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Second Sino-Japanese War

Huanggutun Incident Invasion of Manchuria Pacification of Manchukuo Operation Nekka Operation Chahar

Soviet–Japanese border conflicts

Battle of Lake Khasan Battle of Khalkhin Gol

World War II

Manchurian Strategic Offensive Operation

Kwantung Army

Chinese name

Traditional Chinese 關東軍

Simplified Chinese 关东军

Transcriptions

Standard Mandarin

Hanyu Pinyin Guāndōngjūn

Wade–Giles Kuan1-tung1 Chün1

Yue: Cantonese

Yale Romanization Gwāan dūng gwān

Jyutping Gwaan1 dung1 gwan1

South Korean name

Hangul 관동군 간토군

Transcriptions

Revised Romanization Gwandonggun Gantogun

McCune–Reischauer Kwandonggun Kant'ogun

Japanese name

Kanji 関東軍

Transcriptions

Romanization Kantōgun

The Kwantung Army
Kwantung Army
was an army group of the Imperial Japanese Army
Imperial Japanese Army
in the first half of the 20th century. It became the largest and most prestigious command in the IJA. Many of its personnel, such as Chiefs of staff Seishirō Itagaki
Seishirō Itagaki
and Hideki Tōjō
Hideki Tōjō
were promoted to high positions in both the military and civil government in the Empire of Japan and it was largely responsible for the creation of the Japanese-dominated Empire of Manchukuo. In August 1945, the army group, only around 713,000 (from a previous total of 1,320,000) men at the time, was defeated by and surrendered to Soviet troops as a result of the Manchurian Strategic Offensive Operation.

Contents

1 History

1.1 Formation 1.2 Independent actions 1.3 Second World War 1.4 Surrender of the Kwantung Army 1.5 War crimes and trials

2 List of commanders

2.1 Kwantung Army

2.1.1 Commanding officer 2.1.2 Chief of Staff

3 See also 4 References

4.1 Citations 4.2 Sources

5 External links

History[edit] Formation[edit]

Kwantung Army
Kwantung Army
on maneuvers

Kwantung Army
Kwantung Army
(1945)

Parent unit

Imperial General
General
Headquarters

Components

Japanese First Area Army

IJA 3rd Army

79th Infantry
Infantry
Division 112th Infantry
Infantry
Division 127th Infantry
Infantry
Division 128th Infantry
Infantry
Division 132nd Independent Combined Brigade Rajin Fortress Brigade

IJA 5th Army

124th Infantry
Infantry
Division 126th Infantry
Infantry
Division 135th Infantry
Infantry
Division 15th Border Patrol Brigade

122nd Infantry
Infantry
Division 134th Infantry
Infantry
Division 139th Infantry
Infantry
Division

Japanese Third Area Army

IJA 30th Army

39th Infantry
Infantry
Division 125th Infantry
Infantry
Division 138th Infantry
Infantry
Division 148th Infantry
Infantry
Division

IJA 44th Army

63rd Infantry
Infantry
Division 107th Infantry
Infantry
Division 117th Infantry
Infantry
Division 9th Independent Armored Brigade

108th Infantry
Infantry
Division 136th Infantry
Infantry
Division 179th Independent Combined Brigade 130th Independent Combined Brigade 134th Independent Combined Brigade 1st Independent Armored Brigade 22nd Independent Anti-Aircraft Brigade 139th Infantry
Infantry
Division

Japanese Seventeenth Area Army

Japanese 58th Army

96th Infantry
Infantry
Division 111th Infantry
Infantry
Division 121st Infantry
Infantry
Division IJA 108th Independent Mixed Brigade

120th Infantry
Infantry
Division 150th Infantry
Infantry
Division 160th Infantry
Infantry
Division 320th Infantry
Infantry
Division IJA 127th Independent Mixed Brigade Pusan Fortress Yosu Fortress Japanese 4th Army

119th Infantry
Infantry
Division 123rd Infantry
Infantry
Division 149th Infantry
Infantry
Division IJA 80th Independent Mixed Brigade IJA 131st Independent Mixed Brigade IJA 135th Independent Mixed Brigade IJA 136th Independent Mixed Brigade

Japanese 34th Army

59th Infantry
Infantry
Division 137th Infantry
Infantry
Division IJA 133rd Independent Mixed Brigade

Following the Russo-Japanese War, Japan obtained the Kwantung Leased Territory and the areas adjacent to the South Manchurian Railway. "Kwantung" means "east of Shanhaiguan", a guarded pass, east of which lies Manchuria. The Kwantung Garrison
Garrison
was established in 1906 to defend this territory, and originally was composed of an infantry division and a heavy siege artillery battalion, supplemented with six independent garrison battalions as railway guards deployed along the South Manchurian Railway
South Manchurian Railway
Zone, for a total troop strength of 100,000 men. It was headquartered in Port Arthur, known as "Ryojun" in Japanese. After a reorganization in 1919, the Kwantung Garrison
Garrison
was renamed the Kwantung Army. In the highly politicized Imperial Japanese Army
Imperial Japanese Army
of the 1920s and 1930s, the Kwantung Army
Kwantung Army
was a stronghold of the radical "Imperial Way Faction", and many of its senior leaders overtly advocated political change in Japan through the violent overthrow of the civilian government to bring about a Shōwa Restoration, with a reorganization of society and the economy along totalitarian state fascist lines. They also advocated a more aggressive, expansionist foreign policy regarding the Asian mainland. Members or former members of the Kwantung Army
Kwantung Army
were active in numerous coup d'état attempts against the civilian government, culminating with the February 26 Incident
February 26 Incident
of 1936.[1] Independent actions[edit] Although the Kwantung Army
Kwantung Army
was nominally subordinate to the Imperial General
General
Headquarters and the senior staff at the Army General
General
Staff, its leadership often acted in direct violation of the orders from the mainland Japan without suffering any consequence. Conspirators within the junior officer corps of the Kwantung Army
Kwantung Army
plotted and carried out the assassination of Manchurian warlord Chang Tsolin in the Huanggutun Incident of 1928. Afterwards, the Kwantung Army
Kwantung Army
leadership engineered the Mukden Incident
Mukden Incident
and the subsequent invasion of Manchuria
Manchuria
in 1931 in a massive act of insubordination (gekokujo) against the express orders of the political and military leadership based in Tokyo. Presented with the fait accompli, Imperial General Headquarters
Imperial General Headquarters
had little choice but to follow up on the actions of the Kwantung Army with reinforcements in the subsequent Pacification of Manchukuo. The success of the campaign meant that the insubordination of the Kwantung Army was rewarded rather than punished. With the foundation of Manchukuo
Manchukuo
in 1932, the Kwantung Army
Kwantung Army
played a controlling role in the political administration of the new state as well as in its defense. With the Kwantung Army
Kwantung Army
administering all aspects of the politics and economic development of the new state, this made the Kwantung Army
Kwantung Army
commanding officer equivalent to a Governor-general, with the authority to approve or countermand any command from the nominal emperor of Manchukuo, Puyi.[2] Second World War[edit] See also: Kantokuen After the campaign to secure Manchukuo, the Kwantung Army
Kwantung Army
continued to fight in numerous border skirmishes with China as part of its efforts to create a Japanese-dominated buffer zone in northern China. The Kwantung Army
Kwantung Army
also fought in the opening phase of the Second Sino-Japanese War in Operation Nekka, and various actions in Inner Mongolia
Mongolia
to extend Japanese domination over portions of northern China and Inner Mongolia. When war broke out in the Marco Polo Bridge Incident in July 1937, its forces participated in Battle of Beiping-Tianjin and Operation Chahar. Later, Kwantung forces supported the war in China from time to time. However, the much vaunted reputation of the Kwantung Army
Kwantung Army
was severely challenged in battle against the Soviet Union's Red Army
Red Army
at the Battle of Lake Khasan in 1938[citation needed] and subsequent Battle of Nomonhan in 1939, during which time it sustained heavy casualties. After the Nomonhan incident, the Kwantung Army
Kwantung Army
was purged of its more insubordinate elements, as well as proponents of the Hokushin-ron ("Northward Advance") doctrine who urged that Japan concentrate its expansionist efforts on Siberia
Siberia
rather southward towards China and Southeast Asia.[3] The Kwantung Army
Kwantung Army
was heavily augmented over the next few years, up to a strength of 700,000 troops by 1941, and its headquarters was transferred to the new Manchukuo
Manchukuo
capital of Hsinking. The Kwantung Army also oversaw the creation, training, and equipping of an auxiliary force, the Manchukuo
Manchukuo
Imperial Army. During this time, Prince Tsuneyoshi Takeda worked as liaison officer between the Imperial house and the Kwantung Army.[4] Although a source of constant unrest during the 1930s, the Kwantung Army
Kwantung Army
remained remarkably obedient during the 1940s. As combat spread south into central China and southern China in the Second Sino-Japanese War, and with the outbreak of the Pacific War, Manchukuo
Manchukuo
was largely a backwater to the conflict. However, as the war situation began to deteriorate for the Imperial Japanese Army on all fronts, the large, well-trained, and well-equipped Kwantung Army
Kwantung Army
could no longer be held in strategic reserve. Many of its front line units were systematically stripped of their best units and equipment, which were sent south against the forces of the United States in the Pacific Islands or the Philippines. Other units were sent south into China for Operation Ichi-Go. Surrender of the Kwantung Army[edit] By 1945, the Kwantung Army
Kwantung Army
consisted of a mere 713,000 personnel, divided into 31 infantry divisions, nine infantry brigades, two tank brigades, and one special purpose brigade. It also possessed 1,155 light tanks, 5,360 guns, and 1,800 aircraft. The quality of troops had fallen drastically, as all the best men and materiel were siphoned off for use in other theaters. These forces were replaced by militia, draft levies, reservists, and cannibalized smaller units, all equipped with woefully outdated equipment.[5] The Kwantung Army
Kwantung Army
had also bacteriological weapons, prepared for use against Soviet troops (see. "Detachment 731"). The bulk of military equipment (artillery, tanks, aircraft) was developed in the 1930s, and very few of the soldiers had sufficient training or any real experience. The final commanding officer of the Kwantung Army, General
General
Otozō Yamada, ordered a surrender on August 16, 1945, one day after Emperor Hirohito announced the surrender of Japan in a radio announcement. Some Japanese divisions refused to surrender, and combat continued for the next few days. Marshal Hata received the "ultimatum to surrender" from Soviet General
General
Georgii Shelakhov[6][7] in Harbin
Harbin
on August 18, 1945.[6] He was one of the senior generals who agreed with the decision to surrender, and on August 19, 1945, Hata met with Marshal Aleksandr Vasilevsky,[8] but asked that he be stripped of his rank of Field Marshal
Field Marshal
in atonement for the Army's failures in the war.[9] The remnants of the Kwantung Army
Kwantung Army
were either dead or on their way to Soviet prisoner-of-war camps. Over 500,000 Japanese prisoners of war were sent to work in Soviet labor camps in Siberia, Russian Far East and Mongolia. They were largely repatriated, in stages, over the next five years, though some continued to be held well into the 1950s. War crimes and trials[edit] After the surrender of Japan, the Soviet Red Army
Red Army
discovered secret installations for experimenting with and producing chemical weapons and biological weapons of mass destruction centered around secret Army Unit 731
Unit 731
and its subsidiaries.[10] At these locations, the Kwantung Army was also responsible for some of the most infamous Japanese war crimes, including the operation of several human experimentation programs using live Chinese, American and Russian[11] civilians, and POWs,[12] directed by Dr. Shiro Ishii. Arrested by the American occupation authorities, Ishii and the 20,000 members of Unit 731
Unit 731
received immunity from prosecution of war-crimes before the Tokyo tribunal
Tokyo tribunal
of 1948, in exchange for germ warfare data based on human experimentation. On May 6, 1947, General
General
Douglas MacArthur wrote to Washington that "additional data, possibly some statements from Ishii probably can be obtained by informing Japanese involved that information will be retained in intelligence channels and will not be employed as 'War Crimes' evidence".[13] The deal was concluded in 1948.[citation needed] However, twelve members of Unit 731 and some members of the World War II
World War II
leadership of the Kwantung Army were sentenced as war criminals by the Khabarovsk War Crime Trials, while others were taken into custody by the United States, and sentenced at the 1948 International Military Tribunal for the Far East in Tokyo. Among those sentenced to death were former generals Seishirō Itagaki, Iwane Matsui, Kenji Doihara, Hideki Tōjō
Hideki Tōjō
and Akira Mutō. List of commanders[edit] Kwantung Army[edit] Commanding officer[edit]

Name From To

1- General
General
Tachibana Kōichirō 1919 6 January 1921

2 General
General
Misao Kawai 6 January 1921 10 May 1922

3 General
General
Shinobu Ono 10 May 1922 10 October 1923

4 General
General
Yoshinori Shirakawa 10 October 1923 28 July 1926

5 Field Marshal
Field Marshal
Baron
Baron
Nobuyoshi Mutō 28 July 1926 26 August 1927

6 General
General
Chotaro Muraoka 26 August 1927 1 July 1929

7 General
General
Eitaro Hata 1 July 1929 31 May 1930

8 General
General
Takashi Hishikari 3 June 1930 1 August 1931

9 General
General
Shigeru Honjō 1 August 1931 8 August 1932

10 Field Marshal
Field Marshal
Baron
Baron
Nobuyoshi Mutō 8 August 1932 27 July 1933

11 General
General
Takashi Hishikari 29 July 1933 10 December 1934

12 General
General
Jirō Minami 10 December 1934 6 March 1936

13 General
General
Kenkichi Ueda 6 March 1936 7 September 1939

14 General
General
Yoshijirō Umezu 7 September 1939 18 July 1944

14 General
General
Otozō Yamada 18 July 1944 11 August 1945

Chief of Staff[edit]

Name From To

1 Major General
General
Matasuke Hamamo 12 April 1919 11 March 1921

2 Major General
General
Kaya Fukuhara 11 March 1921 6 August 1923

3 Major General
General
Kawada Akiji 6 August 1923 2 December 1925

4 Major General
General
Tsune Saito 2 December 1925 10 August 1928

5 Lieutenant General
General
Koji Miyake 10 August 1928 8 August 1932

6 General
General
Kuniaki Koiso 8 August 1932 5 March 1934

7 General
General
Toshizo Nishio 5 March 1934 23 March 1936

8 General
General
Seishirō Itagaki 23 March 1936 1 March 1937

9 General
General
Hideki Tōjō 1 March 1937 30 May 1938

10 Lieutenant General
General
Rensuke Isogai 18 June 1938 7 September 1939

11 Lieutenant General
General
Jo Iimura 7 September 1939 22 October 1940

12 General
General
Heitarō Kimura 22 October 1940 10 April 1941

13 General
General
Teiichi Yoshimoto 10 April 1941 1 August 1942

14 Lieutenant General
General
Yukio Kasahara 1 August 1942 7 April 1945

15 Lieutenant General
General
Hikosaburo Hata 7 April 1945 11 August 1945

See also[edit]

Japan portal World War II
World War II
portal Military history portal

Military history of Japan Armies of the Imperial Japanese Army Organization of the Kwantung Army Zhongma Fortress, site of chemical and biological warfare research

References[edit] Citations[edit]

^ Harries, Soldiers of the Sun: The Rise and Fall of the Imperial Japanese Army ^ Young, Japan's Total Empire: Manchuria
Manchuria
and the Culture of Wartime Imperialism. ^ Coox, Nomonhan: Japan Against Russia, 1939 ^ Yamamuro, Manchuria
Manchuria
Under Japanese Domination. ^ Glantz, p. 28 ^ a b Surrender of the Kwantung Army. Military Memoirs ^ Thunder in the East. Vladimir Karpov. 2005 ^ The Soviet Strategic Offensive in Manchuria, 1945: August Storm By David M. Glantz. [1] ^ Budge, Pacific War
Pacific War
Online Encyclopedia ^ A Russian military publication on Kwantung Army ^ Unit 731
Unit 731
Archived 2009-04-30 at the Wayback Machine. ^ Unit 731. Japanese Experimentation Camp (1937-1945) ^ Hal Gold, Unit 731
Unit 731
Testimony, 2003, p. 109

Sources[edit]

LTC David M. Glantz, "August Storm: The Soviet 1945 Strategic Offensive in Manchuria". Leavenworth Papers No. 7, Combat Studies Institute, February 1983, Fort Leavenworth
Fort Leavenworth
Kansas. Coox, Alvin (1990). Nomonhan: Japan Against Russia, 1939. Stanford University Press. ISBN 0-8047-1835-0.  Coox, Alvin (1977). The Anatomy of a Small War: The Soviet-Japanese Struggle for Changkufeng/Khasan, 1938. Greenwood Press. ISBN 0-8371-9479-2.  Dorn, Frank (1974). The Sino-Japanese War, 1937-41: From Marco Polo Bridge to Pearl Harbor. MacMillan. ISBN 0-02-532200-1.  Glantz, David (2003). The Soviet Strategic Offensive in Manchuria, 1945 (Cass Series on Soviet (Russian) Military Experience, 7). Routledge. ISBN 0-7146-5279-2.  Harries, Meirion (1994). Soldiers of the Sun: The Rise and Fall of the Imperial Japanese Army. Random House; Reprint edition. ISBN 0-679-75303-6.  Yamamuro, Shinichi (2005). Manchuria
Manchuria
Under Japanese Domination. University of Pennsylvania Press. ISBN 0-8122-3912-1.  Young, Louise (1999). Japan's Total Empire: Manchuria
Manchuria
and the Culture of Wartime Imperialism. University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-21934-1.  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
Pacific War
Companion: From Pearl Harbor to Hiroshima. Osprey Publishing. ISBN 1-84176-882-0. 

External links[edit]

Wendel, Marcus. "Axis History Factbook". Kw

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