• 英軍對台空襲:冰山烏龍行動 (Part 1)
    The British Bombed Formosa: Operation Iceberg Oolong (Part 1)

    Posted on April 28th, 2013 Administrator No comments


    1916年10月14日倫敦泰晤士報裡的一則台灣烏龍茶廣告
    An Oolong Tea advertisement in The Times, London, October 14, 1916.

    經歷過日治時期最後那幾年的長輩,應該都記得躲空襲的事。對他們來說,空襲就是美軍飛機來轟炸,甚至提到空襲就讓他們想到B-29轟炸機(雖然B-29在1945年1月之後就不再空襲台灣)。比較不為人知的是,英國海軍的飛機也曾經在台灣上空參加「對日抗戰」,而且還有飛行員死於台灣。
    A less well-known fact is that the British had also been involved in the air campaigns against Formosa during WWII, though only on two occasions. In April 1945, the British Pacific Fleet (B. P. F.) supplemented the American forces by sending its aircraft to raid the airdromes in Shinchiku (Hsinchu) and Matsuyama (Sungshan) as part of the operation known as Iceberg.

    這場空襲是「冰山行動」(Operation Iceberg)的一部份,冰山行動是俗稱沖繩島戰役的代號,盟軍的主要目標是奪取沖繩群島,進而控制所謂的南西諸島(Nansei Shoto),做為進攻日本本土的跳板。參與作戰的英國海軍是英國太平洋艦隊(British Pacific Fleet),他們的任務是攻擊日軍在先島諸島(Sakishima Gunto)上的機場,以牽制日軍飛機抵抗盟軍行動的能力。以下是英國海軍在冰山行動的戰報中繪製的地圖,在台灣以東的太平洋上列出了与那国島(Yonaguni)、西表島(Iriomote)、石垣島(Ishigaki)、宮古島(Miyako)等島嶼:
    The map below, included in the action report for Operation Iceberg filed by the Office of Vice Admiral, Second-in-Command, B. P. F., may come in handy for understanding the relative positions of Sakishima Gunto and Formosa.

    由第113特遣艦隊(Task Force 113)和第112特遣艦隊(Task Force 112)組成的英國太平洋艦隊,是在1945年3月15日的午前接獲命令,準備向美軍的太平洋戰區總司令報到,加入冰山行動的行列。第113特遣艦隊隨即停止演習,返回新幾內亞的馬努斯(Manus)整補,然後前往烏里西(Ulithi)由美軍加油。3月23日清晨,第113特遣艦隊改用美軍賦予的番號—-第57特遣艦隊(Task Force 57),納入美軍第5艦隊的指揮系統,從烏里西啟航前往作戰位置。雖然名為特遣艦隊,第57特遣艦隊的規模其實只相當於美國海軍的特遣群(Task Group)。以下是第57特遣艦隊在3月23日當天的組成,攻擊主力是第1航母戰隊(1st Aircraft Carrier Squadron),共有不屈號(Indomitable)、勝利號(Victorious)、卓越號(Illustrious)、不倦號(Indefatigable)等四艘航艦:
    On the forenoon of March 15, 1945, Commanders of Task Force 113 and Task Force 112 of B. P. F. received orders to report to Comander in Chief, United States Pacific Fleet (CINCPAC) for duty in operations connected with Iceberg. On receipt of the order, Task Force 113 cancelled all exercises and returned to Manus for replenishment and then sailed to Ulithi to be fueled from US resources. On the morning of March 23, Task Force 113 sailed from Ulithi as Task Force 57:

    第57特遣艦隊的艦載機於3月26日首次執行冰山行動中對先島諸島機場的攻擊任務,此後又陸續執行了幾次同樣的任務。4月7日,同樣參與冰山行動的美國海軍航艦漢考克號(USS Hancock, CV-19)被日軍神風特攻隊的自殺飛機擊中飛行甲板,造成美軍官兵慘烈的傷亡,漢考克號也受損嚴重,被迫退出戰鬥行列。美軍研判日軍的自殺飛機是從台灣出發,第5艦隊因而要求第57特遣艦隊支援對台灣機場的攻擊,以牽制神風特攻隊的行動。4月9日,第57特遣艦隊收到第5艦隊對太平洋戰區總司令發出的以下電報,請求在11與12日兩天攻擊台灣的松山和新竹機場:
    Task Force 57 arrived at the launching position by dawn on March 26. At sunrise, fighter sweeps were flown off to attack the airfields at Ishigaki and Miyako. From that time until April 20, Task Force 57 launched air strikes against airfields on Sakishima Gunto on ten different days. But on April 7, the USS Hancock (CV-19) was so badly damaged by a Japanese kamikaze attack that she had to retire to Pearl Harbor for repairs. The 5th Fleet therefore requested that Task Force 57 strike airdromes in Matsuyama and Shinchiku in northern Formosa where it was believed the suicide units were based. On the morning of April 9, the Commander of Task Force 57 received the following signal from the Commander of the 5th Fleet:

    半小時後,第5艦隊又直接向第57特遣艦隊發出了以下的電報:
    It was hope that Task Force 57 would be able to prevent kamikaze aircraft from staging from Formosa to combat areas in Okinawa. Half an hour later, the following signal was directly sent from the 5th Fleet:

    (未完待續,To be continued)

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