Skip to main content

Full text of "Soldier's Guide to the Japanese Army - 1944"

See other formats





Armies (5); Corps (5); T of Opns (200); Base 
Comds (5); Island Comds (5); Dcf Comd 
(5); Depts (5); 1ID (5); Sectors (5); Sub 
Sectors (5); USAF (overseas & Canada) 
(5); Sp Trps (AGF) (5); PE (5); Posts, 
Camps, Sta (1). 

D (5); B (5); R (5); Bn (5); C (5) except 
7 (15); 
IC 1, 5, 6, 17, 18 (10) 

IC 1: T/O & E 1-27; 1-228 

Comb Units MT; Comb Camera 
Units MT Sp; Comb Unit A; Comb 
Camera Units; Ftr Control Del SP 
IC 5: T/O & E 5-17; 5-217; 5-227; 
5-228; 5-457; 5-476T; 5-477T; 
5-500; Comb Co. Engr. 
IC 6: T/O & E 6-26; 6-27; 6-37; 
6-57; 6-67; 6-127; 6-157; 6-167 
6-177; 6-197; 6-217; 6-218; 6-227; 

6-225; 6-277T; 6-327; 6-337; 6-357; 
6-367; 6-397; 6-527; 6-537. 
IC 17: T/O & E 17-17; 17-18; 17-27; 

17-47S; 17-57; 17-58; 17-98S. 
IC 18: T/0& E 18-27; 18-37; 18-51 
For explanation of symbols, see FM 21-6. 




Washington 25, D. C. 15 November 1914. mid 461 


This issue of special series has been prepared especially for the soldier. 
Although there are not enough copies to provide for every man, it is possible for 
every soldier to read the guide. PLEASE PASS THIS COPY AROUND. 

Distribution of this publication is based on one copy for each squad in the 
Arms and one for each platoon in the Services, and all commands are requested to 
enforce this distribution. Requests for additional copies should be made through 
channels to the appropriate agency of The Adjutant General. 

Reproduction of the material in the guide is encouraged, provided the classi- 
fication is maintained and a copy of the reproduced material is forwarded to the 
Military Intelligence Service, War Department, Washington 25, D. C. 




15 NOVEMBER 1944 






Chapter I. toe Japanese soldier 1 

Entrance into the" Army : 1 

Characteristics and Training 5 

Promotion of Morale 7 

Conduct in Battle __ 11 

Chapter II. the necessities of life 15 

Army Supply 15 

Rations 17 

Uniforms i 21 

Insignia 27 

Other Supplies 29 

Personal Equipment 34 

Chapter III. infantry weapons 43 

Small Arms 45 

Pistols 45 

Rifles 49 

Grenade Launchers 53 

Grenades . 53 

Grenade Dischargers 58 

Machine Guns 65 


Mortars 77 

Antitank and Infantry Guns 87 

Chapter IV. artillery and armored ma- 
teriel 101 

Artillery 101 

Armored Materiel. 116 

Tankettes 119 

Light Tanks 119 

Medium Tanks 119 

Amphibious Tank 130 

Armored Cars 130 

Chapter V. organization of the Japanese 

army 131 

The Infantry Division 131 

The Regiment and Lower Echelons _ 137 

The Infantry Battalion 140 

The Infantry Rifle Company 143 

Chapter VI. tactics: the Japanese army 

in action 146 



The Offensive 146 

Meeting Engagements 148 

Attack of Position 149 

Night Attacks 150 

Pursuit - 152 

The Defensive 153 

Counterattacks 154 

Delaying Actions; Withdrawals 155 

Defensive Positions 155 


Jungle Warfare 163 

Offensive 163 

Defensive 167 

Artillery and Tank Tactics 168 

Artillery Tactics 168 

Tank Tactics 170 

Booby Traps and Mines 173 

Booby Traps 173 

Land Mines 180 


Figure Page 

The Japanese Soldier Frontispiece 

1. Military instruction in Japanese high school 2 

2. Aviation apprentice mechanics in training 4 

3. Fencing practice 6 

4. Artillery experience in China 8 

5. The principal Japanese decorations 10 

6. Officer wearing decorations 11 

7. Regimental colors 13 

8. Chow line and cook stove 20 

9. Enlisted men in M98 uniform 22 

10. Tabi ---- 23 


Figure Page 

11 . Noncommissioned officers in M90 full field dress. 24 

12. Enlisted man in M90 full field uniform 26 

13. Enlisted man in M90 uniform 26 

14. Enlisted man in M98 full field uniform 26 

15. Enlisted man in M98 overcoat 26 

16. M90 officer's field uniform 28 

17. Officer in M98 uniform 28 

18. Japanese officers in Berlin 30 

19. Officers in winter overcoats 31 

20. Tropical loose shorts, lightweight uniform, tropi- 

cal uniform 32 

Figure P°ge 

21. Packs from the rear i 34 

22. Front ami rear views of packs for noncom- 
missioned officers anil enlisted men: for officers- - 35 

23. Canvas hold-all as a combat pack 36 

24. Mess kits for noncommissioned officers and en- 
listed men; for officers 37 

25. Canteens for noncommissioned officers and en- 
listed men; for ofliccrs 37 

26. Troops in action showing field equipment 39 

27. Belt and ammunition pouches 40 

28. Gas mask in alert position 41 

29. Jungle troops detrucking 42 

30. Model 26 (1893) 9-ram revolver 44 

31. Nambti 8-mm pistol 44 

32. Model 14 (1925) 8-mm pistol 44 

33. Namhu 8-mm pistol and shouldcrstock 46 

34. Namhu and Model 14 8-mm pistols 47 

35. Model 94 (1934) 8-mm pistol, magazine and 

holster 48 

36. Japanese rifles: Model 38 (1905) 6.5-mm rifle. 

Model 38 (1905) 6.5-mm carbine 50 

37. Model 44 (1911) 6.5-mm cavalry carbine 51 

38. Model 97 (1937) 6.5 mm sniper's rifle; Model 99 
(1939) 7.7-mm rifle 52 

39. Cup-type grenade launcher and grenade 54 

40. Spigot-type grenade launcher 55 

41. Spigot -type grenade launcher, grenades, and 

carrying case 56 

Figure Page 

42. Model 100 (1940) grenade launcher. 57 

43. Model 97 (1937) hand grenade 58 

44. Model 91 (1931) hand grenade 59 

45. Model 99 (1939) "Kiska" hand grenade 60 

46. Left to right: Model 89 (1929) shell. Model 91 

(1931) hand grenade. Model 97 (1937) hand 

grenade. Model 99 (1939) grenade 61 

47. Stick grenade 62 

48. Incendiary stick hand grenade 62 

49. Prussic acid gas grenade 63 

50. Model 89 (1929) 50-mm grenade discharger 6V 

51. Model 10 (1921) 50-mm grenade discharger 64 

52. Model 1 1 (1922) 6.5-mm light machine gun 66 

53. Feed hopper of Model 11 (1922) 6.5-mm light 

machine gun . 67 

54. Model 92 (1932) 7.7-mm Lewis-type light ma- 

chine gun 68 

55. Model 96 (1936) 6.5-mm light machine gun 69 

56. Model 99 (1939) 7.7-mm light machine gun 70 

57. Model 92 (1932) 7.7-mm heavy machine gun 71 

58. Model 3 (1914) 6.5-mm heavy machine gun 73 

59. Details of sights of Model 92 (1932) 7.7-mm 

heavy machine gun 74 

60. Model 93 (1933) 13-mm heavy machine gun 

(single mount) 76 

61. Model 93 (1933) 13-mm heavy machine gun 

(dual mount).- - 77 

62. Model 98 (1938) 50-mm mortar and stick bomb. 78 


Figure Page 

63. Model 11 (1922) 70-mm infantry mortar 80 

64. Model 97 (1937) 81 -mm mortar. 81 

65. Model 99 (1939) 81 -mm mortar 82 

66. Model 94 (1934) 90-mm mortar 83 

67. Model 97 (1937) 90-mm mortar 84 

68. Model 93 (1933) I! 50-mm mortar 86 

69. Model 97 (1937) 20-mm antitank rifle 88 

70. Model 97 (1937) 20-mm antitank rifle (right 

side)... ---- 89 

71. Model 98 (1938) 20-mm antiaircraft-antitank 

machine cannon 90 

72. Two views of Model 11 (1922) 37-mm gun show- 

ing accessories 92 

73. Model 94 (1931) 37-mm gun 94 

74. Model 1 (1941) 47-mm gun 95 

75. Model 92 (1932) 70-mm howitzer... 96 

76. Model 41 (1908) 75-mm mountain (infantry) 

gun 98 

77. Model 38 (1905) 75-mm gun (improved) 100 

78. Model 88 (1928) 75-mm AA gun 102 

79. Model 90 (1930) 75-mm gun 103 

80. Model 94 (1934) 75-mm gun (mountain) 104 

81. Model 95 (1935) 75-mm gun 105 

82. Model 91 (1931) 105-mm howitzer.. 108 

83. Model 92 (1932) 105-mm gun 110 

84. Model 14 (1925) 105-mm gun 112 

85. Model 4 (1915) 150-mm howitzer 113 

86. Model 96 (1936) 150-mm howitzer 114 

Figure Page 

87. Model 92 (1932) tankette 117 

88. Model 97 (1937) tankette 118 

89. Model 93 (1933) light tank 120 

90. Model 95 (1935) light tank 121 

91. Model 89A (1929) medium tank. 122 

92. Model 94 (1934) medium tank 123 

93. Model 97 (1937) medium tank (A) with 57-mm 

gun; with 47-mm gun (B) ...124, 125 

94. Model 97 (1937) medium tank used as pillbox on 

Saipan 126 

95. New type amphibious tank 127 

96. M92 (1932) armored car 128 

97. The standard infantry division 132 

98. The strengthened infantry division 134 

99. The standard infantry regiment 138, 139 

100. The standard infantry battalion 141 

101. The strengthened infantry battalion 142 

102. Infantry rifle company strengthened — without 

heavy weapons platoon 144 

103. Infantry rifle company strengthened — with heavy 
weapons platoon 145 

104. Japanese all-around defense area 156 

105. A well-built and concealed pillbox 157 

106. Japanese machine-gun emplacement 158 

107. Pillboxes used in defense of Torokina 159 

108. Pillbox at Buna 160 

109. Concrete pillbox on Guam 160 


Figure Page 

110. Cleverly concealed concrete pillbox under a 

Saipan building 161 

111. Steel pillbox on Tarawa 161 

112. Entrance to pillbox on Tarawa 162 

113. Embrasure of Japanese pillbox on Tarawa 163 

114. Japanese bunkers 164 

115. Parasol-type booby trap 172 

116. Flashlight-type booby trap 172 

117. Pull-type hand grenade 173 

118. Tube-type booby trap 174 

Figure Page 

119. L'se of grenade in trip-wire booby traps 175 

120. Use of grenades in booby trap 176 

121. Electrical ignition booby trap 176 

122. Phonograph booby trap 178 

123. Tin-can type booby trap 178 

124. Firing device for booby trap 179 

125. Tape-measure mine 180 

126. Mushroom-type mine 180 

127. Japanese magnetic mine 181 

128. Japanese anti-invasion mine 182 

FRONT COVER: The Japanese characters on the 
cover read "Soldier's Guide to the Japanese Army". 




Lack - of information is a most fertile source of ex- 
aggeration, distortion, and legend which, if unrcfuted, 
eventually assume the stature of accepted fact. For 
years the Japanese were taken lightly as military 
antagonists, and the confidence of the Western World 
in its disdainful appraisal of tjheir military and naval 
capabilities seemed justified by the Japanese failure 
to achieve decisive victory in the Chinese war. Then, 
following the outbreak of the war with the United 
Stales and J$rriatftra-suceessior» of speedyarrd appar^ 
ently easy victories stimulated the rise of the legend 
of the invincibility of the Japanese soldier. He 
allegedly was unconquerable in jungle terrain; his fa- 
natical, death-courting charges and last-ditch defenses 
were broadcast until popular repute invested the 
Japanese soldier with almost superhuman attributes. 

Several years of combat experience against the 
Japanese have replaced such fanciful notions by more 
realistic evaluation. While the military capabilities of 
the Japanese soldier still are appreciated, it is now 
realized that he has pronounced weaknesses. As a sol- 

dier his good qualities are not innate but are the result 
of careful training and preparation for specific tactical 
situations. Hence an accurate appraisal of the Jap- 
anese soldier must give adequate attention to the 
Japanese system of military training and show its 
effect on his physical, mental, and temperamental 


All Japanese males between the ages of 17 and 45 
are liable to call for compulsory military training and 
service. Those from 17 to 19 are not actually inducted 
into service but are given some training as part of the 
Second National Army, although they may volunteer 
for active service. It is reported that voluntary enlist- 
ments of 15-year-old boys now are accepted for service 
in mechanized, air, and signal units. 

In examining youths of 19 for service, those at 
least 5 feet tall and in good physical condition are 
placed in Class A, while those just under the minimum 
height requirement and in good condition are put in 

Figure I. Military instruction in Japanese high school. 

CIa6B B-l. Both classes are considered fit for active 
duty and are inducted as the needs of the armed 
forces require. Those whose hearing or eyesight is 
somewhat deficient are put in classes B-2 and B— 3 
for assignment to the First or Second Conscript Re- 
serve, depending upon their general physical condi- 
tion. Those in Class C, considered fit for limited 
service, are placed in the Second National Army 
along with the boys of 17 to 19. 

It is to be expected, of course, that as the man- 
power needs of the Japanese Army have become more 
urgent, the standards for acceptance for general serv- 
ice have been lowered. Koreans, who have been 
drafted into labor units since 1942, now are con- 
scripted for military service, and it also is reported 
that conscription among the Formosans will be 
introduced. In recognition of the pressing need for 
skilled labor in industry, however, exemptions for 
technicians and key personnel now are granted. 

Military indoctrination of Japanese boys begins in 
early childhood, and semimilitary instruction is given 
in the primary schools by the teachers when the 
pupils reach their eighth year. Compulsory military 
training is continued in part-time youth schools for 

those who go into industrial employment after pri- 
mary school. In middle and higher schools military 
instruction is given by army officers, and similar 
programs are conducted in colleges and universities. 
When Japanese conscripts reach induction age they 
have had a considerable amount of military training. 
In peacetime, conscripts underwent rigorous training 
for two years, progressing from section and platoon 
exercises to regimental maneuvers. Since the out- 
break of the war the training period naturally has 
been curtailed. Army Apprentice Schools provide 
training in technical fields such as aviation, signal- 
equipment operation and maintenance, tanks, artil- 
lery, and ordnance. Primary school graduates from 
14 to 15 years of age are accepted, and graduates of 
these apprentice schools provide a pool of trained 
technical personnel for the army . 

Many officers of the Japanese Army are graduates 
of the Military Academy. Cadets were selected from 
graduates of the three-year courses at the Junior 
Military Schools. Besides these, enlisted men under 
22 and noncommissioned officers under 25 were per- 
mitted to apply for admission, as well as candidates- 
at-large from 16 to 18 years of age. After two years 

training in the preparatory school the cadets per- 
formed eight months duty with troops. This tour was 
followed by 18 months study at the Academy. After a 
four-month probationary period as sergeant majors 
the Academy graduates received their commissions. 

There are four army districts in Japan, subdivided 
into division and regimental districts. Depot divisions 
in the division districts are responsible for the train- 
ing of conscripts, as well as for the conduct of 
refresher courses for reservists and the activation and 
equipment of new divisions. Upon mobilization, the 
depot divisions add some reservists to raise their 
personnel to authorized strength if necessary and 
then go into the field as active divisions, leaving 
behind a cadre in their district. Or, on the other hand, 
a cadre of the depot division may serve as the 
nucleus for a new division, most of the complement of 
which is procured from reservists. 

Replacements are provided for units in the field 
by the dispatch of the requisite number from the 
designated depot division. If a considerable number 

Figure 2. Aviation apprentice mechanics in training 
(opposite page). 

are required in a theater, a field replacement unit 
may be sent into the theater to provide units with 
replacements as needed. 


The Japanese soldier is small in stature in com- 
parison with Americans. His average height is 5 feet 
33-3 inches; his weight, 116 to 120 pounds. His limbs 
are short and thick. Despite the reputation of the 
Japanese for quickness and agility, the average sol- 
dier even after rigorous training is apt to be awkward. 
His posture is faulty, and his normal gait shuffling. 
His teeth usually are poor and often are protruding. 
Although the average Japanese is cleanly in his per- 
sonal habits, sanitation measures of Japanese troops 
in the field are inadequate according to Western 

Most Japanese soldiers are of peasant stock and 
have a background of hard work and privation. The 
physical hardihood of the soldier is enhanced by the 
most rigorous training which emphasizes physical 
condition, calisthenics, and wall-scaling. Arduous 
marches, which include much double time and uphill 
movement, eventually enable him to make extremely 


difficult marches with full pack under most trying 
conditions. Much marching and tactical training are 
done in adverse weather — in blistering heat or bitter 
cold — and there is much open-air bivouacking in 
rigorous climate. The training program also devotes 
great attention to fencing, Judo, and swimming, all 
of which enhance physical fitness and provide tac- 
tically valuable training. 

Field exercises are as realistic as they are strenu- 
ous. Every effort is made to simulate the noise and 
confusion of battle; live ammunition is used, and 
casualties have occurred as the result of this realism . 
All infantrymen and engineers are taught sniping and 
scouting techniques, even though many will not be 
called upon to perform these duties in actual combat . 
There is much stress on night operations, and when- 
ever possible the training program includes at least 
one night problem per week, with special attention to 
small-unit exercises. Many Japanese soldiers were 
sent to China for some actual combat experience 
before being sent into theaters where they met Brit- 
ish or American forces. 

Figure 3. Fencing practice (opposite page). 

The training of the Japanese soldier also aims at 
the inculcation of qualities and ideals deemed neces- 
sary for military success. Recruits are admonished to 
cultivate unflagging alertness and readiness to check- 
mate the ruses and stratagems of the enemy. Re- 
sistance to the spread of rumors is stressed, and 
soldiers are exhorted to control their anger and sup- 
press private grudges on the ground that military 
success depends to a great extent on harmonious 
relations within their unit. High standards of mo- 
rality, according to training doctrine, must be main- 
tained in the camp or on the battlefield. 


The Japanese soldier is urged to be quicklo respond 
to the needs of his comrades-in-arms and willing: to 
share his good fortune with them. Honesty is stressed 
as a necessary soldierly virtue, and exaggerations and 
lies are to be shunned as dishonorable. Good care of 
individual health is taught as a military virtue of the 
highest importance, and soldiers likewise are con- 
stantly reminded of the necessity of taking good care 
of horses and arms. 

Decorations and awards are important in the Jap- 

anese military system and are considered prime 
factors in the development and maintenance of high 
standards of individual and unit morale. The highest 
award is the Order of Golden Kite, which is open 
only to military personnel. Admission to the order is 
granted in recognition of conspicuous service against 
a foreign foe. There are seven classes of membership, 
with the highest one closed to enlisted men. In 
addition to the honor, inclusion in the order carries 
with it a life annuity. 

The Order of the Rising Sun, membership in which 
also entails receipt of an annuity, is open both to 
civilian and military personnel who have performed 
meritorious service. There are eight classes with only 
the two lowest available to enlisted men. Length of 
service and good conduct are recognized by inclusion 
in the Order of the Sacred Treasury which has eight 
classes, two of which are open to enlisted men. 

Medals of three classes are awarded for distin- 
guished, meritorious, and exceptional service re- 
spectively. To those whose services are "not incon- 
siderable" but not of sufficient distinction to justify 

Figure 4. Artillery experience in China {opposite page). 

award of one of the three medals, monetary grants 
are made. Campaign and good conduct medals also 
are presented, and there are badges of proficiency in 
various technical skills. A Diploma of Merit may be 
bestowed on individuals or units for distinguished 
service in the face of the enemy, and badges are given 
to those wounded in action. Medals also are awarded 
the next of kin of those killed in action, or to service 
men who die within three years after contraction of 
disease in military service. 

Decorations and awards up to the fifth class of the 
Order of the Golden Kite may be made in the field, 
after approval by the appropriate War Ministry 
Board. Officers receive their awards from their divi- 
sional commander; enlisted men, from their imme- 
diate unit commander. Decorations and medals are 
returned to the government after the death of their 

Despite precepts and the inducements of decora- 
tions and awards, major crimes and military offenses 
are not rare in the Japanese Army. Robbery, rape, 
and trespass are recurrent offenses, and there is little 
reason to believe that training has succeeded in 
materially curtailing desertion, destruction of mili- 

Figure S. The principal Japanese decorations {only the first class of each order is shown) left to right: Golden Kite, 

Sacred Treasury, Rising Sun. 

tary equipment, and abandonment of sentry posts. 
Surrender or desertion frequently is the result of 
harsh discipline, especially corporal punishment or 
reprimands that humiliate the soldier, and the en- 
listed man is especially prone to desert or surrender 
in the event he has reason to believe he has been 
forsaken by his officers. 

Such a man is the Japanese soldier, in so far as 

composite portrayals are valid. He knows or cares 
little about the fundamental issues of the war, nor is 
he informed about its progress in the far-flung 
theaters of operations. Propaganda carefully nurtures 
his hatred of the Allies; his religion, inseparably 
entwined with his patriotism, convinces him that he 
is achieving his highest destiny in the noble profession 
of arms. 



In combat llie Japanese soldier is strong and hardy. 
On the offensive he is determined and willing to sus- 
tain sacrificial losses without flinching. When com- 
mined to an assault plan, Japanese troops adhere to 
it unremittingly even when severe casualties would 
dictate the need for abandonment or modification of 
the plan. The boldness and courage of the individual 
Japanese soldier are at their zenith when he is with 
his fellows, and when his group enjoys advantages of 
terrain or fire power, lie is an expert at camouflage 
and delights in deceptions and ruses. Japanese troops 
Obey orders well, and their training and discipline arc 
well exemplified in night operations. On the defense 
they are brave and determined; their discipline is 
good and fire control excellent. In prepared positions 
the resistance of Japanese soldiers often has been 
fanatical in its tenacity. 

Figure 6. A Japanese officer wearing decorations. These 
are, left lo right, Imperial Order of the Golden Kile 
(4th or 5th grade). Imperial Order of llu Double Hay oj 
the Rising Sun with Pawtinia Leaves, Manchurian 
medal, three campaign or commemoration medals, 
and, around the neck. Imperial Order of the Sacred 
Treasure (2d or 3d grade). 


Surrender is considered a great disgrace not only 
to the soldier but to his family, and his religion 
teaches the Japanese soldier that it is the highest 
honor to die for his emperor. There have been a num- 
ber of instances where Japanese troops in hopeless 
positions have fought to the last, and the wounded 
begged to be killed to avoid the ignominy of capture. 
"Fight hard," the Japanese soldier is told. "If you 
are afraid of dying, you will die in battle; if you are 
not afraid, you will not die. . . . Under no circum- 
stances become a straggler or a prisoner of war. In 
case you become helpless, commit suicide nobly." 
Propaganda emanating from Tokyo emphasizes the 
contention that Americans are individualistic, where- 
as the Japanese have the advantage of selflessness. 

Regimental standards and colors are highly prized, 
and their loss is considered the greatest dishonor, to 
be expiated by the death of those entrusted with their 

Yet in recent operations there have been pro- 
nounced indications that Japanese soldiers are not 
too eager to die, especially when the odds are against 
them. Heavy casualties, on occasion, have had a 
weakening effect on the morale of survivors; a 

Japanese order points out that "too many graves 
with markers are not good for security or morale. 
Also, it is unfair to erect grave markers for some per- 
sons and not for others. Since a grave will be erected 
at the home of a deceased man, it is not necessary to 
erect one for him on a' battlefield ." 

Japanese units by no means always have been 
steadfast under fire; on occasion they have been 
routed "squealing like pigs". The group pattern of 
their lives as civilians, with its restraints of religion, 
deference to the head of the family, and subservience 
to the state, leaves an indelible impression on the 
individual soldier who is unimaginative and slow to 
improvise when thrown upon his own resources. Loss 
of officers is a great blow to Japanese units, for the 
enlisted men and noncommissioned officers frequently 
fail to assert the self-reliance and initiative which 
their training system seeks to inculcate. Indeed, 
Japanese troops on occasion have been thrown into 
panic by an unexpected move by hostile forces or by 
miscarriage of their own plans. 

The Japanese soldier is a notoriously poor marks- 
man; even snipers who are specially picked and 
trained men fail to capitalize upon the advantages 




s — -«*^3 

L' ^m r ^Hi^B 

figure 7. Regimental colors. 

which their infinite patience and skill in concealment 
otherwise would afford. In some comhal areas it has 
been reported that Allied troops enjoyed virtual 
immunity to casualties from this type of fire at 
ranges greater than 50 yards, and snipers seldom have 
fired at moving targets. 

There have been instances when Japanese troops 
apparently were badly frightened by heavy Allied 
artillery fire. Nevertheless, it appears that artillery 
fire for morale effect has not been very profitable; at 
least there is no conclusive evidence that Japanese 
troops generally will break until the volume, inten- 
sity, and duration of fire are of a magnitude that 
would unnerve any troops. Likewise, it cannot safely 
be assumed that the Japanese generally fear con- 
centrated mortar fire, for there have been cases when 
they advanced undeterred in the face of this fire. 
They do have a deep respect for the accuracy of 

Allied small-arms fire; and the lavish expenditure of 
ammunition of all types by Allied armies incites their 
wonder and awe. 

While there have been local reports of their troops 
fleeing in disorder from Allied bayonet charges, the 
Japanese generally prefer this type of combat. Their 
training has emphasized the hand-to-hand encounter, 
tliey are imbued with the conviction of their superi- 
ority in this type of fighting, and they derive con- 
fidence from the greater relative length of their 
bavoncts. Their reactions to air attack seem to be 
tlic same as those of other armies, although their 
dismay at the numerical inferiority of their own air 
forces seems to be deeply tinged with mortification 
that the "sons of heaven" should be forced to accept a 
situation in which their enemies are so palpably 




Naturally the effectiveness and morale of Japanese 
soldiers are largely conditioned by tlie efficiency with 
which the lnlendance (supply) Department of the 
army perforins its functions. Regular receipt of pay, 
adequate rations, suitable clothing, and personal 
equipment as good as or better than that of the 
enemy have been prime requisites for efficient sol- 
diers in any army throughout all military history. 

The lnlendance Department of the Japanese 
Army, which roughly corresponds to the Quarter- 
master Corps of the U. S. Army, is responsible for 
the procurement, storage, and issue of food, clothing, 
and other supplies, exclusive of materiel issued by the 
Ordnance Department. The Intendance Department 
in 1942 had 2,700 officers of which 20 were generals 
and 630 officers of field grade. There are four sections 
in the department, dealing respectively with food, 
clothing and other personal equipment, pay, and 

Every division has its intendance section, and the 
constituent regiments of the division have their sub- 
sections, each operated ordinarily by an officer and 
about eight enlisted men. In the battalion, intend- 
ance is handled by a second lieutenant and about 
ten enlisted men; in the company, by a warrant 
officer and several supply clerks. 

The Intendance Department maintains main freight 
depots in Japan; there are field freight depots in the 
theaters of operations which supply branch field 
depots that fill the requisitions of the division field 
warehouses. From the division field warehouse sup- 
plies go to the regimental distributing centers. Subor- 
dinate units use organic transportation in drawing 
supplies from these centers. Here is the greatest 
weakness of the Japanese supply system, for forward 
delivery of the requisite volume of food, munitions, 
and equipment has failed time and again because of 
inadequate transport facilities. Then, too, Japanese 
commanders frequently have overestimated the capa- 
bilities of their forces, and their unwarranted con- 


fidence in speedy victories has caused them seriously 
to underestimate their supply needs. 


[One Yen equals approximately 2St U. S.\ 


Lt. General 

Major General____„„___ 

Colonel (3 grade*) 

Lt. Colonel (4 grades) 

Major (4 grades) 

Captain (3 grades) 

1st Lieutenant (2 grades) . 
2d Lieutenant.. ......... 

Probational officer. ...... 

Warrant Officer . 

Sgt. Major (4 grades) 

Sergeant (3 grades) 

Additional overseas pay 

Corporal . 

20 IK) 



27 on 

Leading Private.. __„.._ 





Hii|>crior Private. _.„„„ 

10. SO 




Ibi Class Private 





2d Class Private 

6 00 



9 00 

Manic pay 
per month 



and French 


550 Oil 








416 66 





















95 00 


115 110 











100 00 





85 00 


55 00 



Payment of the troops is under the Intendance 
Department. The following table shows the rates of 
pay in the Japanese Army. It will be noted that 
overseas pay varies with location. The extra amounts 
were granted to compensate for rising living costs in 
Japan and to assure a livelihood for the soldier's 
dependents by making it possible for him voluntarily 
to make adequate allotments for their support. Extra 
pay also is granted to technicians, musicians, and 
warrant and noncommissioned officers serving in the 
military police. If a Japanese officer or enlisted man 
performs the duties associated with a higher rank, he 
receives the pay of that rank even though he has not 
been promoted. 

There are no compulsory pay allotments in the 
Japanese Army. Soldiers are encouraged, however, to 
send home a portion of their pay or to save some of it. 


Military Post Office Savings Banks transmit any 
funds the soldier may wish to send home. The soldier 
may also have a portion of his pay credited to his 
personal savings account, the deposits being duly 
credited in the savings book which every Japanese 
soldier receives with his first pay. All Japanese 
officers and enlisted men serving outside Japan 
proper are issued pay books which show payments 
due and provide for a systematic recording of amounts 
paid. No pay can be drawn unless the book is pre- 
sented and an appropriate entry made. 


There has been much misunderstanding of the food 
situation in the Japanese Army. Myths have sprung 
up concerning the ability of the Japanese soldier to 
subsist on extremely small quantities of food, and it 
has been popularly believed that he eats little save 
rice while in the field. 

As a matter of fact, when the Japanese soldier gets 
nothing to eat he becomes just as hungry and de- 
jected as any other soldier, lie likes adequate meals 
at regular times and appreciates variety. Inadequate 
rations bring their full quota of complaints and exer- 

cise a depressing influence on individual and unit 
morale in the Japanese Army. One Japanese soldier 
plaintively records in his diary, "If 1 eat tonight, I 
may not be able to cat tomorrow. It is indeed a pain- 
ful experience to be hungry. At the present time all 
officers, even though there is such a scarcity of food, 
eat relatively well. The condition is one in which the 
majority starves." Another complains about the 
monotony of the rations: "The never-changing soup 
for the morning meal. Only two meals today — army 
biscuits to gnaw at in the morning and rniso soup 
with watermelon in the evening. Also had some salt 

The Japanese field ration is adequate and reason- 
ably tasty; most of its components, after proper 
inspection, can be eaten by Allied troops. Rice is the 
stable part of the ration, comparable with bread or 
biscuit iu other armies. Naturally, the Japanese sol- 
dier would no more be satisfied with a ration con- 
sisting exclusively of rice than an Allied soldier would 
with bread alone. 

The rice, which is cooked dry to the consistency of 
a sticky mass to facilitate eating with chopsticks, 
may be either the polished or unpolished variety. 


Ordinarily the polished type is used, since it can be 
kept in the cooked state longer. To ward off beri beri 
some barley may be mixed with the rice, but this 
mixture is not overly popular. Instead, the rice usu- 
ally is cooked with a few pickled plums which not 
only afford protection against beri beri but also act 
as a laxative to counteract the constipating effect of 
rice. To make the rice more palatable, it prdinarily is 
seasoned with soy-bean sauce or the equivalent 
powder known as miso. Both the sauce (shoyu) and 
the miso are prepared from soy-bean seeds, to which 
mall and salt are added. The resultant products have 
a flavor similar to Worcestershire sauce and are much 
like the soy sauce found in all U. S. Chinese res- 

Other favored foods are pickled radishes; dried, 
tinned, or pickled octopus, which would be roughly 
comparable with canned salmon or herring in other 
armies; dried bread (hard-baked wheaten cakes), and 
vegetables. Preserved fowls include dried and com- 
pressed fish — salmon or bonito which must be soaked 
and salted to make it palatable; pickled plums, com- 
pressed barley or rice cakes, canned oranges and 
tangerines, and powdered tea leaves. Dehydrated 

vegetables, especially beans, peas, cabbage, horse- 
radish; slices of ginger; salted plum cake; canned 
beef; canned cooked whale meat; confections, and 
vitamin tablets often are included in ration issues. 

The ration is not standardized and ordinarily varies 
from 23^ to 4 pounds per day for the standard field 
ration. The ration is calculated in two forms, the 
normal (fresh) and the special (preserved), depending 
upon the availability of fresh foods. Quantities also 
are graduated according to three categories of issues: 
the basic or full issue distributed when transport is 
adequate; the issue when transport is difficult; and 
the third and least quantity, issued when transport is 
very difficult. 

There are two emeigency rations. The "A" ration 
consists of about 1 pound 13 ounces of rice, 5 ounces 
of canned fish or meat, and a little miso and sugar. 
The "B" ration consists of "hard tack". This com- 
prises three muslin bags of small oval biscuits; each 
ba<* contains a half-pound biscuit for one meal. This 
ration may only be eaten on orders of an officer. 

A compressed ration is also available for emergency 
use. It is made up of a cellophane packet containing 
cooked rice, pickled plums, dried fish, salt, and sugar. 



Ration item 

Rice, or rice and barley . 

Compressed rice 

Fresh meat or fish 

Canned meat or li-h 

Fresh vegetables 

Canned vegetables 

Pickled radish 

Dried plum 

Slioyu (sauce) 

Powdered miso 

Normal or 
l-rcali Scale 

Special or 



[Figures are ounces ex- 
cept where otherwise 










Bean paste. . 






4 1b. 


2 lb. 2 oz. 


An iron ration is issued only to parachutists. Weigh- 
ing half a pound, this ration consists of wafer-like 
biscuits made of ground rice and flavored with sesame 
seed, and an extract made from mussel flesh, dried 
plums, preserved ginger, crushed soy beans, and inori 
(a form of dried seaweed). 

An emergency air-crew ration found in New Guinea 
contained 20 ounces of unpolished rice, puffed wheat, 
biscuits, dried fish, two small bottles of concentrated 
wine (35 percent alcohol), candy, large salt tablets, 
and a water-purifier kit. The entire kit was packed in 
five transparent water-proof bags. 

On Bougainville a "Polished Rice Combination 
Case" was found which contained 40 portions, mostly 


rice, loose-packed in an air-light tin case enclosed in a 
wooden crate. This, in addition to the rice, contained 
mi. so paste, vitamin-B concentrate, vitamin A and D 
tablets, powdered tea (vitamin C), fuel, and matches. 
These ingredients were packed in 3-otince cans, with 
one can intended apparently for every two portions 
of rice. 

Every opportunity is utilized to augment the nor- 
mal ration issue. Fishing, gardening, and purchases 
from natives frequently afford welcome additions to 
the daily diet as well as variety. Foraging, both 
organized and unorganized, also is resorted to if the 
country is sufficiently well stocked to make such 
enterprise profitable. The Japanese soldier is very 
fond of confections, and these he may secure in the 
"Comfort Bags" sent by relatives and friends at 

The transport of rations naturally varies with the 
terrain, the nature of the military operations, the 
availability of local food sources, and other factors. 
In New Guinea emergency rations sufficient for 12 
days were carried by a battalion of 700. Fach man 

Figure 8. Choiv lirw. ami cook stove. 


Clothing and Personal Equipment 
Issued in the Japanese Army 

Helmet, steel 1 

Cap, cloth, khaki, peaked 1 

Trousers, drill, long, pairs 2 

Tunics, drill 2 

Shirts, cotton khaki 2 

Underwear, cotton sets 2 

Socks, cotton pairs 2 

Shoes, split-toe, rubber, pairs (Tabi) 

Boots, leather, pairs • 

Shelter half, khaki, waterproof 

Puttees, pairs 


Ha versa ck 

Hold-all , canvas 

M ess tin 

Belt, leather 

Pouches, leather, ammunition 

Water bottle 

Gloves, mosquito, pairs 

Head mask, mosquito 


First aid field dressing 

carried a three-day supply of "fresh" food and a 
four-day supply of "preserved", with the reminder, 
aggregating 2.98 tons, carried in the battalion train. 
In another instance an infantry regiment carried 
rations for ten days, with four days calculated on an 
emergency basis. But the Japanese have made 
marches with only a five-day supply. Packaging was 
quite inferior in the early days of the war, and much 
canned and dehydrated food was lost as a result of 
this deficiency. Considerable improvement has been 
noted, however, in recent operations. 


The Japanese Army long had been in need of a 
modern uniform when the present one was adopted in 
1938. Its design dates back to 1930 when the demand 
for a comfortable field uniform capable of mass- 
production in war was found to be urgent. Although 
the "China Incident" provided a tardy excuse for the 
inauguration of a new program, it has proven im- 
possible to replace all old uniforms. Those possessing 
them retain them as a "B" (fatigue and combat) 
uniform, and will wear them until worn out. These 
old, mustard-color uniforms are identified by an 


uncomfortable standup coat collar similar to that 
used by the U. S. Army in the last war. The design 
of these old uniforms dates hack to 191 1 when the 
similar hluc uniform of the Kusso-Japaiiese War was 

The new uniforms have a turn-down coat collar 
which may he worn open in the summer or in the 
tropics. The coal for noncommissioned officers and 
men is single-breasted with five Iml tons and four flap- 
ped pockets, the two breast pockets having hut toned 
flaps. Trousers are styled like breeches and secured 
with tapes at waist and ankle. All except mounted 
troops (who wear leather hoots or leather puttees) 
wear wool wrap puttees and high pigskin or cowhide 
shoes. The marching shoe usually has unfinished 
leather on the outside, and may have either a leather 
hobnailed sole or a rubber sole with rubber cleats. 
Tabi (split-toe sneakers) are issued in all climates. 
Undershirts arc usually gray or white, with single 
breast pockets. Caps are of wool with a chin strap 
and, on the front, a gold Army star. For winter, coat 
and trousers are of olive-drab wool. In summer these 

Figure 9. Enlisted men in M98 uniform {opposite page). 

Figure 10. "Tabi.' 



garmeius are exchanged for khaki cottbn twill coat 
and breeches of identical cut. Late issues of cotton 
twill uniforms appear more greenish than tan. 

The overcoat is single-hreasted, with two side slash 
pockets and a buttoned-on hood with typical throat- 
piece closure. Guards Cavalry detachments wear 
officers' overcoats. Some double-breasted overcoats 
may be worn by other troops but (except for Guards 
Cavalry) overcoats and coals for all noncommissioned 
officers and men are characterized by a loop which 
buttons up over the belt on the left side in order to 
sustain the weight of the bayonet and scabbard. The 
overcoat also has button holes permitting the lower ■ 
front corners of the coat to be buttoned up behind 
the side pockets. This frees the legs for marching and 
prevents wear. 

The raincoat is similar in all respects to the over- 
coal and is of greenish khaki color. 

Officers wear coats not unlike lliose issued to en- 
listed men. However, officers' uniforms are not issue 
clothing. Wide variance in quality, color, and cut 

Figure II. Noncommissioned officers in M90 full fieUl 
dress (/opposite page). 

exists. In general, officers' uniform coals are merely 
conversions of the old coat made by sewing on a turn- 
down Collar over the old stand-up collar. Officers' 
overcoats are double-breasted and have fancy belts 
in back and a slot for a sword on the left side. Com- 
pany officers wear one, field officers two, and general 
officers three broad cloth bands on their cuffs. War- 
rant officers wear a band of intermediate size, while 
noncommissioned officers wear one narrow cloth 
band on their type of overcoat. 

Instead of raincoats, officers wear raincapes with 
hood and throat closure. Officers also wear black 
footgear — higli shoes with wrap or black leather put- 
tees or riding boots. Officers and warrant officers 
almost always carry swords; noncommissioned officers 
are sometimes entitled to carry them. 

Many special types of clothing are issued for vari- 
ous climates and areas. Development and issue of 
winter clothing on a large scale began as long ago as 
1932, with the occupation of Manchuria. Winter 
clothing includes heavy pile-lined caps and overcoats. 
The latter have a peculiar feature in that the sleeves 
are quickly removable either at shoulder or elbow in 
order that proper sleeve sizes may be fitted without 



Figure 12. Enlisted man in Figure 13. Enlisted man in Figure 14. Enlisted man in Figure 15. Enlisted man in 
M90 full field uniform, M90 uniform, fitted with M98 full field uniform, M98 overcoat. Insignia is 
with old cap and insignia. M98 cap and insignia. with all insignia remored. worn on the collar. 


altering the overcoat. Oilier common items of winter 
issue are fur leggings, trigger-finger mittens, wool 
underwear, heavy padded trousers and jackets for 
fatigue work, and felt boots. 

Tropical clothing remains a subject for continuing 
experimentation by the Japanese Intcndance De- 
partment. The ordinary summer cotton uniforms 
have proved very suitable, since the material is 
heavy enough to be mosquito-proof and to withstand 
adequate wear. The summer coat has been modified, 
however, and fitted with flaps under the arm pits 
which may be buttoned open or closed. Recent coats 
also have open seams under the armpits for added 
ventilation on the march. Under the coat is worn a 
cotton twill shirt with reinforced collar, which may 
be worn without the coat. Modified trousers are 
issued with the lower part of the legs abbreviated 
and a drawstring fitted so that they may be secure 
around the puttees in mosquito country, and left 
open for coolness whenever possible. Various types of 
light shirts and trousers of various weights and 
lengths have been issued but the above-mentioned 
garments appear standard. At Ilollandia and in 
Burma there have been found complete sets of 

tropical lightweight uniforms, all components being 
of the same flat-green hue. These include laid, light 
wrap puttees, breeches, muslin shirt, coat, and cap. 
The uniform is very comfortable, but it is too light 
to provide protection against mosquitoes and to sus- 
tain even normal jungle wear. 


Although security-conscious Japanese commanders 
had, previous to the war, sought to hinder Allied 
Order-of-Battle Intelligence by prohibiting the wear- 
ing of arm and unit insignia in combat areas, con- 
venience has induced many units and even field 
armies to adopt identification systems. The wide- 
spread demand for unit, arm. and personal identifica- 
tion apparently has received official recognition, and 
as of 1 January 1944 a new set of uniform regulations 
were reported to have taken effect. 

Under the present system, not yet displaced by the 
new r order, rank insignia are properly worn on the 
collar. Insignia of arm are indicated bv inverted 
"W's" worn over the right breast pocket. Further dif- 
ferentiation within arms, or indication of status as 
student, cadet, probationary officer, and like cate- 


gories, is indicated by a symbol worn on the collar 
behind the rank insignia. Unit numbers may be worn 
either behind the rank insignia, or behind the arm, 
the cadet, or other symbols if such are worn. 

In practice only the medical troops appear to wear 
their branch color (green). Rank insignia may be 
worn on the breast or arm. Frequently a standard 
form of patch is made up by a division, which in- 
cludes a regimental symbol, the badge of rank of the 
wearer, and his name. Sometimes the name or part of 
the name of the unit commander is furnished. There 
is no practice common to all units; the widest variety 

Figure 16. M90 officer's field uniform {opposite page, 

figure 17. Officer in M98 uniform (opposite page, right). 


Besides food and clothing, the Intendance Depart- 
ment issues to the Japanese soldier certain "daily 
articles". "Daily Article A," issued monthly, in- 
cludes 150 sheets of toilet paper, ten plain and ten 
picture postcards, writing paper, envelopes, and a 
pencil. "Daily Article B," issued every two months, 
includes a small hand towel, a loin cloth, soap, tooth 
powder, and a tooth brush. Certain recreational 
items such as phonographs and records, chess boards 
etc., are also issued. 

Canteens in the Japanese Army (comparable with 
U. S. Army post exchanges) obtain their stocks from 
the Intendance Department, which also controls 
prices. There is no evidence that private contractors 
have been permitted to operate army canteens. The 
list of items on sale in the canteen of a special landing 
force shows a considerable variety of goods at prices 
reasonably in line with the pay of Japanese soldiers. 

Fig. 18. Japanese officers in lierlin (three figures at the right). Fig. 19. Officers in winter overcoats (opposite page). 




article Yen Sen 

Sake.tTohiman Brand 


Sake. Orcki Brand 


Beer, Aaahi Brand _„„_.._ 



Cigarettes, Homare Brand 


Cigarettes, llikari Brand 


Cigarettes, Kinahi Brand 








Sweet bean paste, Yokan 




Sugar candy, Homare Brand 


Fears, canned „„„„ 


Peaches, white, canned 




article Yen Sen 

Salmon, canned__.____ .60 

Mineral water, Jintan Brand, 

medium size .26 

Yeast tablets, Wakamoto 

Brand 1.20 

Meat extract. Plum Brand 1.00 

Socks, white cotton .22 

Socks, grey .28 

Shirts, striped „ 1.20 

Undcr-shorts, striped 1.20 

Trunks, knitted 4.20 

Trunks, cotton .97 

Towels 22 

Face towel .22 

Cloth, loin .IS 

Scarf, white 33 

Spies, inner OS 

Garters .72 

Buttons, raincoat (per pkt.)__ .03' 
Buttons, suit, black or white. .07 



Km 5m 

Clothes-pins .03 

Safety-pins .07 

Thread, white .13 

Paste., __ . 11 

Clasps .05 

Knife .13 

Scissors.. _„„„_. .22 

Soles, rubber .34 

Heels, rubber .23 

Prophylactics .03 

Note-books .12 

Tooth powder. Lion Brand .11 

Tooth paste. Lion Brand .18 

Shoe polish, Taido Brand .60 

Pineapple, canned .50 

Soap, Kwao Brand .11 

Soap, laundry .30 

Fountain pen, Victor Brand I. 2.00 
Fountain pen, Victor Brand 

H ___ 2.80 


article Yen Sen 

Tissue, facial 1.00 

Writing paper .07 

Postcards, military (100 

cards) .25 

Envelopes .05 

Note-books, small .06 

Note-books, loose-leaf .04 

Ink, Raito Brand 27 

Red ink, Kikusui Brand 12 

Ink, Japanese .14 

Penholder 05 

Pen points .03 

Pencil 05 

Voucher slips „ .05 

Toothpicks 11 

Toothpick box 08 

Clothes brush. __...._._._. .28 

Shoe brush 20 

Soap box .23 

Writing pad _ .IS 

* One hundred ten equal am? yen; one yen equals approximately 25* U. S. 

t A liquor distilled from rice; about one third tlie strength of gin. 



A large part of Japanese personal equipment is 
modern in design, and is the result of a replacement 
program still under way. Although a great effort was 
made for years to condition Japanese civilians for the 
sacrifices of preparedness and war, the peacetime 
strain on the Japanese economy prior to the "China 
Incident" caused military authorities to hesitate to 
impose additional hurdens, especially for clothing and 
personal equipment. 

The design of most such items then in use dated 
back to World War I and before, and experience in 
the field and in manufacture had long indicated the 
necessity for improvements. In close emulation of the 
German Army the Japanese were iising leather for 
belts, packs, and ammunition pouches, as well as for 
carriers and personal combat gear in general. Leather 
was difficult to procure, however, and it was unsuit- 
able either for arid conditions on the continent of 
Asia or for tropical moisture. As soon as the outbreak 
of the China War in 1937 furnished an excuse, a 

Figure 21. Packs from the rear. 


Figure 22. Front and rear views of packs for non- 
commissioned officers and enlisted men (above); for 
officers (right). 

large-scale replacement program was instituted. A 
linoleum-like material of rubberized fabric, or can- 
vas, or cotton duck was substituted for leather. In 
general, belts, ammunition pouches, instrument 
cases, holsters, and the like are of rubberized fabric 
while bandoliers and packs are of canvas or cotton 
duck. Certain items, like carriers for grenade-dis- 


charger projectiles, have water-proofed tops and may 
be part duck and part rubberized fabric. Only 
officers' equipment tends to remain in leather. In 
1943 further improvements were made, and belts 
were issued which have the appearance of fuzzy 
leather but which are actually a further development 
of rubberized fabric. 

Of the several types of packs in use in the Japanese 
Army the most common is the cotton duck pack 
issued to noncommissioned officers and men. This 
pack is 13 inches square and 5 inches deep, and is 
readily identified by some 20 tapes which are used to 
secure the top flap and to bind gear on the pack's 
exterior. This pack is a modification of its predecessor, 
a leather German-type pack with fur-covered back 

The pack normally contains extra shoes, socks, 
and breech clout. Towel, soap, and other miscella- 
neous toilet articles are carried, as well as a first-aid 
packet and a sewing kit. A shelter half, although 

Figure 23. Canvas hold-all an a combat packl (/) pack 
strap cross knot, (2) main pack strap knot, (,'J) canteen 
strap, (■/) haversack strap, (5) hayonet, (6) tent section, 
(7) overcoat, (#) tent and overcoat are folded in four 
equal parts, (9) huversack, {10) cunteen. 


Figure. 24. Messkits for noncommis- 
sioned officers and men (left); for offi- 
cers above. 

only 4 feet 10J^ inches by 2 feet 5}4 inches, is very 
serviceable. It is used as a ground sheet, or to roil up 
in. When the tent ropes are properly roved through 
the eyelets, the shelter half makes an excellent pon- 
cho and, because of its suj>erior rain-shedding qual- 
ity, Japanese soldiers prefer it to the issue raincoat. 
A blanket or overcoat may be rolled in inverted 
(/-shape and tied around the edges of the pack. A 
raincoat, shelter half, and camouflage netting are 
placed across the top, and the mess kit is strapped to 
the back of the pack. When caps are worn, the steel 
helmet is secured over the mess kit. 

Figure 25. Canteens for noncommissioned officers and 
enlisted men (left); for officers (above). 

Instead of the pack a canvas hold-all is sometimes 
used. This is simply a piece of light canvas with 
carrying straps at each end, and two long tapes, 
with shorter tapes to help secure the load. When 
rolled it can be carried across the back, slanting 
diagonally upwards from left to right, the straps and 
long tapes making an X across the chest where they 
are knotted. The hold-all serves as a combat pack 
and usually includes overcoat or blanket , shelter half, 
and tent poles and pins, besides whatever gear is not 


carried in the haversack. Canteen, ammunition 
pouches, and gas mask and carrier complete the com- 
bat gear normally carried by the Japanese soldier. 

At one time a special noncommissioned officer's 
pack was issued. It may still be found and may be 
identified by its oblong shape and its size, which is 
smaller than that of the standard pack described 
above. Officers carry a leather pack 9 inches wide, 
11 inches high, and 3 inches deep. This is usually 
carried over the right hip just behind the canteen. 

The mess kit for noncommissioned and enlisted 
men is of the same type used by the German, Italian, 
and Soviet armies. It consists of an aluminum con- 
tainer 7 inches wide and 6 inches high, slightly 
curved in shape in the manner of the U. S. Army 
canteen. Beneath the cover are one or two nested 
trays, which, including the cover, provide up to three 
dishes besides the main deep mess can. If climate per- 
mits, ready-cooked food for several days is carried. 
Officers may use an oblong mess kit slightly smaller 
in size. 

Canteens are of two types. That for officers is 
much like the German. It has a felt snap-on cover 
and is topped by a cup. It hangs over the right hip. 

slung from a leather strap across the left shoulder. 
The type for personnel of lower grades is of brown- 
painted aluminum, of 3- and 4-quart sizes, and is 
carried in a manner similar to the officer's but with a 
canvas carrier and strap. 

Certain noncommissioned officers and usually all 
commissioned officers carry leather map cases and 
rubberized fabric pistol holsters. The latter are 
usually carried on the left hip, the former just in 
front of the holster. Haversacks of light cotton duck 
are similar in appearance to the German and are worn 
under the canteen by all enlisted men and noncom- 
missioned officers. All the items are carried slung 
from a strap running over one shoulder. 

Ammunition is carried in pouches strung on the 
waist belt. In front are two pouches, each holding 
six 5-round clips. The rear pouch is larger, holds 12 
dips, and has a fitting for an oil can on the right side. 
The bayonet frog is also fitted to the belt and is worn 
on the left side. 

The gas mask is contained in a carrier similar to 
the British. Normally it is slung on a broad canvas 

Figure 26. Troops in action showing field equipment 
(opposite page). 



Figure 27. Belt and ammunition pouches. 

strap across the right shoulder and rests on the left 
hip. In the ready position it is worn high on the 

Each Japanese infantryman is supplied with an en- 
trenching tool. There are two shovels to every pick. 
The shovel handle can he removed from the hladc 

and hoth secured to the pack, or both can be carried 
as a complete unit by a cord sling. 

Special equipment is issued for jungle operations. 
Tree climbers which can be tied under the instep are 
used by snipers. Mosquito headncts and bars, mos- 
quito-proof gloves, and insect-repellent likewise arc 


issued to troops in the jungle. A water purification 
kit, including a phial of chemical purifier and a 
measuring spoon in a flat tin, also is carried. Water 
purifiers of chemically treated cotton wads in a plas- 
tic receptacle also are used, but are not considered 
satisfactory by Allied armies. 

For cold climates woolen blankets are issued. 
These do not properly merit the designation "wool", 
6ince their quality is so low that only 8 percent wool 
may be found in recent issues; the remainder of the 
material is cotton and rayon in approximately equal 
quantities. Such blankets offer little protection, and 
on Attu as many as seven were issued to each man. 
Mess kit and canteen covers of duck, lined with 
kapok or similar insulating material, are also pro- 
vided for freezing weather; skis, snowshoes, and ice- 
creepers are available when needed. 

Figure 28. Gas mask in alert position. 

41 4f :* 


* 1 

Figure 29. Jungle troops detrucking. 



Despite the comparatively recent industrialization 
of Japan and her close — even slavish — imitation of 
foreign materiel, Japanese infantry is well-armed and 
equipped. The Japanese are capable of producing 
first-class weapons of their own design, but their 
production will not reach the volume achieved by 
other highly industrialized nations. 

The Japanese have shown an ability to profit from 
their combat experience in the present war by 
modifying the design of their weapons and equipment 
to meet new conditions. For example, at the be- 
ginning of the war Japanese infantry units for the 
most part were equipped with the Model 38 (1905) 
6.5-mm rifie and Models 11 (1922) and 96 (1936) 
6.5-mm light machine guns. While these weapons 
were useful in jungle fighting, because of their 
lightness and portability, the muzzle velocity and 
weight of the bullets were inadequate. Consequently, 
the Japanese Army began to replace these weapons 
with 7.7-mm models. On the Aleutian island of Attu 
whole units were found equipped with the new rifle, 

as well as with the heavier -caliber light machine gun. 

The 75-mm Model 38 mountain gun is being re- 
placed by the superior Model 95; on Saipan Island 
(Marianas Group), 18 guns of this model were found 
out of a total of 39 guns and howitzers of 75-mm 

Since the death in 1925 of the Emperor Taisho, 
Japanese ordnance has been marked with the last 
two digits of the year since the foundation of the 
Japanese Empire. The Japanese assert their empire 
was founded 2,604 years ago — which in our chro- 
nology would be 660 B.C. The Japanese calendar year 
will therefore be our year plus 660. For example, our 
year 1930 would be the Japanese year 2590. A piece 
of ordnance adopted in 2590 (1930) will be labeled 
by the Japanese as Model 90. Beginning with 2600, 
however, only the last digit has been used, so that a 
model produced in that year (our year 1940) will be 
Model 0; one produced in 2601 will be Model 1, etc. 
Some ordnance also may be found marked with the 
year of the reign of Hirohito, the present emperor, 


Figure 30. Model 26 (.1893) 9-mm 
revolver (left). 


Figure 32. Model 14 (192$) 8-mm 

pislol (above). 


which began in 1925 (Japanese year 2585). 

Calibers are given in metric units, but in the 
case of a number of Japanese weapons these will be 
approximations. For example, the Model 88 (1928) 
7-cm high-angle gun is really a 75-mm antiaircraft 
gun. Calibers up to 70-mm usually are expressed in 
millimeters; larger ones may be given either in milli- 
meters or centimeters. 


The Nambu 8-mm pistol resembles the German Luger out- 
wardly but its mechanism is entirely different. Although both 
this pistol and the Model 26 (1893) 9-mm revolver are still in 
service, they are being replaced by the Model 14 (1925). The 
Nambu pistol is a semiautomatic, recoil -opera ted, magazine- 
fed hand weapon. Its eight-round magazine fits into the butt 
and is held secure by a catch similar to that on the U. S. service 
automatic pistol (M1911 or M1911A1 Colt .45). A wooden 
holster which has a telescoping section is used both as a holster 
and as a stock which may be attached to adapt the pistol for 
use as a carbine. 

A grip safety just in front of the trigger guard catches the 
trigger in its forward position and prevents any rearward 
movement unless the safety is depressed. 

To load and fire, a magazine is inserted into the butt and 

shoved home until the magazine-catch locks. To move a 
cartridge for firing, the cocking piece is pulled to the rear and 
let snap forward again. The pistol then can be fired by squeez- 
ing the grip safety and the trigger at the same time. 

To unload, the magazine catch is pressed, allowing the 
magazine to drop out of the butt. The cartridge in the chamber 
is extracted by pulling the cocking piece to the rear as far as 
it will go, and letting it snap forward. As a safety precaution 
this operation should be repeated several times. 

The Model 14 (1925) 8-mm pistoHs an improvement on the 
Nambu and uses the same kind of ammunition. Its design is 
original but the workmanship is rather poor. Unlike the 
Nambu, the weapon is not fitted for a shoulder stock. Other 
identification features that distinguish this weapon from the 
Nambu arc the absence of a leaf sight, horizontally grooved 
wooden grips on the stock, and the absence of a recoil-spring 
housing on the left side of the receiver. 

The weapon is a semiautomatic, recoil-operated, and maga- 
zine-fed. It has no slide; the barrel is extended to the rear and 
carries the ejection opening and sear for the bolt lock. The 
bolt moves inside this barrel extension, and energy for the 
forward movement is supplied by two coil springs situated 
one on either side of the bolt inside the barrel extension. 

A safety lever is located on the left side of the receiver just 
above the trigger. When this is in the forward position the 
pistol can be fired; when in the rear position, the action is 

To load and fire, a loaded magazine is inserted into the well 


Figure 33. Namhit 8 -mm piitol and ahmiMerstock. 

in the butt, while the safety lever is in the forward position. 
The cocking piece then is pulled rearward as far as it will go, 
anil permitted to snap forward. The pistol then is loaded and 
ready to fire. It can be unloaded by pressing downward on the 
magazine, with the safety lever in the forward position. The 
button on the right side of the stock must be released, after 

which the magazine can be extracted. The cocking piece is 
pulled all the way back to eject a cartridge from the chamber. 
Latest pistol model in use by the Japanese Army is the 
Model 94 (1934) semiautomatic 8-mm pistol. The quality of 
manufacture is poor in comparison with the Narabu and the 
Model 14. 


Figure .14. Nambu and 
Model 14 8-nim pistols. 



Rear sight 

\ Cocking 



j^' hook 

Safety catch 
in "fire" 

Figure 35. Mmlel 94 (19.34) 8 -mm. pistol, magazine and holster. 


This weapon is easily identified liy its champed grip, short 
barrel, and the slide which covers the entire band. It is 
semiautomatic, recoil-operated, and magazine-fed. The maga- 
zine is box-shaped and lits into the butt in the usual fashion. 

A safety lever is on the left side of the receiver. When it is 
in the horizontal position, the pistol can be fired; when it is 
pulled backward and up to the vertical position, the safety 
is operative. 

The pistol is loaded by inserting a magazine into the butt 
until the catch clicks. With the safety in the horizontal (lire) 
position, the cocking piece is pulled to the rear as far as pos- 
sible and then permitted to snap forward. To unload the 
magazine, the catch on the left side of the receiver is pressed 
inward and the magazine is extracted. The piece is "cleared" 
by working the slide back and forth several times, as would 
be done with the U. S. automatic pistol. 

Pistols — Table of Characteristics 

Xanibit 8-rnm 

0.315 .inch 

..... Hecoil-o|>erated, acmiautnmalic 

_ Semirimmed, bottle-necked cane. 

raundiHMe ballet 

___. 8 rounds 

50 feel 

950 feet |»cr Recon. il 


Principle of operation. 


Capacity of magazine. 

Effective range 

Muzzle velocity... 

Model 14 (1925) 8-mni 

Calilxr 0.315 inch 

Principle of operation . . ... Recoil-operated, lemiautomatic 

Ammunition Semirimmed, bottle-necked caae, 

rotmdnortc bullet 

Capacity of magazine 8 round* 

Effective ranee 50 feci 

Muzzle velocity 950 feet per second 

Motlel 94 (1934) 8-mtn 

Calihcr 0.315 inch 

Principle of operation _. li ,-. , .,1 -open I . semiautomatic 

Ammunition Same 8-mm Mmirinuned, bottle- 
necked cartridge art used in the 
Nambu and the Model 14 
, |. !■■!.. I- 

Capacity of magazine 6 round* 

Effective range- 50 feet 

Muzzle velocity 900 feet per «econd 


The Model 38 (1905) 6.5-mm rifle, widely used by the 
Japanese, is a modified German Mauser with an action some- 
what similar to that of the U. S. caliber .30 (7.62-mm) M 1903 
Springfield. It is a small-bore weapon, with medium muzzle 
velocity. Although the design is rather clumsy, the mechanism 
is sturdy despite the lightness of the weapon in proportion to 
its length. Because of the long barrel, small caliber, and com- 
paratively low muzzle velocity, there is practically no flash, 
and the recoil is slight in view of the small caliber and the 
lightness of the bullet. The low muzzle velocity and light- 
weight bullet have proved unsuitable in combat, however, 
with the result that the Model 99, with a caliber of 7.7-mm, 
is now superseding it. 

Transport and Engineer troops in the Japanese Army 
usually arc equipped with a carbine version of the Model 38. 
This has a shorter barrel than the rifle, and a smaller rear sight. 


Figure 36. Japanese rifles: Model 38 (1905) 6.5-mtn rifle {above) anil Mattel 38 (/90;>) 6.5-mm carbine. 

Another distinguishing feature is the attachment of the sling 
to tin- side. Besides tliis carbine, there is u later model carbine, 

the Model 44 (1911) 6.5-min cavalry carbine. It differs from 
the Model 38 carbine by having a bayonet which folds under 
the barrel when not in use. 

The Mode! 38 rifle is most easily identilied hv its unusuallv 
long length. It has sling swivels underneath the barrel and 
slock, as do U. S. Garaml and Springfield rifles. It is manually 
operated and has bolt action. It is loaded with a clip containing 
live cartridges in a manner similar to the loading of the U. S. 
Springfield. '1'he sheet-metal dust cover of the holt, which 
slides with it in loading anil extracting, can be detached. 
Japanese soldiers seldom use the weapon without removing 
this cover. 

The safety, a cylindrical cap on the rear end of the boll, can 
be locked only when the action is cooked. The safety cap then 
is pushed forward with the palm of the hand and turned 
clockwise as far as it will go. 

To load, tin: bolt is pulled fully to the rear. One end of the 
loaded clip is then placed into its guide seal in the receiver 
and pressed downward until the lop cartridge is caught by 
the lips of the magazine. W hen the holt is closed, the empty 
clip is expelled. A cartridge is chamhered when the holt is 
pushed forward, and the piece then is readv to fire. Working 
the hull hack and forth will remove all cartridges from lite 
magazine and 1 chamher. 

Ammunition lired in the Model 38 is the standard 6.5-mm. 
It is semirimmed and has a pointed nose. The rifle also lires 

the reduced-charge ball ammunition made for Models 11 and 
96 of the 6.5-mm light machine guns. Ball ammunition is dis- 
tinguished by a pink band around the bullet at its junction 
with the cartridge case. Tracer ammunition has a green band. 

The Model 99 (1939) 7.7-mm rifle — in some combat areas 
at least — is replacing the Model 38 as the basic Japanese 
military rifle. It is generally identical in construction with the 
Model 38 but is 5 inches shorter. 

Other identifying features arc the monopod attached to the 

lower hand, which ran be rotated forward to catch on the 
stock when not in use: the sling attachment to swivels on the 
left side of the ride: and the slide on the rear sight which has 
two arms that can be swung out. one left and one right, from 
the center of the rifle. A long version of this weapon also has 
been issued . 

The Model 99 is manually operated and has a bolt action. 
It is equipped with a full-length cleaning rod that fits into the 
stock and is held in place by a catch. A peculiar feature of the 

Figure 37. Model 44 (1911) 6.5-mm cavalry carbine. 


weapon is the mnnnpod which is used when firing ;il aircraft 
from trenches. The boll is protected with a semicircular, 
detachable sheet-metal dust rover which slides with the holt 

and usually is removed by Japanese soldiers -at least for 
firing. The safetv eateh works exactly like that of the Model 
3H, and the rille is loaded and unloaded in the same way. 

Ammunition is true rimless with a pointed nose. It is usable 
in the Model 99 light machine gun and the Model 92 heavy 

machine gun. \ pink ring indicates hall ammunition. Tracer 
has a green band; armor-piercing, a blaek band. Paratroopers 
use a take-down Model 99 (1939) rille. 

Japanese snipers often use a 6.5-mm sniper's rille which has 
an over-all length of 50.2 inches. It is lilted with a telescopic 
sight having a 2} 2-powcr magnification and a I()-degree held 
of view. 

Figure 38. Model 97 (1937) 6.5-mm sniper's rifle (above) and Model 99 (1939) 7. 7 -mm rifle. 


Rifles — Table of Characteristics 

Model 38 (1905) 6.5-inm 

Caliber 0.256 Inch 

Principle of operation Manually l>nli.operaied 

Ammunition Model 'AH (1'I0T>) l>all ami trneer; 

Model 38 (190.%) rcduced- 
charge ball 

Capacity of iiinsa7.inc_____________-_.__ 5 rounds 

Sight Peep battle sipht net for 300 

meter* (.'128.1 yards) on rifle* of 
late manufacture 

Weifiht without cling and bayonet 9 pound* \ OUnCefl 


KfTeetive 100 vnrda 

Maximum 2,600 yard* 

Mu/./.lr velocity 2,100 feet per second 

Model 99 (1939) 7.7-mm 

Caliber 0.303 inch 

Principle of operatiim Manually hnh-operatcd 

Ammunition Model W (1939) rintlcM ball 

Capacity of magazine 5 rimml* 

Sight ....... Fold in c arma for taking leads in 

anliiiircrafl (ire; peep battle 
right net for 1100 meters (.'S28.1 

Weight (unloaded with sling) 8.8 pounds 


KfTeetive 600 yards 

Maximum 3,000 yards 

Muzzle velocity , 2,300 feel per second 

grenade 7.08 inches long ami 1 .58 inches maximum diameter 
and containing a bursting charge of 3.81 ounces of TNT. The 
fuze is not armed until after the grenade has been discharged 
from the rifle. 

The spigot-type is fitted to the rifle like the Clip-type atid 
can launch both high-explosive and smoke grenadrs. It is 
believed that the grenade is placed over the Spigot, the safety 
pin j Hilled, and a special wooden bullet fired in the rifle. 
Setback probably causes the firing pin to .strike the percussion 
cap, activating the delay fuze. 

More common is the cup-type Model 100 (1940) launcher 
designed to lire the Model 99 (1939) (a) antipersonnel hand 
grenade. It comes in two types, one for the Model 98 6.5-mm 
rifle and carbine, and one for the Model 99 7.7-mm rifle. 
Although the types appear to be interchangeable, that for the 
Model 99 has a vertical white line on the back. The launcher 
is clamped to the muzzle of the rille. with cup uppermost and 
bullet escape lube positioned in front of the rifle bore. It is 
then locked by running a pin behind the fixed bayonet hand- 
guard. Ordinary ball propels the grenades about 1.00 yards 

Grenade Launchers 

Both cup- and spigot-type grenade launchers can be 
used with the Model 38 and Model 99 rifles. The cup-type 
launcher fits over the muzzle and locks over the front sight. 
From a short, rifled barrel it discharges a hollow-charge 


AH Japanese front-line troops carry the Model 97 (1937) 
hand grenade which cannot he fired from a grenade discharger. 
It has a black, serrated cast-iron body and a brass fuze. It is 
loaded with TNT. The time delay is 4 to 5 seconds. 


Figure 39. Cup-type, grenade launcher and grenade. 


Figure 40. Spigot-type grenade launcher. 

Before the grenade is used it is necessary in screw the firing 
pin down into its holder as far as possible. The grenade then 
is grasped so that the fuze points downward. Next, the safety 
pin i» withdrawn, after which the head of the fuze cover is 
struck against some hard object. The grenade then is thrown 
immediately since the fuze is erratic in liming. 

Another widely used grenade is the Model ')l (1931) which 
can also be fired from 50-mm dischargers Models 10 and 90. 
It also can be used as a rifle grenade hv substituting a tubular 
tail-fin assembly for the propellant container. 

Made of serrated cast-iron and painted black, it is used as a 
hand grenade in the same manner as Model 97. If fired from a 
discharger, the safety pin is removed and the grenade is 
dropped base downward into the discharger. A firing pin hits 
the percussion cap in the base of the grenade when the trigger 
mechanism of the discharger is operated. During the acceler- 
ation of the grenade in the barrel of the discharger, the firing 
pin sets back, overcoming the resistance of the creep spring 
and firing the percussion cap. 

During the Kiska operations, Aleutian Islands, the Model 
99 (1939) grenade was found in large quantities by U. S. 
forces. It differs from the other grenades in that it is not 
serrated. Its lime delay is 4 to 5 seconds. It is fired in the same 
manner as the Model 97 and the Model 91 . Both "a" and "b", are issued, the principal difference being that the "h" 

Figure 41. Spigot-type grenade launcher, grenatles, anil 
carrying case (left). 

Figure 42. Model 1(H) (1940) grenade launcher. 

cannot lie used in the Model 100 (1910) rifle grenade launcher. 
The Japanese also use the high-explosive stick hand grenade. 
It is shaped like a potato masher and is mm -serrated. To arm 
the grenade the metal cap screwed to the end of the wooden 
handle must he removed. Inside the hollow handle there is a 
ring attached to the pull cord. The wooden handle is firmly 
grasped, and the ring is placed over a linger. As the grenade 
is thrown the ring and cord are retained, anil pulling out the 

cord activates the friction primer which in turn activates the 
delaying clement. 

There is also an incendiary stick hand grenade, easily dis- 
tinguishable from the. high-explosive type hy its curved ends. 
It is Idled with phosphorus-impregnated rubber pellets which 
arc scattered by a small bursting charge. A prussic acid gas 
grenade also has been used. 


Grenades — Table of Characteristics 

Model 91 (1931) llf, 

Over-.ll length 4.o. r > ;, Ir .|„,„ 

Length without the propellant container 3.75 innhea 

l>i»niet<w |.i)7 i„ r |„ :- 

w <-ikI>< — ._ I8.H oumn 

Model 97 (19.17) IIC 

Over-all lentil. .1.75 inrhca 

Dianieler |.i)7 ;,i.-Ii.:h 

Weight - -- 1 pound (appro*) 

Mmlel 99 (19.19) IIC 

Over-all length 3>j inehe. 

Dnin.eier 15. indwa 

Weigh! III „.„ (ap,, r „ T ) 

HE Stick IIC, 
Over-nil length „ 7.87 inehea 

Weight m i pound 3*2 

Grenade Dischargers 

Grenade dischargers are designed for use as an individual 
infantry weapon to bridge the range gap between band 
grenades and mortars. For some time these grenade dis- 
chargers were erroneously called "knee mortars" but, as a 
matter of fact, the base plate is made to rest on the ground — - 
not on a soldier's knee or thigh — while the discharger is 
being fired. 

The Model 89 (1929) 50-mm discharger is utilized in 

fT/iure 4.1. Model 97 (1937) hand grentide. 


Figure 44. Model 91 (1931) hand grenade. 

Japanese infantry tactics to help pin opposing forces to the 
ground during an attack. Ordinarily three or four such dis- 
chargers are issued to the 4th squad of Japanese infantry 
platoons. The harrcl of the discharger is rifled, the firing-pin 
housing is adjustable, and the weapon is affixed to a concave 

base plate. 

There is no safety device on the weapon. It is set for the 
desired range by turning the elevator knob which lengthens 
or shortens the trigger housing extending inside the barrel. 
Increasing or decreasing the distance traveled by the projectile 
through the barrel thus regulates the range of the weapon. 
It is believed that best results are achieved when the discharger 


Firing pin 

Creep spring 

delay train 



Safety-pin hole 

Protective collar 
Gas vent 


is fired at an angle <>f 45 degrees. A modified version of the 
Mode! 8° found on Attn has a bubble-leveling device to indi- 
cate the angle of lire* The Model 8° has no sight, but there it* 
a groove down the barrel for a short distance from the muzzle. 
In addition to the Model 89, the Model 10 (1921) discharger 
is still widclv used hy the Japanese, hut mostK for (iring 
signal ammunition. It differs from the Model 89 in that the 
barrel is not rifled, and the range is regulated hy a gas port 
rather than an adjustahle trigger housing. 

Grenade Dischargers — Table of 

Model 89 (1929) 50-tnm CD 

Ammunition Model H*) Itigli-explo.ive hIicII. 

Model 'II grannie, Model 93 
■moke -liell. Modal Vt practice 

Khrll, etc. 

Weight. \0'A |H.tiinl« 

Weight of Model 89 "hell 1 pound 12 ounce. 

Model 10 (1921) SO-mm <iO 

Ammunition Model 91 grenade. Model 11 

• moke «llell. M ... I. I II) II. in- 

■hell. Model 10 ripta. nheH, 

Model '>! practice grenade. 
Model 1(1 blank •hell. etc. 
Weight 'tit pound. 

Ranee of Model ''I grenade b'> to 175 yard. 

Harrcl ._ - - _- -. - - . Sniootti bore 

Figure 45. Model 99 (19.19) "JftaW hand grenade. 


Figure 46. lAtft to right: Motlel 89 {1929) shell, Model 91 (1931) hand grenade, Model 97 (1937) Itand grenade, Model 

99 (1939) grenade. 


•3w7s£*~^ jJL = Light brass cover , 
Firing pin 

Creep spring - 
Percussion cs"p 


Rubber pellets (41) 

White phosphorus and 
" carbon dlsulphlde 

Red band 

Handles (2) 

Khaki color 

Figure 49. Prussia acid gas grenade. 

Figure 47. Stick grenade {left). 

Metal cover 

Crown cork 
Ribbed cardboard 
Sand and sawdust 

Cylindrical container 

Prussic acid 

Glass flask 
Metallic copper 

Outer canister 

Figure 48. Incendiary stick hand grenade {right). 


Gas port 

Figure 51. Mo<lel 10 (1921) 50-mm grenade discharger. 


Machine Guns 

The Model 11 (1922) 6.5-mm light machine gun has been 
standard equipment in the Japanese infantry squad. An 
unusual feature of the gun is the fact that it is fed by six 
5 -round clips of ammunition. Note that it fires only reduced- 
charge rifle cartridges and will not function properly with 
other types. It is used on a hipod mount as a light machine 
gun; as a combination heavy machine gun and antiaircraft 
gun it occasionally is mounted on a tripod. The gun is gas- 
oprrated and air-cooled. \mmunition is loaded through the 
feed hopper attached to the left side of the receiver. Prominent 
identification characteristics are the feed hopper, the cut-out 
shoulder slock, and the front and rear sights offset to the right. 

The safely lever is on the left of the trigger guard: it is 
shifted downward until approximately vertical to be on the 
"safe setting. To disengage the safety, the lever is pulled 
backward and upward until in a horizontal position. 

To lire the gun. the follower of the feed hopper is raised to 
permit horizontal insertion of six clips. The follower then is 
permitted to snap back in place. Next the gun is cocked by 
pulling back the operating handle on the left until the exten- 
sion of the piston engages the sear notch. The handle then is 
pushed forward until its catch clips into the receiver. Kate of 
lire is adjusted bv a gas regulator with several openings of 
different sizes. The gun is unloaded by pulling back on the 
knurled feed-housing lock on the feed-housing assembly, and 
removing the assembly to the left. Ammunition then is re- 
moved from the feed well of the feed-housing assemblv. No 

attempt should he made to unload the gun by working live 
rounds through it, because it (ires from an open bolt and will 
fire when the bolt closes and locks. 

The Japanese make considerable use of the Model 92 (1932) 
7.7-mm Lewis-type machine gun. This weapon is a duplicate 
of the British model except for the fact that the cocking handle 
is on the left side and cannot be shifted to the right side of the 
gun. An advantage of the Lewis-type weapon is the fact that, 
without removing the gun from its mount, it can be adapted 
for antiaircraft use in about 15 seconds. 

The Japanese Model 96 (1936) 6.5-mm light machine gun 
is very similar in appearance to the British Bren light machine 
gun, caliber .303. In construction, however, it embodies 
certain features of French and Czech automatic weapons. 
With a mechanism that represents a considerable improve- 
ment upon the Model II, it handles well and can be fired 
from the hip. 

Prominent identification features are the carrying handle 
direcllv in front of the receiver, the operating handle on the 
left of the receiver, the drum-controlled rear peep sight, and 
the quick-change barrel with the swinging-arm release catch. 

The gun is gas-operated and air-cooled. A spare barrel is 
carried as a "replacement should a change be necessary. The 
gun is fed by a curved-box magazine containing 30 rounds 
which is placed on top of the receiver. The safety is located on 
the left side of the trigger housing in front. of and above the 
trigger.. In horizontal position, it is set to "fire"; when it is in 
the vertical position, the gun is locked. 

Oil reservoir 

Feed hopper 
Rear sight 

Backplate pin 

Figure 52. Model II (.1922) 6.5-mm light machine gun. 

To load the gun, a 30-roiinil magazine is inserted into the 
opening in the top of the receiver, catching the front side of 
the magazine first and polling it back until the catch on the 
back of the magazine opening engages the magazine. The 
operating handle then is pulled to the rear until the sear 
engages the operating slide. The operating handle is then 
returned to its forward position and, after the range is set on 
the eight drum, the gun is ready for firing. 

The gas-piston plug has five positions, enabling the size of 
the gas port to be increased as the plug is turned from 1 
toward 5. A large opening increases the recoil; a smaller 
opening will diminish it. 

To unload the gun, the magazine catch is pressed forward 
with the base of the palm of the hand. The magazine then is 
grasped and tilted forward until clear of the magazine catch, 
after which it can be lifted off. 

As in the case of the Model 99 rifle, adoption of the Model 99 
(1939) 7.7-inm light machine gun is additional evidence of the 
trend in the Japanese \rmy toward the use of heavier infantry 
weapons with some sacrifice of mobility. 

The Model 99 light machine gun is quite similar in appear- 
ance to the Model 96. However, there are several easily 
recognized distinguishing features. The Model 99 has an 
adjustable rear monopod. Also, the Model 99 has the nut-and- 
wedge type barrel release, whereas the Model 96 has a pivot- 

Figure S3. Feed hopper of Model 11 (1922) 6.5-mm light 
machine gun. 


Figure 54. Model 92 (1932) 7.7-nim Lewis type light machine gun. 


Figure 55. Moilrl 96 (1936) 6.5-mm light machine gun. 


Figure 56. Motlel 99 (1939) 7.7-mtn light machine gun. 

ing, barrel-locking knob. The (lash hider of the Model 99 is 
screwed onto the muzzle; that of the Model 96 has a bayonet- 
type locking device. 

The Model 99 is gas-operated, air-cooled, and magazine-fed. 
Both front bipod and rear monopod are used in firing, with 
elevation of the piece changed by adjustments of the monopod. 

Ammunition is fed from a 30-round, curved-box magazine 
which fits into the top of the receiver. An important point to 
note is the fact that many parts arc common to both Models 
96 and 99, and their mechanisms arc practically identical. 

In operating the Model 99, the safety lever on the right or 
left side of the receiver is rotated downward to the horizontal 


Trigger thumbpiece 

Adjustable traversing handles 

Figure 57. Model 92 {1932) 7. 7 -mm heavy machine gun. 


position. The magazine- and ejection-port covers are then 
opened. Next, the loaded magazine is inserted, with the inside 
curve to the front. The front end of the magazine must be 
engaged in the receiver first, after which the magazine can he 
pressed down until its catch engages the rear Mange in the 
receiver opening. The operating handle is then pulled to the 
rear as far as possible and pushed forward again. After the 
sights are set by turning the elevating drum to the desired 
range, the gun is ready for firing. It will (ire as long as the 
trigger is pulled. It cannot be used as a semiautomatic weapon. 
The rate of (ire is regulated in the same manner as on the 
Model 96. Ammunition used is the Model 99 (1939) 7.7-mm 
true rimless type. 

The only Japanese-manufactured submachine gun is the 
Model 100 (1940), which (ires. 8-mm pistol ammunition. It is 
an air-cooled weapon designed to take a bayonet. It is fitted 
with a bipod and is said to have a folding stock. Though 
previously noted in Manchuria, the Model KM) so far has been 
identified only on Saipan. 

The Standard, most commonly used Japanese 7.7-mm 
heavy machine gun is the Model 92 (1932) which normally is 
mounted on a tripod and can be adapted for antiaircraft use. 
Prominent identification characteristics are large radiating 
rings, adjustable traversing handles, the cocking handle 
mounted on the right side, and the oiler which is located above 
and to the left of the receiver, directly above the fecdwav. 

A modified llotchkiss type, the Model 92 seldom overheats 
because of its slow rale of (ire. and therefore the life of the 

barrel is unusually long. The weapon is gas-operated and full 
automatic only. The base of the receiver has a mount for a 
telescopic sight. 

Turning the trigger thumbpiece clockwise puts the gun in 
the * f safe" position. The feed strip then can he removed, and 
the bolt is locked. Inserting a feed strip unlocks the bolt, and 
the gun can he put in the "(ire*' condition by pressing on the 
trigger thumbpiece. 

To (ire the piece, the traversing handles arc put into the 
lower, or firing, position. The cocking handle then is pulled 
hack and pushed forward again. Both feed and ejection open- 
ings will open automatically when the cocking handle is 
moved, \mmunilion is inserted from the left side of the feed 
mechanism with the rounds uppermost. To unload, the feed 
hohhilg-pawl arm hook underneath the fecdwav (on the left 
side of the receiver) is pulled out. The gun will continue to 
fire, until the ammunition is expended, as long as the trigger 
thumbpiece is pressed forward. l\ate-of-(ire adjustment is 
made by screwing the gas-cylinder plug in or out until the gun 
functions as desired. 

Three telescopic sights are available for use with the Model 
92. The Models 93 and 94 are both of the periscopic type. The 
former is six-power, and the latter live-power. The Model 93, 
which measures HA inches, is used onlv to lay the gun. The 
Model 9 t. which is 12. K inches from, lop to bottom, has an 
eyepiece on level with the top of the receiver. The Model 96 
(1936) telescopic sight, which is four-power, may be used 
while the gun is Bring. 


Figure 58. Xlixlrl 3 (191 1) 6,5-mm heavy machine gun. 


Oil reservoir 

Telescope sight 

• Cocking handle 

Rear sight with peep and windage removed 

Trigger thumbpiece *T 

Figure 59. Details of sights of Model 92 (1932) 7.7-mm heavy machine gun. 


The Model 92 heavy machine gun uses the 7.7-mm semi- 
riinmeil ammunition in hall, tracer, or armor-piercing forms. 
Model ')<) (1939) rimless 7.7-mm also can he fired in this gun, 
if loaded in 30-roimd feed strips. 

The Japanese use the Model 93 (1933) 13-mm heavy 
machine gun for holh antiaircraft and ground fire. A singlc- 
harrelcd version of the weapon exists, with a different mount 
than is employed in the douhle-harreled model. The two guns 
on the Model 93 douhle-harreled weapon are mounted sepa- 
rately ami can be stripped from the mount individually. There 
is an iron chair for the gunner who operates each of the guns 
with separate pedals. 

There is no safety device on the gun. Each gun is cocked 
individually by pulling hack the respective cocking handles 
on the sides of the receivers. The loaded magazines (with 20 
rounds to each box-type magazine) are put on, and the gun9 
fired by pressing the pedals. Ball, armor-piercing, and tracer 
ammunition are used. A black band on the outer edge of the 
primer denotes ball ammunition. White bands and red bands 
indicate armor-piercing and tracer, respectively. 

Machine Guns — Table of Characteristics 

Model II (1922) 6.5-mni light MG 
Caliber . 0.2S6 inch 

l*rin<-i|il«- of operation (ias-0|ieratcd, full-automatic only 

Ammunition Model 38 (190S) semirimmed. re- 
duced-charge cartridges in 5- 
round clipM 

Type of feed Hopper 

Vieigln. 22' 2 pounds 


Effective l.olO yards 

Maximum 4J.JT4 yards 

Made velocity 2.1 10 feet per second 

Kate of (ire: 

Effective ISO rounds per minute in 5-rnuiid 


Cyclic (maximum) 500 rounds per minute 

Model 96 (1936) 6.5-mm light MG 

Caliber 0.250 inch 

I'riiu'iple of operation Gee-operated, full-automatic only 

Ammunition Model 38 (1905) semirimmed re- 

Type of feed 30-mund l>ox magazine 

Weight with sling. 20 pounds 


Effective 1,640 yards 

Maximum _. 1,374 yards 

Motile velocity.. 2.410 feel per second 

Kate of lire (cyclic)... 550 rounds per minute 

Model 99 (1939) 7.7-mm light MG 
Caliber 0.303 inch 

Principle ..f nitration ___ Gas-operalcd. lull-aulmnatic only 

Ammunition _ Model 99 (1939) 7.7-mra rimless 

cartridge only. Urxr of hall car- 
tridges i* known, hut no reports 
of armor-piercing or tracer 

cartridge* have hecn received 

Type of feed 30-roimd Ih»x magazine 

Weight: Million! magazine 20 pounds 


Kffcciive 1,500 yard* 

Maximum .I.KfKl yards 

Muzzle velocity 2.3(H) feci per second 

Range of lire: 

Effective 2.~>0 rounds per minute 

Cyclic 800 rounds i>er minute 

Model 92 (1932) 7.7-mm heavy MG 

Caliber 0.303 inch 

Principle of operation Gas-operated, tnll-aiitotnatic only 


Ammunition Mull, tracer, and armor-piercing 

liiiili Hemirimnwd and rimleM 
ammunition can be fired 

Typo of feed Strip* (30 round* each) 


Withoul lri|Kxl 61 pound* 

With tripod ___ 122 pound* 

Traverse (with tripod mount) 360 degrcca (33.5 degrees on an 

Elevation [with tripod mount): 

Maximum ll degree* 

M illinium —15 degrees 


Effective _ 1.5(H) yards 

Maximum _ 1.587 yard* 

Minwle velocity (with Mode! 92 (1932) 

hall ammunition) 2, '1 00 feet per *econd 

Hal*- of Tire: 

Effective 200 round* |»rr minute 

Cyclic. 450 round* imt minute 

Model 93 (1933) 13-mrn twin heavy MO 

Caliber 0.51" inch 

Principle of o|>cratinii (*a*-opcratcd. lull-anlOmatie only 

Ammunition Hall, tracer, and armor-piercing weight ,,( each gun H7 pound* 

Muscle velocity: 

Hall ammunition 2,210 feel per second 

Armor-piercing aininuuition 2,280 feet prr m:r.ond 

Model 100 (1940) 8-mm SMC 

< a liber K-utui 

Principle of operation Hlnwhack 

Ammunition - 8-mm Narnhu (pistol) cartridge* 

Tj pi! of feed 30<ronnd curved Ikix magazine 

under receiver 

Weight (with hi|MMl) (Not yet a*certaiued) 

M uncle velocity 1.082 feet iter «ceoud 

lUtc of fire (cyclic) 7(H) 

Figure 60. Mtnlel 93 (1933) 13-min henry machine pun 
(sin file mount). 



Mortars arc used most effectively hy the Japanese Army, 
ami their performance seems to lie fully up to the standard of 

oilier modern armies. The Model 0«( (I03JS) SO -mm mortar lias 
three main parts — the hase plate, the hi pod. ami the harrel. 
1 1 - ele\ ation is fixed at ahoul 10 degrees, Imt provision is maile 
for limited traverse hy loosening the two Wing nuts that secure 
the l>ipoil ami swin^in" the bipod feet on the arc. 

The Model OJI 50-mm weapon lires a formidable- stiek homh 
which weighs uearlv 10 poumls ami contains ahout 7 pouiuls 
of explosive charge. To fire the weapon it is first necessary to 
insert one or more powder increments into the muzzle. The 
stick, of the homh then is placed in the tuhc. Adjustment of the 

graduated range slide, which is clamped to the muzzle, will 
regulate the distance the stick will jro into the harrel. The 
greater the distance the stick extends into the harrel. the 
greater the range that will he attained. 

The explosive charge of the homh is armed hy insertion of 
two friction-type pull Igniters in the holes in the hase of the 

charge. Rack igniter is connected by cord to one of the two 

links extending from the harrel collar of the mortar on each 
side. A |Hill ■! \ pe friction primer then is inserted into the primer 
seal on the side of the harrel near the hase. I'lilling the loop 
lanyard attached (o tin- friction primer lire?- the piece. 

The Model II (1022) 70-mm mortar is muzzle-loaded, hut 

Figure 61. Model 93 (1933) 1 3 -mm heavy machine gun 

(tlnal iiiduiii). 


Figure 62. Model 98 (19.18) 50-mni mortar anil stick bomb. 


nonetheless it lias a rifled bore. It is mounted on a wooden 
base plate, and the barrel is supported by an adjustable 
elevating screw. Laying-in is done with the aid of a gunner's 
quadrant which has an elevation scale graduated in half- 
degrees from 0- to 55 degrees, used in conjunction with a 
Vernier arm which permits corrections to one-sixteenth of a 
degree. The quadrant also contains a leveling vial. 

Vi hen the piece is properly laid-in by use of the elevating 
screw and the traverse wheel, the shell is placed down the 
barrel and the mortar fired by means of a lanyard attached to 
a striker arm. For safety all crew members should crouch 
below the level of the muzzle when the piece is fired. 

The mortar fires a high-explosive shell made up of a fuze, 
the body, and the propelling-charge assembly. The fuze is a 
simple point-detonating type. The steel shell body is threaded 
at the top and bottom to receive the fuze and propelling- 
charge assembly respectively. The propelling-charge assembly 
consists of the percussion cap, the propcllant, and a copper 
rotating band which is engaged by the rifling. 

The simplest mortar design used by the Japanese is the 
70-mm barrage mortar, first encountered during the Attu 
operations. The barrel is smooth-bored and is attached to a 
wooden base by means of a base plate. A spike extension rod 
on the bottom of the base is used to anchor the piece into the 
ground. The wooden base absorbs the shock of firing and pre- 
vents the mortar from "digging in." Changes in elevation are 
made by altering the angle at which the rod is pegged into the 
ground. The mortar is fired simply by dropping the shell down 

the muzzle, propelling charge first. 

After the shell is propelled, a time train and fixed powder 
charge cause the projection of seven smaller bombs borne by 
rice-paper parachutes. A larger parachute opens at the same 
time, tilting the main container and insuring the scattering of 
the seven small bombs. These are loaded with nitrostarch and 
are detonated in the air by a pull-igniter fuze which has a 
phosphorus-coated string and delay element. 

The Model 97 (1937) 81-mm mortar is almost identical with 
the U. S. 81-mm mortar Ml. There are two minor differences, 
however, for the Japanese weapon has an offset locking nut for 
the firing pin and buttress-type thread on the elevating and 
traversing screws. Operation is identical with that of the U. S. 
piece, and the ammunition is so similar in every respect that 
it can be used interchangeably. 

The Model 99 (1939) 81-mm mortar also is similar. to the 
U. S. (1 1 -mm mortar Ml, except that it has a shorter barrel, 
is equipped for trigger firing, and has a close fit between the 
bore and the projectile to compensate for the shorter barrel. 
Two men can carry the Japanese weapon, which can also be 
transported by horsecart or motor truck. 

In the barrel collar of the Model 99 there is a buffer system 
to absorb part of the recoil by the action of two recoil cylinders 
filled with light grease or heavy oil. The weapon normally is 
used with a collimator sight, that is, one which adjusts the line 
of sight relative to other parts of the mortar; but a gunner's 
quadrant can be mounted, and a white line painted along the 
top of the barrel also aids in sighting. 


Figure- 63. Model II (1922) 70-mm infantry mortar. 

Quadrant seat 

Elevating screw 

Traversing hand wheel 


Spade - 


Figure 64. Model 97 (.1937) 81-mm mortar. 


Figure 65. Model 99 (1939) 
Hi-rum mortar. 


Smooth bore 

Figure 66. Model 94 (.1934) 90-mm mortar. 



Figure 67. Model 97 (1937) 
90-mm mortar. 


There is a safety lever at the side of the base cap at the base 
of the mortar barrel. When this lever is turned to the left the 
firing pin is in firing position. When the piece has been laid-in 
the shell is placed fin-first in the muzzle and permitted to slide 
down the barrel. The firing-pin shaft is then struck with a 
wooden mallet. The blow drives the firing-pin shaft into the 
base cap, jamming the firing pin upward into contact with the 
cartridge primer. All members of the crew should crouch or 
lie on the ground when these firing steps have been completed. 
Both high-explosive and smoke or chemical shells are used, 
and there are two weights — 7.2 pounds and 14.3 pounds. 

One of the largest Japanese infantry mortars commonly used 
is the 90-mm Model 94 (1934). It is a smooth-bore, muzzle- 
loading weapon with a fixed firing pin. It is ecpiipped with two 
recoil cylinders mounted on a onc-piecc l/-shaped frame. This 
frame -fits into the base plate by a ball-and-socket arrange- 
ment. The barrel is connected by a bar to the recoil cylinders 
which in turn arc attached to bipod shock absorbers. 

Elevation of the piece is accomplished by turning the crank 
at ihe junction of the bipod legs and elevating screws. A knob 
at the end of the traversing screw, where the barrel is collared 
to the bipod, is turned to accomplish traverse. 

The mortar is laid-in and leveled in the same manner as 
would be done with the I J. S. 81 -mm Mortar M I, and the sight 
also is operated in a similar fashion. To fire the piece the pro- 
jectile is allowed to slide down the barrel fins-first. The firing 
pin fires the igniting charge. Both high-explosive and chemical 
shells are fired. 

In the Bougainville fighting the Japanese used a much im- 
proved version of the Model 94, known as the Model 97 (1937) 
90-mm mortar. It weighs 120 pounds less than the Model 94, 
and this lightness is a great advantage in difficult jungle terrain 
where such weapons ordinarily arc hand-carried. This light- 
ness has been achieved by elimination of the heavy recoil 
mechanism found on the older model, and the redesigned 
clamping collar and saddle are lighter than these parts of the 
Model 94. The new model has the same maximum range and 
other firing characteristics as the earlier version. 

In China the Japanese have employed a 150-mm mortar. 
This weapon appears to be of conventional design, incorpo- 
rating baseplate, bipod, and elevating screw. It is tentatively 
identified as the Model 93 (1933) and is intended for use 
against field fortifications and for effect on morale. 

Mortars — Table of Characteristics 
Model 98 (1938) 50-mm mortar 

Ammunition 10-ponnd stick bomb 

Total weigh! 48 pounds 

Range — . 100-150 yards 

Model 11 (1922) 70-mm mortar 

Total weight 133.7"> pound* 

Barrel _ Kilted bore 

Kanee 3,000 yards (apprn«) 

70-mm barrage mortar 

Ammunition,: Shell containing paraehole bombs 

Range 3,000- 1,000 feet (vertical) 


Model 97 (79.(7) 81-mm mortar 

Rate «if fire (estimated) 18 lo 30 rounds per minute 

Weight 145 pounds 

Range ....... 3,000 yards (maximum) 

Model 99 (1939) 81-mm mortar 

Ammunition 7.2 and 14.3-pound shells 

Total weight 52 pounds 

Minimum ranee: 

7.2-pound shell 545 yards 

14.3-pound shell 207 yards 

Maximum range: 

7.2-pound shell 3,280 yards 

14.3-pound shell 1,312 yards 

Rare of fire ....... 15 rounds per minute 

Model 94 (1934) 90-mm mortar 

Ammunition _._....-__ HE and incendiary shells 

Length of barrel with lirceeh cap 51Hu inches 

Weight in action ............... 340 |H>unds 

Range 612 10 4,155 yards 

Model 93 (1933) 150-mm mortar 

Ammunition 44 pound II K shell 

Weight of assembled piece ... 557 pounds 

Kate of fire .... . 3 rounds per minute 

Maximum range 2,310 yards 

Antitank and Infantry Guns 

The Model 97 (1937) 20-mm antitank rifle is a single-pur- 
pose, semi- or full-automatic antitank weapon. It is frequently 
referred to as a machine cannon, in view of its full-automatic 
character. Since the piece weighs only 150 pounds it can he 
carried by two men and maneuvered in any terrain. The 

Figure 68. Moilel 93 (1933) 150-mm heavy mortar 
(opposite page). 

normal method of carrying, however, utilizes carrying handles 
in the brackets affixed to the front and rear of the cradle and 
requires three or four men. 

Prominent identification features of the weapon are the front 
bipod and rear monopod, the low silhouette, the nonadjustahle 
inverted-J' front .sight, and the peep sight to the rear. The 
weapon is gas-operated, air-cooled, and magazine-fed. 

There are two safety devices on the piece. One is a trigger 
block, located on the left side of the trigger housing above the 
pistol grip. This, when rotated, prevents the trigger from being 
pulled. The other device is a bolt stop on the right rear side 
near the top of the receiver, when it is turned, the bolt is held 
in its rearward position. 

Elevation of the piece is done by turning the knurled collars 
on the legs of the bipod. A traverse up to 45 degrees is possible 
by moving the shoulder stock. The front bipod swivels, but 
the rear leg must be reset in the ground for each change of 

The gun is cocked by pulling to the rear the retracting 
handle on the left side of the receiver. The bolt then is engaged 
and held in the rear by the stop, permitting the insertion of a 
vertical, box-type magazine into the top of the receiver. The 
bolt stop is then released and the trigger block disengaged. 
The retracting handle is pushed forward and, when the trigger 
is pulled, the piece will deliver full-automatic fire. Release of 
the trigger stops the fire by forcing a sear up into the receiver 
to hold the operating parts lo the rear. 


Figure 69. Model 97 {1937) 20-mm' antitank rifle with shield and front carrying handles. 



Magazine catch 
Bolt stop 


Shoulder pad L[ 

Figure 70. Model 97 (1937) 20-mm antitank rifle (right side). 

Both armor-piercing shot and high-explosive shells with 
point-detonating fuze are fired from the Model 97. It must he 
emphasized that this ammunition has a smaller shell case than 
the 20-mm rounds made for the Model 98 (1938) AA/AT 
machine gun. 

The Model 98 (1938) 20-mm machine cannon is an all- 
purpose weapon. Light in weight and very raaneuverable, it 
can be placed in battery as an antiaircraft gun by an experi- 
enced crew in less than three minutes, making it an effective 
weapon for defense against low-flying aircraft. Since it has a 
split trail and wheels, the piece also can he used for general 
field-artillery purposes. 

There are close similarities between the mechanism of the 
Model 98 and that of the Model 97 20-mm antitank rifle. 
However, the Model 98 may be fired either as a semi- or full- 
automatic weapon. It is gas-operated and magazine-fed. Two 
spring-loaded cylinders, one on each side of the barrel, consti- 
tute the recoil system. The vertical, box-type magazine which 
holds 20 rounds fits into a slot in the top of the receiver. For 
traveling, towing shafts are inserted in slots at the ends of the 
trails, and the forward part of the barrel is held to the carriage 
by a traveling lock. 

Two safely devices are installed. A lock on the firing handle, 
to the left and rear of the gun, must be depressed before the 
handle can be moved forward. There also is a manual safety 

Figure 71. Model 98 (1938) 20-mm antiaircraft-antitank 
machine cannon in traveling position (opposite page). 

to the rear and upper right of the receiver which must be 
turned counterclockwise before the weapon can be fired. 

After the trails and outrigger are set in the ground, the 
crank -shaped axle is swung so that the weapon rests on them, 
and the wheels are clear of the ground and can be removed. 
The gun is elevated by a handwheel to the left rear, and 
traversed by pressing on the shoulder rest. 

To fire, a loaded magazine is placed into the slot on the top 
of the receiver. The operating handle then is pulled to the rear 
and pushed forward again. This operation pushes the first 
round into the chamber. Pressing the lock on the firing handle, 
and moving the handle forward, fires the piece. Either auto- 
matic or semiautomatic fire may be chosen by adjustment of 
the change lever at the right rear of the sleigh. 

Both high-explosive and armor-piercing ammunition are 
used. Both have abnormally large brass shell-cases, the size of 
which is the feature that distinguishes the ammunition for this 
gun from that intended for the Model 97 20-mm antitank rifle. 

The Model 11 (1922) 37-mm gun has been superseded by 
weapons of more modern design, but it may still be en- 
countered in some combat areas. Four men who constitute the 
normal crew can carry the weapon, which in appearance is 
similar to the U. S. 37-mm gun M1916. It is easily identified 
by its very short barrel and tubular steel trails. Barrel and 
breech form one integral part: the breech has a vertical sliding- 
wedgc block which is operated manually or automatically. 
A simple telescopic sight is standard on the weapon. 

There are both elevating and traversing handwheels. A 




lucking mechanism holds the breechblock closed and must be 
disengaged prior to firing. A round then is inserted in the 
chamber and the breech automatically closes. Adjustment can 
be made, however, to permit manual operation of the breech- 
block. A lanyard is attached to the bring mechanism. 

The Model 94 (1934) 37-mm gun is an infantry close-support 
gun used both as an antitank and antipersonnel weapon. It has 
a long slender barrel, a low mount, and spade brackets on the 
trails. The weapon may be either manhandled or horscdrawii. 

Like the Model 11, barrel and breech are integrated. The 
breechblock is a horizontal sliding wedge. When a round is 
lircil, the breech opens and the cartridge case is extracted 
automatically. The breech remains open until another round 
is inserted in the chamber. 

The elevating mechanisms are used to lay -in the piece. One 
handwheel, to the left above and forward of the breech, moves 
the telescope and barrel. The elevating handwheel proper 
moves only the barrel — this wheel is to the right and forward 
of the breech. Traversing is accomplished by a handwheel 
at the left of the breech. 

Three safety devices must be disengaged to fire the piece. 
A safety lock on the breechblock is turned to the vertical 
position for firing. Secondly, the breechblock operating-handle 
latch is disengaged by forcing down the operating handle. 

Figure 72. Two views of Model 11 (1922) 37-mm gun 
showing accessories (opposite page). 

Finally, the safety lock to the right of the firing knob is dis- 
engaged to permit pulling the knob to the rear. 

To load and fire, a round is inserted in the chamber auto- 
matically closing the breech. The firing knob then is pulled 
outward and to the rear. Normally, a five-man crew serves 
the gun — a chief of section, a gunner, a gunner's assistant, 
and two ammunition carriers. Armor -piercing, high-explosive, 
and shrapnel types of ammunition are furnished for use in the 
Model 94. 

The Model 1 (1941) 47-mm gun is a new antitank and anti- 
personnel weapon of modern design, it has a long barrel with 
muzzle reinforcement, exceptionally long trails, and rublier- 
tired, perforated, steel-disc wheels. It is designed for motor 
transport only, with the trails closed and locked with a yoke. 
Its great length and low clearance make it difficult to man- 
handle, except in exceptionally favorable terrain. The breech- 
block is the horizontal sliding-wedge type, and may he oper- 
ated cither manually or semiautomaticaljy. 

Operational details are not known but it is believed that the 
gun is fired in the same manner as the Model 94 37-mm gun. 
It fires rimmed and armor -piercing high-explosive with a brass 
case. The case has a comparatively large diameter and is 
necked down to take the 47-mm projectile. 

The Model 92 (1932) 70-mm howitzer is the standard in- 
fantry-support piece of this category. It is horse-drawn but 
presumably could be manhandled by its ten-man section. It 
has a low mount, an extremely short barrel, and a sliding plate 
on the shield. 


: ^s-/ 

• •• 


Figure 73. Mmlel 94 (.1934) 37-mm gun. 

Figure 75. Model 92 (.1932) 70-mm howitzer. 

! _— < 

Barrel, breech ring, and top sleigh are all of one forging. 
The breechblock is the interrupted-thread, swing-down type, 
and is manually operated. The trails which lock together for 
travel have two extensions for horse transportation. The 
wheels arc steel disc with steel rims; however, the model also 
has been found equipped with wooden artillery wheels. 

There are two important safety features on the weapon. 
The safety lock, to the right of the firing mechanism on the 
breech carrier, must be in the "down" position before the piece 
can be fired. Also the breechblock operating latch must he 
depressed before the breech can be operated. Note that the 
gun cannot be fired unless the breech is fullv closed, and that 
this, in effect, constitutes another safety device. The Model 92 
uses the same panoramic sight employed on Japanese field- 
artillery weapons. It is mounted on the left side of the piece 
and includes a range drum, an elevating bubble, and a cross- 
leveling bubble. The piece is elevated by a handwhecl on the 
right of the carriage, and traversed by one on the left side. 

To fire the piece it is necessary to open the breechblock 
manually to insert a round into the chamber. The breech is 
then closed, after which the safety lock is moved to the "up" 
position which prevents its firing while a lanyard is attached. 
AX hen ready to fire, the safety lock is released and the lanyard 

The gun uses semifixed ammunition with a brass or a brass- 

plated steel case. High explosive and shrapnel both are used; 
the high-explosive shell weighs 8.36 pounds and has a burst 
danger area of 40 radial yards. 

The Model 41 (1908) 75-mm mountain or infantry gun 
originally was used as a field artillery pack gun. Jt has been 
superseded to a great extent, however, by more modern 
weapons for this purpose, and now is issued as a regimental 
infantry gun. It has been encountered in virtually every U. S. 
Japanese combat theater. 

The gun has an interrupted-thread, swing-type breechblock. 
The recoil mechanism is hydrospring and there are no equal- 
izers or equilihrators. The gun is mounted on a field carriage 
with steel-rimmed wooden wheels. The trail is the modified 
bi>x type, constructed of tubular steel. The two parallel trails 
are connected to a large, single demountable spade. The 
elevation handwhecl is on the left side of the carriage, while 
the traversing wheel is to the right rear. 

There are three safety devices. On the left of the rear plate 
of the breechblock is located the safety lock which must be in 
the "down" position to fire the piece. The breechblock has an 
operating-handle latch which locks the breech in a closed 
position after it has been fully closed, and there is a rack lock 
which automatically prevents the breechblock from rotating 
when the breech is opened and closed. The gun is fired in the 
same manner as the Model 92 70-mm howitzer. 


Figure 76. Model 41 (1908) 75-mm mountain (.infantry) gun. 

Antitank and Infantry Guns — Table of Characteristics 

Model 97 (1937) 20-mm AT rifle 

Principle of operation Gas-operated, semi- or fall-auto- 

A mmuiiition___ _„___.______ ___________ High-rx plosive .1 ml armor-piercing 

T> pc of feed 7-romnl box magazine 


In aclion without shield 120 i>oiinol* 

Complete with carrying handles 150 i>oum)* 

Thickness of shield armor % inch 

Effective range 1,100 yards 

Kale of fire Unknown 

Model 98 (1938) 20 -mm AA-AT machine cannon 

Principle of operation Ga^-operaled, rami- or full-auto- 

Ammunition II igh-ex plosive, tracer, and armor - 


Type of feed 20-round box magazine 

Total weight without wheels „ 836 pounds 

Traverse without wheels 6,100 mils (360 degrees) 


Maximum 1.511 mils (85.7 degrees) 

Minimum -178 mils (-10 degrees) 

Maximum range: 

Horizontal 5,150 yards 

Vertical. 12_,000 feel 

Muzzle velocity 2.720 feet per second 

Hate of lire 120 rounds |>er minute 

Range 12.000 feel [vertical) 

Model 11 (1922) 37-mm gun 

Weigh, in action 205.72 pouiuls 

Model 94 (1931) 37-mm gun 

Weight in anion 714 pounds 

Thickness of shield armor 0.2-inm (0.787 inch) 


Effective 2,500 yank 

Maximum _ 5.000 yard* 

Munle velocity (armor-piercing round).. 2,300 feet per second 
Kale of fire 10 to 20 round* per mi'iiife 

Model 1 (1941) 47 -mm gun 

No statistics are available for this model, although liring 
tests have been made. 

Model 92 (1932) TO-mm hotcitzcr (battalion gim) 

Total weight in lotion.. __ 468 pounds 

Thickness of shield armor 0.156 inch 


Effective 1.500 vards 

Maximum 3.000 yards 

Hale of lire 10 rounds per minute 

Model 41 (1908) 75-tnm mountain infantry gun 


Effective 2,100 yank 

Maximum 9,265 vards 

With long-pointed shell 7,675 yards 

With ordinary shell 6,575 yards 

Rate of lire 10 rounds per minute 

Figure 77. Model 38 (.1905) 75-mrn gun (.improved). 




Japanese artillery weapons exhibit the outstanding 
characteristic of lightness, in some cases without the 
sacrifice of range, although there is reason to believe 
that the pieces are not as rugged as those of compa- 
rable calibers in other armies. Models introduced 
since 1930 have hydropneumatic recoil mechanisms 
of the independent type, with the liquid in direct 
contact with the gas. Spade-plate stabilizers, pintle 
traverse, and three-point suspension also are features. 
The horizontal sliding-wedge breechblock also is 
used. Equilibrators, trunnioning forward of the cen- 
ter of balance, and the employment of open box or 
split trails likewise have been typical of Japanese 
artillery designed or modified since the period of 
World War I. 

Light Artillery 

The Model 38 (1908) improved 75-mm gun still retains its 
place as the standard Japanese light division artillery piece, 
although it can lie expected that it will he replaced gradually 

by the more modern Model 90 or Model 95. The piece is a 
modification of the original Model 38. The plain box trail was 
modified into an open box which allows for an elevation of 43 
degrees, although axle traverse was retained. i*.<piilihrators 
were added and the piece was trunnioned to the rear. Although 
a hydrospring recoil mechanism still was used, it was made 

Although primarily a dual purpose AA/AT gun, the Model 
88 (1928) 75-mm antiaircraft gun thus far has been en- 
countered more generally in U. S. campaigns against the 
Japanese than any other artillery weapon. Its high muzzle 
velocity makes it suitable for use against ground targets, 
especially tanks. As an antitank weapon it has the advantages 
of zero elevation and an all-round traverse, but it camiot be 
moved quickly after firing. 

The Model 90 (1930) 75-mm gun has a very long tube 
equipped with a muzzle brake. It has been made both for 
motorized or horse draft. Its muzzle velocity, high according 
to Japanese standards, makes it the only Japanese weapon 
presently available that is suitable for effective antitank fire 
against heavy armored vehicles at considerable ranges. Its 
adaptability to this use also is increased by its wide pintle 

The Model 94 (1934) 75-mm mountain gun, which has re- 
placed the Model 41 mountain gun, has become the standard 


Figure 78. Modei 88 (I928)7S-mm AA gun 

Figure 79. Model 90 (1930) 75-mm gun. 

Figure 80. Model 94 {1934) 7S-mm gun (mountain) 


^ "•! 104 -< *-"V. 

Figure 81. MmM 95 (1935) TS-mm gun 


pack artillery weapon of the Japanese army. Although a light 
weapon, it has a number of modern construction features such 
as a Schneider-type hydropneumatic, independent recoil 
system; a horizontal sliding-wedge breechblock; split trails 
with spade plates; pintle traverse; and three-point suspension. 
Since it is trunnioncd at the center of balance, it does not 
require equilibrators. It can be disassembled and reassembled 
with comparative ease. With lifting bars and ropes 18 men can 
carry the weapon, although in the difficult terrain where man- 
handling has been necessary larger groups have been assigned. 
It fires some of the same projectiles used in other 75 -mm 
pieces, with the same length cartridge case used in the Model 
38. However, its propellant differs by being lighter, resulting 
in lower chamber pressure. 

The Model 95 (1935) 75-mm field gun is being encountered 
with increasing frequency. It may have been designed pri- 
marily to supersede the Model 41 (1908) 75-mm cavalry gun. 
It can fire at higher elevation than the Model 41, but it 
weighs 400 pounds more. 

Despite its lightness, the Model 91 105-mm howitzer can 
throw a 35-pound shell nearly 12,000 yards. Its cradle extends 
almost to the muzzle end of the tube. Another prominent 
identification feature is the demountable spade plates. The 
Model 91 weighs only 3,306 pounds in firing position. 

The Model 92 (1932) 105-mm gun seems almost completely 
to have replaced the Model 14 (1925) 105-mm gun, only 64 of 
which are known to have been made. The Model 92 is one of 
the beat Japanese artillery designs, with its long barrel, short 

cradle, long trails, and low silhouette. It attains great range 
in proportion to its unusually low weight. Although it weighs 
only 8,220 pounds in bring position, its maximum range is 
reported at approximately 20,000 yards. The weapon is 
equipped with spade plates and trail blocks which are de- 
mountable. Considerable difficulties apparently have been 
encountered with the recoil system. 

Although the Model 4 (1915) I50-mm howitzer was designed 
during the period of World W ar 1 , it was manufactured in such 
quantities that it is still encountered on many fronts: but since 
1936 it gradually has been replaced. Like other Japanese field 
artillery, it is remarkable for its long range in proportion to its 
weight. For travel the gun breaks into two loads. This feature 
has proved invaluable in terrain where bridges were flimsy or 
non-existent, and the road net poor. The gun's modified box 
trail allows it to be fired at extreme elevations, a valuable 
feature in jungle or rugged terrain. 

A more modern Japanese 150-mm howitzer is the Model 96 
(1936) which gradually is superseding the Model 4 in medium 
artillery units. It is heavier than the Model 4, has a longer 
range, and travels in a single, tractor-drawn load. 

Heavy Artillery 

The standard heavy artillery weapon of the Japanese army, 
comparable-jroughly with the U. S. 155-mm gun, .is the Model 
89 (1929) 150-mm gun. No specimen has thus far been cap- 
tured. It fires a shell considerably heavier than that used in 
the 150-mm howitzers. It travels in two loads, but takes longer 


to cmplaec than weapons of corresponding caliher in other 
armies, anil is also outranked hv them. 

Information ahont other Japanese heavy artillery is ineon- 
clusive. The ilala in regard to pieces that have lieen reporteil 
have not been conlirmeii. 

Artillery — Tables of Characteristics 
Model -18 (1905) 7't-mm pun (improved) 


Lcnpth ..f i..l..- 7 reel 6 31 .-alilier. 

Muxzlc velocity Shell I .oil) l/a, IIK: pointed ■hefl 

I. "77.H I, 
Maximum ranno UK "hells B.'WH yard*; pointed shed: 

IXODO yordi 
Klevaikm .._ _' l:f 

l>rprr-.Kin_ . — — K° 

Traverse 3° SO* lefts 3* 30" right 

Rate of lire: Normal 


2 minutes 15 rpm 

IS minute*. 1 rpm 

Continuous. luu-120 r|.li 

\niniiiMiii.iii_ __ IIK, M'llK. shrapnel, pointed, in- 
cendiary, siu.ik.:. illuminating 

Type of breechblock. Horizontal ulidinn wedge 

i:tivsTiii>r.TltiN ami HUVkUKKT iiitv 

Weight of gum i'iriiis 2..701..I 

Traveling . .... 1.2(17.1 pound* 
Method of transport. llnrrtc-drawn at* horar* 

I' sp.-.-.l ..ii iiii>..I minis ... , _ . 2I.S mills per ilo) 

lime lo emplane ... 2 minute* 

\M U ami lira V,'o.»I.H|mk.-.l artillery wheels: si.,-1 


Trail Modified box adjustable Kpade 

Type of recoil ayaicm. 1 1 v.lrus|iriii|! aotonuilieally variable. 

Model 88 (1928) r.5-rnm ,1.1 gun. 

FIBICtO 1:11 \M\crKUisTli:s 

UiUfUl of lube.... I30JE .ml,,*; caliher 11.2 

MllKzlc velocity 2 Jl6l> f/g 

Maximum range 29.«l« feet 

Elevation &V*-M<Ml 0* 

Traverse 360 "» minutea for complete traverse 

Rate »»f lire: Normal 

Maximum. _ Ifi -20 rpiti 

2 uiiriiilfti 

15 ininulca 


Ammunition _ A A pointed -lull. HE, shrapnel, -mmke, 

iunmtliary, anil illuminating. 
Type «.r breechblock _ Semiautomatic r-JtVltnjt 

<"l\-lltll.IIII\ Wit MOVKMI-VT IMT* 

Weight of pun: firing ."».:V)D pounds 

Traveling... O.IK" ,.,.,, ml- 

Method Of irunsiMirl Tractor-ilrawn or O-by-u truck with 


Practical Hpucd UII pc«»l nMUlH, Maxin ■; \'2 nipll 

Normal: :1 mpli 

Tli nc bi cm place - _-___ 

Type <*f travcrae 

Trail ."> onl-rigaw with Jocks f..r leveling 

Ty|ie of recoil ayaicni llyilrupnuumalic, variahltt. 

Moth-t 90 {1930) 75-mm gun 

fikim: i:u M(v(.TKitlsrn:s 

■■ciigth nftiibe 1 12. 1 inili.T,; 38.44 calibera 

Minnie velocity 2.2% f/« 

Maximum range _ Ih.350 vanls 

Kl.valii.n... 13° 

Depression -B° 

Trnvnma 2.V richi; 25* left 

Kale "I lir.-: Normal 


2 iiiiimli's l."i rpm 

I", minute* I rpm 

* :.»ni is loo -12)1 rph 

Ammunition IIK. A 1*1 IK, shrapnel, incendiary, 

smoke, pointed. 


Figure 82. Model 91 {1931) 105 -nun hoicitzer. 


Weight ©f pun: Firinp 3,085.6 pound* 

Traveling 4.108 pounds. 

Method oC transport. _ 4- tun tractor- drawn or horse- drawn — 

six horses 

Practical sjKird OO good roads Maximum: 21.8 miles i»er hour 

Avenge: 9.3 niili:« per hour, 124 milea 

per day 

Time to r nip lace 2 minute* 

Wheels and lires Steel hand on artillery wheels antl 

ptu'iimatic lires fin disk wheels 
Trail Split with demountable spade plates 

and fixed trail blocks 
Type of recoil system llydropneumalic, constant 

Model 91 (1934) 7 5 -mm mountain pun 

fikim: oh\ka*:tehisth'.s 

length of luhe __-_. 61.5 inches; caliber 20.8 

M urate velocity Pointed shell: 1,285.8 f/a 

Shrapnel shell: 1,165.4 r - 
Maximum range Pointed shell: 8,938 yards (9,100) 

HE shell: 7.957 yards 

Klcvation ._.._ 4:» 

Depression —10° 

Traverse... 2T»° right; 20° left 

Hate Of lire: Normal 


2 minute* 15 rpin 

15 minutes 4 rpm 

Continuous- 100- 120 rph 

Ammunition HE, A 1*1 IK, shrapnel, incendiary, illu- 
minating and pointed 

Type of breechblock Horizontal sliding 

Type of firinp mechanism Continuous pull percussion (Krupp 



Weight of pun: Firinp 1,181 .3 pounds 

Traveling 1,091 pound* (horse or motor draft) 

Weight of assemblies: 

Tuhe 206 pounds 

Cradle „ 207 pounds 

l,efl trail _ 138 pound* 

Right trail .-.- 131 puumla 

Wheels 152 pounds 

Right hrackct 10 pound* 

Breech . 82 pounds 

Road clearance 10.1 1 inches 

Method of transport Horse-drawn, motor-drawn, 6 horse* 

pack. This can also he manhandled 

easily by 3 men. 
Practical speed on pood roads Pack: 12.1-15.5 miles per day; 1-2 hone 

draft: 21.8-31 miles per day; man 

pack: 327-1.090 yards per hour 
Time to cmplaec, _..__._.._...- Approximately 5 minutes lo unpack and 

assemble. 2 minutes when horse 


Wheels and tires Steel-band tires on spoked wheels 

Trail ...... Split with demountable spade plates, 

and fixed trail blocks. 
Type of recoil system __._■_-_._. Hydropiienmnlic, constant, independ- 

Model 95 (1935) 7 5- nun field gun 


Length of tuhe -_- 89.7 inches; caliber 30.67 

Muzzle velocity 1,610 f/s 

Maximum range Pointed (?) 11,990 yard* 

II K (?) shell 9.810 yards 

Elevation 43° 

Depression —8° 

Traverse 25° right; 25° !efl 

Hate of fire: Normal 

Maximum. _ .__...__. l'l— 12 rpm 

2 minutes 

15 minutes . 

I Continuous 

Ammunition HE, APHK, shrapnel, smoke, incendi- 
ary, illuminating, and pointed^ 

Type of breechblock ... Horizontal sliding 


Weight of gun: Firing. 2,437.6 pounds 

Traveling 1.252.6 pounds 

Method of transport Horse drawn -six horse* 

Practical speed on pood roads 31.1 miles pec day 

Time lo emplaee 

Wheels and tires _ 

Trail Split, demountable spade {dates fixed 

trail blocks 
Type of recoil system ll>dro(nieumatie. constant 


Figure 83. Model 92 {1932) 10i-mm gun. 


Model 91 0931) 105-mm howitzer 


Length of tube _. 8 feet 4 inches; 24 calibers 

Manic velocity 1,790 f/H 

Maximum range Charge 1: 11,772 vards 

Charge 2: 8.502 yards 
Charge 3: 6,322 yards 
Charge 4: '> . I 2 ■'• yards 

Elevation 45° 

DflPC < 8 Won _ ---- ___.___... —5° 

Traverse 20" right; 20" left 

Kale of fire: Normal 

Maximum 6-8 rpm 

2 minutes „___..__ 

15 minutes 2 rpm 

Continuous 50-60 rph 

Ammunition . .... 1IK, API1F,, pointed, shrapnel, and 

Type Of bt$ecbblOCk Interrupted screw 

15 minutes 2 rpm 

Continuous. 50 60 rph 

Ammiifiilion UK, A1M1R, pointed, incendiary, and 

shrapnel. Separate loading cartridge 

case obturation. 

Type of breechblock Stage interrupted screw 


Weight of gun: Firing 8.220.9 pounds 

Traveling. 9,620.5 pounds 

Method .ii transport ...... 5-tou tractor drawn 

Practical speed on good roads 8.7 miles |n;r hour 

49.7-62.1 miles per day 

Time to eniplacc____ . 5 minutes 

Wheels and lire* *_' Solid rubber tires on wooden wheels 

Trail Split 3 demountable spade plates and 

demountable trail blocks on each trail; 
wheel chocks carried in traveling in 
metal po.-Lri- inside trails. 
lype of recoil system llydropncumatic, constant 


Weight of gun: Firing 3,306 pounds 

Traveling 4,36.1.9 noiinds 

Method of transport Horse drawn — six horses 

Practical Speed Oil good roads 24.8 miles per day 

Time to e tn place 3 minutes 

Wheels and tires Steel tires on artillery wheels 

Trail Split trail, demountable spade plates, 

(rail blocks integral to trails. 
Type of recoil system llydropneumatie 

Model 92 (1932) 105-mm gun 


Length of tube 184.3 inches; 45 calibers 

Muzzle velocity - 2.492.8 f/s 

Maximum range Pointed shell: 20.000 yards 

HE shell: 14.8(H) yards 

Elevation . 45 

Depression, -5 

Traverse 18° right; 18" left 

Kate of lire: Normal 6-8 rpm 

Maximum 6— 8 rpm 

2 morales— .... — . 

Model 4 (1915) 150-mrn howitzer 


Caliber _ 149.1-mm 

Length of tube .__ 85.4 inches; 14.6 calibers 

Mu/.zle velocity 1.344.8 f/s 

Maximum range 10.464 vards 

Klevation . (»5° 

Depression —5° 

Traverse 3° right; 3" left 

Kate of fire: Normal 

Maximum 3—1 rpm 

2 minutes ... 

15 minutes 1 rpm 

Continuous 30-10 rph 

Ammunition HK, pointed, shrapnel, APIIK, smoke, 

incendiary, and illuminating 
Type of breechblock Vertical, sliding, separate loading ammu- 
nition with cartridge case obturation. 


Weight of gun: Firing 6.160 pounds 


Barrel ___ 4,838 pounds 

Cradle 4,729.78 pounds 


Figure 84. Model 14 (1925) lOS-nxm gun. 

Fipiire 85. Mmlel 4 (1915) ISO-nun howitzer. 


Figure 86. Model 96 (1936) ISO-mm Itmvitzer. 


Method of transport Can be transported for short distances in 

single load. Horse drawn, 2 loads, 6 
horses each load. 

Practical ftpcrd on good roads 40 miles per day, except on bad terrain 

Time to emplace r 10 minutes 

Wheels ami tires. ____ Iron tires on wooden wheels 

Trail Modified box 

Type of recoil system Hydropneuniatic, dependent 

Model 96 (.19.16) 150-mm howitzer 

firing characteristics 

Caliber 149. 1 -mm 

length of tube 11 feet 6 inches; 23.37 calibers velocity 

Maximum range Pointed shell: 12,971 yards 

Ml', shell: 11,336 yards 

Klevation 65° 

Depression ^ ______ _______________ — 5 

Traverse 15° right; 15° left 

Kate of lire: Normal 

Maximum 3— 4 rpm 

2 minutes 

15 minutes 1 rpm 

Continuous 30-40*rph 

Ammunition HE, API1K. shrapnel, pointed, smoke, 

and incendiary. 
Type of breechblock Step interrupted screw 


Weight of gun: firing 9,108 pounds 

Traveling. 10,846 pounds 

Method of lrans|>ort 5 -ton tractor 

Practical speed on good roads 19.9 mph (maximum) 

8.7 mph (average) 
49.7-62.1 miles per day 
Time to emplaoe._________.___ 7 minutes 

Wheels and tires Solid rubber tires, wooden artillery 


Trail Split with 3 spade plates and a trail block 

for each trail. Plates and blocks de- 

Type of recoil system Hydropueuma tic, constant iude|>endcnt. 

Model 89 (1929) 150-mm gun 


Caliber 149.1-mm 

Length of tube 2,250 feet 

M.i/./.l,- velocity 2,250 f/s 

Maximum range 21.800 yards 

Klevation 43° 

Depression _ —5° 

Traverse... 20° right; 20° left 

Kate of fire: Normal 

Maximum __,. 2 rpm 

2 minutes 

15 minutes ._-..-_ 


Ammunition .......... APHE, HE, shrapnel, pointed, illu- 
Type of breechblock ___._._..__ Stage, interrupted. 

coNsnucnoN and movement data 
Weight of gun: Firing ........ 

Traveling. __ 22,928.4 pounds 

Barrel. '__ 17,215 pounds 

Cradle __ 16,645.2 pounds 

Method of transports. __ 8-ton tractor drawn — 2 loads 

Practical speed on good roads 

Time to emplace 2 hours 

Wheels and tires Metallic disk wheels with solid rubber 


Trail ... Split 

Type of recoil system Hydropneumatic, variable 


Japanese tank equipment has in general been in- 
ferior to equipment used by the Western Powers in 
the present war. Limitations on national heavy-in- 
dustrial resources have compelled the Japanese to 
freeze tank designs from lime to time in order to at- 
tain the requisite numbers of vehicles. Replacement 
of designs that have proved inadequate in comhat 
has been slow, and obsolete vehicles doubtless will 
continue to be utilized in the various combat theaters 
side by side with more modern versions and new de- 

The Japanese use tankctles, light tanks, and me- 
dium tanks. Tankettes weigh less than 5J^ tons. 
Light tanks weigh from 5J^ to J 1 tons; medium 
tanks, between 11 and 22 tons. Little is known about 
Japanese heavy tanks although some have been re- 
ported. They exist in limited numbers only and seem 
to be clumsy, inadequately armored, and generally 
poor in performance. 

Light and medium tanks mount 37- or 57-mm 
guns, and a medium model is reported that mounts a 
47-mm weapon. Machine guns are mounted in the 
rear as well as in the turret or front hull of most 

models; it is doubtful if the rear machine gun can be 
fought at the same lime as the other weapons. Al- 
though Japanese tank armor is of good quality, it is 
too thin, and inadequate attention has been paid to 
the potentialities of adroit use of deflection angles. 
Tankettes and light tanks usually have gasoline en- 
gines, but there is increasing use of Diesel engines 
both in medium and light vehicles. 

Suspension by means of bell-crank arms, carrying 
rocking pairs of wheels, is widely used in conjunction 
with horizontal suspension springs protected by ar- 
mored casings. Apparently no thought has been given 
to the provision of escape doors or hatches. Visibility 
is not as good as could be expected in modern ar- 
mored vehicles. Radio is sparingly installed, appar- 
ently on the basis of one set per platoon. 

It can be expected, however, that many deficien- 
cies will be corrected in later models. The new am- 
phibious tank, in its turret design among other fea- 
tures, shows evidence of intention to correct weak- 
nesses demonstrated in combat. Mounting of 75-mm 
guns likewise can be anticipated in the immediate 
future, as well as coaxially mounted machine guns. 


Figure R7. Model 92 (7932) lankette. 


Figure 88. Model 97 (1937) tanketle. 


Tankettes have been developed progressively ever since the 
beginning of the Japanese war with China. They are widely 
employed for reconnaissance and cavalry roles. They are often 
utilized to tow tractorcd trailers. Of combination weld and 
rivet construction, they have fonr rubber-tired ltogic wheels 
and two return rollers on each side. Drive is by front sprocket. 

The Model 92 (1932) is powered by a Diesel engine located 
in the left rear. Its top speed is 25 miles per hour. It is armed 
with a 7.7-mm machine gun. In the Model 94 (1934) the rear 
idler has been replaced by a trailing idler and the drive 
sprocket accordingly has been lowered. Power is supplied by a 
Ford four-cylinder tractor engine. Suspension in the Model 97 
(1937) remains unchanged from the design of the 92 and 94. 
The hull was redesigned, however, to provide more room, and 
the turret was modified to permit mounting of a 37-mm anti- 
tank gun. Deflection angles likewise show considerable im- 
provement over the earlier tankette types. 

Light Tanks 

The Model 93 (1933) light tank has a box-type hull divided 
into three compartments. It is powered by a six-cylinder gaso- 
line engine in the rear of the hull. Suspension is provided by 
six rubl>er-tired Imgie wheels with three return rollers on each 
side. Drive is by front sprocket. There is one machine gun in 
front and perhaps one in the rear. 

Chief difference between this version and the Model 93 
(improved) is the lattcr"s use of four bogie wheels coupled in 

pairs. Then, too, there is a 37-mm antitank gun in the forward 
part of the hull in addition to the machine gun in the turret. 
The gasoline engine is six-cylinder, 85-horsepower, air-cooled . 
The Model 95 (1935) light tank has been in production from 
1935-1942, probably representing a Japanese "freezing" of 
light-tank production to attain sizeable quantity of a model 
found reasonably satisfactory. Suspension is of the bell-crank 
type with armored compression springs. The hull is built over 
an iron frame and is provided with asbestos insulation. The 
model is armed with one 37-mm antitank gun and two 7.7-mm 
machine guns. Since the armor is comparatively thin, the 
Model 95 is vulnerable to 75- or 105-mm UK shell. The Keni 
model represents modifications of the Model 95; the motor 
has a horsepower rating of 140, and the tank is capable of a 
speed of 37 miles per hour. It is armed with a 47-mm gun and 
weighs 7.7 tons. 

Medium Tanks 

The earliest model medium tank in common use is the 
Model 89A (1929). It has a box-type hull. Suspension is by 
nine small bogie wheels and live rollers on each side. The 
leading bogie wheels on each side are independently suspended 
and there is a protective skirting over the entire suspension. 
Drive is by a rear sprocket and power is supplied by a gasoline 
motor. The tank mounts one 57-mm gun and a rear machine 
gun. The Model 89B differs from the Model A in that it has a 
longer front, a newer type cupola, and a Diesel engine. 

The Model 9i (1934) was extensively used in China. It has 


Figure 80. Model 93 (1933) light lank. 


Ball mounted MG 


Primary armament 

Engine louvre 
Exhaust muffler 



Pistol port 
Ball mounted MG 
Glacis plate 

Bogey wheel 

Return rollers 
Transverse even lever 

Nose plate 

Armored compression springs 

Figure 90. Model 95 (1935) tight tank. 


Figure 91. Model 89A (1929) medium tank. 


V <■ -*». 

Fitfi.rr 92. MmM 94 (/«■#) medium lank. 


Figure 93-A. Model 97 {1937) medium tank with 57-ntm gun. 




U4 S 

tS^-f "* 

. ~z: "x 




Figure 9S-B. Model 97 (.1937) medium fnnfc irilh 47 -mm pun. 


Figure 94. Model 97 0937) medium tank used as pillbox f^H 
on Saipan. 


Figure 95. New type amphibious tank. 


Figure 96. M92 (1932) iWavy armored car. 


Japanese Tanks — Approximate Specifications 










Kange of 

Model 92 (1932) Taafeetn 

3 tons 

10 ft 3 in. 

5 ft 3 in.. 

5 ft 4 in.. 

13 M in... 

2 men 

6- to 14-ram (.'24 to 
.55 in). 

1 7.7-mm MC ball 

25 mph 

100 mile. 

Model 91 (1934) Tankelle 

Model 97 (1937) Tankelte 

3.4 tons. . 

4.5 tone, . 

11 ft 

12 ft 

5 ft 3 in.. 

5 ft 4 in.. 

6 ft 


14 in 

2 men 

2 men 

4- to 12-iuni (.16 to 
.47 in). 

4- to 12-mm (.16 to 
.47 in). 

1 37-mm MG 

26 mph , 
28 mph 

100 mile, 

Model 93 (1933) Light Tank.. 

7.8 COM.* 

11 ft 8 in. 

5ft J 1 in. 


15 in 

3 men.... 

I'l> to 22-mm (.87 
in) (reported). 

1 MG light (hull). 
1 MC light (turret). 

28 mph 

Model 93 (1933) Ijght Tank 

7.8 tona. . 

II ft 8 in. 

5 ft 11 in. 


15 in 

3 men 

Up to 22-mm (.87 
in) (reported). 

1 37-mm taok gun. 
1 turret MG. 

28 mph . 

120 milea 

Model 95 (1935) Light Tank.. 

I<> toon 

■ l.i.l. ',,1. 

It ft 4 in. 

6 ft 9 in.. 

7 ft. 


3 men.... 

6- to 12m- (.24 to 
.47 in). 

1 37-mm type 94 
tank gun. 1 7.7- 
mm rear turret 
MC. 1 7.7-mm, 
hull MG. 

28 mph 

100 mi'.. 

Light Taok, "Keni" 

7.7 tona__ 

13 ft 6 in. 


5 ft 11 in. 

14 in 

3 men 

6- to ! ... inn, (.24 to 
.63 in). 

1 47-mmgun.l MG. 

31 mph.. 

Model 89 A (1929) Medium 

13 lona. „ 

19 ft 3 in. 

7ft 1 in.. 

8 ft 6 in.. 


4 men 

6- to 17-mm (.24 to 
.67 in), also re- 
ported aa 17- to 
25-mm. (.67 to 
.98 in). 

1 ,V-iiiin . 1 hull MG. 
1 rear turret MG. 

15 mph. . 

100 mile. 

Modal 94 (1931) Medium 

IS ton*... 

23 ft 

7 ft 1 in.. 

8 ft 6 in.. 


4 men 

6- to 1 7-mm (.24 to 
.67 in). 

1 57-ram gun, 1 hull 
MG. 1 rear turret 

20 mph . . 

100 milea 

Model 97 (1937) Medium 

IS tons 

18 ft 

7 ft 8 in.. 

7 ft 8 in. . 

16 in 

1 Ml, II 

8- to 25-mm (.32 to 
.98 in). 

1 Model 97 
gun. 1 7.7-mm 
Model 97 MG 
(hull). 1 7.7-mm 
Model 97 MC 
(rear turret). 

25 mph . . 

100 milea 

Aniphihioua Tank 

13 lon«_. 

15 ft 8 in 


9 ft 2 in.. 

7 ft 6 in.. 

14 in 

'» nun . 

6. to 12-mm (.24 to 
.47 in) (hull). 6. 
to 13.2-nun (.24 
to .52 in) (tur- 

1 37-mm Model 1 
(1941) in turret, 1 
7.7-mm MG to. 
aaially mounted, 
1 7.7-mra MG in 
hull forward. 

only four return rollers, and the skirting ha9 been redesigned. 
There is a door on the left front plate: the driver sits to the 
right instead of on the left. Otherwise this tank is similar to 
the Model 89, although the Diesel engine is somewhat more 
powerful, being rated at 160 horsepower. 

The Model 97 (1937) which has been used extensively by 
the Japanese in Burma has four central bogie wheels paired 
and mounted on bell-cranks, resisted by armored compression 
springs. Each end bogie wheel is independently mounted, and 
there are three return rollers. 

An improved Model 97 tank, first reported in the Corregidor 
operations, differs from the Model 97 in the construction of its 
turret, which is redesigned to accommodate a high-velocity 
47-mm gun. 

Amphibious Tank 

The new Model 2 (1942) special amphibious tank is charac- 
terized by the most complete inclusion of new trends in 
Japanese tank design thus far encountered. Armor is thicker, 
the tracks arc wider, and the idler has been replaced by a 
trailing idler. Suspension resembles that of Models 94 and 97 
tankettcs, except for the fact that the compression springs are 
inside the vehicle. There are four bogie wheels on each side, 
and the trailing idler serves as an additional bogie. The engine 
is a six-cylinder Diesel, practically identical with the one 
mounted in the Model 95 light tank. 

The amphibious tank is armored with a 37-mm tank gun 

coaxially mounted with a 7.7-mm machine gun. It is interest- 
ing to note that the tank gun has a higher muzzle velocity 
tlian that of 37-mm guns found in earlier Japanese tank models. 
Flotation of the vehicles is accomplished by pontons at- 
tached by a series of pincer clamps which can be released by 
turning a handwheel inside the hull. The l>ow ponton is in six 
sections, while that of the stern is in five. All openings up to 
and including the turret ring are sealed with rubber. 

Armored Cars 

A number of armored cars arc in use by the Japanese army. 
The Model 92 (1932) Osaka armored car is believed to be a 
Japanese design which employs a standard commercial chassis. 
The four wheels are pneumatic-tired with the rear wheels 
dual mounted. The car carries two machine guns, one in front 
and the other in the rear. Its maximum speed is about 37 
miles per hour and its range of action about 150 miles. It is 
powered by a 4-cylinder gasoline engine. This car often has 
been confused with the obsolete Model 25. The Model 25 is 
of Vickcrs-Crossley design. It and the M92 6-wheeled Lan- 
chester type armored car are Navy vehicles. 

Another car that is widelv employed is the Model 93 (1933) 
Sumida. Designed to run either on railways or hard roads, it 
has four built-in jacks by which it can be raised to permit 
speedy removal or attachment of the solid-rubber tires. The 
car has a machine gun mounted in the turret. It has a 40-horse- 
power gasoline engine. Its maximum speed is 37 miles per 
hour on rails and 25 mdes per hour on roads. 



In the field organization of the Japanese Army 
there are army groups, which would correspond to 
U.S. theaters of operations. These, in turn, are di- 
vided into area armies, comparable with armies in the 
U.S. military organization. Area armies are subdi- 
vided into armies, which would have roughly the 
same place in Japanese military organization that 
corps have in the U.S. Army. 


Armies in the Japanese system are made up of a 
variable number of infantry divisions, and Army 
troops. Divisions ordinarily are commanded by a 
lieutenant general, with a chief of staff holding the 
rank of colonel. Headquarters is divided into a gen- 
eral staff section and an administrative section. The 
former includes G-l , usually a lieutenant colonel who 
deals with operations and logistics; G-2, a major who 
is responsible for intelligence; and G-3, normally a 
captain who is responsible for supply. The adminis- 
trative section has intendance (supply), medical, 

veterinary, ordnance, and judicial subsections. There 
also are ordnance and signal detachments and a 
guards unit, making the total headquarters personnel 
about 300 officers and men. 

There are several types of infantry divisions in the 
Japanese Army. These may be triangular or bri- 
gaded. The nature of the terrain and the tactical mis- 
sion to be performed determine primarily the type of 
division organization that is utilized. 

Triangular divisions can generally be classified in- 
to the standard, the strengthened, and several modi- 
fied types. 

In the standard triangular division — the type most 
frequently encountered — there are, in addition to 
division headquarters, an infantry group head- 
quarters, tliree regiments of infantry, a regiment of' 
artillery, a cavalry or reconnaissance regiment, a 
regiment of engineers, and a transport regiment. 
Division headquarters personnel number 300; in- 
fantry group headquarters has 50; each infantry regi- 
ment numbers 3,845, while the artillery regiment has 


^J Cav Regl or Jfl Ren Regt 

Inf Group. 

FA Regl or '^^T^lt" Art > 



Engr Regt 


Trans Regt 

Inf Regt 

Inf Regt 

Inf Regl 



iv Sig 

Med Unit 

Fid Hosp 

»Z| Purif 

Ord Del 

Vet Det 


Figure 97. The standard infantry division. 

2,300 or 3,400 depending upon whether it is the field 
or mountain type. The cavalry regiment has 900, the 
engineer regiment has 950, and the transport regi- 
ment 1,800. 

The division also includes the following units: 

Division Signal Unit 250 officers and men 

Medical Unit 900 officers and men 

Field Hospitals 1,000 (4 hospitals, 

250 men each) 

Water Purification Unit 120 officers and men 

Ordnance Detachment 50 officers and men 

Veterinary Detachment 50 officers and men 

Weapons of the standard infantry division are: 

Rifles 9,000 

Light machine guns 382 

Grenade dischargers 340 

Heavy machine guns 112 

20-mm antitank rifles 18 

37-or 47 -mm antitank guns 22 

70-iiuii battalion guns 18 

75-mm regimental guns 12 

75-mm field or mountain guns 36 

Tankettes or armored cars 7 

The chief difference between the strengthened 
division and the standard division is that the former 

is composed of elements consisting of much greater 
personnel and fire power and contains an artillery 
group instead of the standard artillery regiment. 
This artillery group is made up of a headquarters, 
a regiment of field artillery, and attached medium 
artillery, usually at least a battalion of 105-mm 
howitzers. It also may contain an organic tank unit 
and a decontamination unit for use against enemy 
gas attack. Thus far this type of division has not 
been encountered in its complete form. 

Strength of the division of this type is considerably 
greater than that of the standard division. Head- 
quarters has a total authorized strength of 465 officers 
and men, and each constituent infantry regiment has 
5,687. Total strength summary is as follows: 

Headquarters 465 

Infantry Group Headquarters and Signal Unit__ 183 

3 Infantry Regiments, each 5,685 17,061 

Artillery Group 3,490 

Cavalry Regiment 950 


Reconnaissance Regiment 730 

Tank Unit- 720 

Signal Unit . 285 

Medical Unit 1,085 



Ren Regl 

Tank Unit 


Inf Group- 

A' 11 "- 

▲ >^ Inf Group 


Arty Group ■ 

Engr Regt 

Trans Regt 



Sig Sec 

Inf Regt 

Inf Regt 

Inf Regt 


Div Sig 


I -*^W FA Regt 

yy^. or 

^^■^pMtn Arty Regt 

M Arty Bn 

Atchd Arty 

X^ Med Unit 

Fid Hosp 

_f Water Purif 

■"• Unit 

\J Vet Del 

Ord Serv 


Decon Unit 


Figure 98. The siren fit heneil infantry division. 

Field Hospitals (5 : 200 men each) 1,000 

Water Purification Unit - 160 

Ordnance Service Unit 185 

Veterinary Detachment ' 100 

Decontamination Unit 190 

The increased fire power of the strengthened divi- 
sion is evidenced by comparison of the table of equip- 
ment with that of the standard division (see p. 133). 

Rifles 10,000 

Light machine guns 405 

Grenade dischargers 457 

Heavy machine guns 112 

37-or 47-mm antitank guns . 40 

20-mm antitank rifles 72 

70-mm hattalion guns 36 

75-mm regiment guns 24 

75-mm field guns 12 

105-mm howitzers 24 

150-mm howitzers 12 

Tankeltcs or armored cars 13 

Light tanks 20 

Medium tanks 48 

One type of a modified division is the modified 
strengthened division. Units of this type were known 
to exist in the early stages of the war and these may 

have been forerunners of the strengthened divisions. 
The modified form of the strengthened division has 
neither an organic tank, unit nor a gas decontamina- 
tion unit. Then, too, the infantry rifle companies do 
not have the heavy weapons platoons which are 
characteristic of those of the strengthened division. 
Total strength is 24,600. 

Another type of a modified division is one which 
does not have infantry group headquarters, or the 
artillery, engineer, and transport regiments. It con- 
sists of three reinforced infantry regiments organized 
as combat teams. The total strength is about 15,000. 

The brigaded Japanese divisions, sometimes termed 
special divisions, have been observed in China where 
they have been used chiefly to combat guerilla activi- 
ties. These divisions, in addition to division head- 
quarters, have two infantry brigades, each of which 
is comprised of four independent infantry battalions. 
There also are signal, engineer, transport, and medi- 
cal units. Total strength of the special division is 
13,000. In addition to small arms and machine guns, 
a division of this type is equipped with 16 light mor- 
tars and eight 70-mm battalion guns. 

Jn both the strengthened and standard triangular 


divisions the infantry is under the command of in- 
fantry group headquarters, headed by a major gen- 
eral. The chief difference in the organization of in- 
fantry group headquarters in the divisions of the two 
main types is that in the strengthened divisions there 
is a group signal unit which is absent from group 
headquarters organization in the standard division. 

The standard artillery unit in the Japanese tri- 
angular division is the three-battalion, 36-gun regi- 
ment of 75-mm field or mountain guns. The standard 
artillery regiment, with total personnel of 1,920, is 
horse drawn. In the mountain artillery form all 
equipment is carried on pack animals, and the 
strength of the regiment is increased to about 3,000 
officers and enlisted men. A motorized version of the 
field artillery regiment is known to exist in which the 
strength is commensurately reduced. 

In addition to the standard artillery regiment 
there are mixed field artillery regiments equipped 
with twelve 75-mm field guns and twenty-four 105- 
mm howitzers. In a strengthened division, as previ- 
ously indicated, the artillery group will comprise a 
medium artillery battalion of 150-mm howitzers in 
addition to a regiment of 75-mm and 105-mm pieces. 

Each division has a cavalry or reconnaissance regi- 
ment. Normally, the cavalry regiment has a total 
authorized strength of 950 and is organized into three 
rifle and saber companies and a machine-gun com- 
pany. Reconnaissance regiments, on the other hand, 
have one cavalry company, two motorized com- 
panies, an armored car or tankette company, and a 
motor -truck company. Total strength of a regiment 
of this type is about 730 officers and enlisted men. 

In the description of the various types of divisions 
the inclusion of engineer regiments was pointed out. 
An engineer regiment usually is of the three-company 
type, although two-company types also are known 
to exist. The three-company type contains, in addi- 
tion to headquarters, three companies and a material 
platoon. Specialists in the construction of tank traps, 
demolition crews, bridge builders, and other neces- 
sary skilled workers are included in engineer person- 
nel. In most cases an engineer company is assigned 
to each of the three infantry regiments of a division. 

So far as is known only strengthened divisions and 
some modified types include a division tank unit. 
Other divisions have tankettes in the tankette com- 
pany of the infantry group or in the reconnaissance 


regiment. Division tank units have one light tank 
company with 20 tanks, and two medium tank com- 
panies with a total of 48 medium tanks. There are 
also a headcpiarters and a combat train. 

About the time of the outbreak of the present war 
with the Western Powers the Japanese organized a 
number of independent mixed brigades. Intended for 
use as shock troops, these brigades contain tanks, 
antiaircraft artillery, and medium artillery. The in- 
fantry element is comprised of three regiments, each 
with four companies. An amphibious brigade also 
has been identified, organized apparently as a mobile 
striking force to aid in the defense of the extended 
Japanese empire. 


Regimental organization also is determined by the 
type of division of which the regiment is a compo- 
nent. In the standard regiment, commanded by a 
colonel, headquarters personnel number 176. There 
is also a regimental signal company with an author- 
ized strength of 132, an infantry gun company with 
122, and an antitank company with a strength of 
116. There are three infantry battalions, each with a 

strength of 1,099, bringing the total authorized com- 
plement of the standard regiment to 3,843. 

The component battalions of the standard regi- 
ment are organized with headquarters and train, 
having a total personnel of 147, and four rifle com- 
panies, each with a strength of 181. There are also a 
machine-gun company, with 174 officers and men, 
and a battalion gun platoon with a strength of 55. 

Armament of the regiment is as follows: 

Rifles 2,130 

Light machine guns 112 

Grenade dischargers 108 

Heavy machine guns 36 

37-or 47-mm antitank guns 6 

70-mm battalion guns 6 

75-mm regimental guns 4 

111 a strengthened regiment, headquarters person- 
nel aggregate 195 officers and men. There are three 
infantry battalions, each with a total authorized 
strength of 1,626. The regiment also includes an in- 
fantry gun battalion with 364 officers and men, a 
signal company with a strength of 150, and a pioneer 
unit of 100 officers and men. Total strength of a regi- 
ment of this type is 5,687. 




1st Bn 






3d Bn 

*$ Si 


Regtl Gun Co 

-#%Hq , m 





Plat (2 Sees) 
Plat (2-Sees) 
Plat (2 Sees) 
Am Plat 



Wire Plat (4 Sees) 
Radio Plat (8 Sees) 
Plat (2 Sees) 
Plat (2 Sees) 
Am Plat 


Figure 99. The standard infantry regiment. 


Bn Hq 
and Train 











Bn Gun Plal 

(Plal Hq, 2 Sees, 1 Am Sec) 

Plat (3 Secs+ J[ 1 GD Sec) 
Plat (3 Secs+ J[ 1 GD Sec) 

al (3 Secs+ I 1 GD Sec) 


Plat (4 Sees) 

Plat (4 Sees) 

Plat (4 Sees) 

Am Plat 

Figure 99. The Standard infantry regiment. 


Battalions in regiments of the strengthened type 
have four rifle companies, each with a strength of 
262. There is a machine-gun company of 73 and an 
antitank company of 100, while headquarters and 
battalion train have a total authorized personnel of 

Armament of the strengthened regiment is as 

Rifles 2,370 

Light machine guns 115 

Grenade dischargers 147 

Heavy machine guns 36 

20-mm antitank rifles 24 

37-or 47-mm antitank guns 12 

20-mm hattalion guns 12 

75-mm infantry guns 8 

Regimental headquarters organization is basically 
the same in both types of regiments. In addition to 
the staff of the commanding officer and the train per- 
sonnel, there are an administrative section, a code 
and intelligence section, an ordnance section, an in- 
tendance section, and an antiaircraft section or 
headquarters guard. 

The Infantry Battalion 

In studying the organization of infantry battalions 
in the Japanese Army- it again is necessary to dis- 
tinguish between the standard and the strengthened 
types. The former has a total strength of 1,100 of- 
ficers and men. In addition to headquarters and the 
four rifle companies, each of which has a total 
strength of 181, there are a heavy machine-gun com- 
pany and a battalion gun platoon. The strengthened 
type battalion, on the other hand, has a total 
strength of 1,626, and, in addition to the compo- 
nents included in the standard battalion, has an anti- 
tank company. Also, there is a battalion gun com- 
pany instead of a platoon as in the standard type. 

Comparative armaments of the battalions of the 
two types are given in the following table: 


Rifles... 677 

Grenade dischargers 36 

Light machine guns 37 

Ileavy machine guns 12 (8) 

20-mm antitank rifles 

37-mm antitank guns , 

70-ram battalion guns 2 






(147) 1 LMG 

(181) Rifle Co 







181) Rifle Co 

181) Rifle Co 

181) Rifle Co 


(174) HvMGCo 


9 LMGs 

9 LMGs 

9 LMGs 

9 LMGs 


Bn Gun Plat 2 Guns 

Figure 100. The standard infantry battalion. 








9 CDs 





.1 LMG, 1 GD 

(262) Rifle Co 9 l.MGs 

(262) Rifle Co 9 l.MGs 

( 262) Rifle Co 9 LMGs 






( 262) 





(262) Rifle Co 9 LMGs 

HvMGCo (73) 
BnGunCo (122) 

2 Hv MGs 12 GDs 2 AT Rs 


12 GDs 


12 GDs 


12 GDs 


2 Hv MGs 12 GDs 2 AT Rs 

2HvMGs 12 GDs 2 AT Rs 

2HvMGs 12 GDs 2 AT Rs 

-^C ~Z%T -^"^ 4 Hv MGs 


37-mm AT Co (100) 

Figure 101. The strengthened infantry battalion. 

4 Guns 
4 Guns 

The standard infantry battalion headquarters com- 
prises 37 officers and men, and the train is assigned 
a total personnel of 110. Headquarters, in addition to 
the major in command and the adjutant (usually a 
captain), has an ordnance officer, an intendance of- 
ficer, three medical officers, and a veterinary officer 
in charge of these respective sections. The adminis- 
trative section has a sergeant-major in charge of 
personnel, and noncommissioned officers of the same 
grade in charge of supplies, arms and equipment, 
and liaison. There are five runners and orderlies, four 
medical orderlies, and a veterinary orderly. 

A battalion machine-gun company may be of two 
types. In one there is a firing unit consisting of three 
platoons and an ammunition platoon. Each platoon 
has four sections armed with three heavy machine 
guns and one light machine gun. In the second type 
there are four platoons, each divided into two sec- 
tions and armed with heavy machine guns, and an 
ammunition platoon. A battalion gun platoon has a 
firing unit of two sections each with a 70-mm gun and 
an ammunition section. 

Infantry Rifle Company 

Rifle companies in standard battalions have a 
headquarters personnel of 19, and three rifle platoons 
of 54 officers and enlisted men each. Each platoon has 
four sections, three of which have each a light ma- 
chine gun, while the fourth has three grenade dis- 
chargers. Total armament is 139 rifles, nine light 
machine guns, and nine grenade dischargers. 

Companies of the strengthened type may be or- 
ganized either with or without heavy weapons. In 
the latter form, the company, in addition to head- 
quarters with a personnel of 19, has three rifle pla- 
toons, each with an authorized strength of 62. With 
the heavy weapons included, there are, besides the 
aforementioned components, a heavy weapons pla- 
toon of 46 and an ammunition platoon of 1 1 . The 
heavy weapons platoon is equipped with two heavy 
machine guns and 20-mm antitank rifles. 

Platoons and sections are usually the same in both 
the strengthened and standard divisions. The pla- 
toon, which is under the command of a first or second 
lieutenant, normally consists of four sections. Three 
sections are rifle sections, while the fourth is a gre- 




(62) — Rifle Plat 




(62) _ Rifle Plat 


(62) — Rifle Plat 

3 LMG Sees 1 GD See 

3 LMG Sees ] CD See 

3 LMG Sees 1 GD See 

3 LMGs 


4 CDs 

3 LMGs 


4 CDs 

3 LMGs 



Figure 102. Infantry rifle company strengthened — without heavy weapons platoon. 




(46) — Hv Wpns Plat 


(11) — Am Plat 

Hv MG Sec (11) 

Hv MG Sec (11) 

20-mm AT Sec (11) 

20-miriAT Sec (11) 

Hv MG 

Hv MG 

20-mm AT Rifle 

Figure 103. Infantry rifle company strengthened—with heavy iveapons platoon. 

20-mm AT Rifle 


nade-discharger section. The basic section (han) is 
commanded by a noncommissioned officer and com- 
prises 13 enlisted men. Each section is issued 13 

rides; in addition, each rifle section is equipped with a 
light machine gun and the grenade discharger section 
with a 50-mm mortar. 


Since the outbreak of the Manchurian "incident", 
Japanese military forces have fought virtually every 
type of action under the widest variety of terrain and 
climatic conditions. The experience they have gained 
has led to important changes in their tactical doc- 
trines and practices. In view of their well-known 
talents for imitation it can be expected that this proc- 
ess will continue, perhaps at an accelerated pace, as 
Allied victories demonstrate more and more force- 
fully the need for change. 

The Japanese, in their tactical writings and train- 
ing manuals, emphasize the principle that a simple 
plan carried out with power, determination, and 

speed will disrupt the plans of hostile forces and lead 
to a quick and decisive Japanese success. The stated 
aim of every Japanese military action is annihilation 
of the opposing force, with the achievement of sur- 
prise a goal toward which all Japanese commanders 
constantly strive. 


Japanese tactical theory and practice insistently 
stress the superiority of the offense. This concept, of 
course, is based largely on the unshakable conviction 
that Japanese infantrymen are inherently superior to 


all possible antagonists. This conviction, virtually an 
obsession, is the product of national vanity, religion, 
psychological factors, and confidence fostered by vic- 
tories gained in the early stages of the war. 

In accordance with this premise the objective of 
the Japanese offensive is to maneuver quickly, close 
with the enemy, and exploit the alleged superiority of 
Japanese infantrymen in hand-to-hand combat. 

Japanese national holidays frequently are chosen 
for the launching of major attacks. January 1 marks 
the beginning of a three-day Japanese celebration 
dedicated to the memory of their ancestors; 11 Feb- 
ruary is observed as Empire Day, while 10 March 
and 27 May honor respectively the army and navy. 
Celebrations in honor of the imperial ancestors are 
held in the seasons of the spring and autumnal 
equinoxes (21 March and 23 September). Anni- 
versaries of the birth or death of famous Japanese 
emperors are observed on 3 April and 3 November; 
29 April, birthday of Mirohito, also is observed as a 
holiday. Ceremonies similar to various American 
Memorial Days are held on 30 April, and a national 
thanksgiving is observed by the Japanese on 23 

Envelopment is the preferred form of Japanese of- 
fensive maneuver for both large and small units. 
Frontal pressure is brought to bear on the opposing 
force in a holding attack, while the main effort is con- 
centrated on one or both hostile flanks, depending 
upon whether the objective of the maneuver is a 
single or a double envelopment. If a unit as large as a 
division is engaged in an enveloping maneuver, nor- 
mal procedure is to direct one or two columns toward 
the hostile flank or flanks. If a smaller force is in- 
volved, the advancing force usually has troops in 
the rear which are deployed to execute the envelop- 
ment while those in front make the holding frontal 

Sometimes frontal attacks are made, but the Jap- 
anese, for all their rashness in offensive combat, are 
fully aware of the indiscretion of this type of attack 
and attempt to avoid it unless there are compelling 
reasons for its employment. Usually the frontal at- 
tack will be made only when the Japanese com- 
mander believes that resort to envelopment would 
allow the hostile force enough time to strengthen its 
position or to augment its forces and fire power. If 
such time can be denied by a frontal attack, the at- 


lack will be ordered. In frontal attacks the main 
Japanese effort is made against a sector of the hostile 
line which is considered to he a "soft spot". Objective 
of the attack is the rapid and deep penetration of the 
hostile lines, and to achieve this the attack front is 
kept in very narrow bounds. 

Meeting Engagements 

Meeting engagements are deliberately sought by 
Japanese commanders. Their tactical texts, which go 
into great detail about this favored type of operation, 
define the meeting engagement as the collision of two 
moving forces, or the combat that ensues when a 
force in motion meets one at rest or not yet installed 
in prepared positions. In tins type of operation great 
freedom of decision is left to Japanese subordinate 
commanders who are admonished to seize the initi- 
ative and promptly occupy important terrain fea- 

The Japanese army usually advances in two col- 
umns, although three-column advances are not 
unknown, and resort to one-column movement may 
be necessary by nature of the road net. In the normal 
two-column advance the division commander di- 

rectly controls the division and the right column, as 
well as the advance guard sent out by the right col- 
umn. The left column is under the senior officer of the 
forces that comprise this group, and he makes his 
own dispositions for an advance guard. Transport 
and trains follow in the rear, usually with the advance 
section of the transport regiment coming first, fol- 
lowed respectively by the unit trains and the re- 
mainder of the transport regiment. 

Whenever possible the Japanese in a meeting 
engagement will organize a coordinated attack. Basi- 
cally, their doctrine in regard to such an attack re- 
quires the designation of a line of departure behind 
which the deployment is made, and emphasizes the 
need for effective cooperation between artillery and 
infantry. All attacking elements proceed simultane- 
ously from the line of departure at the prescribed 
time, unless local circumstances preclude such a 

There are four steps in a Japanese coordinated at- 
tack in a meeting engagement. As contact with the 
enemy is established, the march columns break into 
smaller ones while still out of range of hostile artil- 
lery. Deployment along the designated line of de- 


parture then is made. The advance subsequently be- 
gins at the stipulated "jump-off" time, with small 
columns (squads or sections) moving forward; these 
ultimately complete their deployment to permit fir- 
ing during the last few hundred yards of the assault. 
In the piecemeal attack Japanese units are com- 
mitted in order of their arrival in the area where 
contact with the enemy has been made. Control of 
the attacking forces is decentralized, although the 
highest echelon commander gives the directions of 
march and attack. Despite the fact that Japanese 
tack, the piecemeal form is very common. Indeed, 
any hostile forces must constantly take into con- 
sideration the possibility that they will be attacked 
almost immediately after contacting a Japanese 
force — perhaps before they have had time to com- 
plete their own arrangements for offensive or defen- 
sive tactics. 

Attack of Position 

In an attack on a fixed hostile position the Jap- 
anese try to turn the position by a flanking maneu- 
ver. They often endeavor to achieve this objective by 
passing through terrain so difficult that the opposing 

commander considers it impassable and thus leaves 
himself vulnerable. The fundamental tactical differ- 
ence between an attack on a position and a coordi- 
nated meeting engagement attack is that, in the 
former, the Japanese offensive forces go into desig- 
nated assembly positions prior to proceeding to the 
line of departure whence the attack is launched. 
Usually three assembly areas are chosen, one for the 
main force, one for the secondary force, and a third 
for the reserves. The attack is delivered by two wings 
— one, the main assault force; the other, the second- 
ary attacking force. Advance from the assembly 
areas to the line of departure usually is made at 
night, and the assault is begun at first light. 

When enemy positions are surrounded by strong 
wire entanglements, special assault teams are utilized 
to cut paths for the attacking echelons. Such teams 
usually comprise six men and a leader; two members 
of a team cut the wire, one covers them with rifle 
fire, while the remaining two are replacements. These 
squads are integral parts of the "working parties", 
one of which is established in every battalion. These 
parties are made up of 20 men commanded by a 
sergeant-major or a warrant officer. A flame thrower 


is part of the normal equipment of such groups. 

In attacks of position, Japanese operations nor- 
mally are characterized by careful work and thorough 
reconnaissance. The attack is conducted with great 
boldness and disregard of casualties. Infiltration, en- 
velopment, and pursuit are carried out with great 
speed, and attacks often are undertaken in the most 
difficult terrain and under the worst kind of weather 

Deceptions and ruses of every conceivable sort are 
employed regularly by the Japanese. Shouts, fire- 
crackers, barking dogs, moving vehicles, and promis- 
cuous firing simulate strength or conceal the true 
direction of Japanese maneuvers by distraction. Eng- 
lish words are exchanged to beguile Allied troops, and 
false flags, civilian dress, and enemy uniforms all are 
used to conceal the identity of Japanese troops. 
Units under the flag of truce, presumably offering to 
surrender, suddenly open fire on prospective captors. 
Snipers often lie with the dead, to fire upon the un- 
wary. As the Japanese intention to flout every rule 
of warfare has become increasingly well known, how- 
ever, the effectiveness of such tricks has constantly 

Night Attacks 

The night attack is a favorite tactical maneuver of 
the Japanese. As a captured Japanese officer is re- 
ported to have remarked, "You Kuropeans march all 
day, prepare all night, and at dawn launch an at- 
tack with tired troops. We Japanese allow our 
troops to rest all day while we reconnoiter your 
positions exactly. Then that night we attack with 
fresh troops." 

A number of tactical situations are thought to 
justify night attacks. They are employed by Jap- 
anese units to extend or complete successes won in 
daylight action. Then, too, they often are utilized to 
seize important terrain features, possession of which 
will facilitate the success of ensuing operations. Lo- 
cal night attacks also may be launched to confuse 
hostile forces or distract their attention from the 
preparations for the main Japanese effort. It is rec- 
ognized that in night attacks there inevitably is a 
serious decline in cooperation among units; direction 
is difficult to maintain, and mistakes and confusion 
are far more likely to occur than in daylight opera- 
tions. The Japanese believe, however, that these 


disadvantages are outweighed by the tactical ad- 
vantages of the night attack. 

Favorite hours for Japanese night attacks are 
those just after dusk or before daylight. The assault 
phase usually begins within two hours after arrival on 
the line of departure. Thorough reconnaissance is re- 
garded as necessary for a successful night attack, 
but is not always carried out in practice. Planning 
usually is quite thorough. Every effort is made to 
ensure clarity of march directions, understanding of 
liaison procedures, and familiarity with identification 
methods. Provision is also made for the removal of 
known obstacles by a few men chosen from the rifle 
squads or by an engineering detachment of about 
15 men. 

Objectives are limited for a Japanese night attack, 
with each subordinate commander assigned a clear 
terrain objective wherever possible. Nevertheless, 
there is a definite tendency to strive for attainment 
of overly ambitious objectives, and artillery support 
is never adequate. Frontages are relatively narrow — 
a battalion ordinarily will be assigned one of 450 to 
550 yards. 

The assault is usually made in two echelons with 

the second echelon passing through the first. If a 
battalion is making the assault, there normally will 
be two rifle companies in the first echelon, and two 
companies minus one platoon in the second. The re- 
maining platoon is held in reserve to attack the 
hostile flanks, or to hurl back counterattack if such a 
maneuver materializes. 

Tactically, there is a fundamental distinction be- 
tween night attacks by surprise and night attacks 
by force. Only in the latter is artillery preparatory 
fire laid down. In the attacks by surprise, it is be- 
lieved that the advantages of surprise more than 
compensate for the absence of artillery preparations 
to neutralize enemy strong points, automatic weap- 
ons emplacements, artillery, etc. 

Instructions to Japanese commanders in regard to 
night attacks emphasize that adequate time always 
should be allowed to permit orderly movement into 
the designated jump-off line. It is regarded as ad- 
visable to send a small advance cadre into zones of 
anticipated hostile mortar and artillery fire. If this 
fire is not encountered, the attack is pushed at once. 
Noise is regarded as very effective in confusing the 
opposing force. Cosily experiences with Allied artil- 


lery concentrations no doubt are responsible for the 
increasing emphasis on warnings to avoid rushing 
hostile positions until the assault troops have stolen 
so close to them that opposing artillery and mortar 
fire cannot be laid down to aid the defensive efforts 
of the hostile infantry. Every effort is to be made to 
locate dead spaces in the hostile line which can serve 
as focal objectives of the Japanese attack. In a night 
attack in the jungle the Japanese prefer to attack up 
a slope, to avoid silhouetting the troops. 

If the night attack is a battalion operation, patrols 
are sent ahead for thorough coverage of assigned sec- 
tors. An advance group is sent ahead to deal with 
hostile units and installations which cannot he liqui- 
dated by these patrols. On the line of march, heavy 
weapons come behind each company; they are used 
to defend positions captured by the attack as well as 
to fire on hostile searchlights. Light machine guns 
and automatic rifles are allocated to squads. A re- 
serve, usually of platoon strength, is used to ward off 
any encircling efforts or to deliver a flank attack 
should a suitable opportunity be presented. 

Night attacks often are made by single companies 
or even platoons. If a company makes the attack, a 

reconnaissance patrol of five to ten men is sent ahead, 
and forward lookout points are established. Several 
patrols also arc sent ahead to ascertain the opposi- 
tion's position and strength by drawing premature 
fire. Soon after dusk on the night selected for the 
attack, another patrol is sent forward to lay out a 
line of approach which preferably will follow easily 
recognizable terrain features. 

On the approach inarch the company advances in 
a line of columns with constituent squads in very 
close formation. Patrols arc put out in such fashion 
as to provide all-around protection. The approach 
continues with maximum stealth until the company 
is within rushing distance of the hostile force. When 
the company deploys, the rifle squads of each platoon 
form a single line. When enemy wire is reached, one 
squad cuts it and, after passing through, turns to the 
left. The second squad goes through the break and 
turns right, while the third squad and the heavy 
machine guns occupy the space between the other 
two squads. 


Always in offensive operations Japanese units are 

expected to he prepared for quick and determined 
pursuit. The objective of pursuit is to destroy the 
enemy, and theoretically this is accomplished by 
pinning him down by direct pressure while one or 
both flanks arc enveloped. Jf the enemy is observed 
initiating a daylight withdrawal, frontal pressure is 
increased, and Japanese pursuit groups are formed 
from the reserves to attempt to turn the enemy flanks 
and fall upon his rear. If the enemy, on the other 
hand, succeeds in disengaging his forces, usually at 
night, the Japanese commander in pursuit will re- 
new the frontal attack the next day to push through 
the hostile line of resistance. 

Reserves in the meantime are sent against the 
flanks in attempted turning movements. If the 
frontal assault succeeds in pushing through the op- 
posing line of resistance, these forces too will be 
organized into pursuit operations, the highest ech- 
elon commander ordinarily will designate probable 
lines of hostile covering positions where the Japanese 
forces will pause prior to resumption of the pursuit. 


Although the defensive is extremely distasteful to 

Japanese commanders, there naturally are occasions 
when they are confronted with such superior oppos- 
ing forces that even the rashest commander must en- 
gage in such tactics. Nevertheless, the defense is 
regarded merely as a passing phase in combat. Its 
purpose is to inflict such losses on a temporarily 
superior hostile force that its initial advantages in 
numbers, equipment, or position will be neutralized, 
and the Japanese forces then can pass to the of- 

In the selection of defensive positions Japanese 
doctrines and practice conform closely to standards 
of other armies. Naturally stress is laid upon the 
utilization of terrain features to advantage, and 
there is full recognition of the importance of natural 
and constructed antitank obstacles on both front and 

In most cases the Japanese defense will be organ- 
ized in two lines — an advance line and a main line of 
resistance. The advance, or outpost line, is charged 
with the responsibility of conducting proper recon- 
naissance to determine the direction, strength, and 
tactical intentions of the enemy. It also is expected to 
cover the main line of resistance and prevent its 


being surprised. When the hostile attack is launched, 
the advance line will delay the attack's progress as 
much as possible before falling back upon the main 
line. Ordinarily, the advance line will be a series of 
strong points rather than a continuous line, with the 
intervals between the strong-points covered by anti- 
tank and artillery fire. If a division is engaged in 
defense, the advance line ordinarily will consist of 
one or two battalions. In smaller units, the propor- 
tion will be about the same. 

In some cases a line of defense is organized between 
the advance and main resistance lines to force the 
advanciug enemy to a premature commitment of his 
forces, to prevent the occupancy of terrain features 
that would jeopardize the main line, or to delay the 
enemy attack. 

The main line of resistance usually is formed in two 
sectors, although on a broader front three sectors may 
be established. The battalion is the normal unit of 
deployment and will be assigned a front of from 800 
to 2,000 yards. If the front is very broad, however, 
battalion centers of resistance for all-around defense 
will be organized, with each battalion assigned a 
front of about 3,000 yards. Depth of the main line 

of resistance varies from about 7(H) to 1,500 yards. 
Automatic and antitank weapons are echeloned in 
depth in this zone. 


Japanese commanders are eager to initiate counter- 
attacks to atone for the ignominious defensive role 
they have been compelled to assume. In fact, they 
believe that the fundamental purpose of defense is 
merely to await the moment when the attacker's 
forces are so disorganized that a quick and decisive 
counterblow can be delivered. In almost every situa- 
tion the defensive force will have counterattack units 
in readiness, and every defensive plan will include 
directions for the conduct of such maneuvers. 

Japanese counterattacks usually are directed 
against the enemy's flanks and ordinarily will be 
quick and violent. Heavy mortar fire usually is laid 
down as preparation; this may be so intense that the 
enemy is forced to abandon his newly won positions 
even before the Japanese counterattack is launched. 
Often the major counterattack will develop from a 
scries of local attacks carried out by groups of from 
eight to ten men each. Naturally, it is difficult to 


ensure even a reasonable degree of coordination under 
such circumstances, and there have been numerous 
occasions when Japanese units have been cut to 
pieces because of their excessive eagerness to counter- 
attack. Indeed, in some cases Japanese troops forced 
out of defensive positions have counterattacked im- 
mediately without a semblance of coordination or 
preparation, and have been virtually annihilated. 

Delaying Actions; Withdrawals 

Heavy hostile pressure may lead to a decision to 
organize for delaying action. The fundamental pur- 
pose of such Japanese action is to avoid decisive 
combat with the enemy while, at the same time, con- 
tact with him is maintained. Successive lines of 
resistance are designated. Mobile forces well equipped 
with automatic weapons and artillery fight the 
delaying action, while the bulk of the reserves falls 
back to reconnoiter and occupy the next successive 
resistance line toward which the forward elements 
fall back. 

If hostile pressure becomes so great as to necessitate 
a Japanese withdrawal and disengagement of main 
forces during daylight, a local covering force con- 

stituted from the reserves is set up to cover the flanks 
of the line of retreat. A general covering force also is 
organized from the reserves, behind which the main 
elements are formed into march columns for the 
withdrawal. If on the other hand the withdrawal is 
made at night, a "shell" — a thin line of infantry 
heavily supported by automatic weapons and a small 
amount of artillery — is left behind, and the main 
body forms to serve as a cover. Personnel of the 
"shell" are expected to sacrifice themselves, although 
the artillery will displace to the rear just before 

Defensive Positions 

In all the combat areas where Japanese troops have 
been engaged they have shown great skill in the con- 
struction of fixed defensive positions. These are built 
to afford a strong defense in both width and depth. 
Wherever possible, installations are made strong 
enough to withstand artillery fire and aerial bombing. 
Each position ordinarily will be capable of inde- 
pendent, all-around defense, and great care is taken 
to ensure the most effective use of available fire 
power. Machine-gun emplacements, pillboxes, bunk- 


Individual dugout 

Rifle or 
light machine guns 

Figure 104. Japanese all around defense area. 


ers, and oilier strong points that may be built will 
provide a highly integrated defensive network where- 
in each position can be covered by fire from adjacent 
ones, and, if a position is temporarily lost, it can 
readily be regained by counterattack. 

Positions will be camouflaged with maximum 
cunning. Construction principles require that suit- 
able living quarters be erected immediately adjacent 
to the defense points and properly protected. Natu- 
rally, suitable facilities for the storage of food and 
ammunition will be provided, and the defensive net- 
work must be located near an assured water supply. 

Japanese doctrine prescribes that "even the small- 
est unit will prepare deeply entrenched and strong 
positions against the expected attack", but cautions, 
"it is most important not to adhere blindly to set 
forms in construction work, but to adapt such work 
to fit the tactical situation." 

Construction of Japanese defensive positions is a 
progressive process. Units which assume a defensive 
mission dig immediately a series of foxholes. Then, if 
there is time, these are joined together by commu- 
nication trenches to form an integrated network of 
rifle pits and machine-gun emplacements. The final 

Figure 105. A tcell-built and concealed pillbox. 


Figure 106. Japanese machine-gun emplacement. 

phase is marked by the construction of pillboxes, 
bunkers, and other types of strong points. When the 
organization of the defensive position is completed, 
the installations are immune to almost everything 
but direct hits by delayed-action artillery shells and 

In general, Japanese defense structures will be 
well sited to provide fields of cross fire and all-around 
defense. They will be most adroitly camouflaged and 
connected by tunnels or trenches. Local materials 
will be used for the most part in their construction. 
Coconut logs and coral rock have been used most 
extensively and have proved very satisfactory, since 
they are strong and do not splinter dangerously. 

Pillboxes usually are built over or near dugouts to 
which personnel can flee in the event of a heavy artil- 
lery concentration or aerial bombardment. Some have 
forward and rear compartments — the forward com- 
partment used for firing, the rear for storage of am- 
munition and other supplies. On New Georgia, Solo- 
mon Islands, the pillboxes had upper and lower 
decks. The upper deck was used for emplacement of 
machine guns; in the event of heavy enemy bombard- 
ment the gunners could drop through a trap door into 

tin: lower compartment until the fire abated. 

Hcinforced concrete pillboxes were vital parts of 
the elaborate beach defense system on Betio Island, 
Tarawa Atoll. The walls of these structures were from 
12 to 16 inches thick, and the concrete was reinforced 
with steel rods one-half inch in diameter. These pill- 
boxes were sited somewhat ahead of the beach bar- 
ricade, to deliver frontal fire covering the tactical 
wire and flanking fire covering the front of the 

Rifle and machine-gun positions which formed the 
primary beach defense on Betio Island were con- 
trolled from slcel pillboxes spaced about 300 yards 
apart around the perimeter of the island. These steel 
boxes were prefabricated, hexagonal truncated pyra- 
mids with double steel walls, each wall of which was 
a quarter-inch thick. Space between the walls was 
filled with sand. Inside were an upper and a lower 
compartment, the upper used to house an observer 
or command officer, the lower compartment used to 
afford emplacement facilities for two machine guns. 
It apparently was the intention of the Japanese to 
cover these steel boxes with concrete, for one was 
found capped by 12 inches of ibis material. 

Figure 107. Pillboxes usnl in defense of Torokina 


Figure 108. Pillbox at Buna. 

Figure 109. Concrete pillbox on Guam. 


Figure 110. Cleverly concealed concrete pillbox under a 
Saipan building. 

Figure 111. Steel pillbox on Tarawa. 


Figure 112. Entrance to pillbox on Tarawa. 

Bunkers are constructed above or below ground, 
depending upon the water table. They usually are 
built of logs and coral rock and will be from one to 
6 feet above the ground. Oil drums fdled with earth 
or sand often are employed to provide additional 
reinforcement for the walls. Different types of en- 
trances are used; some bunkers are entered directly 
from fire trenches, others are entered from the rear 
through tunnels. In any case, the entrances are 
angled or protected by fire walls to prevent the 
enemy from tossing grenades into them. 

The bunkers defending Buna, Papuan New Guinea, 
which were situated above ground, were constructed 
over a shallow trench as a base. Some were 40 feet 
long; many, however, were only from 6 to 10 feet in 
length. A framework of columns and beams was built 
over the base trench and the walls then were revetted 
with coconut logs as much as 1J-^ feet thick. Two or 
three courses of logs laid on top provided the ceiling 
for the bunker, the walls of which were strengthened 
with earth and sand-filled oil drums. When com- 
pleted, the entire bunker was covered with earth, 
sand, and short logs. Jungle vegetation then was 
grown over the structures, making them almost im- 


Figure 113. Emhrasure of Japanese, pillbox on Tarawa. 

possible lo discover until advancing troops were 
directly upon I hem. The hunkers were used mainly 
as shelters during aerial and artillery bombardments, 
but they had lire slits for machine guns and rifles. 
Such lire slits, 8 to 12 inches high and 4 feet long, 
were located just above ground level. 

Shelters are used primarily for personnel, and often 
arc located in barracks and headquarters areas to 
provide a place of refuge for large groups of personnel 
iluring heavy enemy artillery or aerial bombard- 
ments. On Makin Island. Gilberts group, the dug- 
outs were 20 feel long, and their tops were covered 
by two or three layers of heavy coconut logs. On 
Relio Island they were built of alternate layers of 
coconut logs and coral sand. Side walls and roofs 
averaged 5 to 7 feel in thickness. 



Japanese successes in the early phases of the war 
were won largely because their troops were especially 
prepared and trained for operations in jungle terrain. 
In such warfare the weakness of their artillery and 



..." /-»/■"' 

Plan view 

.jMi* i,,,, 

*, ,,, __ "*|S% 

Front elevation 

Oblique view 

/' ^ 

Plan view 

Front elevation 

Oblique view 

Figure 114. Japanese bunkers. 

their comparative lack of motorized transport did not 
tell so decisively against tliem as would have been the 
case had operations been conducted in open country. 
And the ability of Japanese troops to live off the 
country compensated, tosome extent, for weaknesses 
in their army supply system. 

Japanese offensive doctrine naturally is modified 
somewhat when it is necessary to adapt infantry 
operations to jungle conditions. The need for ade- 
quate reconnaissance is emphasized even more 
strongly than for other types of combat. Good se- 
curity for front, rear,- and flanks is stressed. The 
importance of effective patrolling, for both offensive 
and defensive purposes, likewise receives emphasis in 
Japanese tactical manuals and studies. As in open 
warfare, envelopments are favorite tactical maneu- 
vers, but attacks which aim at point penetration are 
commonly utilized, especially after an enemy strong 
point or artillery position has been liquidated by a 
night attack or raid. 

Reconnaissance in the jungle normally is conducted 
by picked and specially trained troops. The function 
of reconnaissance patrols is to gain contact with the 
enemy and develop his position. Ordinarily such 

patrols will comprise five to ten men who are pro- 
vided with compasses, portable radio, and mapping 

Advancing Japanese forces in the jungle usually 
move along the trails in single-column formation. 
Where no trail is available the inarch is made along 
suitable terrain features and the column is preceded 
by a chopping group to cut the dense foliage. En- 
gineers also are sent ahead when formidable natural 
or artificial obstacles to the advance are anticipated. 
The rate of inarch is about five-eighths of a mile 
every two hours; from four to six miles ordinarily are 
covered in a day. The rate of advance actually is 
limited by the speed with which the heavy weapons 
can be transported. Direction is maintained by com- 
pass and, even in jungle country, the Japanese are 
well provided with fairly accurate maps. Special care 
is exercised in crossing clearings in the jungle; often 
these are traversed by leaps and bounds, and every 
precaution is taken when the advancing column 
enters areas where hostile artillery concentrations 
may be brought down. 

In the jungle, as in other types of terrain, the main 
body is preceded by an advance guard. If the Jap- 


anese unit is of battalion strength, ordinarily the 
advance force will be one company; if a company 
constitutes the total force, one platoon is used for this 

If contact is made with the enemy, the Japanese 
advance guard immediately informs the commander 
of the main body and attempts to liquidate hostile 
resistance. If this cannot be accomplished, the ad- 
vance guard deploys or simulates deployment and 
tries to locate the enemy's flanks and heavy weapons. 
This is considered essential, since in the meantime the 
main force deploys and moves against one or both 
flanks. The objective is to strike the enemy deep in 
his flanks or in the rear. It is believed that final vic- 
tory must be won in hand-to-hand combat. Tactics 
are fundamentally those generally prescribed by the 
Japanese for a meeting engagement, and even small 
units follow this basic pattern in actions of this type. 

When the enemy is encountered in deployed de- 
fense, the Japanese may resort to either of two basic 
methods. In one procedure they conduct a demon- 
stration along the enemy front with much promiscu- 
ous firing of automatic weapons and even firecrackers 
to simulate strength. While this holding action is 

occurring along the front, the main force deploys 
toward one or both flanks to initiate the usual en- 
velopment maneuver. 

When the alternative method is employed, the 
Japanese "feel out" soft spots in the enemy line. 
Special efforts are made to locate hostile heavy 
weapons. Often this is done by opening up with light 
machine-gun fire until the enemy opens fire in reply 
and thus reveals his location. As soon as the heavy 
weapons are located with sufficient accuracy, the 
Japanese bring heavy mortar fire to bear on them. 
Usually the mortar concentration hits the hostile 
positions just as the advancing Japanese reach 
assault distance. The assault then is delivered on a 
narrow front, if necessary by two or more assault 

Jungle terrain- affords a maximum opportunity to 
utilize the effective Japanese infiltration tactics. As a 
holding attack is delivered frontally to confuse and 
distract the enemy, patrols move to the enemy 
flanks. The personnel of these patrols are armed with 
light machine guns and grenades, and are provided 
with compact rations comprising rice, condensed 
foods, and vitamin tablets. The patrols wriggle 


through presumably impenetrable jungle to get 
around the enemy's flanks and into his rear areas. 
Unless the enemy has cleared areas of fire, such infil- 
trations of his positions are virtually impossible to 
slop. Sometimes, after reaching suitable positions in 
the enemy rear areas, the Japanese infiltration 
patrols dig in, or they may combine with other 
similar units to build up a force that may be truly 

Snipers almost invariably are sent out; each Jap- 
anese squad has two men normally assigned to snip- 
ing missions. These have for their fundamental 
purpose distraction of the enemy from bis main 
tactical effort. The patience of these snipers is almost 
incredible. They have been known to lie in wait for 
three days to fire a single shot, and they have no 
hesitation in firing even when they are certain to be 
killed immediately by retaliatory fire. They are 
adroitly camouflaged and select their positions with 
great skill. Fortunately, however, their marksman- 
ship is so poor, that they rarely are effective at 
ranges much beyond 50 yards. 

Japanese infantry support weapons are employed 
with daring on the offense, although the restricted 

fields of their machine-gun fire in the jungle preclude 
maximum exploitation of their potentialities. The 
machine guns usually are sited well forward in pairs, 
in positions whence they can support the front-line 
infantry. They are emplaced as secretly as possible 
and open fire when the maximum surprise effect can 
be obtained. If antitank guns are available and are 
not needed for their primary antitank role, they fire 
upon hostile infantry. Battalion and regimental guns 
are sited well forward, and are used in the jungle 
primarily against hostile heavy machine guns. 


Japanese defense in the jungle follows the general 
doctrinal concept applicable, in Japanese opinion, to 
all defensive situations. Defensive lines are expected 
to bend with the blow of the hostile assault until an 
opportunity arises to deliver a hard and sudden 
counterblow to regain the initiative, and even lead to 
decisive victory. 

As in other areas, Japanese defense in the jungle 
makes use of forward and main defense positions. 
The forward position has for its main purpose pre- 
vention of enemy surprise of the main body. When 


contact is made with an advancing enemy, the for- 
ward defense line may either withdraw or remain in 
concealment to harass the enemy. In the event the 
latter course is adopted, great care is taken by the 
Japanese to avoid premature disclosure of the loca- 
tion of their automatic weapons. In small unit 
actions the forward defense will be entrusted to a 
few snipers who will warn the main body of the 
enemy's approach. Often snipers will permit the 
enemy to pass through so they subsequently can be 
harassed from the rear. 

At the main line of resistance the Japanese attempt 
to achieve tactical surprise by withholding their fire 
until the last possible moment. Often they do not 
open up until the enemy's advancing troops have 
come so close that his artillery and mortar fires have 
been lifted. On occasion the defensive fire has not 
been opened until opposing forces were within ten 
yards of the Japanese positions. If the attacking force 
is large, however, it will be fired upon when within 
about 50 yards of the defensive line. Japanese auto- 
matic weapons are well sited for defense and or- 
dinarily open fire as soon as the enemy enters their 
lanes of fire. Machine-gun fire is delivered in great 

volume and is supplemented by grenade dischargers 
and mortars from positions just to the rear of the 
front line. Certain automatic weapons may remain 
silent, if not immediately threatened by the enemy 
attack, and will later open surprise fire. 


Artillery Tactics 

Japanese artillery tactics as applied thus far in 
combat theaters have been characterized by pro- 
nounced deficiencies and departures from the pro- 
cedures of other modern armies. Concentrations have 
been weak in both duration and intensity, and artil- 
lery preparation for infantry attacks usually has 
failed to achieve any adequate neutralization of the 
hostile targets taken under fire. Although every 
Japanese triangular division includes a regiment of 
artillery, and strengthened divisions have a battalion 
of medium artillery besides, batteries — even single 
guns — have been committed piecemeal and attached 
to infantry units. Counterbattery has been quite in- 
effective; indeed, in jungle areas at least, raiding 
parties have been used to combat artillery. 


Although Japanese artillery doctrine exhibits re- 
alization of the major potentialities of artillery fire, 
in actual practice commanders seem excessively 
preoccupied with the utilization of artillery in direct 
infantry support — to the comparative neglect of 
other legitimate, indeed, indispensable missions. 

It shoidd always he rememhered, however, that 
nearly all combat with the Japanese thus far has 
been in jungle areas. Here, employment of artillery 
on a large scale has been precluded by the nature of 
the terrain, and the disadvantages incident to Jap- 
anese tactics have been minimized. Recent tactical 
doctrine in regard to the employment of artillery and 
trends in combat theaters show, however, that the 
Japanese .have become increasingly aware of the 
limitations of their artillery. They are taking meas- 
ures to insure more effective artillery preparation for 
attacks, as well as to place greater emphasis on cotin- 
terbattery fire. There also is evidence that provision 
has been made for higher echelon control. to facilitate 
large-scale committal and control. 

On the offensive, Japanese artillery units are im- 
bued with the same offensive spirit that characterizes 
the infantry. Emphasis Oil speed of movement and 

the constant endeavor to attain surprise, which is so 
fundamental in Japanese infantry tactics, apply with 
equal validity to artillery. The paramount considera- 
tion is the emplacement of artillery as far forward as 
possible, in line with the Japanese concept that the 
major mission is to provide direct support to the 
infantry attack. 

In the envelopment maneuvers favored by Jap- 
anese infantry, the artillery usually is emplaced 
behind the center of the infantry line, from where it 
not only can fire on the flanks where the major effort 
is being made but also can support the secondary 
frontal attack. In the jungle, however, modification 
of this practice is considered necessary by the Jap- 
anese. Here the artillery must fire with trajectories 
high enough to clear the treetops. The infantry 
cannot maintain a rapid rate of advance in most 
cases because of the extreme difficulties of jungle 
terrain. These two conditions combine to make it 
virtually impossible for the Japanese to adhere to 
their doctrine' of close fire support unless they em- 
place their artillery on the flanks of the advancing 
infantry. By siting their guns in this fashion they 
allegedly have been able on occasion to lay down their 


artillery fire only 50 yards ahead of the infantry. 

On the defensive the Japanese allot some artillery 
support to the advance defense line, but naturally 
concentrate the bulk of it behind the main line of 
resistance. Here it is normally emplaced in depth 
from 1,700 to 2,200 yards behind the infantry line. 
The largest volume of fire is delivered in the area 
between the forward defense positions and the main 
line of resistance, and the major concentrations are 
fired in front of, and subsequently within, the 
infantry fire network. Before the enemy reaches 
striking distance of the main Japanese line, the artil- 
lery fires interdiction missions which subsequently 
are followed by a limited barrage. Only a few of the 
Japanese batteries or pieces fire these missions, how- 
ever, for it is considered very important to withhold 
fire until the enemy are within close range. In the 
jungle the Japanese emplace their artillery on their 
flanks for defensive as well as offensive purposes. 

Tank Tactics 

The Japanese recognize the value and tactical po- 
tentialities of armored and motorized units; their 
armored tactics cannot be taken lightly despite the 

inferiority of their equipment and the modest scale 
upon which it is employed in comparison with the 
standards of European operations. At least four tank 
regiments were in existence at the outbreak of the 
war, and more probably have been organized. 

Evidence of increasing armored strength has been 
found in a document that presents the tables of 
organization and equipment of a division to which 
three tank regiments have been attached. These tank 
regiments in turn are triangular in organization, with 
three companies to each regiment and three platoons 
to each company. It should be noted that apparently 
there is no battalion organization. A total of 135 
tanks is assigned, with 45 to each regiment, 15 to a 
company,, and five to a platoon. 

Tanks are regarded by the Japanese almost ex- 
clusively as infantry support weapons. Personnel of 
Japanese tank units are trained to emphasize speed of 
decision, great mobility, rapid concentration of fire, 
concealment, and effective supply and maintenance 
as the basic requirements for successful tank action- 

In division operations tanks are attached to in. 
fantry units and come up at night to designated 
assembly positions. In a tank-led attack the tanks 


move forward in waves, followed by the infantry and 
covered by artillery fire which has for its main pur- 
pose neutralization of enemy antitank weapons. In 
such an assault the tanks themselves concentrate on 
knocking out obstacles, automatic weapons, hostile 
artillery, and the enemy command system. 

Recent doctrine apparently envisions the employ- 
ment of three tank echelons in the offensive opera- 
tions of a division. The first echelon will comprise 
two tank companies, each of which is attached to one 
of the two front-line infantry regiments. The mis- 
sion of the first tank echelon is to neutralize enemy 
antitank guns and strong points, to create a passage- 
way for the assault. The second tank echelon follows 
about 400 to 500 yards behind. It is made up of four 
tank companies, each of which is attached to, and 
controlled by, an infantry battalion. These tanks 
lead the infantry assault and afford direct fire support. 
The third tank echelon will remain under the direct 
control of the division commander and be kept in 

Under favorable circumstances, Japanese tanks 
may be sent ahead prior to the actual commencement 
of the attack, to disorganize enemy communications 

and destroy important rear installations. They then 
return to assume their role as support for the attack. 
There is evidence that the use of "leading tanks" in 
assault roles is now at least contemplated, and there 
also have been instances when tanks were used as 
stationary batteries, particularly in holding attacks 
on the hostile front while the main attack was 
delivered on one or both flanks. 

On the defense, Japanese tanks usually are held in 
reserve with the intention that they eventually will 
be attached to infantry forces for counterattack. 
They also assume an antitank role in the event that 
the hostile tanks have moved ahead of their artillery 
support or have become dispersed to such an extent 
as to make them very vulnerable to concerted 
attacks by several tanks. 

Armored units include, besides tanks, motorized 
infantry, engineers, field and antiaircraft artillery, 
as well as antigas and signal detachments. Tactics of 
such groups seem similar to those of a large cavalry 
force. Surprise attacks are emphasized in which the 
infantry covers the tanks, facilitates their action, 
and holds ground which has been overrun by the 
armored vehicles. 


Phial containing 
sulphuric acid 

Detonating fluid 

Mixture of detonating 
and ignition fluid 

Detonating fluid 
Ignition fluid 

Mixture of 

heat producing acid 

Figure 115. Parasol-type booby trap. 


Bicycle ball bearings 
(probably used as shrapnel ) 

Dry cell battery 

Figure 116. Flashlight-type booby trap. 



Booby Traps 

While Japanese booby traps have not been used on 
a scale comparable with German utilization of such 
devices, nonetheless they are being employed with 
increasing frequency and ingenuity. The booby trap, 
of course, is primarily a defensive weapon designed to 
retard the enemy's advance, and constantly mount- 
ing Allied pressure has forced the Japanese to assume 
the defensive role despite their strong disinclination 
for this type of combat. More and more terrain, once 
occupied by Japanese forces, must be relinquished by 
them, and it is under such circumstances that resort 
to booby traps can be anticipated. In the recent 
Burma campaign 100 Japanese booby traps were laid 
in an area about 100 by 200 yards. 

Early examples of Japanese booby traps include 
the parasol type, wherein opening the parasol broke 
an acid vial which, in turn, ignited the detonating 
and ignition mixtures. A flashlight type was activated 
by pressing the switch in the normal fashion. Another 
early and somewhat crude type, intended primarily 

thumb releose 

- Firing string 
Brass plate 
Match composition 
Lead cover 

Figure 117. Pull-type hand grenade. 


for incendiary action, employed a bottle which, if 
shaken, brought sulphuric acid in contact with 
potassium chlorate in the cork. The small explosion 
thus produced ignited benzene or kerosene. 

The basic weapon of many Japanese booby traps 
currently used is the pull-type grenade. This is 3% 
inches long and 2 inches in diameter. It is made of 
cast iron with five transverse grooves on the outside 
body, and is fitted with a lead cover. When the cover 
is removed, a firing string is exposed. A pull on this 
string pulls a friction igniter between two parts of 
match composition, thus setting off a 5J^-second 
delay train. The firing cord can be attached to a cross 
cord and mounted in various ways for the construc- 
tion of booby traps. 

One of the most widely encountered Japanese 
booby traps is the tube type. An iron, steel, or even 
bamboo tube, about 15 inches long and with a 
diameter large enough to permit the insertion of a pull 
grenade, is bored with three holes respectively for 
suspension, safety, and support wires. After the 
holes are bored the grenade is inserted with the 
wires extending out of the tube through the holes. 
Both ends of the tube then are closed with stones or 


(1) Suspension wire. * 

- Rain cover 

(2) Safely 

(3) Support «lre 

Tube about 15 In long - 

Iron or stone plate 

. zM 

Figure 118. Tube-type booby trap. 

s S 



Figure 119. I'se of grenade in trip-trire booby traps: Above, using a flexible stake to pull out the 
suspension wire; below, using a weight for tlie same purpose. 



3 Nails 

Figure 120. Use of grenades in booby trap, with string 
Stretched beliveen trees. 

■- Electric flash cap 

Figure 121. Electrical ignition booby trap. 

Loose board 

Nut and bolt 


other suitable materials and the tube is strapped to a 
stake driven into the ground. The support and 
safety wires then are removed, leaving the grenade 
suspended in the tube solely by the suspension wire. 
When this wire is pulled out, the grenade falls down 
into the tube. As it strikes the bottom, the pin is 
driven into the cap and the grenade is detonated 
within 4 to 8 seconds. 

Various riggings have been devised which employ 
the tube-type grenade installation. A cross wire at 
the height of about a foot is attached by means of a 
second wire to the suspension wire of the grenade. 
The cross wire also is attached to a spring or weight. 
When the cross wire is pulled the spring or weight 
snaps it back when the tension is removed, thus 
pulling out the suspension wire. The grenade falls 
down in its tube and is detonated by the driving-in 
of the firing pin. A flexible stake or sapling often has 
been used instead of the spring or weight. 

Another frequently encountered arrangement has 
a grenade at each end of a string stretched between 
trees or stakes. The string is wrapped around nails 
in the trees or stakes in such a way that it will be 
pulled off if the siring is tugged anywhere between 

the mountings. When the string is pulled off the 
nails, the grenades fall and strike a stone or hard 
object directly beneath them. This drives in their 
pins and detonates them. 

Various types of electrical ignition booby traps 
also have been found. A piece of bamboo sawed out 
at one end to resemble a clothespin has been widely 
used. Wires leading to a dry battery and explosive 
are taped to the outside edges of the clothespin 
prongs and connected with a nut and bolt inside the 
prongs of the pin. Pressure on the prongs causes the 
bolt and nut to touch, thus completing the circuit 
with the dry battery and the explosive. The latter is 
usually a bottle of picric acid in a shell case. Phono- 
graphs and radios have been wired as booby traps. 
Lifting the playing arms of the phonograph or 
turning the switch of the radio detonates the ex- 

In Burma large numbers of tin-can traps were 
found. A British grenade with its pin pulled out and 
the release handle held down was carefully inserted in 
a tin can, one end of which was attached to a trip 
wire. When the wire was pulled the can was pulled off 
away from the grenade; the release handle then 


Explosive charge 

Figure 122. Phonograph booby trap. 


Figure 123. Tin-can type booby trap, 
using Urilish grenade. 










sprang and caused detonation. Grenades also have 
been set in forks of trees in such a manner that the 
handle was held down. A pull on the attached trip 
cord dislodged the grenade and caused its detonation 
when the release handle snapped up into its firing 

A firing device for booby traps has been found 
recently. Pressure of about 6 pounds on the pressure 
plate breaks the shear wire, permitting the plunger 
to go down into the body of the device. A hole in the 
plunger permits the firing pin to snap through it to 
activate the primer and detonator. 

Figure 126. Mushroom-type mine. 

Figure 125. Tape-measure mine. 

Land Mines 

The most common Japanese land mine is the Type 
93, or "Tape-Measure Mine", so called because it 
resembles a rolled-up steel tape measure. The mine 
weighs about 3 pounds and is 6% inches in diameter 
and Yj.\ inches thick. It is filled with 2 pounds of 
picric acid. In the center of its top is a bronze plug 
which covers the fuze. There are loops on the casing 
to permit suspension of the mine or drawing it across 
the path of a tank by means of an attached cord. 
Pressures of from 70 to 200 pounds will activate the 


mine; the shear wire is adjusted to vary the pressure 
at which it will be detonated. There is a safety cap 
in the upper end of the firing pin. These mines 
usually are laid in patterns of diagonal rows 30 inches 

A leading Japanese antitank mine is the magnetized 
armor-piercing type. This contains eight sections of 
TNT wrapped in wax paper and held in a circular 
canvas bag. Four magnets are attached to the out- 
side of the bag. To prepare the mine for firing, a 
wooden plug is pulled out and a percussion igniter of 
the delay type inserted. The mine then is thrust 
against the tank to which it adheres by action of the 
magnets. The safety pin is withdrawn and the firing 
pin is depressed, activating the igniter and causing 
detonation within 4 to 5 seconds. 

One of the most recently introduced land mines is 
the so-called yardstick type. It is 3 feet long and is 
made up of four fuzed units in a smooth, llattened- 
stcel casing with an oval cross section. The tube 
contains eight % -pound blocks of picric acid. It is 
detonated by pressures of from 6 to 10.6 pounds. 

1 1 should also be borne in mind that the Japanese 
captured a large number of the Dutch mushroom- 

Fignre 127. Japanese magnetic mine. 



type land mines, and these may be encountered in 
any theater of operations. The mine is a disc 8j-£ 
inches in diameter and 3^ inches thick, with a dome- 
like cover held off the striker by a light spring. Total 
weight of the mine is 9}4 pounds, 534 pounds of 
which is the weight of the TNT. Fifty pounds pres- 
sure will be sufficient to press the cover down upon 
the striker to detonate the mine. 

When landings were made on the beach at Tarawa, 
Gilbert Islands, a number of anti-invasion mines 
were found arranged in a single straight row, parallel 
to and 50 yards from the highwater mark on the 
beach. These mines are hemispherical and are of all- 
welded construction. There are two handles and two 
horns, and a central opening in the top which con- 
tains the booster and safety switch. The horns con- 
tain vials of acid. When either horn is bent, the acid 
vial is broken, permitting the acid to drop upon the 
plates of a small battery which has a zinc cathode 
and a copper anode. A current of sufficient amperage 
is generated to explode the charge which is in the 
bottom chamber of the mine. 

Figure 128. Japanese anti-invasion mine. 

fill. S. Government Printing Office: 1944—