Military Wiki
General Defense Command
Active July 5, 1941 - April 8, 1945
Country Empire of Japan
Branch Imperial Japanese Army
Type Infantry
Role Army Group
Garrison/HQ Tokyo

The General Defense Command (防衛総司令部 Bōei Soshireibu?) was a headquarters organization equivalent to an army group within the Imperial Japanese Army established to control all land and air units stationed within Japan proper, Korea and Taiwan during the Pacific War.


The General Defense Command was established on July 5, 1941 under the direct command of the Emperor via the Imperial General Headquarters. For administrative, recruiting and accounting purposes, Japan was divided into six army districts, each with a garrison force equivalent to an army corps:

The General Defense Command was also responsible for anti-aircraft defenses, and for organizing civil defense training.

On April 8, 1945, in preparation for Operation Downfall (or Operation Ketsugō (決号作戦 Ketsugō sakusen?) in Japanese terminology), the General Defense Command was dissolved, and its duties assumed by the new First General Army and Second General Army.

List of Commanders

Commanding officer

Name From To
1 General Otozō Yamada 7 July 1941 9 December 1941
2 Field Marshal Prince Higashikuni Naruhiko 9 December 1941 15 April 1945

Chief of Staff

Name From To
1 Lieutenant General Torashirō Kawabe 31 July 1941 1 December 1941
2 Lieutenant General Asasaburo Kobayashi 1 December 1941 10 June 1943
3 Lieutenant General Tadayoshi Sano 10 June 1943 29 March 1944
4 Lieutenant General Asasaburo Kobayashi 28 March 1944 1 February 1945
5 Lieutenant General Einosuke Sudo 1 February 1945 6 April 1945

See also



  • Drea, Edward J. (1998). "Japanese Preparations for the Defense of the Homeland & Intelligence Forecasting for the Invasion of Japan". In the Service of the Emperor: Essays on the Imperial Japanese Army. University of Nebraska Press. ISBN 0-8032-1708-0. 
  • Frank, Richard B (1999). Downfall: The End of the Imperial Japanese Empire. New York: Random House. ISBN 0-679-41424-X. 
  • Jowett, Bernard (1999). The Japanese Army 1931-45 (Volume 2, 1942-45). Osprey Publishing. ISBN 1-84176-354-3. 
  • Madej, Victor (1981). Japanese Armed Forces Order of Battle, 1937-1945. Game Publishing Company. ASIN: B000L4CYWW. 
  • Marston, Daniel (2005). The Pacific War Companion: From Pearl Harbor to Hiroshima. Osprey Publishing. ISBN 1-84176-882-0. 
  • Skates, John Ray (1994). The Invasion of Japan: Alternative to the Bomb Downfall. New York: University of South Carolina Press. ISBN 0-87249-972-3. 

External links

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