Toshizō Nishio

Toshizō Nishio (西尾 寿造, Nishio Toshizō, 31 October 1881 – 26 October 1960) was a Japanese general, considered to be one of the Imperial Japanese Army's most successful and ablest strategists during the Second Sino-Japanese War, who commanded the Japanese Second Army during the first years after the Marco Polo Bridge Incident.

Nishio Toshizō
Toshizo Nishio 01.jpg
General Nishio Toshizō
Native name
西尾 寿造
Born(1881-10-31)October 31, 1881
Tottori, Japan
DiedOctober 26, 1960(1960-10-26) (aged 78)
Tokyo, Japan
Allegiance Empire of Japan
Service/branch Imperial Japanese Army
Years of service1902–1943
RankGeneral 帝國陸軍の階級―襟章―大将.svg
Unit40th Infantry Regiment
Commands held
Other workpolitician

Early life and careerEdit

Nishio was born in Tottori Prefecture, and was a graduate of the 14th class of the Imperial Japanese Army Academy in 1902, and the 22nd class of the Army War College (Japan). He was commissioned a second lieutenant in June 1903 and served during the Russo-Japanese War, seeing combat at the Battle of Sandepu. He was promoted to lieutenant in February 1905, to captain in December 1909, to major in November 1916 and to lieutenant colonel in August 1920.

Nishio was first attached to the 10th Regiment/10th Division from 1921 to 1923; he was promoted to colonel on 6 August 1923. Afterward, he was an instructor at the Army War College until 1925 when he became commanding officer of the 40th Regiment/10th Division. From 1926 to 1929 he was Chief of the 1st Section, Inspectorate General of Military Training. Promoted to major general on 1 August 1929, he was assigned to command the 39th Brigade of the IJA 20th Division, stationed in Korea. From 1930 to 1932 he was Chairman of Military Investigation in the Ministry of War. He was promoted to lieutenant general on 1 August 1933, becoming the Head of the 4th Bureau of the General Staff in 1934.


On 5 March 1934, Nishio was appointed Chief of Staff of the Kwantung Army in Manchukuo, where he oversaw the establishment of the reorganization of the Manchukuo Imperial Army and the pacification of Manchukuo. In March 1936 he became Vice Chief of the General Staff and Acting Head of the General Affairs Bureau, of the General Staff. In early 1937, he briefly commanded the Imperial Guards Division, before being transferred to China at the beginning of the Second Sino-Japanese War.

After the Marco Polo Bridge Incident Nishio was sent to North China, and took command of the Second Army on 26 August 1937. He oversaw the Tianjin–Pukou Railway Operation that took the Japanese to the Yellow River. He was at the Battle of Xuzhou, crossing the Yellow River and overrunning Shandong until 30 April 1938. Shortly after the defeat his army suffered in the Battle of Taierzhuang, he was replaced and returned to Tokyo to be Inspector-General of Military Training.

Promoted to general on 1 August 1939, Nishio returned to China again to take command of the Thirteenth Army on 12 September for a month and then took command of all the forces in China as Commander in Chief of the China Expeditionary Army on 22 September. He oversaw the Battle of Zaoyang-Yichang and the First Battle of Changsha. His force withstood the Chinese 1939-40 Winter Offensive and rolled back their gains in the spring with many operations including the Battle of Zaoyang-Yichang. His forces were again struck in North China by the Hundred Regiments Offensive, while he continued attacks in the Yangtze valley in the Central Hopei Operation and Western Hopei Operation. On 1 March 1941 he was replaced and returned to Japan to become a member of the Supreme War Council until he retired in 1943.

Return to JapanEdit

Nishio took up the governorship of the Tokyo Metropolis from 1944 to the end of World War II. Although arrested after World War II by the American occupation authorities, who accused him of unnamed war crimes, formal charges were never brought to trial and he was later released.



  • Dorn, Frank (1974). The Sino-Japanese War, 1937-41; From Marco Polo Bridge to Pearl Harbor. MacMillan. ISBN 0-02-532200-1.
  • Fuller, Richard (1992). Shokan: Hirohito's Samurai. London: Arms and Armor. ISBN 1-85409-151-4.

External linksEdit

Government offices
Preceded by
Shigeo Ōdachi
Governor of Tokyo Metropolis
July 1944–August 1945
Succeeded by
Hisatada Hirose
Military offices
Preceded by
Kiyoshi Katsuki
Commander of Imperial Guard Division
March 1937-August 1937
Succeeded by
Sadakata Iida
Preceded by
Oku Yasukata
Commander of 2nd Army
August 1937-April 1938
Succeeded by
Prince Naruhiko Higashikuni
Preceded by
Rikichi Andō
Inspector-General of Military Training
April 1938–October 1940
Succeeded by
Otozō Yamada
Preceded by
Commander-in-Chief, China Expeditionary Army
Succeeded by
Shunroku Hata