|General Defense Command|
|Active||July 5, 1941 - April 8, 1945|
|Country||Empire of Japan|
|Branch||Imperial Japanese Army|
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:
- Eastern District Army - HQ in Tokyo and responsible for the Kantō region and northern Honshū
- Western District Army - HQ in Fukuoka and responsible for southwestern Honshū, Shikoku and the Ryukyu Islands.
- Northern District Army - HQ in Sapporo and responsible for Hokkaidō and Karafuto.
- Central District Army - HQ in Osaka and responsible for central Honshū.
- Chosen Army - HQ in Keijo and responsible for Korea
- Taiwan Army - HQ in Taihoku and responsible for Taiwan.
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
|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
|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|
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- 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.
- Wendel, Marcus. "Axis History Factbook". General Defense Command. http://www.axishistory.com/index.php?id=6754.
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