Imperial Japanese Army

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This article is about the land force of Imperial Japan. For the current land force of Japan since 1954, see Japan Ground Self-Defense Force. For other uses, see Ministry of the Military.
Imperial Japanese Army
大日本帝國陸軍
Dai-Nippon Teikoku Rikugun
War flag of the Imperial Japanese Army.svg
The ensign of the Imperial Japanese Army
Active 1867–1945
Country  Empire of Japan
Allegiance Emperor of Japan
Type Army
Role Military ground force
Size 6,095,000 men at its height
Nickname "IJA"
Engagements First Sino-Japanese War
Russo-Japanese War
World War I
Second Sino-Japanese War
World War II
Commanders
Notable
commanders
Yamagata Aritomo, Ōyama Iwao, Kotohito Kan'in, Hajime Sugiyama, Hideki Tojo, Yasuji Okamura, Shunroku Hata, Tadamichi Kuribayashi, Tomoyuki Yamashita, Masaharu Homma

The Imperial Japanese Army (IJA; Kyūjitai: 大日本帝國陸軍, Shinjitai: 大日本帝国陸軍, Romaji: Dai-Nippon Teikoku Rikugun) literally "Army of the Greater Japanese Empire", was the official ground-based armed force of the Empire of Japan, from 1871 to 1945. It was controlled by the Imperial Army General Staff Office and the Ministry of War, both of which were nominally subordinate to the Emperor of Japan as supreme commander of the army and the navy. Later an Inspectorate General of Military (Army) Aviation, became the third agency with oversight over the army. During wartime or national emergencies, the nominal command functions of the emperor would be centralized in an Imperial General Headquarters (IGHQ), an ad-hoc body consisting of the chief and vice chief of the Army General Staff, the minister of war, the chief and vice chief of the Naval General Staff, the inspector general of military aviation, and the inspector general of military training.

History[edit]

Foundation[edit]

Training of the Shogunate troops by the first French Military Mission to Japan in 1867, just before the Boshin war (1868–1869) which led to the Meiji restoration.

During the Meiji Restoration, the military forces loyal to the Emperor were samurai drawn primarily from the loyalist feudal domains of Satsuma and Chōshū. After the successful overthrow of the Tokugawa Shogunate (bakufu) and establishment of the new Meiji government modeled on European lines, a more formal military, loyal to the central government rather than individual domains, became recognized by the general populace as a necessity to preserve Japan's independence from western imperialism.

This central army, the "Imperial Japanese Army" (IJA), became even more essential after the abolition of the feudal domains in 1871. To reform the military, the government instituted nationwide conscription in 1873, mandating that every male between the age of 17 and 40 undertake three years active service, followed by a further two years in the first reserve (active) and another two in the second reserve (standby).[1] One of the primary differences between the samurai and peasant class was the right to bear arms; this ancient privilege was suddenly extended to every male in the nation.[2]

Foreign assistance[edit]

Main article: Boshin War

The early Imperial Japanese Army was essentially developed with the assistance of French advisors,[3] through the second French military mission to Japan (1872–1880), and the third French military mission to Japan (1884–1889). However, due to the German victory in the Franco-Prussian War, the Japanese government also relied on Prussia as a model for their army, and hired two German military advisors (Major Jakob Meckel, replaced in 1888 by von Wildenbrück and Captain von Blankenbourg) for the training of the Japanese General Staff from 1886 to April 1890: the Imperial Army General Staff Office, based on the Prussian Generalstab, was established directly under the Emperor in 1878 and was given broad powers for military planning and strategy.

Soldiers of the Imperial Japanese Army in 1875.

Other known foreign military consultants were the Italian Major Pompeo Grillo, who worked at the Osaka foundry from 1884 to 1888, followed by Major Quaratezi from 1889 to 1890, and the Dutch Captain Schermbeck, who worked on improving coastal defenses from 1883 to 1886. Japan did not use foreign military advisors between 1890 and 1918, until again a French military mission to Japan (1918–1919), headed by Commandant Jacques-Paul Faure, was requested to assist in the development of the Japanese air services.[4]

Taiwan Expedition[edit]

The Taiwan Expedition of 1874 was a punitive expedition by Japanese military forces in response to the murder of 54 crewmembers of a wrecked Ryukyuan merchant vessel by Paiwan aborigines on the southwestern tip of Taiwan in December 1871. It marked the first overseas deployment of the Imperial Japanese Army and Navy.[5]

Satsuma rebellion[edit]

Not surprisingly, the new order led to a series of riots from disgruntled samurai. One of the major riots was led by Saigō Takamori, the Satsuma rebellion, which eventually turned into a civil war. This rebellion was put down swiftly by conscripts in the newly formed Imperial Army, using Western tactics and weapons, even though the core of the new army was actually the Tokyo Police force, consisting mostly of former samurai.[6]

Soldiers of the Imperial Japanese Army during the Satsuma Rebellion (Garrison of Kumamoto, 1877).

An Imperial Rescript to Soldiers and Sailors of 1882 called for unquestioning loyalty to the Emperor by the new armed forces and asserted that commands from superior officers were equivalent to commands from the Emperor himself. Thenceforth, the military existed in an intimate and privileged relationship with the imperial institution.

Top-ranking military leaders were given direct access to the Emperor and the authority to transmit his pronouncements directly to the troops. The sympathetic relationship between conscripts and officers, particularly junior officers who were drawn mostly from the peasantry, tended to draw the military closer to the people. In time, most people came to look more for guidance in national matters to military than to political leaders.

Japanese artillery unit, at the Koishikawa arsenal, Tokyo, in 1882. Photographed by Hugues Krafft.
The Murata rifle was locally developed in 1880.

By the 1890s, the Imperial Japanese Army had grown to become the most modern army in Asia, well-trained, well-equipped with good morale. However, it was basically an infantry force deficient in cavalry and artillery when compared with its European contemporaries. Artillery pieces, which were purchased from America and a variety of European nations, presented two problems: they were scarce, and the relatively small number that were available were in several different calibers, causing problems with their ammunition supply.

First Sino-Japanese War[edit]

The First Sino-Japanese War was a war fought between Qing Dynasty of China and Japanese Meiji government over the control of Korea. The Sino-Japanese War would come to symbolize the weakness of the Qing military, with Japanese securing victory after victory over the Chinese forces. This was the result by Japan's new western-style conscript army which was well equipped and well trained when compared with their Chinese counterparts. The principal results were a shift in regional dominance in Asia from China to Japan and a fatal blow to the Qing Dynasty. Japan fielded a force of 120,000 in two armies and five divisions.

Boxer Rebellion[edit]

Main article: Boxer Rebellion
Soldiers of the Imperial Japanese Army in 1900

In 1899–1900, Boxer attacks against foreigners in China intensified and later accumulated in the siege of the diplomatic legations in Beijing. An international force consisting of British, French, Russian, German, Italian, Austro-Hungarian, American and Japanese troops was assembled to relieve the legations. The Japanese provided the largest contingent of troops; 20,840, as well as 18 warships. Of the total number, 20,300 were Imperial Japanese Army troops of the 5th Infantry Division under Lt. General Yamaguchi Motoomi, the remainder were 540 naval rikusentai from the Imperial Japanese Navy. The rebels used traditional Chinese martial arts, as opposed to modern military weapons and tactics. This led to them being called "Boxers" by Westerners, as that is how they perceived martial arts at the time. While officially condemning the movement, the Boxers had the unofficial support of the Empress Dowager Cixi. In the end the Boxer leaders were captured and executed. The Empress Dowager, was forced to flee the palace as the foreign armies entered the Forbidden City.

Russo-Japanese War[edit]

Main article: Russo-Japanese War

The Russo–Japanese War (1904-1905) was the result of tensions between Russia and Japan, largely out of the rival imperialist ambitions over Manchuria and Korea. The Japanese inflicted severe losses on the Russians; however, they were not able to inflict a decisive blow to the Russian armies. Over-reliance on infantry led to large casualties among Japanese forces especially during the siege of Port Arthur.[citation needed]

World War I[edit]

Imperial Japanese Army uniform as worn on the expedition to Kiaochow.

The Empire of Japan entered the war on the Entente side. Although tentative plans were made to send an expeditionary force of between 100,000–500,000 men to France,[7] ultimately the only action in which the Imperial Japanese Army was involved in was the careful and well executed attack on the German concession of Tsingtao in 1914.[8]

Inter-war years[edit]

During 1917–18, Japan continued to extend its influence and privileges in China via the Nishihara Loans. Following the collapse of the Russian Empire in the Bolshevik Revolution, during the Siberian Intervention, the Imperial Japanese Army initially planned to send more than 70,000 troops to occupy Siberia as far west as Lake Baykal. The army general staff came to view the Tsarist collapse as an opportunity to free Japan from any future threat from Russia by detaching Siberia and forming an independent buffer state.[9] The plan was scaled back considerably due to opposition from the United States.

In July 1918, President Wilson asked the Japanese government to supply 7,000 troops as part of an international coalition of 24,000 troops planned to support the American Expeditionary Force Siberia.[10] After heated debate in the Diet, the government of Prime Minister Terauchi Masatake agreed to send 12,000 troops, but under the command of Japan, rather than as part of an international coalition. Japan and the United States sent forces to Siberia to bolster the armies of the White Movement leader Admiral Aleksandr Kolchak against the Bolshevik Red Army.

Once the political decision had been reached, the Imperial Japanese Army took over full control under Chief of Staff General Yui Mitsue, and by November 1918, more than 70,000[10] Japanese troops had occupied all ports and major towns in the Russian Maritime Provinces and eastern Siberia.

In June 1920, America and its allied coalition partners withdrew from Vladivostok after the capture and execution of White Army leader Admiral Aleksandr Kolchak by the Red Army. However, the Japanese decided to stay, primarily due to fears of the spread of communism so close to Japan, and Japanese controlled Korea and Manchuria. The Japanese army provided military support to the Japanese-backed Provisional Priamur Government based in Vladivostok against the Moscow-backed Far Eastern Republic.

The continued Japanese presence concerned the United States, which suspected that Japan had territorial designs on Siberia and the Russian Far East. Subjected to intense diplomatic pressure by the United States and Great Britain, and facing increasing domestic opposition due to the economic and human cost, the administration of Prime Minister Kato Tomosaburo withdrew the Japanese forces in October 1922.[11]

Prince Kotohito Kan'in, chief of staff of the Army from 1931 until 1940

Rise of militarism in Shōwa era[edit]

In the 1920s the Imperial Japanese Army expanded rapidly and by 1937 had a force of 300,000 men. Unlike western countries it enjoyed a great deal of independence from government. Under the provisions of the Meiji Constitution, the War Minister was held accountable only to the Emperor Hirohito himself, and not to the elected civilian government. In fact, Japanese civilian administrations needed the support of the Army in order to survive. The Army controlled the appointment of the War Minister and in 1936 a law was passed that stipulated that only an active duty general or lieutenant-general could hold the post.[12] As a result, the military spending as a proportion of the national budget rose disproportionately in the 1920s and 1930s, and various factions within the military exerted disproportionate influence on Japanese foreign policy.

The Imperial Japanese Army was originally known simply as the Army (rikugun) but after 1928, as part of the Army's turn toward romantic nationalism and also in the service of its political ambitions, it retitled itself the Imperial Army (kōgun).

Conflict with China[edit]

In 1931, the Imperial Japanese Army had an overall strength of 198,880 officers and men, organized into 17 divisions.[13] The Manchurian Incident, as it became known in Japan, was the alleged attack on the Japanese-owned railway by Chinese bandits. Action by the military, largely independent of the civilian leadership, led to the invasion of Manchuria in 1931 and later the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1937. As war approached, the Imperial Army's influence with the Emperor waned and the influence of the Imperial Japanese Navy increased.[14] Nevertheless, by 1938 the Army had been expanded to 34 divisions.[15]

Conflict with Soviet Union[edit]

From 1932–1945 the Empire of Japan and Soviet Union had a series of conflicts. It was the result of Japan establishing a puppet state in Manchuria which brought them into conflicts as Japan set its military interests on Soviet territory. The war lasted on and off with the last two battles of the 1930s ending in a decisive victory for the Soviets. The conflicts stopped in 1941 with a non-aggression pact between the two powers.[16] However, at the Yalta Conference, Stalin agreed to declare war on Japan. On August 5, 1945 the Soviet Union voided their neutrality agreement with Japan.[17]

World War II[edit]

Main article: Pacific War

In 1941, the Imperial Japanese Army had 51 divisions[15] and various special-purpose artillery, cavalry, anti-aircraft and armored units with a total of 1,700,000 men. At the beginning of the Second World War, most of the Japanese Army (27 divisions) was stationed in China. A further 13 divisions defended the Mongolian border, due to concerns about a possible attack by the Soviet Union.[15] However, from 1942, soldiers were sent to Hong Kong (23rd Army), the Philippines (14th Army), Thailand (15th Army), Burma (15th Army), Dutch East Indies (16th Army) and Malaya (25th Army).[18] By 1945, there were 5.5 million men in the Imperial Japanese Army.

From 1943, Japanese troops suffered from a shortage of supplies, especially food, medicine, munitions and armaments largely due to submarine interdiction of supplies and losses to Japanese shipping, which was worsened by a longstanding and severe rivalry with the Imperial Japanese Navy. The lack of supplies caused large numbers of fighter aircraft to become unserviceable for lack of spare parts[19] and "as many as two-thirds of Japan's total military deaths resulted from illness or starvation."[20]

Lt Gen Arthur Percival, led by a Japanese officer (center), marches under a flag of truce to negotiate the capitulation of Allied forces during the Battle of Singapore, on February 15, 1942.

Fanaticism and war crimes[edit]

Throughout the Second Sino-Japanese War and World War II, the Imperial Japanese Army had gained a reputation both for its fanaticism and for its brutality against prisoners of war and civilians alike - with the Nanking Massacre being one such example.[21] After Japan surrendered in the summer of 1945, many Imperial Japanese Army officers and enlisted men were tried and punished for committing numerous atrocities and war crimes. In 1949, the trials were ceased, with a total of 5,700 cases having been heard.[22]

Major General Tomitarō Horii did issue a "Guide to Soldiers in the South Seas" in late 1941, which ordered troops not to loot or kill civilians. This was intended to prevent a repeat of atrocities that the Army committed in China, however this only applied to men under his command.[23]

Several reasons are theorized for the especially brutal and merciless behavior exhibited by many members of the IJA towards their adversaries or non-Japanese civilians. One is probably the brutal behavior that they themselves experienced. The IJA was known for the extremely harsh treatment of its enlisted soldiers from the start of training,[24] including beatings, unnecessarily strenuous duty tasks, lack of adequate food, and other violent or harsh disciplinary tactics. This was contrary to the Imperial Rescript to Soldiers and Sailors of 1882, which instructed officers to treat subordinates respectfully.[25] Not until 1943 did the senior command realize this brutality had effects on morale and ordered an end to it, an order which was routinely circumvented or ignored.[26] The spirit of gyokusai ("glorious death") saw them order suicidal attacks with bayonets, when supplies of hand grenades and ammunition were still available.[27]

The reputation of Imperial Army troops during the Pacific War of refusing to surrender was established by the low number of Japanese survivors in numerous battles throughout the Pacific Campaign; 921 captured out of a garrison strength of 31,000 in the Battle of Saipan, 17 out of 3000 in the Battle of Tarawa, 7,400–10,755 out of 117,000 in the Battle of Okinawa, with a high number of battlefield suicides sanctioned by the Imperial Army. In the South West Pacific Area (SWPA) just over 1,000 surrendered in each of 1942 and 1943, around 5,100 in 1944, and over 12,000 in 1945,[28] and might have been greater except for disease.[29] Propaganda through leaflet drops by the Americans accounted for about 20% of surrenders;[30] equating to about one POW for every 6,000 leaflets dropped;[31] while the Japanese objected to the "unscrupulous" leaflets,[32] which contained some truth with regard to the willingness of American forces to accept surrenders from the Japanese.[33] This was in contrast to Imperial Japanese Army practice of depicting American troops as cruel and merciless, referring to them as 鬼畜米英 (Kichiku Beiei, lit. Demonic Beast American and English) and informing their own troops that Americans would rape all captured women and torture the men, leading directly to brutal treatment of POWs in incidents such as the Bataan Death March and mass suicide of Japanese soldiers and civilians during the Battle of Saipan and Battle of Okinawa.

Imperial General Headquarters and the power of the Emperor in the Shōwa era[edit]

During the first part of the Showa era, according to the Meiji Constitution, the Emperor had the "supreme command of the Army and the Navy" (Article 11). Hirohito was thus legally supreme commander of the Imperial General Headquarters, founded in 1937 and by which the military decisions were made.

The Shōwa Emperor dressed as commander of the Imperial General Headquarters.

The primary sources such as the "Sugiyama memo", and the diaries of Fumimaro Konoe and Koichi Kido, describe in detail the many informal meetings the Emperor had with his chiefs of staff and ministers. These documents show he was kept informed of all military operations and frequently questioned his senior staff and asked for changes.

According to historians Yoshiaki Yoshimi and Seiya Matsuno, Hirohito authorized by specific orders, transmitted by the Chief of staff of the Army such as Prince Kan'in or Hajime Sugiyama, the use of chemical weapons against Chinese civilians and soldiers. For example, he authorized the use of toxic gas on 375 separate occasions during the invasion of Wuhan in 1938.[34] Such weapons were also authorized during the invasion of Changde.

According to historians Akira Fujiwara and Akira Yamada, Hirohito even made major interventions in some military operations. For example, he pressed Field Marshal Hajime Sugiyama four times during January and February 1942 to increase troop strength and launch attack on Bataan.[35] In August 1943, he scolded Sugiyama for being unable to stop the American advance on the Solomon Islands and asked the general to consider other places to attack.[36]

Only in rare moments of special importance, decisions were made in Imperial council. The Imperial government used this special institution to sanction the invasion of China, the Greater East Asia War and to end the war. In 1945, executing the decision approved in Imperial conference, Emperor Shōwa for the only time directly ordered via recorded radio broadcast to all of Japan, as his last role as commander-in-chief, the surrender to United States forces.

Post World War II[edit]

Ground Self Defense Force[edit]

Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution renounced the right to use force as a means of resolving disputes.[37] This was enacted by the Japanese in order to prevent militarism, which had led to conflict. However, in 1947 the Public Security Force formed; later in 1954, with the early stages of the Cold War, the Public Security Force formed the basis of the newly created Ground Self Defense Force.[38] Although significantly smaller than the former Imperial Japanese Army and nominally for defensive purposes only, this force constitutes the modern army of Japan.

Continued resistance[edit]

Main article: Japanese holdout

Separately, some soldiers of the Imperial Japanese Army continued to fight on isolated Pacific islands until at least the 1970s, with the last known Japanese soldier surrendering in 1974.[39][40][41][42] Intelligence officer Hiroo Onoda, who surrendered on Lubang Island in the Philippines in March 1974, and Teruo Nakamura, who surrendered on the Indonesian island of Morotai in December 1974, appear to have been the last confirmed holdouts.[41][42]

Growth of the IJA[edit]

Disposition of Japanese Army Ground Forces in Japan at the time of capitulation, 18 August 1945.
  • 1870: consisted of 12,000 men.
  • 1885: consisted of seven divisions including the Imperial Guard Division.
  • In the early 1900s, the IJA consisted of 12 divisions, the Imperial Guard Division, and numerous other units. These contained the following:
    • 380,000 active duty and 1st Reserve personnel: former Class A and B(1) conscripts after two-year active tour with 17 and 1/2 year commitment
    • 50,000 Second line Reserve: Same as above but former Class B(2) conscripts
    • 220,000 National Army
      • 1st National Army: 37 to 40 year old men from end of 1st Reserve to 40 years old.
      • 2nd National Army: untrained 20 year olds and over 40 year old trained reserves.
    • 4,250,000 men available for service and mobilization.
  • 1934: army increased to 17 divisions
  • 1940: 376,000 active with 2 million reserves in 31 divisions
    • 2 divisions in Japan (Imperial Guard plus one other)
    • 2 divisions in Korea
    • 27 divisions in China and Manchuria
  • In late 1941: 460,000 active in 41 divisions
    • 2 divisions in Japan and Korea
    • 12 divisions in Manchuria
    • 27 divisions in China
    • plus 59 brigade equivalents.
      • Independent brigades, Independent Mixed Brigades, Cavalry Brigades, Amphibious Brigades, Independent Mixed regiments, Independent Regiments.
  • 1945: 5 million active in 145 divisions (includes three Imperial Guard), plus numerous individual units, with a large Volunteer Fighting Corps.
  • Japan Defense Army in 1945 had 55 divisions with 2 million men.

Total military in August 1945 was 6,095,000 including 676,863 Army Air Service.

Conscription[edit]

Also applied to the IJN

Conscription of all able-bodied males aged 17 (in practice from the age of 20) to 40 was instituted in 1873 and revised in 1927. Once called up, candidates were given a medical examination and classified as one of the following:

  • Class I-A: "fit for active service"
  • Class II:
    • B-1: "fit for active service with minor reservations"
    • B-2: "fit for active service with reservations"
  • Class III-C: "unfit for active service, but fit for national service"
  • Class IV-D: "physically unfit; exempted from all service" (after two successive examinations) or automatically exempted from all service
  • Class V-E: "fitness undetermined; examination postponed to later date"

Upon receiving their classifications, peace-time Class I-A recruits were enlisted by lottery into either the jobi hei-eki (Regular Army and Imperial Navy) category, consisting of the gen-eki (active service) and the yobi-eki (primary reserve service) sub-categories, or into the kobi hei-eki (secondary reserve service) category. Those in the "gen-eki" sub-category would serve for two years in the army or three in the navy. After this period, they would be placed on the primary reserve service list (yobi-eki) for five years and four months in the army or four years in the navy, and would be subsequently placed on the secondary reserve service list after 10 years in the army (five in the navy) before being placed on the national service list (kokumin hei-eki) after 17 years and four months of army service (or 12 years of naval service). A similar but less stringent path was set out for those enlisted into the primary or secondary reserve categories; they would also end their service on the national service list. The least rigorous path was for those enlisted into the hoju hei-eki (replenishment territorial army and naval volunteer reserve), who would end their service on the national service list.

In peace-time, Class II recruits were not recruited, but were assigned to national service. In wartime, Class II B-1 and Class II B-2 recruits were enrolled into the hoju hei-eki category, with II B-1 recruits enlisted into the first supplementary territorial army and naval volunteer reserve and II B-2 recruits enlisted into the second supplementary territorial army and naval volunteer reserve, respectively. II B-1 recruits would serve for two years and four months in the territorial army or one year in the naval volunteer reserve; II B-2 recruits would serve for 12 years and four months in the territorial army or 11 years and four months in the naval volunteer reserve. Upon reaching the age of 40 in peace-time, all soldiers in Classes I and II would be placed on the national service list and released from regular duties.

In practice, total conscription of the available population was only instituted during the Second World War. Before then, only a proportion of the secondary reserve service had been called to active duty, during the Russo-Japanese War. Class III-C recruits were automatically assigned to national service if necessary. Conscripts classified as Class IV-D were reexamined the following year; if they could not be reclassified into any of the first three classes, they were officially exempted from all military service. Sole supporters of families and criminals sentenced to over six years penal servitude were automatically listed as Class IV-D and exempted from all service. Students at certain higher secondary schools were classified as Class V-E until they had finished their studies or upon reaching the age of 27, whichever came first. Japanese students studying abroad were also classed as Class V-E until reaching the age of 37.

From December 1927, conscripts who had completed a course of study with the requisite marks at a government-run Young Men's Training Institute ("Seinen Kunrenshou"), the curriculum of which included 200 hours of military training, could have their period of active service reduced to 18 months. Normal-school graduates with the requisite marks had their active service reduced to five months. Graduates of middle and higher schools who had completed courses in military training with the requisite marks were required to serve one year for middle-school graduates or for 10 months for higher-school graduates.

[43] [44]

Salaries, benefits and pensions[edit]

Salaries and pensions for Imperial soldiers and sailors were very low by Western standards. On the eve of the Second World War, the yen had a value of $0.23.[45] No true exchange rate existed for the yen during the war years, and wartime inflation reduced the yen to a fraction of its pre-war value.[46]

Officer cadets were paid a yearly salary of ¥670 ($154.10 in 1941 dollars). Second lieutenants were paid ¥850 yearly ($195.50), lieutenants ¥1020-1130 ($234.60-259.90) and captains ¥1470-1900 ($338.10-437). Majors were paid ¥2330 yearly ($535.90), lieutenant-colonels ¥3220 ($740.60) and colonels ¥4150 ($954.60). Major-generals were paid ¥5000 yearly ($1150), lieutenant-generals ¥5800 ($1334) and full generals ¥6600 ($1518).[47]

Arsenals[edit]

The Imperial Japanese Army managed various Arsenals:

  • Japanese Army Sagami Arsenal: with Mitsubishi, developed and manufactured tanks
  • Japanese Army Osaka Arsenal: with Mitsubishi and Hitachi manufactured tanks and artillery
  • Japanese Army Sasebo Arsenal: with Mitsubishi, manufactured tanks
  • Japanese Army Heijo Arsenal: with Nambu, manufactured hand and long infantry weapons
  • Japanese Army Mukden Arsenal: with Nambu, manufactured infantry weapons
  • Japanese Army Kokura Arsenal: with Nambu, manufactured small arms and Machine Guns
  • Japanese Army Tokyo Arsenal: the Army administrative and testing center related with light and heavy weapons production
  • Japanese Army Tachikawa Arsenal: dedicated to develop and manufacture aircraft for the Imperial Japanese Army Air Service
  • Japanese Army Koishikawa Arsenal (Tokyo)

Organization of the Imperial Japanese Army[edit]

Imperial Japanese Military
Empire of Japan
Administration
Imperial General Headquarters
Components
 Imperial Japanese Army
(Dai Nippon Teikoku Rikugun)
        Imperial Japanese Army Air Service
        Railways and Shipping Section
    Uniforms
 Imperial Japanese Navy
(Dai Nippon Teikoku Kaigun)
        Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service
        Imperial Japanese Navy Land Forces
    Major battles
    List of ships
    List of aircraft
    Main admirals
Rank insignia
Army rank insignia
Naval rank insignia
History of the Japanese Military
Military History of Japan during World War II

Casualties[edit]

Over the course of the Imperial Japanese Army's existence, millions of its soldiers were either killed, wounded or went missing in action.

  • Taiwan Expedition of 1874: 543 (12 killed in battle and 531 by disease)
  • First Sino-Japanese War: The IJA suffered 13,823 dead and 3,973 wounded
  • Russo-Japanese War: The number of total Japanese dead in combat is put at around 47,000, with around 80,000 if disease is included
  • World War I: 1,455 Japanese were killed, mostly at the Battle of Tsingtao
  • World War II:
    • Deaths
      • 2,566,000 Imperial Armed Forces dead including non-combat deaths (includes 1,760,955 killed in action),
      • KIA Breakdown by Theatre:
        Army 1931-1945 [China: 408,605 KIA, Against U.S Forces: 485,717 KIA, Burma Campaign: 208,026 KIA, Australian Combat Zone: 199,511 KIA, French Indochine: 2,803 KIA, U.R.R.S/Manchuria: 7,483 KIA, Others/Japan: 33,931 KIA]
        Navy: 414,879 KIA All Theatres.
      • 672,000 known civilian dead,
    • 810,000 missing in action and presumed dead.
    • 7,500 prisoners of war

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Harries & Harries, p. 22.
  2. ^ Harries & Harries, p. 29.
  3. ^ Harries & Harries, pp. 20–24.
  4. ^ Harries & Harries, p. 363.
  5. ^ Harries & Harries, p. 28.
  6. ^ Harries & Harries, pp. 29–31.
  7. ^ Harries & Harries, p. 109.
  8. ^ Harries & Harries, pp. 110–111.
  9. ^ Humphreys, The Way of the Heavenly Sword: The Japanese Army in the 1920s, page 25
  10. ^ a b Harries & Harries, p. 123.
  11. ^ Harries & Harries, p. 124.
  12. ^ Harries & Harris, p. 193.
  13. ^ Kelman, p.41
  14. ^ Harries & Harries, p. 197.
  15. ^ a b c Jowlett, p. 7.
  16. ^ Soviet-Japanese Neutrality Pact April 13, 1941. (Avalon Project at Yale University)
  17. ^ "Battlefield - Manchuria - The Forgotten Victory", Battlefield (documentary series), 2001, 98 minutes.
  18. ^ Jowlett, pp. 15–16, 21.
  19. ^ Bergerund, Eric. Fire in the Sky (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2000).
  20. ^ Gilmore, p.150.
  21. ^ Harries & Harries, pp. 475–476.
  22. ^ Harries & Harries, p. 463.
  23. ^ Chen, World War II Database
  24. ^ Gilmore, p.87.
  25. ^ Gilmore, p.45.
  26. ^ Gilmore, p.89.
  27. ^ Gilmore, pp.97–8.
  28. ^ This is quite substantially more than the 2,000 who surrendered in the Russo-Japanese War. Gilmore, p.155.
  29. ^ Dower, John W., Prof. War Without Mercy: Race and Power in the Pacific War (New York: Pantheon, 1986).
  30. ^ Gilmore, p.155.
  31. ^ Gilmore, p.154.
  32. ^ Quoted in Gilmore, p.163.
  33. ^ Gilmore, pp.63, 68. & 101.
  34. ^ Yoshimi and Matsuno, Dokugasusen Kankei Shiryo II, Kaisetsu, 1997, p.25–29.
  35. ^ Fujiwara, Shōwa tenno no ju-go nen senso, 1991, pp.135–138; Yamada, Daigensui Showa tenno, 1994, pp.180, 181, and 185.
  36. ^ Bix, Herbert. Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan (New York: HarperCollinsPublishers, 2000), p.466, citing the Sugiyama memo, p.24.
  37. ^ Harries & Harries, p. 471.
  38. ^ Harries & Harries, p. 487.
  39. ^ Kristof, Nicholas D. "Shoichi Yokoi, 82, Is Dead; Japan Soldier Hid 27 Years," New York Times. September 26, 1997.
  40. ^ "The Last PCS for Lieutenant Onoda," Pacific Stars and Stripes, March 13, 1974, p6
  41. ^ a b "Onoda Home; 'It Was 30 Years on Duty'," Pacific Stars and Stripes, March 14, 1974, p7
  42. ^ a b "The Last Last Soldier?," TIME, January 13, 1975
  43. ^ pg 106-107, "Conscription, Chapter IX: National Defence," The Japan-Manchukuo Year Book 1938, Japan-Manchukuo Year Book Co., Tokyo
  44. ^ pg 214-216, "The Military Service System," Japan Year Book 1938-1939, Kenkyusha Press, Foreign Association of Japan, Tokyo
  45. ^ pp 332-333, "Exchange and Interest Rates," Japan Year Book 1938-1939, Kenkyusha Press, Foreign Association of Japan, Tokyo
  46. ^ pg 1179, "Japan - Money, Weights and Measures," The Statesman's Year-Book 1950, Steinberg, S.H., Macmillan, New York
  47. ^ pg 62-63, "Chapter VI: Administrative System," The Japan-Manchukuo Year Book 1938, Japan-Manchukuo Year Book Co., Tokyo

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