

Honto Fortified District

  • 2 fortifications
  • 1 airfield

Maoka Fortified District

  • 2 fortifications
  • 1 airfield
  • 1 Naval Base

Tomarioru Fortified District

  • 1 detachment

Northern Karafuto Fortress Area

Shikuka Sub-Prefecture

Mototomari Fortified District

  • 5 fortifications

Shikuka Fortified District

  • 3 airfields
  • 7 fortifications
  • 2 detachments
  • 3 frontier posts

Esutoru Sub-Prefecture

Esutoru Fortified District

  • 7 fortifications
  • 1 detachment
  • 1 airfield

Kita Nayoshi Fortified District

  • 3 fortifications
  • 1 frontier post

Karafuto Detachment

  • 25th Infantry Regiment
  • 125th Infantry Regiment
  • 306th Infantry Regiment
  • 88th Mountain Gun Regiment
  • 88th Army Signal Unit
  • 88th Transport Regiment
  • 88th Railway Guards Unit
  • 351st Special Guards Battalion
  • 352nd Special Guards Battalion
  • 353rd Special Guards Battalion
  • 301st Special Guards Company
  • 303rd Special Guards Engineer Unit

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