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1925 CAJ V63 n2

1925 CAJ V63 n2

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Published by birds_eye
Picks up from the J US Artillery reflecting the concerns for coastal defence after WW1.
Picks up from the J US Artillery reflecting the concerns for coastal defence after WW1.

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Published by: birds_eye on Sep 16, 2012
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10/10/2013

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 / 
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THE COAST ARTILLERY JOURNAL
VOL. 63
AUGUST, 1925
NO. 2
Combat Methods of the Japanese*
 By
COLONEL
C. E.
KII~BOURNE, C.
A. C.
T
o
THOSE whowould appreciate the basic causes of the successor the failure of a campaign no royal road can be pointed out.The study of a nation's doctrines of war, of her field service anddrill regulations is valuable but not conclusive.
If
accepted at facevalue these may lead to erroneous eonclusions, that, in turn mightlead to erroneous action on the battlefield. 'fwo nations may an-nounce the offensive, the objective and cooperation as being theprinciples most lmportant to insure success of an engagement, buttheir interpretation of these terms may be quite different. Again,two nations may state that the Infantry is the primary arm, oneexpecting to attack with the bayonet under cover of such artiner~vsupport as may be obtainable, the other expecting to shatter theenemywith artillery fire, using the Infantry to mop up and occupythe position sogained.The relation betweendistinctive combat methods and announceddoctrines can be learned only by a detailed study of campaigns inwhichthe student is willing to examine all orders and decisions andto trace the effect of these downto the smallest unit. This will fre-quently indicate the persistence of certain methods and principlesinspite of character of terrain, of development in mechanical meansof warfare and of enemy reaction.
It
is on such a detailed studythat the following notes onthe Japanese army are based. Doubtlessselectedinstances may appear to contradict conclusions drawn, butit is believedthe impressions conveyed are, on the whole, reliable.As to organization we know the larger features but are indoubt as to details. The Japanese endeavor to keep their organiza-tion secret and questions are met with polite evasion. The follow-ing, therefore, is not to be taken as absolutely accurate.The Japanese discard the army corps, building the field armydirect from divisions. As with us, the G. H.
Q.
directs the armies,and, in the Russo-Japanese 'Yar, continued this direction success-
"This article first appeared in the MaJ' issue of the
Infalltrg Journal.
It
is
here
re-
published
by
pennission of the autllOr and the U, S. Infant]"J' Association.
[IOl}
 
102
THE COAST ARTILLERY JOURNAL
fully with a number of armies our present doctrine would lead usto believe so great as to demand the formation of army groups.Their average of three divisions to an army gives the field armyapproximately the numerical strength of our typical army corps,but it is, in conception, and by the permanent assignment of armytroops, essentially an echelonfor independent operations.The Japanese division differs from that of any other. greatpower. Retaining the square formation-two brigades each of tworegiments-for the Infantry, their artillery consists of a singleregiment of three battalions. In rifle (bayonet) power it is thestrongest of all; in artillery and automatic fire the weakest. Aregiment of cavalry, of about the strength of our squadron, is as-signed. There is no organic air service. The division is completeas to engineers, communication troops and trains. Numerically itis something less than 85 per cent of our war strength division.During the Russo-Japan~se War independent Infantry bri-gades, someofInfantry only, others "reinforced," wereusedas armytroops and G. H.
Q.
reserves. They were assigned to armies andwithdrawn in accordance with the mission and situation, just as weassign.and withdraw G. H.
Q.
artillery. They were used to enablearmy commanders to hold out a cohesi~ereserve and without neces-sity for disrupting any division. They could replace a brigade thathad been exceptionally heavily engaged thus enabling .the divisionto continue its effort. They were used on missions not demandinga complete division, and could make progress (living mainly on thecountry) interrain wheresupply difficultieswouldtend to immobilizea complete division. For flank protection, for lines of communica-tion, and for many duties requiring the detachment of small forcesthey saved cans on the divisions, leaving these, and the armies owhich they were component parts undisturbed as to normal organ-ization and combat capacity.They werenot "provisional" brigades, but were duly organizedfrom the beginning with permanent commanders and staffs. Theyhad a distinct organizational
esprit;
many willlivein history.Apparently these units have disappeared. They were knownas "kobi" brigades, being organized from kobi (first reserve) troopsand at present wehear only of "kobi" divisions. The writer believesthat independent Infantry brigades will reappear as G. H.
Q.
re-serves in another war. They proved their value too conclusivelyto have been discarded. Sustaining this belief is the fact that, inJapanese maneuvers, are found independent Infantry units (regi-ments) in reserve; also it has beennoted, in conversation with
J
apa-nese officers,that there is a distinct reaction when the operationsof the kobi brigades is discussed.

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