Third Army (Japan)

Japanese Third Army

IJA 3rd Army at Port Arthur, 1904
Active May 1904-Aug 1945 
Country Empire of Japan
Branch Imperial Japanese Army
Type Infantry
Role Corps
Garrison/HQ Yanji, Manchukuo
Nickname(s) Iwa ( rock)
Engagements Russo-Japanese War
Soviet invasion of Manchuria

The Japanese 3rd Army (第3軍 Dai-san gun) was an army of the Imperial Japanese Army based in Manchukuo as a garrison force under the overall command of the Kwantung Army during World War II, but its history dates to the Russo-Japanese War.


The Japanese 3rd Army was initially raised during the Russo-Japanese War under the command of General Nogi Maresuke. In the initial stages of the war, its primary mission was the Siege of Port Arthur. After the fall of that Russian stronghold, it was transferred north, where it played a crucial role in the subsequent Japanese drive towards Mukden in the closing stages of the war. It was disbanded at the end of the war.

The Japanese 3rd Army was raised again on January 13, 1938 in Manchukuo as a garrison force to guard the eastern borders against possible incursions by the Soviet Red Army. It afterwards came under the command of the Japanese First Area Army in July 1942. As the war situation deteriorated for the Japanese in southeast Asia, the more experienced units and much of the equipment of the IJA 3rd Army were transferred to other units.

During the Soviet invasion of Manchuria, its poorly trained and under-equipped forces were no match for the experienced battle-hardened Soviet Army, and it was forced back from various locations in Kirin province to the Korean border, surrendering at the end of the war in Yanji and Hunchun, in what is now part of the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture of northeast China.

List of commanders

Commanding officer

Name From To
1 General Nogi MaresukeAugust 1904 January 1906
2 General Otozō Yamada13 January 1938 10 December 1938
3 General Hayao Tada10 December 1938 12 September 1939
4 General Kamezo Suetaka12 September 1939 1 March 1941
5 General Masakazu Kawabe1 March 1941 17 August 1942
6 Lieutenant General Eitaro Uchiyama17 August 1942 7 February 1944
7 Lieutenant General Hiroshi Nemoto7 February 1944 22 November 1944
8 Lieutenant General Murakami Keisaku22 November 1944 September 1945

Chief of Staff

Name From To
1 Major General Ijichi KōsukeAugust 1904 January 1905
2 Major General Masatoshi MatsunagaFebruary 1905 March 1905
3 Major General Ichinohe HyoeMarch 1905 January 1906
4 Lieutenant General Akita Nakamura20 January 1938 14 April 1938
5 Lieutenant General Teiichi Suzuki14 April 1938 10 December 1938
6 Lieutenant General Masami Maeda10 December 1938 9 March 1940
7 Lieutenant General Toshimichi Uemura9 March 1940 1 April 1941
8 Lieutenant General Takezo Numata1 April 1941 1 July 1942
9 Major General Akio Doi1 July 1942 11 March 1943
10 Major General Tatsuhiko Takashima11 March 1943 16 December 1944
11 Major General Hanjiro Ikeya16 December 1944 September 1945


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