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PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 7:44 pm 
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Hello all,
I have seen in documentaries Europeans who either lived or were working in Japan for some time before or at out break of and during WWII. I am just curious, are there any records of any non-oriental soldiers serving in Japan's armed forces? Just cuious.
Thanks,
FB

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 4:43 pm 
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to my knowledge not a single one served, the way the japanese were i can't really see it happening

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 10:46 pm 
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Yep, from what I have read, unlike the Germans, who tried to sway the populations of conquered contries, created Wehrmacht units from those countries, etc., the Japanese didn't particulary want or felt they needed allies or foreigners in their armed serves. I bet the Japanese regretted that policy by mid war. JUst think if they had whole regiments and divisions in their ranks made up of indiginous people from theri conquered land. It would have helped them and their efforts and cause if they had not have been so cruel and alienated every one in every place they went.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2010 2:33 pm 
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A comrade recently spend a lot of time researching Russians in IJA, this is what he found out. I'm sure he can add things and tell about his sources :) This subject, though almost completely unknown in the west, is quite widely documented in Japanese and Russian military history.

Kwantung Army was interested in forming a unit of ethnic Russians to fight against Red Army with the Japanese. Small units were formed already in the early 1930s. In December 1936 Colonenl Kavabe Torasiro laid out the plans for Brigada Asano, to be trained and equipped by the IJA. In 1938 the preparations were finished and experienced Lieutenant-Colonel Makoto Asano was ordered to establish the unit. The first detachment consisted of 250 men, led by Japanese officers. Lt-Col. Asano decided that the Brigada could be also used in sabotage on Soviet territory, so it was trained approtiately in addition to conventional warfare training. Later the unit was expanded considerably and artillery and cavalry elements were formed, the latest of which Asano retained command himself.

The baptism of fire was against Korean communist partisans in Manchukuo. After that the Brigada fought against the Red Army in the battle of Chanhangkufenskogo around Lake Hassa in the summer of 1938 and in the battle of Nomongansky in the summer of 1939, suffering heavy casualties.

After Operation Barbarossa began, 400 men were selected to perform sabotage in Soviet Union. What happened to most of these men is largely unknown. In 1942 service in Brigada Asano was made mandatory; men between 18-36 years of age and of Russian ethnicity were made subject to conscription. In 1943 the unit numbered 3500 men in active duty and a reserve of roughly same size. Officer ranks were also opened to Russians and in December the unit was completely Russian led, with Japanese only in observation and support roles. The name Brigada Asano was also abolished, though the soldiers still tended to proudly refer to their unit by that name.

Further history of the unit is unknown, though most likely it was decimated in 1945 along with rest of the Kwantung Army.

For reenacting purposes, the unit widely used early pattern uniforms (Types 5 and 98) even in late war. The majority of the men were white. Now this would be an interesting unit to reenact : )

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2010 11:00 pm 
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That is interesting! I never knew about that. I have seen pics of S. Korean troops in post war S. Korea armed entirely with Japanese helmets, Type 99 rifles, gear, etc.. Later they were issued US stuff I think. I wonder what happened to all that Japanese stuff?
FB

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 7:12 am 
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What about the indean National army,were they not part of the militery structure of the japeneese forces in thr region


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 29, 2010 12:05 am 
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I bet there are lost ware houses in India, Manchuria, S. Korea, and all in S.E.Asia full of Japanese stuff. I have seen documentaries of N. Vietnamese fighting the French with Japanese stuff. Where is it now? I wonder.
Dave

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 9:51 am 
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And lets not forget the occaisional German officer there on inspection or there as an instructor! :D

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2015 3:44 pm 
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Sorry for late reply digging up old thread.

I know the Japanese did not favour many European's especially the British, and obviously they would have been deep mistrust of "White" men who might try to betray or ruin the Japanese cause from within.

However there were many non-Japanese units in the forces that supported the Japanese Army itself. The IJA did not actively recruit foreigners during the Singapore/Malaya campaign. This was because according to my Grandfather, the Japanese had low opinion of troops who surrendered and swapped sides. Also The chief staff officers during that particular campaign were very brutal and ruthless towards captives who they saw as people who should have died for their cause. They saw them as beasts of burden quite literally. Not all Japanese officers but many in the Staff were like that... my Grandfather was scared of the Staff officers and planners.

In other areas though it is well documented that natives were encouraged to support the Japanese and were even given weapons and training. In particular the Philippines and Indonesia the Japanese supplied local anti colonial militants to fight their fellow pro colonial natives. These were some very bloody proxy wars in the interim after the Allied command had been swept aside by the IJA it was these pro-colonial or sometimes independent forces of traditional guerrillas that pinned down huge Japanese resources.

There was also many Indian regiments led by Subash Chandra Bose an Indian Nationalist who persuaded many former British Indian troops to join the fight on the side of the Japanese against British. Some of the Indian Nationalist army forces helped the Japanese in battles like Kohima ridge. Where they fought against other Indians who were loyal to the Empire. The Battle of Kohima ridge is not well known in the UK but it was like a World war 2 East Indian Rorkes Drift. For the best part of 2 Months the small isolated British Indian garrison fought off overwhelming numbers of Japanese attackers until relieved by Re-enforcements from Western India and what is now Pakistan arrived to help drive the Japanese forces back.

There are rumours of Australian deserters joining the Japanese but these are just rumours and as far as I know there is no solid evidence for this. The Australians were however the first forces to leave the field in large numbers and start looting the Singapore suburbs when it became apparent the fight was lost.

Many Indians fought to the death without joining the Japanese forces and they often had to fight their fellow Indians who had joined the Japanese. It was bloody and confusing. Both the British and Japanese had a very low opinion of the Indians who fought for them.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2015 11:24 pm 
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Excellent thread ..

http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 5&t=148392


Enjoy ! :D

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2015 10:37 am 
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Some of those photos were amazing... thank you for sharing :mrgreen:


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