Western District Army (Japan)
|Western District Army|
|Active||August 1, 1937 – November 30, 1945|
|Country||Empire of Japan|
|Branch||Imperial Japanese Army|
The Western District Army (西部方面軍 Seibu-hōmen gun) was a regional command of the Imperial Japanese Army (equivalent to a field army) responsible for the defense of the Kantō region and western Honshū, Shikoku and Kyūshū during the Pacific War. It was one of the regional commands in the Japanese home islands reporting to the General Defense Command.
The Western District Army was established on 2 August 1937 as part of the regional realignment of the Imperial Japanese Army as the Western Defense Command (西部防衛司令部 Seibu Boei Shireibu). It was essentially a home guard and garrison responsible for recruitment and civil defense.
On 1 August 1940, it was renamed again as the Western Army (西部軍 Seibu-gun), which became the Western District Army on 1 February 1945.
The Western District Army existed concurrently with the Japanese 16th Area Army and the Japanese 15th Area Army, which were tasked with organizing the final defenses of Kyūshū and Shikoku against the expected American invasion of the Japanese home islands. The Western District Army assumed all administrative functions, whereas the individual area armies were operational combat commands.
The Western District Army remained active for several months after the surrender of Japan to help maintain public order until the arrival of the American occupation forces, and to oversee the final demobilization and dissolution of the Imperial Japanese Army.
|1||Lieutenant General Tomou Kodama||2 August 1937||15 July 1938|
|2||Lieutenant General Takuro Matsui||15 July 1938||9 March 1940|
|3||Lieutenant General Heitaro Kamimura||9 March 1940||10 April 1941|
|4||General Keisuke Fujie||10 April 1941||22 March 1944|
|5||General Sadamu Shimomura||22 March 1944||22 November 1944|
|6||Lieutenant General Isamu Yokoyama||22 November 1944||13 October 1945|
|7||Lieutenant General Kanji Nishihara||13 October 1945||November 1945|
Chief of Staff
|1||Major General Shuntoku Nagami||2 August 1937||15 July 1938|
|2||Major General Rion NIshimura||15 July 1938||9 March 1940|
|3||Lieutenant General Kazuo Isa||9 March 1940||1 March 1941|
|4||Lieutenant General Shinnosuke Sasa||1 March 1941||22 December 1942|
|5||Lieutenant General Wataro Yoshinaka||22 December 1942||3 May 1945|
|6||Lieutenant General Masazumi Ineda||3 May 1945||13 October 1945|
- Brooks, Lester (1968). Behind Japan's Surrender: The Secret Struggle That Ended an Empire. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company.
- 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.
- Wendel, Marcus. "Axis History Factbook". Western Army.