First General Army (Japan)

The First General Army (第1総軍 (日本軍), Dai-ichi Sōgun) was an army group of the Imperial Japanese Army responsible for the defense of eastern and northern Honshū, including the Tōkai and Kantō regions during the final stage of the Pacific War.

First General Army
Japanese: 第1総軍 (日本軍)
Dai-ichi Sōgun
ActiveApril 8, 1945 – November 30, 1945
CountryEmpire of Japan
BranchImperial Japanese Army
RoleArmy group
Nickname(s)Toho (東方, Eastern)
EngagementsNone (Operation Downfall)


The First General Army was established on April 8, 1945, with the dissolution of the General Defense Command into the First and Second General Army. It was essentially a home guard and garrison, responsible for civil defense, anti-aircraft defenses, and for organizing guerilla warfare cells in anticipation of the projected Allied invasion of the Japanese home islands in Operation Downfall (or Operation Ketsugō (決号作戦, Ketsugō sakusen) in Japanese terminology). Although its territory encompassed all of northern Japan, its primary mission was to ensure the security of the heavily populated Kantō region, which included Tokyo. Its forces consisted mostly of poorly trained and poorly armed reservists, conscripted students and home guard militia.

The First General Army remained active for several months after the surrender of Japan to help maintain public order until the arrival of the American occupation forces, and to oversee the final demobilization and dissolution of the Imperial Japanese Army.


Commanding officerEdit

Name From To
1 Field Marshal Hajime Sugiyama 7 April 1945 12 September 1945
2 General Kenji Doihara 14 September 1945 23 September 1945
3 General Yoshijirō Umezu 23 September 1945 1 October 1945
4 General Masakazu Kawabe 1 October 1945 30 November 1945

Chief of StaffEdit

Name From To
1 Lieutenant General Einosuke Sudo 6 April 1945 30 October 1945

See alsoEdit



  • Brooks, Lester (1968). Behind Japan's Surrender: The Secret Struggle That Ended an Empire. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company.
  • Drea, Edward J. (1998). "Japanese Preparations for the Defense of the Homeland & Intelligence Forecasting for the Invasion of Japan". In the Service of the Emperor: Essays on the Imperial Japanese Army. University of Nebraska Press. ISBN 0-8032-1708-0.
  • Frank, Richard B (1999). Downfall: The End of the Imperial Japanese Empire. New York: Random House. ISBN 0-679-41424-X.
  • Jowett, Bernard (1999). The Japanese Army 1931–45 (Volume 2, 1942–45). Osprey Publishing. ISBN 1-84176-354-3.
  • 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.
  • Skates, John Ray (1994). The Invasion of Japan: Alternative to the Bomb Downfall. New York: University of South Carolina Press. ISBN 0-87249-972-3.

External linksEdit