6th Division (Imperial Japanese Army)
IJA 23rd Infantry Regiment 2nd Battalion seizing Shāshì city, 8 June 1940
|Country||Empire of Japan|
|Branch||Imperial Japanese Army|
|Garrison/HQ||Kumamoto City, Japan|
|Engagements||First Sino-Japanese War
The 6th Division was formed in Kumamoto City on 12 May 1888, as one of the new divisions to be created after the reorganization of the Imperial Japanese Army away from six regional commands and into a divisional command structure, as per the recommendations of the Prussian military advisor Jakob Meckel to the Japanese government. Its troops were drawn primarily from the southern prefectures of Kyūshū.
It participated in combat during the First Sino-Japanese War at the Battle of Weihaiwei, and in Russo-Japanese War at the Battle of Shaho and the Battle of Mukden. In 1923, it was assigned to garrison duty in Manchuria, and from Manchuria sent detachments to participate in the Second Shandong Incident.
With the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War, the 6th Division participated in the Battle of Nanjing, Battle of Xuzhou and Battle of Wuhan before being withdrawn to Japan. It was then reassigned to the Japanese Seventeenth Army at Bougainville Island in the Solomon Islands, and was annihilated at Battle of Bougainville in 1945.
Its Order of Battle included:
- 13th Infantry Regiment (Kumamoto)
- 23rd Infantry Regiment (Miyakonojo, Miyazaki)
- 45th Infantry Regiment (Kagoshima)
Reference and further reading
- Madej, W. Victor. Japanese Armed Forces Order of Battle, 1937–1945 [2 vols] Allentown, PA: 1981