Seventeenth Army (Japan)

The Japanese 17th Army (第17軍, Dai-jū nana gun) was an army of the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II.

Japanese Seventeenth Army
General Kanda signs surrender
ActiveMay 18, 1942 – August 15, 1945
CountryEmpire of Japan
BranchImperial Japanese Army
Nickname(s) Oki (, Offshore)
EngagementsSolomon Islands campaign


The army was formed on May 18, 1942 under the Japanese Eighth Area Army of the Southern Expeditionary Army Group for the specific task of opposing landings by Allied forces in Japanese-occupied Solomon Islands. It was initially headquartered on Rabaul and participated in the Guadalcanal and New Guinea campaigns of the South West Pacific theatre of World War II.[1]

After General Hitoshi Imamura took over command of the Japanese Eighth Area Army the 17th Army was responsible primarily for the defense of Bougainville.[2] It was trapped and cut off from reinforcements and re-supply during the Bougainville campaign (1943–45), and was forced to live off the land, hiding in jungle caves for most of the rest of the war.[3]

List of commandersEdit

Commanding officerEdit

Name From To
1 Lieutenant General Harukichi Hyakutake 18 May 1942 1 April 1945
2 Lieutenant General Masatane Kanda 1 April 1945 15 August 1945

Chief of StaffEdit

Name From To
1 Major General Akisaburo Futami 5 May 1942 1 October 1942
2 Lieutenant General Chuichi Miyazaki 1 October 1942 11 May 1943
3 Lieutenant General Tsutomu Akinaga 11 May 1943 11 September 1943
4 Major General Chikara Akinaga 11 September 1943 1 April 1945
5 Major General Isaoshi Makata 1 April 1945 1 September 1945


  1. ^ Smith, Bloody Ridge, p. 25.
  2. ^ Hayashi, Kogun, pp. 224–225.
  3. ^ Gailey, Bougainville.


  • Frank, Richard (1990). Guadalcanal: The Definitive Account of the Landmark Battle. New York: Random House. ISBN 0-394-58875-4.
  • Gailey, Harry A. (1991). Bougainville, 1943–1945: The Forgotten Campaign. Lexington, Kentucky, USA: University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 0-8131-9047-9.
  • Hayashi, Saburo (1959). Kogun: The Japanese Army in the Pacific War. Marine Corps. Association. ASIN B000ID3YRK.
  • Smith, Michael T. (2000). Bloody Ridge: The Battle That Saved Guadalcanal. New York: Pocket. ISBN 0-7434-6321-8.

External linksEdit