11th Division (Imperial Japanese Army)

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11th Division
Nogi-kan Zentsuji Kagawa Pref01s5.jpg
former IJA 11th Division HQ at Zentsuji, Kagawa
Active 1 October 1898 – 1945
Country Empire of Japan
Branch Imperial Japanese Army
Type Infantry
Size 25,000 men
Garrison/HQ Zentsuji, Japan
Nickname Brocade Division
Engagements Russo-Japanese War
Second Sino-Japanese War
World War II

The 11th Division (第11師団 Dai Jūichi Shidan?) was an infantry division in the Imperial Japanese Army. Its tsūshōgō code name was the Brocade Division (錦兵団 Nishiki-heidan?), and its military symbol was 11D.


Russo-Japanese War[edit]

The 11th Division was one of six infantry divisions newly raised by the Imperial Japanese Army after the First Sino-Japanese War (1894–1895). The division received its colors on 1 October 1898. Its troops were recruited primarily from communities in the four prefectures of the island of Shikoku. [1] It was originally headquartered in the city of Zentsuji, Kagawa, and its first commander was Lieutenant General Nogi Maresuke.

During the Russo-Japanese War, under the command of Lieutenant General Tsuchiya Mitsuharu, this division was assigned to General Nogi's 3rd Army, and thus saw considerable combat (and casualties) at the bloody Siege of Port Arthur. It subsequently formed the core of General Kawamura Kageaki’s 5th Army, where (under the command of Lieutenant General Samejima Shigeo, it played a significant role in securing the Japanese victory at the Battle of Mukden. The division remained stationed in Manchuria as a garrison force for two years after the end of the Russo-Japanese War, and only returned to Zentsuji in 1911.

The 11th Division was deployed again to the continent during the Japanese intervention in Siberia in August 1920, replacing the IJA 14th Division.[2]

Second Sino-Japanese War and World War II[edit]

The 11th Division was one of the three Japanese divisions deployed to China during the First Shanghai Incident of January–March 1932. It returned to Shanghai in July 1937 with the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War, but was reassigned to garrison duty in Manchukuo from September 1938. In October 1939, the division was reorganized into a triangular division, with its IJA 22nd Infantry Regiment forming the core of the new 24th Division.

After the start of the Pacific War, the division was based at Mishan, near Lake Khasan in eastern Manchukuo as part of the IJA 5th Army, in support of anti-partisan police actions and to act as a deterrent against Soviet border forces. At the time it was commanded by Lieutenant General Mitsuru Ushijima.

In February 1942, a portion of the 11th Division's strength was sent to Guam reinforce the IJA 1st Division, and were reorganized into the new IJA 10th Independent Combined Regiment, which was annihilated at the Battle of Guam (21 July – 10 August 1944).

In April 1945, the remainder of the 11th Division was transferred from Manchukuo back to Shikoku in preparation for the expected Allied invasion of Japan. It and disbanded with the surrender of Japan in August 1945.

See also[edit]


  • Kowner, Rotem (2006). Historical Dictionary of the Russo-Japanese War. ISBN 0-8108-4927-5: The Scarecrow Press. 
  • Madej, W. Victor. Japanese Armed Forces Order of Battle, 1937-1945 [2 vols] Allentown, PA: 1981


  1. ^ Kowner, Historical Dictionary of the Russo-Japanese War, p. 107.
  2. ^ Harald Fuess (1998). The Japanese empire in East Asia and its postwar legacy 3. Iudicium-Verlag. ISBN 9783891295021.