General Takeo Yasuda
|Native name||安田 武雄|
January 16, 1889|
Okayama prefecture, Japan
|Died||August 23, 1964(aged 75)|
|Allegiance||Empire of Japan|
|Service/branch||Imperial Japanese Army|
|Years of service||1909 - 1945|
|Battles/wars||World War II|
Takeo Yasuda (安田 武雄 Yasuda Takeo?, 16 January 1889 – 23 August 1964) was a general in the Imperial Japanese Army. While serving as director of the Army's Aviation Technology Research Institute during World War II, he was a key figure in scientific and technological development for the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force, most notably his involvement in the early development of a Japanese atom bomb during the early stages of the war.
Yasuda was a native of Okayama prefecture. After attending military cadet schools as a youth, he graduated from the 21st class of the Imperial Japanese Army Academy in 1909. He specialized primarily in artillery, and his technical abilities were soon recognized by his superiors, who sponsored him to attend the engineering department of Tokyo Imperial University from 1913-1916.
On his graduation, Yasuda returned to regular military service as a chief Signals officer in the Japanese China Garrison Army. He was then seconded by the Kwantung Army to the Inspectorate General of Military Training and sent to Germany for further training. On his return, he was appointed Director of Research Department of the Army Signal School between 1932 and 1934. While assigned to the Ministry of War, he served as Chief of Fortifications Section for Military Affairs and Military Administration Bureau until 1937 when he became attached to Army Aeronautical Technical Research Institute. Initially heading the 2nd Bureau, he was also Head of Field Aviation Ordnance at the Japanese Imperial Headquarters before returning to the Institute as director of Army Aeronautical Technical Research, with the rank of major general by the end of the year.
During the late-1930s, Yasuda became interested in nuclear physics specifically the potential for large energy releases through nuclear fission. In April 1940, by then a young army officer rising through the ranks, Lieutenant General Yasuda ordered Lieutenant Colonel Tatsusaburo Suzuki to prepare a report on the possibilities of developing an atomic weapon. Receiving a favorable report in December, Yasuda passed on this information to the Japan Physical and Chemical Research Institute who in turn assigned the project to nuclear physicist Yoshio Nishina.
Between 1942 and 1944, Yasuda was commander of the Tokyo-based IJA 1st Air Army, head of the Army Aeronautical Department and Inspectorate General of Aviation before being relieved of duty in April 1944. He was a strong advocate of the use of suicidal ramming tactics against American bombers. Serving as a member of the Supreme War Council during the final years of the war, Yasuda also returned to command of the IJN 1st Air Army as part of the preparations for the final defense of the Japanese home islands against Allied invasion; however, he retired shortly before the war's end.
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