Operation Sho 3

victory 3

This was the Japanese plan within ‘Sho’ for the strategic defence of Kyushu and Honshu islands in the Japanese home islands (summer 1944).

The plan was ready at the end of October 1944, with its details embodied in ‘Ketsu’ of December 1944 and based on high-level formations that were brought into existence on 1 February 1945.

Kyushu and the southern part of Honshu were the responsibility of Field Marshal Shunroku Hata’s 2nd General Army, using Lieutenant General Isamu Yokoyama’s 16th Area Army (14 divisions, seven independent mixed brigades and three tank brigades) for Kyushu and Lieutenant General Masamitsu Kawabe’s (later Lieutenant General Eitaro Uchiyama’s) 15th Area Army (nine divisions and four independent mixed brigades) for southern Honshu.

The central and northern parts of Honshu were entrusted to Field Marshal Hajime Sugiyama’s 1st General Army, which deployed from south to north Lieutenant General Tasuke Okada’s 13th Area Army (six divisions, three independent mixed brigades and one tank brigade), Lieutenant General Keisuke Fujie’s 12th Area Army (18 divisions, seven independent mixed brigades, two armoured divisions, three tank brigades and three Imperial Guards brigades for Tokyo) and Lieutenant General Teiichi Yoshimoto’s 11th Area Army (six divisions and two independent mixed brigades).

Under the control of Imperial General Headquarters reserves could be drawn from the seven divisions of Lieutenant General Seishiro Itagaki’s 17th Area Army’s in Korea, and air support was provided by General Masamitsu Kawabe’s Air General Army with Lieutenant General Prince Yi Un’s (from 1 April 1945 Lieutenant General Takeo Yasuda’s) 1st Air Army and Lieutenant General Michio Sugawara’s 6th Air Army in Japan and Lieutenant General Giichi Itahana’s 2nd Air Army in Korea.