In terms of manpower, what was the largest land battle between the Western Allies and the Japanese during WW2?

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riverpass312
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In terms of manpower, what was the largest land battle between the Western Allies and the Japanese during WW2?

Post by riverpass312 » 12 Aug 2018 02:24

Going by the Orders of Battle alone, the Luzon Campaign seems to be the largest operation between Western Allied forces (US UK) and the IJA during WW2. I've read that the 14th Area Army numbered 529,000 men,with 275,000 on Luzon. By comparison Wikipedia gives the Burma Area Army a strength of 315,000, with somewhere around 90,000 in the 15th Army.

But there are multiple claims regarding the "largest land battle" in the Asia-Pacific theater. A lot of British authors state that Kohima-Imphal was the "largest land defeat" of the IJA.

Now, if we narrow down the engagements in Luzon to clashes between the Sixth Army the individual groups of the 14th area army-- Shobu Group, Shimbu Group, and Kembu Group--how would the scale of land operations in Luzon compare with those in Burma?

Sid Guttridge
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Re: In terms of manpower, what was the largest land battle between the Western Allies and the Japanese during WW2?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 12 Aug 2018 07:40

Are we Brits and Yanks not being a little Anglo-centric?

What about the battles of the campaign in China, which certainly involved far more Chinese and Japanese troops than either Burma or the Philippines. And how about the Soviet invasion of Manchuria in August 1945?

Sid.

Sid Guttridge
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Re: In terms of manpower, what was the largest land battle between the Western Allies and the Japanese during WW2?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 12 Aug 2018 07:47

Isn't this question a little Anglo-centric?

What about the battles of the campaign in China, which certainly involved far more Chinese and Japanese troops than either Burma or the Philippines. And how about the Soviet invasion of Manchuria in August 1945?

It rather looks as though this may be a squabble over the bronze medal, not the gold!

Furthermore, from memory (and I stand to be corrected here), weren't the Shobu, Shembu and Kembu Groups isolated from each other and wasn't their extinction more of a series of mopping up operations after the fall of Manila?

Sid.

riverpass312
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Re: In terms of manpower, what was the largest land battle between the Western Allies and the Japanese during WW2?

Post by riverpass312 » 12 Aug 2018 17:57

Sid Guttridge wrote:
12 Aug 2018 07:47
Isn't this question a little Anglo-centric?

What about the battles of the campaign in China, which certainly involved far more Chinese and Japanese troops than either Burma or the Philippines. And how about the Soviet invasion of Manchuria in August 1945?

It rather looks as though this may be a squabble over the bronze medal, not the gold!

Furthermore, from memory (and I stand to be corrected here), weren't the Shobu, Shembu and Kembu Groups isolated from each other and wasn't their extinction more of a series of mopping up operations after the fall of Manila?

Sid.
I’m asking out of curiosity—I’m not trying to compare who did the most against Imperial Japan.

BobTheBarbarian
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Re: In terms of manpower, what was the largest land battle between the Western Allies and the Japanese during WW2?

Post by BobTheBarbarian » 05 Oct 2018 23:41

The Battle of Luzon was the largest land battle conducted by the Western Allies against Japan. It involved 10 US divisions and 5 independent regiments, with additional corps artillery, armor, engineer, and air service personnel. Although no American armored divisions were committed, there were a large number of tank, tank destroyer, and amphtrac battalions providing the equivalent to roughly 5 of them, as opposed to just one (the 2nd AD) fielded by the Japanese.

The US also benefited from large numbers of Filipino resistance fighters and partisans who rose up against the Japanese after General MacArthur's landing, and from the innumerable cases of disease and starvation that riddled the enemy's forces after the campaign became protracted.
Sid Guttridge wrote:
12 Aug 2018 07:47
Isn't this question a little Anglo-centric?

What about the battles of the campaign in China, which certainly involved far more Chinese and Japanese troops than either Burma or the Philippines. And how about the Soviet invasion of Manchuria in August 1945?
The largest battles in China were the battle of Wuhan in 1938 and Operation Ichi-Go in 1944, both of which involved upwards of 1.5 million men. Depending on your accounting the number of Chinese alone who opposed the Ichi-Go offensive totalled up to 2 million.
Furthermore, from memory (and I stand to be corrected here), weren't the Shobu, Shembu and Kembu Groups isolated from each other and wasn't their extinction more of a series of mopping up operations after the fall of Manila?
General Yamashita tried to make the battle on Luzon draw out as long as possible and hunkered down in a defensive position; out of his three groupings the "Shobu" force held out until the end of the war, the other two were annihilated. Because all of them were confined to the same geographic area (the island of Luzon) and nominally answered to the same headquarters, however, their separate actions are considered to be parts of the same battle in both US and Japanese historiography.
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rcocean
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Re: In terms of manpower, what was the largest land battle between the Western Allies and the Japanese during WW2?

Post by rcocean » 14 Feb 2019 02:15

I'm sure the war in Burma 1944-1945 involved more Japanese then the battle in Luzon. The Japanese only had 250,000 men on Luzon (only 20% survived) and I'm sure they had more in Burma. IRC, the total Japanese fighting strength in the Philippines was about 400,000 but that includes men on Leyte and the rest of Philippine Islands.

Sid Guttridge
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Re: In terms of manpower, what was the largest land battle between the Western Allies and the Japanese during WW2?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 14 Feb 2019 14:20

Hi Guys,

There is also the question of division/months. (The amount of time a division spent on campaign). The Luzon campaign was very short compared with the Burma campaign, so I would venture to suggest that in terms of division/months Burma was several times as large.

Cheers,

Sid.

AriX
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Re: In terms of manpower, what was the largest land battle between the Western Allies and the Japanese during WW2?

Post by AriX » 24 Apr 2021 23:20

Sid Guttridge wrote:
12 Aug 2018 07:40
Are we Brits and Yanks not being a little Anglo-centric?

What about the battles of the campaign in China, which certainly involved far more Chinese and Japanese troops than either Burma or the Philippines. And how about the Soviet invasion of Manchuria in August 1945?

Sid.
Japanese forces in Manchuria on August 1945 were understrenght, with lacking numbers of AT-artillery and tanks, comparing to Soviets. With the combat planes cituation was the same.

Sid Guttridge
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Re: In terms of manpower, what was the largest land battle between the Western Allies and the Japanese during WW2?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 25 Apr 2021 05:51

Hi Arix,

True, but the thread title talks specifically of "manpower".

Cheers,

Sid

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