Best Japanese Officer of WWII?

May 2018
Oddly there are also numerous examples of Japanese commanders unable to get subordinate officers to obey their orders. Ichikki and Kawaguchi on Guadalcanal, and Admiral Iwabuchi in Manila come to mind. The officers who occupied Manchuria in 1931 and who instigated the "Marco Polo Bridge" incident in 1937 both did so without, or in defiance of, orders from higher authority.
Yeah, that whole rebellion/false flag operation cooked up by the Army should be a case study in "Civilian Control of the Military." The problem is, the action was so popular in Japan, even pacifists like Akiko Yosano (who had opposed the Russo-Japanese war) became fascists and supported what was in practice the enslavement of large swaths of Asia.

What is truly sad, i suppose, is that the Army wasn't even doing something against the popular will of the people (who, if Japan had been a democracy, may have voted for the war anyway) unlike in Germany where the most support Hitler got was a plurality in a non-rigged election. if the civilians had their way, there is a good chance they would have voted for war, if the war's popularity was any indication. In this case, civilian control of the military may not have even prevented the war.
May 2018
Yamashita , with three divisions assaulted five , pushing them back relentlessly ,
giving a final assault across a large waterway telling the guard division that if they kept being difficult he would leave them behind
forced the British command to bow to his will while he had run out of ammo ,all of this with losses 3 times smaller than his opponent
Rhetorical Question: Why wasn't Heinz Guderian charged under the "Yamashita Standard?" Given that his troops executed the commissar order, he'd be guilty. That seems like a double standard. Yes, I know: Cold War, and no one in the west cares about crimes against the Soviet Union. But a lot of German generals who were not executed were probably guilty under the "Yamashita Standard."


Ad Honorem
Aug 2012
Those are some positives for Yamamoto. "Military genius" he was not, and I wouldn't put him on any list that contains the names Wellington, Napoleon or Julius Caesar, unless he is very far down. However, I wonder if he could be called the "Heinz Guderian of Naval Aviation" and if not, who would probably qualify for that title. Naval Aviation and its force concentration was to Japan what Panzer Divisions and armored theory were to Germany.
Neither would I. He was an Admiral. Not a general.:p
Jul 2019
New Jersey
Yamashita. Conqueror of Malaya and Singapore. Advised against reinforcement of Leyte, but was overruled. Ordered withdrawal from Manila but was disobeyed. Held out on Luzon till the end of the war.
Actually, other Army officers like Kuribayashi and Ushijima had little opportunity to display any operational or tactical skill other than extracting the highest price in blood from the attacker.
Admiral Ozawa displayed skill and determination, but the odds were usually against him.
I agree about Yamashita. As an aside, I view his execution as an absolute travesty.
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