17 Facts About Kwantung Army


Kwantung Army was a general army of the Imperial Japanese Army from 1919 to 1945.

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The Kwantung Army became the most prestigious command in the Imperial Japanese Army, and many of its personnel won promotion to high positions in the Japanese military and civil government, including Hideki Tojo and Seishiro Itagaki.

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The Kwantung Army surrendered to the Soviets on 16 August 1945 – the day after the Surrender of Japan – and was dissolved.

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Kwantung Army became involved in many of the worst Japanese war crimes during the World War II period; it sponsored Unit 731, which performed biological warfare and human experimentation on civilians and on prisoners of war.

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In 1895, Qing China had granted the Kwantung Army Leased Territory, a valuable concession territory on the Liaodong Peninsula, to the Empire of Japan in the Treaty of Shimonoseki after their victory in the First Sino-Japanese War.

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The Russian Empire had particular interest in Kwantung Army, being one of the few areas in the region with potential to develop ice-free ports for its own expansion in the Far East, and Qing authorities withdrew the lease from the Japanese following the Triple Intervention, only weeks after it had been granted.

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Kwantung Army was leased to Russia in 1898, becoming Russian Dalian and developing the territory into a thriving trade port.

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Conspirators within the junior officer corps of the Kwantung Army plotted and carried out the assassination of Manchurian warlord Zhang Zuolin in the Huanggutun Incident of 1928.

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In 1932, the Kwantung Army was the main force responsible for the foundation of Manchukuo, the puppet state of Japan located in Northeast China and Inner Mongolia.

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The Kwantung Army played a controlling role in the political administration of the new state as well as in its defense.

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The Kwantung Army fought in Operation Nekka during the preceding phase of the Second Sino-Japanese War, and various actions in Inner Mongolia to extend Japanese domination over portions of northern China and Inner Mongolia.

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Later, Kwantung Army forces supported the war in China from time to time.

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The Kwantung Army oversaw the creation, training, and equipping of an auxiliary force, the Manchukuo Imperial Army.

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The Kwantung Army was equipped with bacteriological weapons, prepared for use against Soviet troops .

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Remnants of the Kwantung Army were either dead or on their way to Soviet prisoner-of-war camps.

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At these locations, the Kwantung Army was responsible for some of the most infamous Japanese war crimes, including the operation of several human experimentation programs using live Chinese, American and Russian civilians, and POWs, directed by Dr Shiro Ishii.

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However, twelve members of Unit 731 and some members of the World War II leadership of the Kwantung Army were sentenced as war criminals by the Khabarovsk War Crime Trials, while others were taken into custody by the United States, and sentenced at the 1948 International Military Tribunal for the Far East in Tokyo.

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