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"Japanese Hints for the Individual Soldier" from Intelligence Bulletin, June 1944

[Intelligence Bulletin Cover]  
The following translation of Japanese "Hints for the Soldier" was published in the Intelligence Bulletin, Vol. II, No. 10, June 1944.

[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the U.S. War Department Intelligence Bulletin publication. As with all wartime intelligence information, data may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the text. Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]



A Japanese treatise, "Hints for the Soldier" has been circulated in some areas of the South Pacific during recent months. This treatise places renewed emphasis on such matters as individual firing of small-caliber weapons, hand-to-hand combat, and physical endurance. It recognizes that the hostile forces have a "superior number of weapons," and recommends measures to overcome this handicap.


Unfounded self-confidence arising from the tradition that "we've always won" is of no great value. Confidence in victory should be based on superior physical endurance and thorough training. It is essential that a soldier be proficient in the use of firearms, in the use of cold steel, and in marching.


With regard to shooting, large quantities of ammunition are seldom available at the front; therefore expert marksmanship must be developed during the training period. The principle "Get a man with every round" is very sound. This is particularly important with regard to heavy weapons. You must avoid random firing; aim your shots well.

Train yourself to fire rifles and light machine guns from the hip, and to fire the grenade discharger in a horizontal position. [Under such circumstance the Japanese probably press the discharger against a tree, log, stump, or rock]. In this manner, you should be able to fire these weapons without conscious effort in case hostile forces make an unexpected attack. If we immediately take the initiative, the hostile forces will throw away their arms and flee; conversely, it is essential not to let the opposition take the initiative.


When fired upon unexpectedly by hostile artillery, deploy and lie prone without moving.

Go about your duties silently. Hostile forces will fire blindly in the direction from which they hear the sound of voices.

Never neglect to dig in whenever you make a halt; always remember that digging in is essential^ whether you are going to attack or to be attacked.

Deploying and crawling will reduce casualties, and are the first steps toward victory. It should be known that if you deploy and conceal yourself there will be no casualties from hostile bombing, or from rifle or artillery fire.

A soldier should never forget his camouflage.

No soldier should lose his direction; When assigned as a runner or on a patrol, mark your direction by breaking branches of trees or by making notches on the hark of trees as you go out.


You should engage in bayonet practice every day, with real weapons. Practice until the mind, the body, and the weapon are all coordinated in a perfect forward thrust. Drive the bayonet home to the hilt, and immediately tackle a second and third "enemy". Such practice is excellent for the morale.

Hand-to-hand combat is the deciding factor in an engagement, and is most feared by the American and Australian forces.


Do not allow yourself to be captured, even if the alternative is death. Bear in mind that capture disgraces not only the Army but also your parents and family, who will never be able to hold up their heads again. Always save the last round for yourself.

Endure all hardships. Shortage of rations is a normal condition. The saying "Poverty dulls the wit" should not hold true for military men.


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