Rikugun - Guide to Japanese Ground Forces 1937-1945 - Volume 1: Tactical Organization of Imperial Japanese Army & Navy Ground Forces, Leland Ness

Rikugun - Guide to Japanese Ground Forces 1937-1945 - Volume 1: Tactical Organization of Imperial Japanese Army & Navy Ground Forces, Leland Ness

The Japanese army and navy formed a remarkably large number of different unit types, often with confusingly similar designations, which can make it rather difficult to trace the history of individual units. This book provides a well researched guide to the structure of the Japanese ground forces of the Second World War, looking at each type of unit separately, and making great use of the often rather rare sources to produce a clear picture of how the army and navy ground forces evolved during the war.

Each section starts with a look at how that particular type of unit was formed, its official structure (and real strength, often rather different figures), how and why that structure changed over time, the movements and a brief combat history of each unit, ending with a look at each units eventual fate. These sections are supported by a vast number of tables, including overviews of each unit type and the organisation and strength of each unit type

This book helps illustrate just how badly the Japanese war plan went. Time after time we find examples of units that played almost no part in the war - either as part of the garrison of the Home Islands, in parts of China or Manchuria in which little happened, or isolated on islands that were bypassed. In contrast those units that found themselves in the path of the advancing Allies were often wiped out. The Japanese found themselves in a position where they were weak everywhere, and as they lost control of the seas within their Empire were increasingly unable to reinforce those areas that were about to be attacked.

This is a very specialised book. You really have to either be very interested in the Japanese wartime army, or one of Japan's battles during the war to get full value from the book, which is organised and written as a reference book. There is plenty of more general material on how the Japanese army in particular responded to the changing war conditions, but these are scattered amongst the unit details.

Chapters
1 - General
2 - Infantry
3 - Cavalry
4 - Armor
5 - Non-Divisional Artillery
6 - Anti-Aircraft Artillery
7 - Other Army Units
8 - Naval Ground Forces

Author: Leland Ness
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 384
Publisher: Leland Ness
Year: 2014


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