Waichirō Sonobe

Waichirō Sonobe

General Waichirō Sonobe
Born March 29, 1883
Kumamoto prefecture, Japan
Died August 18, 1964(1964-08-18) (aged 81)
Allegiance Empire of Japan
Service/branch Imperial Japanese Army
Years of service 1904 -1941
Rank Lieutenant General
Commands held IJA 7th Division, IJA 11th Army
Battles/wars Siberian Intervention
Second Sino-Japanese War
In this Japanese name, the family name is Sonobe.

Waichirō Sonobe (園部 和一郎 Sonobe Waichirō, 29 March 1883 18 March 1964) was a lieutenant general in the Imperial Japanese Army during the Second Sino-Japanese War.


A native of Kumamoto prefecture, Sonobe graduated from the 16th class of the Imperial Japanese Army Academy in 1904. After serving with the IJA 23rd Infantry Regiment, he completed coursework at the 25th class of the Army Staff College. He was assigned to the IJA 23rd Infantry Regiment on graduation. From 1916-1917, he was sent as a military attaché to France. On his return to Japan, he was assigned to the IJA 30th Infantry Regiment, and participated in the Siberian Intervention of 1919-1920. On his return to Japan, he served in various staff positions within the Imperial Japanese Army General Staff.

From 1925 to 1927, Sonobe was the Army representative to the Japanese diplomatic Mission to the League of Nations. After his return to Japan, he was assigned to command the IJA 74th Infantry Regiment within the IJA 19th Division until 1929.[1]

From 1929-1933, Sonobe served as Chief of 1st Section, Inspectorate General of Military Training. In 1933 he was again give a field command as commander of the IJA 8th Infantry Brigade of the IJA 10th Division, and was transferred in 1934 to become commander of the IJA 1st Infantry Brigade of the IJA 1st Division.

From 1934 to 1935 Sonobe was Director of the Toyama Army Infantry School and then its commandant until 1937. Concurrently from 1936 he commanded the 1st Independent Garrison Unit.

In 1937, with the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War, he left to command the IJA 7th Division until 1939, when he was placed in charge of the Central District Army. From 1940, Sonobe was dispatched to China, where he commanded the Japanese Eleventh Army. The IJA 11th Army was active at the Battle of Zaoyang-Yichang, Central Hupei Operation and Battle of South Henan.

Sonobe returned to Japan in 1941, and became a member of the Supreme War Council. He retired the same year.

External links


  1. Ammenthorp, The Generals of World War II
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