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TM-E 30-480: Handbook on Japanese Military Forces
Technical Manual, U.S. War Department, October 1, 1944
[DISCLAIMER: The following text and illustrations are taken from a WWII U.S. War Department Technical Manual. As with all wartime manuals, the text may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the contents of the original technical manual. Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]


1. This handbook on Japanese Military Forces (TM-E 30-480) has been prepared by the United States War Department, with the assistance and cooperation of representatives from the following headquarters:

British War Office.
General Headquarters, Southwest Pacific Area.
Southeast Asia Command, and General Headquarters, India.
Headquarters, United States Army Forces in South Pacific Area.
Headquarters, United States Army Forces in Central Pacific Area.
Allied Land Headquarters, Australia.

In general, it represents the agreed views of these headquarters at the time this hand book Was written.

For the most part, the material contained in this handbook is based on information obtained in operations to 30 June 1944. This has been supplemented by study of Japanese Army manuals and other official and unofficial documents published by the Japanese before and after the beginning of hostilities, and by reports and observations of American and British military attaches and observers.

2. PURPOSE AND SCOPE. The purpose of this handbook, which constitutes a revision of TM 30-480, 21 September 1942, is to give in a single publication the broad outlines as well as pertinent details of the organization, equipment, and training of the Japanese Army. In addition, Japanese tactical doctrines and techniques, as set forth in their manuals and observed in action, are discussed. The handbook is not intended to be complete or final; detailed information on particular subjects may be found in the special publications already available or in preparation by the various agencies and commands concerned.

3. LANGUAGE DIFFICULTIES. In cases where confusion might result, Romaji or the romanized form of the Japanese terms is given, together with the translation. A Japanese-English and English-Japanese glossary of the more important items is also included.

Because of differences in American, British, and Japanese terminology for certain army units, a translation of the Japanese terms has been used throughout. Thus units of all arms and services are called regiments, battalions, companies, platoons, and squads (sections). For American readers the change in terminology should cause no particular confusion except that some Japanese regimental organizations, especially in the Cavalry and the Engineers, correspond more closely to battalions in that they contain only three or four companies.

Since the handbook is intended for use by both American and British forces, commonly accepted or understood military terms of both nations have been used. Where no common term exists, both British and American terms appear, the British in parentheses.

4. REVISIONS. It is intended to keep the handbook up to date with necessary revisions and corrections as further information becomes available. In order that this may be facilitated, it is requested that all suggestions for changes or additions be communicated to the Military Intelligence Division, War Department, Washington 25, D.C.

[Figure 1. Japanese infantry soldier.]
Figure 1. Japanese infantry soldier.

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