Kwantung Army Special Exercises (IGHQ Army Order no. 506)

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BobTheBarbarian
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Re: Kwantung Army Special Exercises (IGHQ Army Order no. 506)

Postby BobTheBarbarian » 28 Jan 2018 21:36

Hi,
I'm doing research on the composition of the Kwantung Army in the summer of 1941 and am very grateful to have found this page. Combined with information from Leland Ness and Alvin Coox, this should be almost enough to reconstruct the Army as it was at the height of the "Special Maneuvers." However, I still have quite a few questions and requests for clarification that I would appreciate help on:

1. The number of divisions

--- Based on my recollection the Kwantung Army had 14 divisions, not 13, before the 51st Division was transferred to the 23rd Army in September 1941. Where is the 29th Division? It was supposed to be directly under the Kwantung Army's command.

2. The Kwantung Army's independent artillery regiments:

--- Leland Ness considers the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 12th, 17th, 18th, 20th, and 22nd artillery regiments as "medium" instead of "heavy." What was the difference between a Type A Field Artillery regiment, a Type B Field Artillery regiment, a Type A/B Heavy Field Artillery Regiment, and a regular "Heavy Artillery Regiment?" What was their composition?

--- From my understanding a "standard" medium regiment would have had 24 x 15cm Type 96 howitzers or 24 x 15cm Type 89 field cannon. Occasionally there were Type 92 10cm long cannon in place of both. Is this correct?

--- The 4th Mountain Artillery Regiment - did it have 24 or 36 75mm Type 94 guns?

--- What was the composition of the Mudanjiang Heavy Artillery Regiment? Was it the same as the Dongning Artillery Regiment (8 24cm howitzers and 4 30cm howitzers)?

3. The Kwantung Army's border and fortress artillery:

--- During the Special Maneuvers the Kwantung Army's already formidable border artillery, some of which was emplaced in fortified regions like Hutou/Kotou, was increased. From this link (http://pwencycl.kgbudge.com/H/u/Hutou.htm), it states that Hutou alone had 59 artillery pieces, 8 medium mortars, 18 anti-air cannons, and 10 anti-air machine guns. Furthermore, Taki says here (viewtopic.php?f=65&t=87545&start=30) that at Dongning the combined artillery of the 1st Border Garrison Unit and the Dongning Heavy Artillery regiment amounted to 46 heavy guns all together. What were the other major concentrations of artillery on the Soviet border? I know there were strong points at Suifenhe, Tiangchanshan, Guanyueitai, etc. and many other places.

--- During the short war with the USSR in 1945 the Red Army encountered a number of old 28 cm howitzers in various border positions. How many of these were in Manchuria in August 1941? How many 30cm howitzers were there?

4. The Border Garrison Units and Internal Garrison Units:

--- From the descriptions of Taki and others, it seems each border garrison unit possessed its own complete field artillery regiment. What was the organization of artillery, anti-tank, and anti-air units in these Border Garrison Units? What about the internal garrison units? Did the Border Garrison Units have a standard order of battle, and did they have any armored vehicles attached to them?

5. Special characteristics of the Kwantung Army's divisions:

--- Which of the Kwantung Army's divisions had armored units in their order of battle at the time of the "Special Maneuvers"? Were the two tank groups and three independent regiments the only armor in Manchuria?

--- The 12th Division was known for basically being a small army in and of itself. During the war in China it had two heavy field artillery regiments, a mountain artillery regiment, a regular field artillery regiment, the Shimonoseki Heavy Artillery Regiment, and an AA regiment, along with attached cavalry and tanks. Was it still like this in 1941?

6. Armored units:

--- Aside from the above questions about organic divisional tank units, what was the composition of the 1st and 2nd Tank Groups? Did they have any supporting arms: artillery, anti-aircraft, infantry?

--- What about the 3rd Tank Group in northern China?

7. General Shinichi Tanaka's plans for further reinforcement of the Kwantung Army:

--- Because of the oil embargo imposed on Japan on August 1, 1941, the buildup of Manchuria was stopped prematurely. However, prior to that the Army General Staff, in order to guarantee the ability to invade the USSR on a moment's notice, received official sanction from the Emperor to increase the strength of the Kwantung Army to 24 or 25 divisions (Nos. 100, 101, and 102 setups). Which divisions specifically would have been sent to Manchuria as part of this plan? Were there any more Dairikumen that would have sent additional armor, artillery, anti-tank, motor vehicles, and anti-aircraft units to the Kwantung Army along with them? If so, what further units would have been sent?

Thanks to anyone who helps me with these questions, I know there are a lot of them! :milwink:

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Akira Takizawa
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Re: Kwantung Army Special Exercises (IGHQ Army Order no. 506)

Postby Akira Takizawa » 29 Jan 2018 08:32

--- Based on my recollection the Kwantung Army had 14 divisions, not 13, before the 51st Division was transferred to the 23rd Army in September 1941.

Divisions under Kwantung Army in July 1941 are as follows.

8, 9, 12, 57, 1, 11, 24, 25, 23, 10, 14, 28, 29, 51

They were 14 divisions.

> Where is the 29th Division? It was supposed to be directly under the Kwantung Army's command.

It was statoned at Liaoyang in Manchuria. It was under the control of Kwantung Army.

2. The Kwantung Army's independent artillery regiments:

--- Leland Ness considers the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 12th, 17th, 18th, 20th, and 22nd artillery regiments as "medium" instead of "heavy." What was the difference between a Type A Field Artillery regiment, a Type B Field Artillery regiment, a Type A/B Heavy Field Artillery Regiment, and a regular "Heavy Artillery Regiment?" What was their composition?

As stated in Ness's book, Type A was equipped with 15cm howitzers and Type B was equipped with 10cm cannons.

--- What was the composition of the Mudanjiang Heavy Artillery Regiment?

8 Type 45 24cm howitzers

> What were the other major concentrations of artillery on the Soviet border?

The 8th Border Garrison Unit (Hailar) had the most artiilery. It had 24 field guns, 8 10cm howitzers, 28 medium mortars, 8 10cm cannons, 8 15cm cannons and 32 AA guns.

--- During the short war with the USSR in 1945 the Red Army encountered a number of old 28 cm howitzers in various border positions. How many of these were in Manchuria in August 1941?

In 1941, 28cm howitzers were reserved equipments. They were not active in 1941. In 1945, 28cm howitzers were again put into service for the invasion of Soviets.


> How many 30cm howitzers were there?

21

4. The Border Garrison Units and Internal Garrison Units:

--- From the descriptions of Taki and others, it seems each border garrison unit possessed its own complete field artillery regiment. What was the organization of artillery, anti-tank, and anti-air units in these Border Garrison Units? What about the internal garrison units? Did the Border Garrison Units have a standard order of battle,

The OOB of border garrison unit is different according to fortress. For exsamples, the 8th Border Garrison Unit(Hailar) consisted of 5 sector units. Each sector units had infantry units(3 or 8 infantry companies) and artillery units(1-4 batteries). The 4th Border Garrison Unit (Kotou) consisted of 4 sector units, artillery unit and engineer unit. Each sector unit had 4 infantry companies.

> and did they have any armored vehicles attached to them?

No

--- Which of the Kwantung Army's divisions had armored units in their order of battle at the time of the "Special Maneuvers"?

Tank regiment belonged to tank group and the tank group belonged to army. Divisions did not have tank regiment.

> Were the two tank groups and three independent regiments the only armor in Manchuria?

Two tank groups were all of tank units in Manchuria. I don't know what you are saying three independent regiments. You said about 1st, 2nd and 6th Tank Reigments? If so, they were not in Manchuria.

--- Aside from the above questions about organic divisional tank units, what was the composition of the 1st and 2nd Tank Groups? Did they have any supporting arms:artillery, anti-aircraft, infantry?

They were pure tank units. They did not have artillery or infantry.


--- What about the 3rd Tank Group in northern China?

The OOB of 3rd Tank Group is as follows.

3rd Tank Group HQ
1st, 2nd, 6th and 14th Tank Regiments
Engineer Unit
Signal Unit
Maintenance Unit
Train

The 3rd Tank Group was formed in Japan and participated in Malaya Campaign. It had never been in northern China.

Taki

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Re: Kwantung Army Special Exercises (IGHQ Army Order no. 506)

Postby BobTheBarbarian » 29 Jan 2018 09:49

Thanks for the response, Taki.

As stated in Ness's book, Type A was equipped with 15cm howitzers and Type B was equipped with 10cm cannons.


My information from Ness comes from a limited preview, not the full book. I was able to see a broad list of units in the Kwantung Army, but not anything beyond that. As for the artillery regiments, I assume 24 was the standard number of guns regardless of type?

Tank regiment belonged to tank group and the tank group belonged to army. Divisions did not have tank regiment.


Interesting. According to the "Handbook on Japanese Military Forces" the Type A Division had 20 light and 48 medium tanks (https://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/Japan/ ... /hb-16.jpg), while the Type B division had around 7 tankettes. I take it this is completely wrong?

Two tank groups were all of tank units in Manchuria. I don't know what you are saying three independent regiments. You said about 1st, 2nd and 6th Tank Reigments? If so, they were not in Manchuria.


Besides the 1st and 2nd Tank Groups, there were the 7th, 8th, and 23rd Tank Regiments, of which the 7th and 8th arrived on August 8, 1941 from China (according to Ness). From Niehorster (http://www.niehorster.org/014_japan/41- ... k_grp.html), it seems the 1st Tank Group consisted of the 3rd, 5th, and 9th Tank Regiments, while the 2nd Tank Group consisted of the 4th, 10th, and 11th - one regiment smaller than the 3rd Tank Group. Both tank groups were apparently equipped with Type 95 and 97 tanks with the exception of the 9th Tank Regiment, which had Type 89s. The 7th and 8th Regiments likewise had to make do with older tanks.

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Akira Takizawa
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Re: Kwantung Army Special Exercises (IGHQ Army Order no. 506)

Postby Akira Takizawa » 29 Jan 2018 11:34

> My information from Ness comes from a limited preview, not the full book. I was able to see a broad list of units in the Kwantung Army, but not anything beyond that. As for the artillery regiments, I assume 24 was the standard number of guns regardless of type?

No. Type A had 24 or 12. Type B had 16.
http://www.fontessa.info/douinkeikakure ... entai.html

> Interesting. According to the "Handbook on Japanese Military Forces" the Type A
Division had 20 light and 48 medium tanks (https://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/Japan/ ... /hb-16.jpg), while the Type B division had around 7 tankettes. I take it this is completely wrong?

20 light and 48 medium tanks are wrong. Some divisions had divisional tank unit. But, they were company-size unit and only had ten and a few light tanks. In Kwantung Army, 1st and 23rd Divisions had divisional tank unit.

> Besides the 1st and 2nd Tank Groups, there were the 7th, 8th, and 23rd Tank Regiments, of which the 7th and 8th arrived on August 8, 1941 from China (according to Ness).

"Special Maneuvers" was in July 1941. These tank regiments arrived or formed in Manchuria after Special Maneuvers. 7th Tank Regiment arrived in Manchuria in Sept. 1941, not in Aug. 23rd Tank Regiment was formed in Sept.

Taki

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Re: Kwantung Army Special Exercises (IGHQ Army Order no. 506)

Postby BobTheBarbarian » 29 Jan 2018 22:04

Thanks Taki. Do you know any specifics of the plan to reinforce the Kwantung and Korea armies to 25 divisions? Alvin D. Coox states that it was proposed that a final reinforcement group, with 5 divisions from China and 4 from the Japanese Homeland as its nucleus, be dispatched to Manchuria as part of war preparations against the USSR. Beyond that though the exact divisions to be transferred is unclear.

Is there any information on what units (divisions, artillery, tanks, and otherwise) would have been sent to Manchuria had the war in the South against the ABDA powers not materialized?

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Re: Kwantung Army Special Exercises (IGHQ Army Order no. 506)

Postby Akira Takizawa » 30 Jan 2018 05:34

BobTheBarbarian wrote:Is there any information on what units (divisions, artillery, tanks, and otherwise) would have been sent to Manchuria had the war in the South against the ABDA powers not materialized?


I don't know.

Taki

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Re: Kwantung Army Special Exercises (IGHQ Army Order no. 506)

Postby BobTheBarbarian » 24 Feb 2018 18:25

Hi,

I saw from the page on the history of the Japanese Artillery Forces that the original 24-gun artillery regiment at Kotou fortress included 2 long range Type 96 15cm cannons and 4 Type 45 15cm cannons. How common were these guns? Were there any more in Manchuria by late August 1941?

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Re: Kwantung Army Special Exercises (IGHQ Army Order no. 506)

Postby Akira Takizawa » 25 Feb 2018 05:17

Type 96 15cm cannon was rare artillery, only 30 were produced. In Kantokuen, it was deployed at Kotou and Muling fortresses by two each. Probably, they were all of Type 96 15cm cannons in Manchuria.

Type 45 15cm cannon was rather popular artillery than Type 96. It was deployed at fortresses in Manchuria, but the details are unknown.

Taki

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Re: Kwantung Army Special Exercises (IGHQ Army Order no. 506)

Postby BobTheBarbarian » 16 Apr 2018 05:03

BobTheBarbarian wrote:Is there any information on what units (divisions, artillery, tanks, and otherwise) would have been sent to Manchuria had the war in the South against the ABDA powers not materialized?


Following up on this, on December 3, 1941 the Imperial High Command disseminated Army Order no. 575 as a contingency for the possibility of war with the USSR in 1942, but again I have no details on what its exact contents were.

Additionally, Russian historian Anatoliy Koshkin writes about an "Operation No. 51" created in 1942 that would have involved 30 Japanese divisions, including 3 tank divisions. Does anyone have more information on this plan?


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