Third Division (第三部隊, Daisan Butai)
|Anime||Naruto Shippūden Episode #256|
|Appears in||Anime and Manga|
The Third Division (第三部隊, Daisan Butai), also known as the Short and Mid-Range Battle Division (戦闘近中距離部隊, Sentō Kinchūkyori Butai) is a battalion in the Allied Shinobi Forces led by Kakashi Hatake of Konohagakure, formed in preparation for the Fourth Shinobi World War.
Upon its formation, the division advances ahead of the rest of the Allied Forces. When they are just beyond the Land of Frost's border they spot a red flare belonging to part of the Surprise Attack Division, indicating that they require immediate assistance. The Third Division heads in their direction and arrives in time to save them from a reincarnated Haku, Zabuza Momochi, Gari and Pakura. Zabuza and Haku, having known Kakashi during their lifetime, catch up with him and ask about his team. Their summoner, fearing their connections to Kakashi may cause him to lose control of them, immediately suppresses their personalities. Not wanting to fight Kakashi but unable to stop themselves, Zabuza and Haku spend their last moments of autonomy asking that he stop them.
Zabuza then envelops the area in a thick mist to reduce visibility, prompting each of the battle squadrons to adopt Manji Formations to better protect their now essential sensors. No longer bound by emotions, Haku, Pakura, and Gari use their respective kekkei genkai to decimate the Third Division, even with their defensive measures. The many deaths causes morale to drop amongst the less-experienced shinobi, but Might Guy reminds them of their duties. Kakashi eventually picks up on the enemy's tactics and prepares to start a counter-offensive. Before he can do so, however, the previous generation of the Seven Ninja Swordsmen of the Mist are summoned to tip the scales against the Allies.
Recognising the danger they are now in, Kakashi quickly organises a team to try and turn things around. While he does so, the rest of the Third Division bombards the Seven Swordsmen with a variety of weapons and attacks. The Swordsmen, because of their reincarnation, instantly recover from any damage. Mangetsu Hōzuki then summons five of the Seven Swordsmen's blades, which they use to silently pick-off the Allies. With casualties mounting rapidly, Kakashi devises a strategy to eliminate Zabuza and the mist he is producing: with the help of Santa Yamanaka he will locate Zabuza and have Ensui Nara restrain him. Once this is done, Maki will capture Zabuza, thereby ending the mist.
As part of the plan, Kakashi sneaks up on Zabuza and tries to hit him with the Lightning Cutter. Haku blocks the attack and Zabuza cuts through Haku to try and kill Kakashi. Kakashi is able to avoid a fatal injury. Knowing that Zabuza would not have done that to Haku when he was alive, Kakashi finds new resolve to stop Zabuza from committing any additional acts he would never have condoned. He sinks another Lightning Cutter into Zabuza, distracting him long enough to be caught by Ensui. Maki then binds Zabuza and Haku and places seals on the two to prevent their summoner from recalling them. With the mist now gone, an angry Kakashi picks up Zabuza's sword and requests Sai's help: to provide backup with his sealing techniques while Kakashi - the man that copied a thousand techniques - goes on a rampage.
As night falls, the third division retreated in the forest. They continued to fight into the night, clashing with the Seven Swordsmen, Gari, and Pakura. By morning, Kakashi now wielding the Kubikiribōchō charged with lightning-natured chakra, slashed through Fuguki Suikazan and Sai sealed him in a drawing, leaving only three enemies remaining. Just then another set of White Zetsu show up as reinforcements and one of Naruto's clones arrive to lend his support.
From later reports at headquarters, the Third Division was able to successfully annihilate their opponents with only one of the Seven Swordsmen of the Mist remaining, and were instructed to assist Naruto and Killer B once they were finished.