Japan Armed Force

Japan Armed Force

Army. – With the law of 1934, Japan changed the organization of the army by increasing the number of divisions from 17 to 25. The army corps does not exist in peacetime. The division is composed of: 4 infantry regiments (on three battalions each of 4 rifle companies, 1 machine gun company, 1 battery of 37 guns and 72 mortars), 1 cavalry regiment, 1 mechanized regiment (1 assault tank company, 1 motorcycle company, 1 armored car company, 1 motorized battery, 1-2 infantry companies and 1 chemical-motorized company, anti-tank and anti-aircraft motorized departments), 1 engineering battalion. Altogether the infantry amounts to 110 regiments.

The artillery is composed of divisional artillery (25 regiments) armed with 75-mm guns and 105-mm howitzers; army artillery (4 brigades) with 105 guns and 150 and 240 mm howitzers; anti-aircraft artillery.

The cavalry in addition to the 25 divisional regiments has 4 brigades (out of 2 regiments) for strategic use.

Navy. – New units: battleships: 4 planned, 35,000 tons, perhaps armed with 406 mm guns. The greatest uncertainty reigns over the data relating to these units, and they are a source of negotiations with the other states that signed the London agreements.

Aircraft carriers: 2 (SoryuHiryu) launched in 1935-37, 10,000 t. and 30 knots, capable of carrying 40 aircraft, armed with 12/127 and 24 machine gunners.

Air support vessels: 3 Chitose type, under construction, of 9000 t. and 20 knots, armed with 4/127 anti-aircraft.

Light cruisers: 2 (ChikumaTone) under construction, of 8500 t. and 33 knots, armed with 15/155; 4 (MogamiMikumaKumanoSuzuya) launched in 1934-36, from 8500 t. and 33 knots, armed with 15/155, 8/127 anti-aircraft, 4 triple 533 tubes, 2 catapults, 4 aircraft. These units appear to be too heavily armed for tonnage.

Destroyers: 10 launched in 1936 or under construction type Asashio, from 1500 t. and 34 knots, armed with 6/127 and 2 quad 600 launch tubes; 16 built in 1932-36, Ariake type, from 1368 t. and 34 knots, armed with 5/127 and 2 triple 600 launch tubes.

Torpedo boats: 8 Hato and Dotori type, launched in 1936-37, from 595 t. and 28 knots, armed with 3/120 and 1 triple 533 launch tube

Ocean submarines: 2 type J built in 1935-36, from 1950 t. and 17-9 knots, armed with 6 x 533 and 2/127 antiaircraft hoses.

Medium cruising submarines: 2 type Ro (R. 33 and R. 34) built in 1934-35, of 700 t. and 16 knots, armed with 4 tubes of 533 and 1/80.

Various minelayers were also built, including 6 300 t submarine fighters. and 24 knots, oil tanks, etc. The balanced force seems to have risen to 107,000 men, but even on this, as on all data relating to the Japanese navy, there is uncertainty, given the reserve that surrounds all information relating to military organizations.

Military aviation. – Japan’s military aviation is split between the two land and sea armed forces.

According to ALLUNITCONVERTERS, the air forces of the army, reorganized in the period 1935-36, are placed under the direct orders of a commander, who depends directly on the emperor and the Ministry of War (Directorate of the Air Force). The commander has a general staff and commands 3 air brigades, the Kwan-tung air force and 2 autonomous regiments. The Air Force Directorate deals with aviation schools and the aviation industry. In two years, the staffs of three air brigades were formed and the direct hierarchical subordination of the autonomous regiments to the commander of the air forces was achieved. Previously, these regiments depended on the ancient Air Force Staff and on the commanders of the divisions to which they were destined.

The 1st air brigade, made up of the 1st hunting regiment, the 2nd and 3rd reconnaissance regiment and the 7th bombing regiment, is located in the metropolis (Ōsaka region), the 2nd brigade in Korea (6th and 9th Mixed regiment), the 3rd brigade in Formosa (8th and 14th mixed regiment, the latter in formation). The air forces of Kwan-tung (Manchuria) would consist of 6 to 7 mixed regiments with 1 or 2 groups. The two mixed autonomous regiments, the 4th and 5th, respectively defend the Nagasaki and Tōkyō regions. Overall, the land air forces have 6 mixed regiments, 2 reconnaissance regiments, 1 bombing regiment and a fighter regiment, as well as 6 or 7 regiments of the Kwan-tung army for a complex of 1600 aircraft.

The navy aviation has an organization based exclusively on autonomous squadrons of 9, 12, 16 aircraft, distributed in naval bases. Currently they are about 60 with 850 devices. Overall, Japan’s air force can therefore be calculated on 2500 aircraft.

The material is largely of indigenous production because, starting from 1932, a great effort was made for the emancipation from foreign markets. Currently 15 shipyards, in addition to those of the naval arsenals of Kamanutsu, Tokorozawa, Sasebo, Omura, Hiro, produce aircraft and engines (of which, however, most of them are under foreign license).

Japan Armed Force