Guandong Army

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The Japanese army in Manchuria which came into being after the Russo-Japanese War, when Japan had assumed control over the southern tip of the Liaotung peninsula (including Port Arthur), which it renamed the Guandong Leased Territory in 1906. Together with the Japanese control over the Manchurian Railways, the Territory was administered by a Governor-General. This office was held by a military general, who simultaneously commanded the local army, until in 1919 it was occupied by a civilian, but without control over the Guandong Army. Subsequently, the army enjoyed an increasing amount of autonomy from political control, and even from the Japanese military establishment. Its leaders from 1928 and 1929 respectively, Ishiwara Kanji and Itagaki Seishiro, transformed it into an effective fighting force. Before even the radical Japanese command could order restraint, the Guandong Army proceeded to occupy Manchuria on 18 September 1931, declaring a puppet state of Manchukuo in 1932. Thereafter, its strength grew from around 200,000 to a maximum of 700,000 troops. It retained much of its autonomy during the Sino-Japanese War, and was dissolved at the end of World War II.

Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).

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