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Rising Sun*
11-14-2007, 04:48 AM
http://www.dva.gov.au/media/publicat/2003/jaywick/page01.htm

http://www.btinternet.com/~m.a.christie/jaywicka.htm

Nickdfresh
11-14-2007, 05:47 AM
So, Force Z did exist...

http://content.answers.com/main/content/wp/en/c/c9/Attack_Force_Z_DVD.JPG

Rising Sun*
11-14-2007, 05:29 PM
So, Force Z did exist...

http://content.answers.com/main/content/wp/en/c/c9/Attack_Force_Z_DVD.JPG

Force Z was formed in December 1941. Its main components were HMS Repulse and Prince of Wales.

Z Force, strictly Z Special Unit, was the one in my OP.

I've never heard of the film Attack Force Z before, and probably with good reason. Here's Wiki's plot summary.


Captain P.G. Kelly (Gibson) leads an elite squad of five international commandos. They are dispatched to rescue survivors of a shot-down plane on an island in the South Pacific which is occupied by the Japanese. One of the survivors is a defecting Japanese government official, and he is believed to hold a secret that could end the war. He must be rescued at any cost. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attack_Force_Z

I wonder what secret the Japanese holds that could end the war?

The USAAF map coordinates for Nagasaki and Hiroshima? ;)

There was an earlier Z Force.


Jan - Feb 1920- The RAF's first "little war". RAF units were involved in operations with the Camel Corps in British Somaliland (now Somalia) to overthrow Dervish leader Mohammed bin Abdullah Hassan, the "Mad Mullah". The airborne intervention was "the main instrument and decisive factor" in the success of the operation. Ten dH9s were dispatched to form "Z Force", and were used for bombing, strafing and as air ambulances. http://www.raf.mod.uk/history_old/line1918.html

Nickdfresh
11-14-2007, 07:11 PM
It's actually not that bad. I haven't seen it in years, but it was an 80s staple on HBO here...

Rising Sun*
11-15-2007, 07:13 AM
So, Force Z did exist...

http://content.answers.com/main/content/wp/en/c/c9/Attack_Force_Z_DVD.JPG

There's something been troubling me about that film poster picture.

Mel ain't holding a sten gun and, subject to me having trouble working out which way the stock is facing, it doesn't look like an owen gun, which were the most likely issue.

Thick barrel?

His bandoliers are impressive for a film, but what are they?

Doesn't look right.

Nickdfresh
11-15-2007, 09:25 AM
There's something been troubling me about that film poster picture.

Yeah. I know. Mel Gibson was in it. :(


Mel ain't holding a sten gun and, subject to me having trouble working out which way the stock is facing, it doesn't look like an owen gun, which were the most likely issue.

Thick barrel?

His bandoliers are impressive for a film, but what are they?

Doesn't look right.


Yeah, they used silenced M-3 .45ACP "Grease Guns" in the film. The thick barrels were large barrel silencers. I had no idea whether this was technically correct or not. I assumed they might have used them late in the War for CQC stopping power purposes or something as it seemed plausible at the time.

I take it they didn't use Thompsons or "Greece'" Guns?:)

Man of Stoat
11-15-2007, 09:28 AM
At first glance, my best guess is a silenced grease gun, note the silencer, pistol grip, magazine Housing, and invisible wire frame butt.

The chest pouches could possibly be the American submachine gun pouches but worn across the front instead of around the left kidney. Stupid place to put them, he's going to impale his chin, or at least punch himself in it, when trying to extract a magazine.

Don't expect accuracy from Hollywood when something else "looks cool"...

Nickdfresh
11-15-2007, 09:55 AM
At first glance, my best guess is a silenced grease gun, note the silencer, pistol grip, magazine Housing, and invisible wire frame butt.

The chest pouches could possibly be the American submachine gun pouches but worn across the front instead of around the left kidney. Stupid place to put them, he's going to impale his chin, or at least punch himself in it, when trying to extract a magazine.

Don't expect accuracy from Hollywood when something else "looks cool"...


You are correct sir, see preceding post.

I have no idea whether Z Force would have used them, or even would have had access to them, though...

George Eller
11-15-2007, 10:27 AM
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Z Special Unit
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Z_Special_Unit


Z Special Unit, often known as Z Force, was a joint Australian, British and New Zealand commando unit, which saw action against the Empire of Japan during World War II. Z Special Unit carried out 284 covert operations in the South West Pacific theatre. The most well-known of these are a canoe raid on Singapore Harbour, and the subsequent Operation Rimau, in which all 23 participants were either killed in action or executed.

Formation and training
The Inter-Allied Services Department (IASD), was an Allied military intelligence unit, established in March 1942. The unit was created at the suggestion of the commander of Allied land forces in the South West Pacific Area, General Thomas Blamey, and was modelled on the British Special Operations Executive (SOE) in London. It was renamed Special Operations Australia or SOA and in 1943 became known as the Services Reconnaissance Department (SRD).

It contained several British SOE officers who had escaped from Singapore, and they formed the nucleus of the IASD, which was based in Melbourne. In June 1942, an IASD raiding/commando unit was organised, as Z Special Unit.

Several training schools were established in various locations across Australia, the most notable being Camp Z in Refuge Bay, an offshoot of Broken Bay to the north of Sydney, Z Experimental Station (also known as the "House on the Hill") near Cairns, Queensland, Fraser Commando School (or FCS) on Fraser Island where a commemorative monument stands on the mainland overlooking the island, Queensland, and Careening Bay, on Garden Island, Western Australia. As a training exercise, one group paddled canoes between Fraser Island and Cairns.

Plans for an attack on Singapore
In 1943, a 28-year-old British officer, Captain Ivan Lyon of the Allied Intelligence Bureau and Gordon Highlanders, and a 61-year-old Australian civilian, Bill Reynolds, devised a plan to attack Japanese shipping in Singapore harbour. Z Special Unit would travel to the harbour in a disguised fishing boat. They would then use collapsible canoes to attach limpet mines to Japanese ships. General Archibald Wavell approved the plan, and Lyon was sent to Australia to organise the operation.

Bill Reynolds was in possession of a 21.3 metre-long Japanese coastal fishing boat, the Kofuku Maru, which he had used to evacuate refugees out of Singapore. Lyon ordered that the boat be shipped from India to Australia. Upon its arrival, he renamed the vessel MV Krait, after the small but deadly Asian snake.

Lieutenant-Colonel G. Egerton Mott, the chief of the Services Reconnaissance Department, suggested that they should test the effectiveness of the plan by making a mock raid on a tightly guarded Allied port. Townsville, Queensland was chosen for the location of the attack.

Operation Scorpion
In January 1943, Lieutenant Sam Carey, a Z Special Unit Officer based at Z Experimental Station, Cairns, Queensland, approached General Thomas Blamey with a proposition for a raid on the Japanese port at Rabaul. One submarine, with a small group of commandos on board, would be involved. The commandos would be dropped 16 kilometres off Rabaul, Papua New Guinea. They would then use collapsible canoes to travel into the harbour, attach limpet mines to as many enemy ships as possible, and then retreat to Vulcan Island, where they would hide out until they could safely rendezvous with the sub. Blamey was sure that the unit would be captured and shot, but he authorised the operation, and issued Carey carte blanche authority to perform whatever actions he deemed necessary during the planning of the proposed operation, which was codenamed Operation Scorpion.

"Raid" on Townsville
By the end of March 1943, Carey had assembled a team of nine men on their base at Magnetic Island. Lyon and Mott arranged to have Carey's unit perform a mock attack on Townsville, although they were careful not to commit anything to paper. Townsville was a busy harbour full of troop transports, merchantmen and naval escort vessels, and tight security was maintained due to the constant threat of Japanese air and submarine attack.

At midnight on June 22, 1943, the unit left their base on Magnetic Island and paddled through the heavily mined mouth of Townsville harbour. Dummy limpet mines were attached to ten ships, including two destroyers. The men rowed into Ross Creek, hid their canoes and traveled into Townsville to find a place to sleep. At around 1000 hrs, the limpets were discovered, and panic ensued. Carey was arrested, and despite producing Blamey's letter and earnest assurances that the mines were dummies, they refused to allow him to leave or to allow the removal of the mines, which the RAN feared were real and may accidentally detonate. Mott was able to arrange Carey's release, but only on the condition that he left Z Special Unit. Operation Scorpion was scrapped, but Mott and Lyon had learned many valuable lessons from the raid.

Operation Jaywick
Main article: Operation Jaywick
On September 2, 1943, the Krait, with a crew of 11 Australian and four British personnel, left Exmouth Gulf in Western Australia. The group, commanded by Lyon, dyed their skin brown and hair black, and wore sarongs, so that they resembled Indonesian fisherman. They arrived off Singapore on September 24. That night, six men left the boat and paddled 50 kilometres, to a small island near the harbour, where a forward base was established in a cave. On the night of September 26, they rowed into the harbour and placed limpet mines on several Japanese ships.

The limpet mines sank or seriously damaged four Japanese ships, amounting to over 39,000 tons. The raiders waited until the commotion had died down, before returning to the Krait. On October 19, 1943, the Krait arrived back at Exmouth Gulf, having achieved a great success.

Operation Rimau
Operation Rimau was an attack on Japanese shipping at Singapore Harbour, carried out by the Allied commando unit Z Force, during World War II. It was a follow-up to the successful Operation Jaywick, which had taken place in 1943.

Rimau (Malay for "tiger") was led by the man behind Operation Jaywick, Lt Col Ivan Lyon of the Gordon highlanders. The goal of Rimau (originally named Operation Hornbill) was to sink Japanese shipping by placing limpet mines on ships. Motorised semi-submersible canoes, known as Sleeping Beauties, would be used to gain access to the harbour.

Lyon led a Z Force contingent of 21 men. They left their base in Australia aboard the British submarine HMS Porpoise on September 11, 1944. When they reached the island of Merapas — which was to be their forward base — it was discovered to be inhabited. To ensure that their stores would remain undiscovered by the natives, one of the officers from the Porpoise, Lt Walter Carey, remained on Merapas as a guard.

The force commandeered a Malay junk named Mustika. Taking the Malay crew aboard the submarine, Z Force transferred their equipment to the junk and the Porpoise departed.

Lyon decided to drop off four more men with Carey: Corporal Colin Craft, Warrant Officer Alf Warren and either Lance Corporal Hugo Pace or Sergeant Colin Cameron (accounts differ on the identity of the fourth man).

Meanwhile, the Mustika neared its target. On the day of the planned attack, October 10, 1944, disaster struck. A Japanese patrol boat challenged the Mustika and someone on board opened fire. Their cover blown, Lyon had no option but to abort the mission. After blowing up the junk and the Sleeping Beauties, he ordered his men back to Merapas. However, Lyon led a small force of six other men — Lt Commander Donald "Davo" Davision, Lt Bobby Ross, Able Seaman Andrew Huston, Corporal Clair Stewart, Corporal Archie Campbell and Private Douglas Warne — into Singapore Harbour, where they are believed to have sunk three ships.

Lyon and twelve others were killed in action soon afterwards. The remaining ten men were captured and later executed by beheading in July 1945.

New Zealand recruits
During the southern winter of 1944, 22 young New Zealand soldiers, based at Trentham military camp, 30 km north of Wellington were sent to train with Z Force in Melbourne, Australia. From there, they made their way to Fraser Commando School, on Fraser Island, Queensland, to be trained in using parachutes, unarmed combat, explosives and the Malay language.

Borneo
In 1945, behind Japanese lines in Borneo, Z Special Unit conducted surveillance, harassing attacks and sabotage, as well as the training of Bornean people in resistance activities. Few details of these operations have been officially released, although details have emerged from the personal accounts of some Z Force personnel. In his memoirs, Blood on Borneo, Sgt Jack Wong Sue claimed that Z Special Unit commandos in Borneo killed 1,700 Japanese for the loss of 112 commandos. Wong Sue also reported that Z Force trained 6,000 Bornean guerrillas. The commandos laid the ground work for the Allied invasion of Borneo in 1945

Other vessels allocated to Z Special Unit
AL254 Charm, a 47 ft lugger
AM355 , an 18 ft launch
AB1184 3064 & AB1185 3065 (both ALC15 landing craft)
Source: Register of Army Small Craft covering the period 1943 to 1946; held by the the Naval Historian at the Navy Office, Canberra.

Z Special Unit in popular culture
Operation Rimau was depicted in the 1982 Australian-Japanese feature film Heroes of the Krait, which was also known by several other titles in various countries, including: Minami jujisei (Japan), Southern Cross, Highest Honor and The Highest Honour: A True Story.

Z Force was depicted in the 1982 Australian movie Attack Force Z.

The 1970's Australian TV series "Spyforce" was inspired by the Z Special Unit.