[Lone Sentry: WWII Tactical and Technical Trends]
  [Lone Sentry: Photographs, Documents and Research on World War II]
Home Page | Site Map | What's New | Intel Articles by Subject

"Varieties of Japanese Uniforms" from Tactical and Technical Trends

The following intelligence report on Japanese uniforms was originally published in Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 16, Jan. 14, 1943.

[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the U.S. War Department publication Tactical and Technical Trends. 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.]


Recent experience in operations has shown that the Japanese do not wear a strictly standardized uniform. The divergence of the varieties so far encountered is shown in the reports given below. The only unanimity in the reports seems to be on the slovenly appearance of the troops.

The uniform is varied and the following combination of dress has been observed:

(1) Khaki blouse and trousers, puttees and rubber-soled shoes;

(2) Khaki blouse, blue (denim) trousers, puttees and rubber-soled shoes,

(3) White shirt, khaki trousers, puttees and rubber-soled shoes.

The shoes seem to be always the same type, and for jungle fighting are probably superior to heavy shoes.

The Japanese usually carry no equipment apart from a belt containing ammunition pouches. However, packs, haversacks, and large map cases have been captured, so they are apparently worn in some cases. Water-sterilizing outfits are also carried.

There was nothing uniform about the clothing; some wore white shirts, some green, and some khaki. Steel helmets were worn by some, while others wore cloth caps. All that were observed had knee breeches, and some sort of leggings.

In one instance in Burma a British officer reported that the Japanese were all dressed in khaki breeches, and had a yellow star on their field caps with a blue and white shell (cornucopia-shaped) badge above the star. He presumed that this was some regimental insignia. Officers and senior NCOs all had a long curved sword which they always wore.

A British soldier reported that the Japanese dress was mixed and always very dirty. Trousers and puttees, and in some case heavy shoes, were worn, or else the common split-toed rubber shoe.

In Malaya, the color of the uniform used by the Japanese was khaki or khaki-green, with the trousers tapering at the ankle. In Borneo the uniform worn was a brownish-gray color; reconnaissance patrols wore only shirts, shorts, and light-weight shoes with rubber soles. The uniform worn by naval landing troops is gray-green, and is hard to distinguish from the uniform worn by the Dutch in the Netherlands East Indies.


[Back] Back to Articles by Subject | Intel Bulletin by Issue | T&TT by Issue | Home Page

Web LoneSentry.com