Manchukuo Imperial Army Mountain Gun Battery in Training

Manchukuo Imperial Army soldiers fire the Type 41 75 mm mountain gun supplied by Japan during training. The Manchukuo Imperial Army was formed out of the Chinese Northeastern Army's ranks that went over to the Japanese after the Mukden Incident of September 18, 1931. As the armed force of the puppet state of Manchukuo, under the figurehead of Emperor Pu-Yi, it was controlled and armed by the Imperial Japanese Army and by 1943 was modelled on the Japanese structure. Initially the Manchukuo Imperial Army was conscripted through the offer of drugs and cash, but those soldiers performed unreliably during expeditions to eliminate Manchurian warlords in 1932-1934. The Manchukuo Imperial Army fought against the Soviets during the Nomonhan border clashes of 1939. By 1943 enlisted conscription was required, and Manchurian young men were drafted while officers were required to attend Japanese-style academies. The Manchukuo Imperial Army swelled to 200,000 men. However, a lack of modern weapons, drug use, an emphasis on mercenary employment, and difficulty in supplying many different ammunitions for over fifty types of guns, and a lack of professional training made the Manchukuo Imperial Army an easy target for the experienced Soviet Red Army when it invaded Manchukuo in August 1945. Soon after Japan surrendered, and Manchukuo was returned to Chinese control. The Manchukuo Imperial Army was disbanded.
Caption Written By: 
Jason McDonald
Date Photographed: 
Wednesday, December 1, 1943