Main army

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A main army ( Japanese 総 軍 , sōgun ) was in the organizational structure of the Imperial Japanese Army, the largest unit responsible for a particular theater of war. It was made up of several regional armies , armies and divisions . At the beginning of the Pacific War there was one main army, at the end of the war there were six. Main armies corresponded to an army group or the allied army group .

The main armies were subordinate to the General Staff .

A main army was commanded by a field marshal ( gensui ) or general ( taishō ). The commanders of the main armies were appointed main army commanders in a separate ceremony at the imperial court in the presence of the Tennō , the Japanese emperor .


Main armies during the Second Sino-Japanese War and the Pacific War (as of 1945)

Surname Yep designation active headquarters Operation area
Kwantung Army Japanese 関東軍 Kantō-gun 1906-1945 Xinjing Manchuria and Korea
China Expeditionary Army jap. 支那 派遣 軍 , Shina hakengun 1939-1945 Nanjing China
South army Japanese 南方 軍 , Nampō-gun 1941-1945 Saigon Southeast Asia , Southwest Pacific
Central Defense Command Japanese 防衛 総 司令部 , Bōei Sōshireibu 1941-1945 Tokyo Japanese Empire
In April 1945 the Central Defense Command was divided into three main armies:
1st main army Japanese 第 1 総 軍 , dai-ichi sōgun 1945 Tokyo Eastern Japan
2nd main army Japanese 第 2 総 軍 , dai-ni sōgun 1945 Hiroshima Western japan
Air Main Army Japanese 航空 総 軍 , kōkū sōgun 1945 Tokyo Japanese Empire


  • 豊 田健 志 (Ed.): 50 年 目 の 「日本 陸軍」 入門. Bungei Shunjū, Tokyo 1991, ISBN 4-16-721728-7 , pp. 120-121.
  • Author unknown: 陸海軍 部隊 最終 配置 図.   In: 菅 英 志 (Ed.) :「日本 帝国 最 期 の 日」. Shin-Jinbutsuoraisha Co., Tokyo 1991, Jpn. Magazine code 69644-49, pp. 218-234 ( 歴 史 読 本. , Special issue 49).
  • Philip Jowett, "The Japanese Army 1931-45 (1)" Osprey Publishing, 2002, ISBN 978-1-8417-6353-8