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Japanese Army Handbook 1939-1945 [Hardcover]

George Forty
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 1998
The Imperial Japanese Army grew from a peacetime standing army of 17 divisions, to a massive 191 (mainly infantry) divisions. Their highly successful campaigns in the Far East and Pacific theatres at the beginning of World War II were every bit as spectacular as those of the Germans in Europe, their troops earning an enviable reputation as expert jungle fighters which it took some years for the Allies to match. Their code of honour also made them extremely cruel enemies to prisoners and civilians alike, whilst their fear of dishonouring themselves and their families meant they would automatically fight to the last without any thought of surrender. In this text, George Forty reviews the organization of the Imperial Japanese Army, from high command down to divisional level and below, and examines the mobilization and training of these extraordinary troops. The individual soldier is described in detail, from his uniform and equipment to personal weapons. Major weapons are also covered, from tanks and artillery to vehicles and technical equipment, with a separate chapter describing military symbology and tactics.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Sutton Publishing Ltd (April 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0750916885
  • ISBN-13: 978-0750916882
  • Product Dimensions: 26.4 x 20.2 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,424,446 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

About the Author

Lieutenant Colonel George Forty OBE, FMA has written many books, including Leakey's Luck. The British Army Handbook and the US Army Handbook. He served in the British Army for 32 years with the Royal Tank Regiment. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good 18 Feb 2011
By S. Hall
Format:Paperback
Its a good volume. Could use more Japanese sources though...most seem to be US army.
Its not totally comprehensive, but covers a lot.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
GEORGE FORTY HAS PROVIDED A MUCH NEEDED, UP TO DATE REFERENCE BOOK ON THE IMPERIAL JAPANESE ARMY. THE BOOK IS DIVIDED INTO SEVERAL SECTIONS DEALING WITH THE BACKGROUND HISTORY, THE ORGANIZATION, THE SOLDIER AND HIS EQUIPMENT, THE VEHICLES AND MORE. THERE HAS BEEN A RENEWED INTEREST IN THE JAPANESE FIGHTING FORCES OF WORLD WAR 2 BUT THERE HAS ALWAYS BEEN A LACK OF GOOD REFERENCE BOOKS, THIS BOOK SEEMS TO FILL THAT GAP ADMIRABLY. THE VAST COLLECTION OF PHOTOGRAPHS ALONE ARE WORTH THE PURCHASE PRICE,AND WILL KEEP ANYONE INTERESTED IN THE EQUIPMENT OF THE JAPANESE SOLDIER ENTHRALLED FOR HOURS AND HOURS. THE EXTENSIVE USE OF PREVIOUSLY UNSEEN MATERIAL SHOULD ENSURE THAT THIS BOOK BECOMES THE NEW REFERENCE WORK FOR COLLECTORS. ALTHOUGH THIS BOOK COVERS A VAST AMOUNT OF DETAIL ON SEVERAL ASPECTS OF THE JAPANESE SOLDIERS WAY OF LIFE,PERHAPS MORE COULD HAVE BEEN INCLUDED IN THE DETAILS OF THE SOLDIER HIMSELF, MORE USE OF PHOTOGRAPHS OF ACTUAL FIELD EQUIPMENT AND WEAPONS ALTHOUGH THE LINE DRAWINGS ARE MORE THAN ADEQUATE. ANYONE INTERESTED IN THE SECOND WORLD WAR IN THE EAST, THE JAPANESE ARMY AS A FIGHTING FORCE OR A COLLECTOR OF JAPANESE MILITARIA WILL FIND THIS BOOK AN INVALUABLE SOURCE OF INFORMATION.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.5 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
48 of 50 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Where did he get his facts? 3 Aug 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I am a translator/writer for Japanese publishers and have been researching and studying the Japanese Forces in WW2 here in Japan for over 20 years. When I saw the book in a bookstore I naturally bought it but after reading only a few pages I immediately regretted the purchase. Here is why: In the introduction there is a photo with a caption that reads: The grave of a Japanese officer... The Japanese characters identify the soldier buried there as a Superior Private. On page 69 the author writes that the Japanese Army had no tank divisions where in fact they had 4. the 2nd tank division fought in the Philippines in 1945 and was wiped out there. There were also at least 7 tank brigades in the homeland waiting for the US invasion, a fact which is also not mentioned. There are several more mistakes which would make a person familiar with the topic cringe so the question is why authors and publishers do not make a more in-depth research.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Banzai! 8 Aug 2009
By ThorBjorn - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Before the Second World War commenced, Western nations very naively and foolishly deceived themselves into believing that the Japanese fighting-man was inconsequential. Believing their own propaganda, America and Britain, in particular, were subjected to a very harsh awakening as to the aggressive tenacity of Japanese military forces. Japan, too, was guilty of willfully under-estimating the Western troops, and this proved to be much more fatal.

The Japanese military proved to be one of the most ruthless and deadly adversaries ever faced by Western nations. This book focuses on the army that Japan deployed against its enemies. Even at the level of the individual soldier, the Japanese demonstated a shocking capacity for fanatical and aggressive action in battle, incredible endurance, and an unbelievable ability to endure pain, fatigue, and all manner of suffering on campaign.

Collectively, Japan's military displayed a number of unusual contrasts. The naval and aviation elements were equipped with state of the art ships, aircraft, and technology at the beginning of the war. However, Japan equipped its personnel with small-arms that were better suited for the previous World War. Japanese fighting men in battle utilized deadly and brilliant tactics, but some of the strategies instituted by the leadership proved to be fatally unsound. Ground forces seemed to put more emphasis on infantry assets, neglecting the potential of developing armor and artillery support.

This is a good introductory text, and the author has presented us with enough information to entice one to want to know more. There is an enormous quantity of literature on all facets of German military topics, relating to World War II, but the resources pertaining to Japan are quite rare in comparison. Books abut the Italian segment of the Axis forces, are even more scarce.

My only complaints with this book, are that it seems to have been a bit rushed in completion, and could have been more detailed on the topics contained within. There seems to be some discrepancies in some of the information. Nevertheless, I did find it to be very useful. I would have liked to see more detailed information on the methods and general program of training for personnel, as well as more data on the weapons in general. There is more coverage of artillery and crew-served weapons, than small-arms.

There are many interesting photographs inside. The book has a detailed list and description of the vehicles employed, and some surprising information on that topic. I was not previously aware that Japan was developing heavy-armor, namely, the prototype 4 CHI-TO tank which was armed with a 75mm gun.

There is a chapter on tactics, which is fasciniating, as it compiles a number of practices which are alluded to in passing in other books. Once again, my only real complaint is that this book is not thicker than it is.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Gave it as a gift..... 23 Mar 2002
By Mike - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I got this for my dad since he does a lot of research on WW2 for people. From what he has told me in using it, and from my own flipping of hte pages, it seems this book was not put together really well, and in fact contradicts itself on occassion. I would imagine the publisher would be to blame for those types of things.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book on the Japanese military, everything you want to know 23 Oct 2014
By Scott Bailey - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Excellent book on the japanese military. Good military history on the structure and great bios on the Japanese generals. Wish more pictures were in book. Equipment is covered in great detail with equipment specs. Japanese recruit training is covered and also officer training is covered also, that portion made the book worth reading.
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars 3 Oct 2014
By Charley King - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
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