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Special Naval Landing Force (SNLF)
Naval Ensign of Japan.svg
The ensign of the Imperial Japanese Navy Land Forces
Active 1929–1945
Country Empire of Japan
Allegiance Empire of Japan
Type Marine Corps
Engagements Sino-Japanese War, Soviet-Japanese border conflicts, World War I, World War II

Imperial Japanese Navy Land Forces of World War II originated with the Special Naval Landing Forces, and eventually consisted of the following:

  • The Naval Landing Force or 海軍陸戦隊 Kaigun-rikusen-tai: In the narrow sense, a temporal unit consists sailors for ground battles. In the wide sense, a general term means Navy Land Force.
  • Japanese Special Naval Landing Forces or 海軍特別陸戦隊 Kaigun-tokubetsu-rikusen-tai: the Japanese Marines
  • The Base Force or 根拠地隊 Konkyo-chitai and The Special Base Force or 特別根拠地隊 Tokubetsu-konkyo-chitai provided services, primarily security, to naval facilities
  • Defence Units or 防備隊 Bōbi-tai or 防衞班 Bōei-han: detachments of 200 to 400 men.
  • Guard Forces or 警備隊 Keibi-tai: detachments of 200–500 men who provide security to Imperial Japanese Navy facilities
  • Air Defence Units or 防空隊 Bōkū-tai: Antiaircraft artillery units of 200-300 men equipped with 8 Anti-Aircraft guns or 24 AA machine guns.
  • Pioneers or Construction Units or 海軍設営隊 Kaigun-setsuei-tai built naval facilities, including airstrips, on remote islands. Most of personnel were civilian employees and unarmed.
  • The Naval Communications Units or 通信隊 Tsūshin-tai of 600–1,000 men to provide basic naval communications. They also handled encryption and decryption.
  • The Tokkeitai Navy military police units were part of the naval intelligence armed branch, with military police regular functions in naval installations and occupied territories; they also worked with the Imperial Japanese Army's Kempeitai military police, the Keishi-chō civil police and Tokkō secret units in security and intelligence services.

Although both the Keibi-tai and Bōbi-tai received amphibious assault and beach defence training, their performance was poor or average when they were used as assault troops.


  • Kenkyusha's New Japanese-English Dictionary, Kenkyusha Limited, Tokyo 1991, ISBN 4-7674-2015-6

See also

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