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Japanese Fourteenth Area Army
Masaharu Homma ashore at Lingayen Gulf.jpg
General Homma comes ashore at Lingayen Gulf
Active November 6, 1942 – August 15, 1945
Country Empire of Japan
Branch Imperial Japanese Army
Type Infantry
Role Field Army
Garrison/HQ Manila
Nickname(s) 尚武 (shōbu = "militarism", also a synonym for "victory")
Engagements Battle of the Philippines (1941–42)
Philippines campaign (1944–45)

The Japanese Fourteenth Area Army (第14方面軍 Dai-jyūyon hōmen gun?) was a field army of the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II.


The Japanese 14th Army was formed on November 6, 1941, under the Southern Expeditionary Army Group for the specific task of invading and occupying the Philippines. It initially consisted of the IJA 16th Division, IJA 48th Division, IJA 56th Division, and 65th Independent Mixed Infantry Brigade. In January 1942, the 48th Division was detached and re-assigned to the Japanese Sixteenth Army for the invasion of the Netherlands East Indies,[1] and was replaced with Fourth Division. As the army was still fighting in the Philippines, its commanding officer, Lieutenant General Masaharu Homma, requested more reinforcements. The 10th Independent Garrison was sent to the Philippines as was the 21st Division Infantry Group, and the First Field Artillery Headquarters to command the field artillery units. The Fourth and Seventh Tank Regiments were part of the 14th Army as well as First, Eighth and 16th Field Artillery Regiments and the 9th Independent Field Artillery Battalion. This army was responsible for the Bataan Death March after the surrender of US and Filipino forces in Bataan, and the 65th Independent Brigade was also accused of the Mariveles Massacre.[citation needed] The 14th Army came under the direct control of Imperial General Headquarters in June, 1942; however, the Southern Expeditionary Army Group from its headquarters in Saigon continued to issue orders, at times in conflict with those received from Tokyo, and its commanding officer was plagued by insubordination by junior officers who used the situation to issue orders without his approval or to countermand orders with which they did not agree.[2] In August, Homma was replaced by Lieutenant General Shigenori Kuroda.[citation needed]

In July, 1942, the IJA Fourth Division came under control of the 14th Army, as did the IJA 30th Division, which was assigned to the defense of Mindanao. As the war situation continued to deteriorate for Japan, and Allied forces prepared to invade the Philippines, and the 14th Army restructured its independent infantry brigades and reserves to form the new IJA 100th Division, IJA 102nd Division, IJA 103rd Division, and IJA 105th Divisions.[citation needed]

In March, 1944, the 14th Army officially reverted to the control of the Southern Expeditionary Army Group. On July 28, 1944, the Japanese 14th Army officially became the Japanese 14th Area Army. Two more divisions (the IJA 8th Division and IJA 10th Division) arrived in August 1944 as reinforcements, and also in August, the Japanese 35th Army also came under its control. In the various battles of the Philippines campaign (1944–45) against combined American and Philippine Commonwealth armed forces in Leyte, Mindanao and parts of Luzon, the Japanese 14th Area Army suffered over 350,000 casualties, including virtually all of the 18,000 men of the 16th Infantry Division in the Battle of Leyte.[citation needed] On October 10, 1944, General Tomoyuki Yamashita assumed the command of the 14th Area Army to defend the Philippines.

Troops of the 14th Area Army were responsible for the Palawan Massacre of December 14, 1944.[citation needed]

List of commanders

Commanding officer

Name From To
1 Lieutenant General Masaharu Homma 6 November 1941 1 August 1942
2 Lieutenant General Shigenori Kuroda 1 August 1942 26 September 1944
3 General Tomoyuki Yamashita 26 September 1944 15 August 1945

Chief of staff

Name From To
1 Lieutenant General Masami Maeda 6 November 1941 20 February 1942
2 Major General Takaji Wachi 20 February 1942 22 March 1944
3 Lieutenant General Haruki Isayama 22 March 1944 19 June 1944
4 Lieutenant General Tsuchio Yamaguchi 19 June 1944 28 July 1944
5 Major General Ryozo Sakuma 28 July 1944 5 October 1944
6 Lieutenant General Akira Mutō 5 October 1944 15 August 1945



  • Breuer, William B. (1986). Retaking The Philippines: America's Return to Corregidor & Bataan, 1944–1945. St Martin's Press. ASIN B000IN7D3Q. 
  • 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. 
  • Nalty, Bernard (1999). War in the Pacific: Pearl Harbor to Tokyo Bay : The Story of the Bitter Struggle in the Pacific Theater of World War II. University of Oklahoma Press. ISBN 0-8061-3199-3. 
  • Rottman, Gordon (2005). Japanese Army in World War II: "The South Pacific and New Guinea, 1942–43" (Battle Orders). Osprey Publishing. ISBN 1-84176-789-1. 
  • Weist, Andrew A (2005). The Pacific War: Campaigns of World War II (The Campaigns of World War II). Motorbooks International. ISBN 0-7603-1146-3. 

External links


  1. Madej,Japanese Armed Forces Order of Battle, 1937–1945
  2. Toland, The Rising Sun

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