Thirty-First Army (Japan)
|Japanese Thirty First Army|
Japanese POWs at Guam at time of the surrender of Japan
|Active||February 18, 1944 - August 15, 1945|
|Country||Empire of Japan|
|Branch||Imperial Japanese Army|
Battle of Saipan
Battle of Guam
The Japanese 31st Army was formed on February 18, 1944 under the Imperial General Headquarters as a garrison force to contest landings by Allied forces in the Japanese South Seas Mandate island-by-island, and to inflict such losses in a war of attrition that it would deter an American invasion of the Japanese home islands. The South Seas Mandate was divided into three sections (Northern Mariana Islands, southern Mariana Islands, and Truk). The 80,000 man Japanese 31st Army was initially headquartered on Truk.
After Operation Hailstone, the Japanese garrison on Truk was isolated as American forces continued their advance towards Japan by invading other Pacific islands. Cut off, the Japanese forces on Truk and other central Pacific islands ran low on food and faced starvation before Japan surrendered in August 1945. (Stewart, 1986)
- Thirty-First Army
- Southern Marianas Force
- 29th Infantry Division
- 48th Independent Infantry Brigade
- Northern Marianas Force
- 43rd Infantry Division
- 47th Independent Infantry Brigade
- Truk Garrison Force
- 52nd Infantry Division
- 50th Independent Infantry Brigade
- 51st Independent Infantry Brigade
- 52nd Independent Infantry Brigade
List of commanders
|1||General Hideyoshi Obata||25 February 1944||11 August 1944|
|2||Major General Yoshitomo Tamura||11 August 1944||22 August 1944|
|3||Lieutenant General Toshisaburo Mugikura||22 August 1944||1 September 1945|
Chief of Staff
|1||Major General Keiji Igeta||25 February 1944||6 July 1944|
|2||Major General Yoshitomo Tamura||14 July 1944||11 August 1944|
- 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.
- Denfeld, D. Colt (1997). Hold the Marianas: The Japanese Defense of the Mariana Islands. White Mane Pub. ISBN 1-57249-014-4.
- Goldberg, Harold J. (2007). D-day in the Pacific: The Battle of Saipan. Indiana University Press. ISBN 0-253-34869-2.
- Jones, Don (1986). Oba, The Last Samurai. Presidio Press. ISBN 0-89141-245-X.
- Wendel, Marcus. "Axis History Factbook". Japanese Thirty First Army.