WW2 Question

During World War 2, did any Japanese military forces come to Europe to fight the Allies, and did any of the military forces of Nazi Germany come to the Pacific to fight the Allied forces there?

There were a few submarine runs to exchange schematics and hardware and both the Japanese and the Germans had naval engagements in the Indian Ocean, (not near each other in either time or space), but I am unaware of any actual military action in which a Japanese unit was involved in Europe or a German unit was involved in Eastern India, China, or the Pacific.

Germany had to surrender all its Pacific possession following WWI, removing one draw for their troops to enter that theatre.

If by “forces” you include Naval forces the answer is yes.

A. The Kriegsmarine raiderMichel operated out of Yokohama, Japan until the Tarpon sank her.

B. Donitz had a plan to use Japanese bases for U-Boats to screw around with Australia and tie down Allied Naval forces. It was not very successful. Wiki is not where anyone sane is going to go for this stuff but here you go (I do think it is a nice write up):


T*he German submarine offensive (September 1944-January 1945)

On 14 September 1944 the commander of the Kriegsmarine, Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz, approved a proposal to send two Type IXD U-Boats into Australian waters with the objective of tying down Allied anti-submarine assets in a secondary theatre. The unit involved was drawn from the Monsun (German for "monsoon’) group of submarines and the two submarines selected for this operation were U-168 and U-862.[79] An additional submarine, U-537, was added to this force at the end of September.[80]

Due to the difficulty of maintaining German submarines in Japanese bases the German force was not ready to depart from its bases in Penang and Batavia (Jakarta) until early October. By this time the Allies had intercepted and decoded German and Japanese messages describing the operation and were able to vector Allied submarines onto the German boats. The Dutch submarine Zwaardvisch sank U-168 on 6 October near Surabaya[81] and the USS Flounder sank U-537 on 10 November near the northern end of the Lombok Strait.[82] Due to the priority accorded to the Australian operation, U-196 was ordered to replace U-168.[83] However, U-196 disappeared in the Sunda Strait some time after departing from Penang on November 30. The cause of U-196’s loss is not known, though it was probably due to an accident or mechanical fault.[84]


U-862 arrived in Jakarta in mid February 1945 and is the only Axis ship known to have operated in Australian waters during 1945. Following Germany’s surrender U-862 became the Japanese submarine I-502 but was not used operationally.*

Although in the First World War, the Japanese were allied with Great Britain, sent 14 destroyers to help patrol the Mediterranean, and lost one to an Austro-Hungarian sub.

You think there might be some people in Egypt or Italy who are 1/32 Japanese?

Totally unrelated, but I remember as a lad an episode in McHale’s Navy where a German submarine came to the Pacific for some nefarious purpose. It and a Japanese patrol boat met at a deserted atoll and the two commanders are trying to converse.

The Japanese skipper asks something in Japanese, and the German shakes his head.

The U-boat commander asks, “Sprechen Sie Deutsch?” and the other officer shakes his head before asking carefully, “Do you speak English?”

“But of course!” and the rest of the scene was in English.

AMusing note: During the Rape of Nanjing, a German dilomatic envoy stationed there went arpund and, despite beng a member of the Nazis, saved a large nuber of Chinese civilians. He thought what was happening was unconscionable. When the Japanese came around to kill them, he pretty much drove out and told them off, with the result that they never entered the “zone” he created around the embassy or whatnot.

Ont the other side, there was Chiune Sugihara, “the Japanese Schindler.”

I just wanted to thank you for that link. I hadn’t heard of Chiune Sugihara before now, and his story is fascinating.

(Maybe Hollywood will make a movie about him someday. With, of course, Tom Cruise as Sugihara shudder)