Jun Ushiroku

Jun Ushiroku (後宮 淳, Ushiroku Jun, 28 September 1884 – 24 November 1973) was a general in the Imperial Japanese Army.

Jun Ushiroku
Ushiroku Jun.jpg
General Jun Ushiroku
Native name
後宮 淳
Born(1884-09-28)September 28, 1884
Nantan, Kyoto, Japan
DiedNovember 24, 1973(1973-11-24) (aged 89)
Tokyo, Japan
Allegiance Empire of Japan
Service/branch Imperial Japanese Army
Years of service1905 - 1945
Rank帝國陸軍の階級―肩章―大将.svg General
Unit38 Infantry Regiment
Commands held26th Division
Fourth Army
Southern China Area Army
Third Area Army
Battles/warsRusso-Japanese War
Siberian Intervention
Second Sino-Japanese War
World War II
AwardsOrder of the Sacred Treasures (1st class)
Order of the Golden Kite (2nd class)
Order of the Rising Sun (1st class)

BiographyEdit

Born in what is now part of the city of Nantan, Kyoto prefecture, as the fourth son of a farmer, Ushiroku attended military preparatory schools in Osaka, and graduated from the 17th class of the Imperial Japanese Army Academy in 1905. He served in combat very briefly at the very end of the Russo-Japanese War as a junior lieutenant with the IJA 38th Infantry Regiment. He graduated from the 29th class of the Army Staff College in 1917. He served on staff of the Kwantung Army, staff of the IJA 3rd Division, staff of the IJA 5th Division, Railway Section of the Imperial Japanese Army General Staff, military attaché to Europe, and back with the Kwangtung Army in Manchukuo, where he was assigned to the protection of the South Manchurian Railway. In August 1931, became Chief of Staff of the IJA 4th Division.

Ushiroku was promoted to major general in March 1934 and was in charge of the Personnel Bureau of the General Staff from August 1935. Following the attempted coup d'etat by elements of the Imperial Japanese Army in the 1936 February 26 incident, he was ordered to report directly to Army Minister Hisaichi Terauchi to oversee the purge of rebel sympathizers from sensitive posts. Following the July 1937 Marco Polo Bridge Incident, he expressed his opposition to further expansion of the Army into China. However, in August 1937 he was promoted to lieutenant general and in October became commander of the [IJA 26th Division.[1] At the time, this was a garrison force to provide security for central Manchukuo and from July 4, 1938, it was attached to the Mongolia Garrison Army in Inner Mongolia.

In 1939, he was reassigned to command the IJA 4th Army, which was again a garrison force guarding the northern borders of Manchukuo. These assignments kept him sidelined in the Second Sino-Japanese War until October 1940, when he became commander of the Southern China Area Army , which was responsible for garrisoning Japanese-occupied Guangdong Province and controlling military operations in neighboring Guangxi Province. In December 1940, he was awarded the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun.[2] In July 1941, Ushiroku was promoted to chief of staff of the China Expeditionary Army . In August 1942, he was promoted to full general and withdrawn to Japan to command the Central District Army. This was a field army responsible for the defense of the Japanese home islands. He remained in this post until February 1944.[3]

In February 1944, he was hand-picked by Prime Minister Hideki Tojo to serve as Vice Chief of the General Staff[4] a member of the Supreme War Council (Japan), Inspector-General of Army Aviation and Chief of the Army Aeronautical Department within the Army Ministry, as he had been a close protégée of Tojo from his early days in the Army. In these roles, Ushiroku pushed for the use of suicide attacks by infantry to disable or destroy American armor due to Japan's inability to mass-produce effective anti-tank weapons by this stage of the war.[5]

After the collapse of the Tojo cabinet following the loss of Saipan, Ushiroku returned to Manchukuo to take command of the Japanese Third Area Army to oppose the Soviet invasion. Although his forces were composed mostly of undertrained or overaged reservists with obsolete weapons, he refused orders to retreat, and launched a counterattack along the Mukden-Port Arthur railway, buying time to allow many Japanese civilians to flee. By 13 August 1945, his formations were largely shattered, and a mutiny by the Manchukuo Imperial Army at Shinkyō ended his attempts to regroup. He surrendered to the Soviet army on 21 August 1945. He spent more than a decade as an internee in the Soviet Union. Ushiroku returned to Japan on 26 December 1956.

Ushiroku served as Chairman of the Japan Veterans Association until his death in 1973. His grave is at the Tama Cemetery in Fuchu, Tokyo.

FamilyEdit

Ushiroku's elder brother, Shintaro Ushiroku (1873-1959) was a noted entrepreneur and industrialist in Taiwan. He started with a building materials manufacturing business and later founded a number of companies, including Toho Artificial Fiber, Taiwan Brick, Takasago Beer, Beitou Ceramics, and Taiwan Paper Mill. He was selected as an advisor to the Taiwan Governor-General's Council. After the war, he emigrated to Brazil. Ushiroku's eldest son, Torao Ushiroku (1914-1992), was a diplomat and ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary to the Republic of Korea.

ReferencesEdit

  • Fuller, Richard (1992). Shokan: Hirohito's Samurai. London: Arms and Armor. ISBN 1-85409-151-4.
  • Fukagawa, Hideki (1981). (陸海軍将官人事総覧 (陸軍篇)) Army and Navy General Personnel Directory (Army). Tokyo: Fuyo Shobo. ISBN 4829500026.
  • Dupuy, Trevor N. (1992). Encyclopedia of Military Biography. I B Tauris & Co Ltd. ISBN 1-85043-569-3.
  • Hata, Ikuhiko (2005). (日本陸海軍総合事典) Japanese Army and Navy General Encyclopedia. Tokyo: St. Martin's Press. ISBN 4130301357.

External linksEdit

FootnotesEdit

  1. ^ Ammenthorp, The Generals of World War II
  2. ^ 『官報』第4183号「叙任及辞令」December 14, 1940
  3. ^ Axis History Factbook: Central District Army (Japan)
  4. ^ Axis History Factbook: Army General Staff (Japan)
  5. ^ Chen, WW2 Database
Military offices
Preceded by
Rippei Ogisu
Commander of 26th Division
October 1937-August 1939
Succeeded by
Shigenori Kuroda
Preceded by
Kesago Nakajima
Commander of Fourth Army
August 1939-September 1940
Succeeded by
Kohei Washizu
Preceded by
Rikichi Andō
Commander of Japanese Southern China Area Army
October 1940-June 1941
Succeeded by
None
Preceded by
Seishirō Itagaki
Chief of Staff, China Expeditionary Army
July 1941-August 1942
Succeeded by
Masakazu Kawabe
Preceded by
Fujii Yoji
Commander of Central District Army
August 1942–February 1944
Succeeded by
Shōjirō Iida
Preceded by
Naozaburo Okabe
Commander of Third Area Army
August 1944–August 1945
Succeeded by
None