Fifty-Fifth Army (Japan)

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Japanese Fifty-Fifth Army
Map-IJA Army, 55th.jpg
Active April 8, 1945 – August 15, 1945 
Country Empire of Japan
Branch Imperial Japanese Army
Type Infantry
Role Corps
Engagements Operation Downfall

The Japanese 55th Army (第55軍, Dai-gojyūgo gun) was an army of the Imperial Japanese Army during the final days of World War II.

History[edit]

The Japanese 55th Army was formed on April 8, 1945, under the Japanese 15th Area Army as part of the last desperate defense effort by the Empire of Japan to deter possible landings of Allied forces in Shikoku during Operation Downfall. From June 15, the commander of the 55th Army was also commander in chief of all Japanese forces on Shikoku, and received his appointment directly from Emperor Hirohito.

The Japanese 55th Army was based in Kōchi city, Kōchi Prefecture. Despite its prestigious status of reporting directly to the emperor, as with other emergency army corps raised during this time, it consisted mostly of poorly trained and poorly armed reservists, conscripted students and Volunteer Fighting Corps home guard militia. It was demobilized at the surrender of Japan on August 15, 1945, without having seen combat.

List of Commanders[edit]

Name From To
Commanding officer Lieutenant General Kumakichi Harada 7 April 1945 15 August 1945
Chief of Staff Major General Koshiro Terakura 6 April 1945 21 June 1945
Chief of Staff Major General Masataka Kaburagi 21 June 1945 20 September 1945

References[edit]

  • Drea, Edward J. (1998). "Japanese Preparations for the Defense of the Homeland & Intelligence Forecasting for the Invasion of Japan". In the Service of the Emperor: Essays on the Imperial Japanese Army. University of Nebraska Press. ISBN 0-8032-1708-0. 
  • Frank, Richard B (1999). Downfall: The End of the Imperial Japanese Empire. New York: Random House. ISBN 0-679-41424-X. 
  • Jowett, Bernard (1999). The Japanese Army 1931–45 (Volume 2, 1942–45). Osprey Publishing. ISBN 1-84176-354-3. 
  • Madej, Victor (1981). Japanese Armed Forces Order of Battle, 1937–1945. Game Publishing Company. ASIN: B000L4CYWW. 
  • Marston, Daniel (2005). The Pacific War Companion: From Pearl Harbor to Hiroshima. Osprey Publishing. ISBN 1-84176-882-0. 
  • Skates, John Ray (1994). The Invasion of Japan: Alternative to the Bomb Downfall. New York: University of South Carolina Press. ISBN 0-87249-972-3. 

External links[edit]