Who is this Japanese general with Kesselring?

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Wilfried Abenaschon
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Who is this Japanese general with Kesselring?

Post by Wilfried Abenaschon » 09 Jan 2005 16:00

Is that Sugyama near Kesselring? Who are the others?

Willab

http://pro.corbis.com/images/IH167641.j ... 4b7706097}

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Dieter Zinke
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Post by Dieter Zinke » 09 Jan 2005 18:28

Please put the search engine. This pic is identified in our forum, I myself have identified the Admiral (Richard Foerster).
DZ

Wilfried Abenaschon
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Post by Wilfried Abenaschon » 09 Jan 2005 23:00

Hello,

I have found it... But there is no identification of the Japanese officer.

Willab

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Steen Ammentorp
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Post by Steen Ammentorp » 11 Jan 2005 17:41

Well there are not so many Japanese generals in Germany/Europe to pick from. As seen Kesselring is already a GFM so the picture is clearly post 19th July 1940.

It could be one of the following

Lieutenant-General Ayabe Kitsuji
Lieutenant-General Kawabe Torashiro
Lieutenant-General Komatsu Mitsuhiko
Lieutenant-General Oshima Hiroshi
General Yamashita Tomoyoki

Now – why.

Kawabe and Komatsu served as military attaché to Berlin 1938-1940 and ??-1945 respectively, sadly I haven't been able to find a picture of either.

Oshima was ambassador to Berlin 1938-1945, but it is defiantly not him. All pictures of him in Carl Boyd's Hitler's Japanese Confident : General Oshima Hiroshi and the Magic Intelligence, shows him as clean shaven. The pictures are from 1939 to post war.

Now Ayabe and Yamashita both participated in a fact-finding tour to Europe in from December 1940 and returning to Japan in June 1941.

Although I have not be able to find a picture of Kawabe, Komatsu or Ayabe I'm pretty confident that the general in the picture is Yamashita because I know for a fact that he visited Kesselring on the tour in Bruxelles in 1940. Kesselring's book Soldat biz zum Letzen Tag (Bonn, Athenäum Verlag, 1953) actually shows a picture of Yamashita and Kesselring toasting together (between p. 112-113).

Yamashita does not wear glasses here (nor have I seen him doing so in any other picture) however he has got much longer hair (as seen above) than is normally seen on later pictures of him (almost bald) and the ear tip on the one above also correspond with other pictures of Yamashita.

I'm without a scanner at the moment but I'll try to get them posted ASAP.

A question what is the retired Foerster doing in this picture?

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Steen Ammentorp
The Generals of World War II

Wilfried Abenaschon
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Post by Wilfried Abenaschon » 11 Jan 2005 22:03

Sorry to object to this, but this person IS NOT taisho (Gen) Yamashita. I am absolutely definite on that.

Willab

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Steen Ammentorp
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Post by Steen Ammentorp » 12 Jan 2005 09:02

Admittedly this picture recognising is not my game but what are your arguments for it not being Yamashita?

If it isn't him my guess would be Ayabe.

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Wilfried Abenaschon
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Post by Wilfried Abenaschon » 12 Jan 2005 23:21

Hello,

You are prabably like me, there are some people that cannot be mistaken because they are so familiar to us: the main personalities of the Reich, some SS generals (Heydrich, Wolff, von dem Bach-Zelewski, Berger...), some Wehrmacht generals (von Reichenau, von Bock, von Küchler, Sperrle, von Brauchitsch, Zeitzler, Rommel, Model, Kesselring, Leeb, von Richthofen, Guderian, Löhr, Carls...) are easily identifiable.

I could not be that certain for Yamashita but I checked on a few pics and:
- He had nearly no hair,
- his face is rather massive,
- I have never seen him with glasse (even for signing the surrender of his troops) whereas here, our general needs his glasses at least to read the globe...

Willab

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Steen Ammentorp
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Post by Steen Ammentorp » 13 Jan 2005 15:58

Well - one of cause wants to champion ones own ideas.

I too was very concerned about our general wearing glasses since I didn't remember to ever have seen a picture with Yamashita wearing glasses. However with a bit of googling I actually found one!

I found two pictures taken at the surrender of the Japanese forces in Philippines at Baguio, 1945.

This first picture shows Yamashita sitting second from right at the table without wearing glasses.
http://www.33rdinfantrydivision.org/arc ... ender1.jpg

The second picture shows Yamashita (wearing glasses) leaning forward signing the document.
http://www.33rdinfantrydivision.org/arc ... ender2.jpg

Now for the missing hair. I'll post two pictures tomorrow showing Yamashita with a lot more hair (peace photos) and I think that I have read/or heard that Japanese soldiers shaved their heads when leaving Japan for service overseas like warrior monks. However I don't know whether this is true?

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Steen Ammentorp
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Post by Steen Ammentorp » 16 Jan 2005 10:07

Sorry for the delay. Here is two pictures with Yamashita with more hair on his head.

The first picture is from Arthur Swinson's Four Samurai : A Quartet of Japanese Army Commanders in the Second World War. London : Hutchinson & Commanding Officer, 1968. (Picture shown opposite title page).


The second picture with Yamashita toasting with Kesselring is from the above-mentioned source.

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Steen Ammentorp
The Generals of World War II
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Goldfish
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Post by Goldfish » 16 Jan 2005 11:27

It looks like Yamashita to me. I think it might throw off people who are used to the balder, lighter, un-moustached (is that a word?) version of Yamashita seen later in the war but the ears, nose, and eyebrows appear the same.

Wilfried Abenaschon
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Post by Wilfried Abenaschon » 16 Jan 2005 19:55

Dear Steen,

I must admit that you are right: this general IS Yamashita... I am so taken aback...
Obviously, the first pic you show is very close to the man with the globe. Moreover, I don't think every Japanese general visiting the Reich met Marshall Kesselring...

Willab :?

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Post by mikel » 23 Jan 2005 00:28

My father was in the 506th. They had custody of Kesselring for a while.
He had to stand guard over him at one time. Said he was an arrogant SOB that he would have liked to buttstroke.
After liberating some of the camps they were not well disposed towards the people whose nation built and ran them.

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