Hashirajima Army Flag
"Eikō e no Yasen"
"Night Battle to Glory"
Founded: November 1, 1952 - present
Size: 93,800 active personnel
Part of: Hashirajima Armed Forces
Minister of Defence: Admiral Kei Suwabe
Chief of General Staff: Marshal-Admiral Fubuki (Navy)
Chief of Army: General Munechika Miyoshi
The Hashirajima Army (陸上軍隊 Rikujō Guntai) is the main branch of the Hashirajima Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations.
Special Naval Landing Forces
The Hashirajima Army originated as the Special Naval Landing Forces (SNLF) of Kure Naval Base, a component of the marine troops of the Imperial Japanese Navy and a part of the IJN Land Forces. They saw extensive service in the Second Sino-Japanese War, as well as the Pacific theatre of World War II where they fought a retreating battle alongside IJA forces on the islands of the central Pacific.
Originally organised into 6 units (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th, 7th Kure SNLF), they were initially sailors who had basic infantry training and were employed in landings during the Russo-Japanese War and the Boxer Rebellion. Soon their training and equipment were improved upon drastically, and their forces were given a variety of other operations as well.
While originally only the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Yokosuka SNLF (of the Imperial Naval Province of Yokosuka) were trained as parachute units in WWII, Hashirajima had throughout the war saw the need for organic airborne capability, and several squads were trained to conduct such operations. These were later drawn out from their parent units after the war and reconstituted into the independent 4th Airborne Brigade, which became the Hashirajima Army's premier special forces unit.
On November 1, 1952, after consideration for the enlarged size of the SNLF due to wartime operational requirements, it was decided that they would be detached from the Navy command structure, establishing the Hashirajima Army. A rudimentary headquarter structure was established, along with the new posts of the Chief of Army and the now-necessary Chief of General Staff. The Joint command staff was also established to support the operation of the two independent service branches.
- Main Article: List of equipment of the Hashirajima Army
The Hashirajima Army is commanded by the Chief of Army (currently Munechika Miyoshi), and organised into four Forward Operation Divisions and two Island Defence Divisions. Each include a mix of active and reserve units that are operationally ready, all subject to mobilization orders in the event of war. These are then deployed in four Army Regions, namely Seto Army Region in the west, Aki-nada Army Region in the east, Kurahashi Army Region in the north, and Yashiro Army Region in the south.
Notably, Kurahashi and Yashiro Army Regions are named for the road connections to Japan under their jurisdiction, the Kurahashi-Hashira Causeway and Yashiro-Hashira Bridge respectively. The other two Army Regions are named for the Inland Sea regions their respective coastlines face.
The HQ formations, which support the Army's overall operation and the role of the Chief of Army, consists of the Army Staff Office, Army Materials Command, Army Aviation, Army Military Police (MP) Command, Army Signals, and Army Intelligence.
1st Division - Based in Seto Army Region
HQ 1st Division
109th Amphibious Infantry Brigade
113th Amphibious Infantry Brigade
117th Amphibious Infantry Brigade
10th Mechanised Infantry Brigade
11th Armoured Brigade
1st Division Artillery
1st Division Air Defence Artillery Battalion
1st Division Signal Battalion
1st Division Engineers
1st Division Support Command
3rd Division - Based in Aki-nada Army Region
HQ 3rd Division
310th Amphibious Infantry Brigade
314th Amphibious Infantry Brigade
318th Amphibious Infantry Brigade
32th Mechanised Infantry Brigade
33th Armoured Brigade
3rd Division Artillery
3rd Division Air Defence Artillery Battalion
3rd Division Signal Battalion
3rd Division Engineers
3rd Division Support Command
5th Division - Based in Kurahashi Army Region
HQ 5th Division
511th Amphibious Infantry Brigade
515th Amphibious Infantry Brigade
519th Amphibious Infantry Brigade
54th Mechanised Infantry Brigade
55th Armoured Brigade
5th Division Artillery
5th Division Air Defence Artillery Battalion
5th Division Signal Battalion
5th Division Engineers
5th Division Support Command
7th Division - Based in Yashiro Army Region
HQ 7th Division
712th Amphibious Infantry Brigade
716th Amphibious Infantry Brigade
720th Amphibious Infantry Brigade
76th Mechanised Infantry Brigade
77th Armoured Brigade
7th Division Artillery
7th Division Air Defence Artillery Battalion
7th Division Signal Battalion
7th Division Engineers
7th Division Support Command
2nd Division - Based in Kurahashi Army Region
HQ 2nd Division
221th Motorised Infantry Brigade
223th Motorised Infantry Brigade
222th Mechanised Infantry Brigade
224th Mechanised Infantry Brigade
28nd Armoured Brigade
2nd Division Artillery
2nd Division Air Defence Artillery Battalion
2nd Division Signal Battalion
2nd Division Engineers
2nd Division Support Command
6th Division - Based in Yashiro Army Region
HQ 6th Division
625th Motorised Infantry Brigade
627th Motorised Infantry Brigade
626th Mechanised Infantry Brigade
628th Mechanised Infantry Brigade
69th Armoured Brigade
6th Division Artillery
6th Division Air Defence Artillery Battalion
6th Division Signal Battalion
6th Division Engineers
6th Division Support Command
Army Materials Command
Army Military Police (MP) Command
4th Airborne Brigade (Attached to Seto Army Region command)
It was noted by defence analysts that the Hashirajima Army and its predecessor had avoided using the number 4 in identifying military units due to cultural reasons. This trend was broken when the brigades were reorganised, after the first batch of post-war National Service recruits were taken in. Still, the number was notably skipped at division level.
When the 4th Airborne Brigade was constituted and assigned to the single division Seto Army Region, it was speculated that the brigade was earmarked as the core of a conceptualised dedicated special operations division, to make up the region into a two-division army region. Some analysts have taken to calling this hypothetical division the "4th Division". Beyond speculation, there is no indication that the division was ever constituted.
Private 1st Class