Fifteenth Army (Japan)

Fifteenth Army (Japan)

Infobox Military Unit
unit_name= Japanese Fifteenth Army

caption= Japanese troops on border of Burma
dates= 1941-11-09 - 1945-08-15
country= Empire of Japan
branch= Imperial Japanese Army
type= Infantry
role= Corps
nickname=nihongo|Hayashi Shudan|林集団|Grove
battles=Burma Campaign
The nihongo|Japanese 15th Army|第15軍 |Dai-jyugo gun was a army of the Imperial Japanese Army during the World War II.


The Japanese 15th Army was formed on 9 November 1941 as the Burma Area Army of the Southern Expeditionary Army Group for the specific task of invading the British colony of Burma.

Under Lieutenant General Shōjirō Iida, the IJA 15th Army invaded southern Burmese province of Tenasserim. The 15th Army consisted initially of the highly regarded 33rd Infantry Division and the 55th Infantry Division, which attacked from northern Thailand, which had signed a treaty of friendship with Japan on December 21, 1941. The 15th Army quickly advanced through southern Burma, defeating the British and Indian Burma Army in several engagements, and capturing the capital, Rangoon by 7 March 1942. The Army was reinforced by troops released by the Fall of Singapore and drove northwards into Central Burma, defeating the British Burma Corps and the Chinese forces, ultimately driving the Allies from Burma.

During the following year, the Army remained as a garrison force in Burma, defeating an Allied offensive in Arakan and inflicting heavy casualties on a long-range penetration raid under Orde Wingate.

For 1944, Fifteenth Army became part of the Burma Area Army. Lieutenant General Iida was posted back to Japan and Lieutenant General Renya Mutaguchi took command of Fifteenth Army. He forcefully advocated an offensive against British India. The offensive, Operation U-Go, was launched in March. As a result of poor logistics and Mutaguchi's underestimation of the difficulties, the Army was almost destroyed in the Battle of Imphal and the Battle of Kohima.

Mutaguchi, his Chief of Staff and several other officers were removed in the aftermath. Lieutenant General Shihachi Katamura took command. As the monsoon season ended, the Army attempted to forestall an Allied offensive into Burma by withdrawing behind the Irrawaddy River. They were unable to prevent British and Indian troops securing bridgeheads across the river, and the army was weakened by losses and detachments to other parts of the front. Once Mandalay was captured, the Army could only retreat southwards, badly disorganised.

The remnants of Fifteenth Army were later absorbed as a subsidiary unit within the Japanese 18th Area Army.

The IJA 15th Army was demobilized at Lampang Province, Thailand on the surrender of Japan in 1945.

List of Commanders

Commanding officers

Chief of staff

Organization (at the First Arakan Campaign)

15th Army
* 18th Infantry Division
* 31st Infantry Division
* 33rd Infantry Division

Organization (at the Imphal Campaign)

15th Army
* 15th Infantry Division
* 31st Infantry Division
* 33rd Infantry Division

Organization (at the end of the war)

15th Army
* 4th Infantry Division
* 31st Infantry Division
* 33rd Infantry Division


*cite book
last = Latimer
first = Jon
authorlink = Jon Latimer
year = 2004
title = Burma: The Forgotten War
publisher = John Murray
location = London
id = ISBN: 978-0719565762

*cite book
last = Madej
first = Victor
coauthors =
year = 1981
title = Japanese Armed Forces Order of Battle, 1937-1945
publisher = Game Publishing Company
location =
id = ASIN: B000L4CYWW

External links

*cite web
last = Wendel
first = Marcus
url =
title = Axis History Factbook
work = Japanese Fifteenth Army


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Second General Army (Japan) — Infobox Military Unit unit name= Second General Army caption= dates= 1945 04 08 1945 11 30 country= Empire of Japan allegiance= branch= Imperial Japanese Army type= Infantry role= Army group garrison=Tokyo nickname= nihongo|Saiho|西方|Western… …   Wikipedia

  • Fifty-Fifth Army (Japan) — Infobox Military Unit unit name= Japanese Fifty Fifth Army caption= dates= 1945 04 08 1945 08 15  country= Empire of Japan allegiance= branch= Imperial Japanese Army type= Infantry role= Corps garrison= nickname= battles=Operation Downfallcommand …   Wikipedia

  • Army group — An army group is a military organization consisting of several field armies, which is self sufficient for indefinite periods. It is usually responsible for a particular geographic area. An army group is the largest field organization handled by a …   Wikipedia

  • Japan — • Called in the language of the country Nihon or Nippon (Land of the Rising Sun), and Dai Nihon or Dai Nippon (Great Japan), situated north west of the Pacific Ocean and east of the Asiatic continent Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006.… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Armies of the Imperial Japanese Army — In the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA), the term Gun , literally meaning army , was used in a different way to the military forces of other countries. A So Gun , meaning General Army , was the term used in the IJA for an army group. Of a similar but …   Wikipedia

  • Southern Expeditionary Army Group — Active November 6, 1941 August 15, 1945 Country Empire of Japan …   Wikipedia

  • 18th Division (Imperial Japanese Army) — HistoryThe 18th Division was formed in Kurume, Kyūshū on 13 November, 1907, together with the 17th Division, as part of the post Russo Japanese War expansion of the standing Japanese military. In World War I it was strengthened by an additional… …   Wikipedia

  • Japanese Fifteenth Area Army — Infobox Military Unit unit name= Japanese Fifteenth Area Army caption= dates= 1945 02 01 1945 08 15 country= Empire of Japan allegiance= branch= Imperial Japanese Army type= Infantry role= Field Army garrison= Osaka nickname= 楠 (Kusu = “camphor”) …   Wikipedia

  • United States Army Air Forces — Infobox Military Unit unit name=United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) caption=USAAF Shoulder Sleeve Insignia ( Hap Arnold Emblem ) dates=1941 06 20 to 1947 09 17 country= United States of America allegiance= branch=United States Army type= role=… …   Wikipedia

  • Fairmont Army Airfield — Infobox Airport name = Fairmont State Airfield nativename = nativename a = nativename r = image width = caption = IATA = FMZ ICAO = KFMZ type = Civilian owner = operator = city served = location = elevation f = 1636 elevation m = 498 coordinates …   Wikipedia