Twelfth Army (Japan)

Last updated
Japanese Twelfth Army
ActiveNovember 7, 1938 - August 15, 1945
Country Empire of Japan
Branch Imperial Japanese Army
Type Infantry
Role Corps
Garrison/HQ Zhengzhou
Nickname(s)Jin ("Benevolence")

The Japanese 12th Army(第12軍,Dai-jyūni gun) was an army of the Imperial Japanese Army during the Second Sino-Japanese War.

Corps military unit size designation

Corps is a term used for several different kinds of organisation. A military innovation by Napoleon, the formation was first named as such in 1805.

Imperial Japanese Army Official ground-based armed force of the Empire of Japan, from 1868 to 1945

The Imperial Japanese Army was the official ground-based armed force of the Empire of Japan from 1868 to 1945. It was controlled by the Imperial Japanese Army General Staff Office and the Ministry of the Army, both of which were nominally subordinate to the Emperor of Japan as supreme commander of the army and the navy. Later an Inspectorate General of Aviation became the third agency with oversight of the army. During wartime or national emergencies, the nominal command functions of the emperor would be centralized in an Imperial General Headquarters (IGHQ), an ad-hoc body consisting of the chief and vice chief of the Army General Staff, the Minister of the Army, the chief and vice chief of the Naval General Staff, the Inspector General of Aviation, and the Inspector General of Military Training.

Second Sino-Japanese War military conflict between the Republic of China and the Empire of Japan from 1937 to 1945

The Second Sino-Japanese War was a military conflict fought primarily between the Republic of China and the Empire of Japan from July 7, 1937, to September 2, 1945. It began with the Marco Polo Bridge Incident in 1937 in which a dispute between Japanese and Chinese troops escalated into a battle. Some sources in the modern People's Republic of China date the beginning of the war to the Japanese invasion of Manchuria in 1931. It is known as the War of Resistance in China.



The Japanese 12th Army was formed on November 7, 1938 under the North China Area Army as a garrison force for the occupation the provinces North China. It served primary as a training and reserve unit, and participated in counter-insurgency operations.

North China Place

North China is a geographical region of China, consisting of the provinces of Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Shanxi and Inner Mongolia. It lies north of the Qinling Huaihe Line, with its heartland in the North China Plain.

Counter-insurgency military operation aimed at defeating enemy irregular or insurgent forces

A counter-insurgency or counterinsurgency (COIN) is defined by the United States Department of State as "comprehensive civilian and military efforts taken to simultaneously defeat and contain insurgency and address its root causes". An insurgency is a rebellion against a constituted authority when those taking part in the rebellion are not recognized as belligerents. It is "the organized use of subversion and violence to seize, nullify or challenge political control of a region. As such, it is primarily a political struggle, in which both sides use armed force to create space for their political, economic and influence activities to be effective."

The 59th division famous for its wartime atrocities was attached to the Twelfth Army from February 1942 till May 1945.

The 59th Division was an infantry division of the Imperial Japanese Army. Its call sign was the Robe Division. It was formed on 2 February 1942 at Jinan as a security division, simultaneously with 58th and 60th divisions. The nucleus for the formation was the 10th Independent Mixed Brigade. As a security division, the 59th Division's backbone consisted of independent infantry battalions, and it did not include an artillery regiment. Its men were drafted from Chiba Prefecture, with reinforcements office located in Kashiwa. The division was initially assigned to the 12th army

The 12th Army was demobilized at Zhengzhou, Henan Province on the surrender of Japan.


Demobilization or demobilisation is the process of standing down a nation's armed forces from combat-ready status. This may be as a result of victory in war, or because a crisis has been peacefully resolved and military force will not be necessary. The opposite of demobilization is mobilization. Forceful demobilization of a defeated enemy is called demilitarization.

Zhengzhou Prefecture-level city in Henan, Peoples Republic of China

Zhengzhou is the capital and largest city of Henan Province in the central part of the People's Republic of China. It is one of the National Central Cities in China, the centre of Central Plains area and serves as the political, economic, technological, and educational center of the province, as well as a major transportation hub in China. The Zhengzhou metropolitan area is the core area of the Central Plains Economic Zone.

Surrender of Japan surrender of the Empire of Japan during the World War II

The surrender of Imperial Japan was announced by Hirohito on August 15 and formally signed on September 2, 1945, bringing the hostilities of World War II to a close. By the end of July 1945, the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) was incapable of conducting major operations and an Allied invasion of Japan was imminent. Together with the British Empire and China, the United States called for the unconditional surrender of the Japanese armed forces in the Potsdam Declaration on July 26, 1945—the alternative being "prompt and utter destruction". While publicly stating their intent to fight on to the bitter end, Japan's leaders were privately making entreaties to the publicly neutral Soviet Union to mediate peace on terms more favorable to the Japanese. While maintaining a sufficient level of diplomatic engagement with the Japanese to give them the impression they might be willing to mediate, the Soviets were covertly preparing to attack Japanese forces in Manchuria and Korea in fulfillment of promises they had secretly made to the United States and the United Kingdom at the Tehran and Yalta Conferences.

List of Commanders

Commanding officers

1Lieutenant General Kamezo Suetaka 9 November 193812 September 1939
2Lieutenant General Sadataka Iida 12 September 19391 March 1941
3Lieutenant General Ichiji Dobashi 1 March 19411 March 1943
4Lieutenant General Seiichi Kita 1 March 19437 February 1944
5Lieutenant General Eitaro Uchiyama 5 February 19447 April 1945
6Lieutenant General Takashi Takamori 7 April 194515 August 1945

Chief of Staff

1Lt. General Asasaburo Kobayashi 9 November 19381 December 1939
2Lt. General Yoshio Hongo 1 December 19392 December 1940
3Lt. General Masafumi Yamauchi 2 December 194015 October 1941
4Major General Etsujiro Kono 15 October 194110 December 1942
5Major General Tadao Teragaki 10 December 194216 October 1944
6Lt. General Makoto Nakayama 16 October 19441 September 1945

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