Thirty-Second Army (Japan)

Japanese Thirty Second Army

Japanese Commanders on Okinawa: (photographed early in February 1945). In center: (1) Admiral Minoru Ota, (2) Lt. Gen. Mitsuru Ushijima, (3) Lt. Gen. Isamu Cho, (4) Col. Hitoshi Kanayama, (5) Col. Kikuji Hongo, and (6) Col. Hiromichi Yahara.
Active March 3, 1944 - June 23, 1945
Country Empire of Japan Empire of Japan
Branch Imperial Japanese Army
Type Army
Role Garrison
Garrison/HQ Naha, Okinawa
Nickname(s) Tama-Butai (球部隊 Orb Division)
Engagements Battle of Okinawa

The Japanese 32nd Army (第32軍 Dai Sanjū-ni gun) was an army of the Imperial Japanese Army during the final stages of World War II. It was annihilated during the Battle of Okinawa.


The Japanese 32nd Army was formed on March 13, 1944 as part of the last desperate defense effort by the Empire of Japan to deter possible landings of Allied forces in Okinawa and the surrounding Ryukyu Islands. The Japanese 32nd Army had 77,000 men (39,000 infantry in 31 battalions and 38,000 artillery, armor and combat service troops) plus the 10,000 man Okinawa Naval Base Force and 42,000 Okinawan conscripts. However, many of its personnel were poorly trained reservists, conscripted students and home guard militia. It was annihilated during the Battle of Okinawa from April to June, 1945.

List of commanders

Commanding officer

Name From To
1 Lieutenant General Masao Watanabe 22 March 1944 8 August 1944
2 Lieutenant General Mitsuru Ushijima8 August 1944 June 22, 1945 (KIA)

Chief of Staff

Name From To
1 Major General Kiyoshi Kitagawa 22 March 1944 8 July 1944
2 Lieutenant General Isamu Chō8 July 1944 22 June 1945 (KIA)


32nd Army, HQ at Naha, Okinawa


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