On December 7, 1941, at the dawn before dawn, the Japanese naval fleet raided the US Pearl Harbor military base in Hawaii, killing thousands of US troops, destroying more than 200 aircraft and several battleships and destroyers, and then directly declaring war on the United States.
After China and the Soviet Union, Japan also pulled the United States into the muddy waters of World War II. Why does an East Asian island country have so many troops to support multi-line operations?
The formation of militarism and the path of aggression
As China’s eastern maritime neighbor, Japan has been a friendly neighbor in history. Until the 1840s, both countries belonged to the feudalist countries that closed their doors and closed their countries, until the start of the eastern aggression of the western powers.
China has been reduced to a semi-colonial and semi-feudal society since the first Opium War, while Japan has humbly studied and followed the same capitalist path as the Western powers after the Meiji Restoration.
With the rapid development of industry, the domestic economic crisis and development bottleneck also followed. In order to avoid the coming turbulence in the country, the Japanese government began to advocate external expansion to overcome the crisis.
This late East Asian capitalist country soon extended its claws to neighboring countries, taking China, the Korean Peninsula and Asia as expansion, and plundering territory and resources as the basic national policy, of which China was the first to bear the brunt.
In 1874, the Japanese government, which was ready to act, first tentatively slandered Taiwan residents for killing their own residents, threatened to send troops for conscription, and then sent thousands of people to land on Taiwan Island. After burning, killing and looting, it ended with the compensation of 500000 taels of silver from the Chinese government.
Japan, which had tasted the sweetness of the first military use, certainly would not stop. In 1894, the Japanese navy openly attacked the Qing navy ships, and then declared war publicly. The Qing government responded with the best Beiyang navy, and the result was a disastrous defeat. This was the”Sino-Japanese War”. Subsequently, the Qing government signed the Shimonoseki Treaty, which humiliated the country, ceded the Liaodong Peninsula, Taiwan and the Penghu Islands, compensated another 200 million taels of silver, and opened many trading ports and privileges.
In 1900, Japan, together with other major powers, formed the Eight-Power Allied Army to attack and occupy the burning Yuanmingyuan in Beijing, and forced the Qing government to sign the Treaty of Sinchou again the next year. This time, Japan wanted to enter the garrison privileges along the Shanhaiguan Pass, which provided the basic conditions for future aggression against China.
The Japan-Russian War broke out in 1904. After the defeat of Russia, all its colonial interests in China were ceded to Japan, and the Northeast fell into the hands of the Japanese. After the start of the First World War, Japan took the lead and joined the Allied camp, seizing the German lease in Shandong.
After the end of the First World War, the United States, Britain and other western powers finally found out Japan’s intention to monopolize China, so they called on all countries to establish a convention to”share the interests of all countries in China equally”. This nine-nation convention undoubtedly greatly limited Japan’s ambition to monopolize China.
In order to occupy more interests, the Japanese government set up the Kwantung Army to command the war of aggression against China in a unified way. This was its first colonial army. In 1927, Yoichi Tanaka, who had made outstanding achievements in the Russo-Japanese War, served as the Prime Minister of Japan. As soon as he took office, the fanatical warmonger proposed to take the development to the mainland as one of the main tasks of the cabinet, and did not hesitate to use force to achieve this price.
After occupying the three northeastern provinces, the Japanese government hopes to use it as a springboard to occupy China, conquer Asia, resist the Soviet Union, and then dominate the world. Then came the September 18th Incident and the all-out war of aggression against China.
So if we want to achieve such a grand strategic goal, the number of Japanese troops must not be small. How does a small island country supplement its forces to support expansion?
Japan’s military service system
In the 1840s, after being beaten by western powers, Japan began to seek the path of development of a powerful country, and then there was the Meiji Restoration. Seeing that the country that defeated itself was so strong, the Japanese began to learn from its powerful opponents in a modest and low-key way. As the saying goes, the powerful country first strengthened its military, and the first change it made was Japan’s military conscription system.
In 1873, the Japanese government implemented a new conscription law with reference to the German military service system. It stipulated that all adult men over the age of 20 must enter the military service, but it was hindered by some privileged classes because it would shake their interests. However, after the brief South-West War, the voice of opposition was suppressed. Since then, the source of Japanese forces has expanded to all classes of society.
During the service period, they will be in service for the first few years, and then they will become the reserve army, or the first reserve army. They will also do military training in peacetime. In case of war, they will directly go to battle, and then they will become the second reserve army in the next two years. They will only be responsible for the internal service and supplies, and will not go to war directly unless they have to.
In order to encourage ordinary people in Japan to join the army, the Japanese government has also issued a policy to reduce and reduce taxes on families after serving. In order to expand the number of soldiers, the government has started to reduce the age standard of 20 to 17 years old. Men who want to be exempt from military service will have to pay a high fee. Except for a few privileged classes, other families cannot afford it.
Especially for the young people in the poor rural areas of the country, in order to attract them to join the army, the Japanese army has raised the food to a very high standard, almost every day there is pork and beef, which is undoubtedly a great temptation for those young people who eat coarse grains and vegetables in the countryside. Driven by the active efforts of various policies, a standing army of nearly 500000 people has been formed, and this army has also become the vanguard of the road of aggression.
In 1937, Japan’s all-out war of aggression against China kicked off. In order to effectively implement its expansion strategy, a substantial expansion of the army began again. The first step was the rapid growth of the number of reserve forces. After leaving some of its labor and strength to meet the basic production needs of the country, the rest could be put into the battlefield as many as millions.
However, with the continuous expansion of the scale of the war and the defeat in the war, millions of troops also began to become overstretched. The Japanese government then lowered the medical requirements for conscription again and again. Too old or too young is no longer an obstacle. Even some disabilities are not an obstacle. As long as they can pick up a gun, they will go to the battlefield.
In addition, the Japanese army has also opened up a conscription policy outside its own territory, recruiting young people to join the army in the occupied Korean peninsula and China, and calling these troops”Japanese puppet troops” and”two devils” in China. However, the Japanese army itself does not regard these people as its own people, but as”second class soldiers”. It is generally believed that their combat effectiveness is weak and their loyalty is low, Let these puppet troops mainly serve as security forces and logistics support in the occupied areas, and sometimes their bodies will let them rush ahead as cannon fodder. Pure Japanese soldiers are basically going to the front battlefield.
Since the fall of Northeast China in 1931, the Japanese government has obtained a number of puppet troops no less than the local army through the recruitment of”two devils”. The mode of”letting the Chinese manage the Chinese” has also directly led to a large number of traitors and traitors in China, who let the Japanese army continue to invade without hesitation, including 300000 young people in Taiwan were recruited after the outbreak of the Pacific War, To alleviate the shortage of troops caused by the tight war ahead.
Then why can the Japanese soldiers on the front battlefield have such amazing combat effectiveness, and basically have few rivals?
Japanese soldiers with excellent military qualities
In World War II, China was the main battlefield to resist Japanese fascist aggression. Their first impression of Japanese soldiers was”fierce and fearless of death”, which mainly refers to the infantry in the Japanese army. Because of the”Bushido” spirit advocated in China and the influence of militarism, these people have been trained into war machines, and the soldiers who fight with them say”like fighting with dead people”.
Benefiting from learning the advanced system and culture of the West, Japan has established a very perfect soldier training system after the First World War. A qualified Japanese infantryman must receive at least two years of systematic military training, including shooting, bayonet fighting, grenade throwing and other subjects. Only those who pass the test will be allowed to graduate.
In addition to the top-notch individual accomplishment, it is also painstaking to equip the weapons. In order to adapt the Japanese infantry to fight in the battlefield surrounded by the enemy on all sides, the Japanese Military Industry Factory has specially developed the 38 type rifle. This rifle with dust cover and equipped with bayonets has a small recoil, which perfectly displays the characteristics of the infantry’s good at stabbing and shooting.
When high-quality infantry are equipped with matching rifles, the Japanese army has the saying of”three shots”, that is, when the first shot is aimed at, the Japanese army can identify the direction of the enemy, and when the second shot is heard, the Japanese army can aim and lock the target. If the third shot is fired, the Japanese army will be killed. Its combat ability is obvious.
This is only the most basic combat unit infantry. For the artillery with more technical advantages, it will improve the strategic level by less and more. No matter what the battlefield, the Japanese artillery can always suppress the Chinese artillery position.
In terms of organization, the Japanese Army has an artillery regiment under every four-unit division, equipped with a brigade of 12 field guns and two battalions of 12 mountain guns. Compared with the best German division of the Kuomintang at that time, there were only 12 mountain guns and 4 anti-tank guns, which formed an absolute advantage in quantity and quality.
As for the air force and bombers, let alone the Japanese air force, which has the control of the air, can carry out large-scale bombing at any time and plays an unparalleled role. Therefore, based on the data alone, the technical equipment advantage of the Japanese army is only one level less than that of the Japanese division troops. The equipment and combat effectiveness of the Japanese division troops need at least the military level or the group army to fight.
Therefore, on the front battlefield, the Japanese army can face several times its own goals but can march forward unstoppably, while the Chinese and other allied forces can only fight and retreat at the same time. Even if each battle is won, it will pay several times more casualties than the Japanese army.
The huge advantages of the industrial power invading the traditional agricultural power are enough to crush all the tactics and strategies, which is a huge disaster.
So why did Japan’s war of aggression end in failure even if it had such a big advantage?
The war doomed to failure
The long-term militarization training and brainwashing militarism education have created the Japanese soldiers’ advanced quality and the spirit of fearing death, so the Japanese army will never be unfavourable in the early war. However, with the continuation of the war and the formation of a unified anti-Japanese national front in China, the main battlefield, gradually began to compete with the Japanese army.
The vast land has become a huge strategic space in depth. China, which has been fighting the war of resistance by the whole people, has made Japan feel like a mire. The high-quality individual soldiers and military supplies created in the early stage have been slowly lost in the protracted war of resistance.
Even though there are a large number of the first and second reserve soldiers, their combat ability is still far less than that of the active troops. With the expansion of the war, the production of military equipment is gradually in short supply, and the quality of weapons is also gradually declining. This naturally directly led to the decline of the overall strength of the Japanese army.
There are dead and disabled soldiers in every battle. After a long time of accumulation, the troops have been seriously reduced. In order to maintain an infantry squadron with a strength of 200 people, the Japanese government has gradually revised the draft law, raised the age of service, lowered the threshold of service, and so on. It is equivalent to directly replenish the old, weak, sick and disabled, and seriously reduced the quality and combat ability of individual soldiers.
Since 1938, a large number of people who were not qualified for the original recruitment have entered the army as supplements. The physical examination requirements have also been relaxed from 1.66 meters tall and 56 kilograms weight to 1.5 meters tall and 50 kilograms weight, and then even dropped to 1.45 meters. The physical quality is not as good as before. Shortsightedness, disability, and so on, as long as the person with the gun refuses to refuse, they are forced to fill in.
Then in the late stage of the War of Resistance Against Japan, such a funny scene appeared. In addition to the white-haired old men, the Japanese soldiers in the same queue also looked childish.
The Japanese government also knows that these people’s combat ability is worrying. In order to replenish troops to the front line, all the local military academies in Japan have adopted the expansion of enrollment and shortened the enrollment period. The military academies that originally required four years to graduate have been shortened to two years. Many military theory courses and practical exercises have rushed to the front line to serve as grass-roots non-commissioned officers without teaching. Naturally, we can’t expect to bring out many good soldiers.
After dragging the United States into the war and starting the Pacific hegemony, the Japanese army’s elite consumption rate was even faster, and it also completely accelerated its defeat. It was ridiculous to know that it was about to face the punishment of the atomic bomb, but also encouraged the people to”prefer the jade to the jade, not the whole”, and tried to resist to the end.
This fascist ideology infused with militarism and the spirit of Bushido has poisoned many Japanese young people.
Men with strong learning ability and high quality were formed into a”kamikaze special attack team”, flying planes to carry out suicide attacks, while young women were vaccinated with viruses and prepared to use sex lures to infect foreign soldiers who attacked the mainland.
Although it has caused some impact, it is just a small spray. This is just the last craze before the demise of Japanese fascism.
According to statistics, until the end of the unconditional surrender announced by the Mikado of Japan in August 1945, the total strength of the Japanese army before and after the war exceeded 7 million, of which 5 million were the army.
Most of them have become victims of militarists, and have also brought endless pain and disaster to the people of the world.
Don’t forget history and be alert to the resurgence of militarism.
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