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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.]

Chapter VII: Tactics of the Japanese Army

Part II: Application of Tactics

Section VIII: Jungle Warfare


1. TERRAIN. Jungle warfare, as referred to in this manual, is warfare in the larger island and mainland areas which to a great extent are covered with dense tropical jungle. These jungles are interspersed with open, grass (kunai) covered areas, and frequently, along the coast, large coconut plantations are under cultivation. Swamps are numerous in the lower areas, and streams rise rapidly after the heavy tropical rains. The terrain differs widely, but in general it is rugged, except along the coastal strips. The principal means of communication are over native trails (tracks); there are very few roads that will stand up under the load of military traffic. Visibility in the jungle is limited to a few yards.

2. EARLY JAPANESE SUCCESSES. The tactical principles and illustrations in this section are based on operations in the Solomons, New Guinea, Malaya, and Burma. The Japanese enjoyed remarkable success during the Malaya and Burma operations and during the early phase of the New Guinea campaign. They had trained extensively for this type of warfare; their known lack of modern motor transport did not hinder them, and their reliance on commandeered local supplies and equipment materially helped to solve their supply problems in Malaya and Burma. In later operations, the Allied forces have adapted themselves to jungle combat from the standpoint of organization, training, and equipment, and have shattered the myth of the invincibility of the Japanese in this type of warfare. The principle that the advantage lies with the side which holds the initiative applies in jungle warfare as well as in other types.


1. GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS OF OFFENSIVE COMBAT. a. Reconnaissance. Reconnaissance is recognized as essential, and great stress is placed on it. Preliminary map reconnaissance and study of aerial photographs are normal, and the employment of advance agents and fifth columnists is standard practice. Reconnaissance patrols are used extensively; they are well trained in sketching, and their composition and equipment are planned in considerable detail. A variety of ruses is employed in accomplishing their reconnaissance mission. They frequently engage in small-scale combat and purposely expose themselves to determine the location of hostile automatic weapons.

b. Security. Security in the advance is accomplished through the normal use of advance guards, rearguards, and flank patrols. In the jungle, the activities of flank patrols are of course limited. The Japanese are not especially security-minded, particularly in bivouac areas, and leave their lines of communication and headquarters installations relatively unprotected. Their theory is that by pressing a vigorous offensive the enemy will be kept on the defensive and have little opportunity to do much damage on the flanks and rear.

c. Surprise. Surprise is a cardinal principle of all Japanese action. It is accomplished through rapidity of advance, deception of all kinds, and infiltration and demonstrations in the enemy rear; in short, all means available are utilized, and speed is greatly emphasized.

d. Fire and movement. The standard principles of fire and movement are observed. The fire generally is placed in the area of the holding attack, while the main effort maneuvers silently. Preparatory fires seldom are used; the common method of attack is to attempt to approach within assaulting distance of the objective unseen by the enemy.

e. Mutual support. Mutual support by and contact between adjacent units are poor by accepted standards. Advance guards of parallel columns are not coordinated and generally do not maintain contact with each other. Frequently, in attack orders, each unit is given an objective and a direction, but the details of lateral communication and coordination are not covered. This is especially true in the case of infiltration, where units, and even individuals, work their way through hostile lines and rendezvous at some predetermined point.

f. Tenacity. The Japanese will hold tenaciously to the advantages gained through offensive action. They teach that the assault must immediately be followed up by pursuit, but in the later phases of their offensive campaigns this doctrine has not always been carried out. If their attack is retarded, they will hold what they have gained and will use other units, which they have kept in reserve, to maneuver and put pressure on the flank or rear of the enemy.

g. Pattern of offensive. Japanese offensive action seems to follow a definite pattern, and in many instances is drill-like in its execution. Orders are brief and to the point. Supply and administrative details are almost ignored. Simplicity is gained at the expense of general coordination, emphasizing the Japanese belief that the infantry can gain its objective solely by vigorous offensive action.

h. Faults. There is a notable tendency toward disorganization when a commander becomes a casualty, although recently emphasis has been placed on correcting this deficiency. Unity of command tends to break down in larger attacks because of lack of coordination between units.

i. Reserves. Japanese units of all sizes habitually hold reserves. These vary in strength, depending on the situation and the mission, but in general they approximate one third of the infantry strength.

j. Maintenance of direction. Maintenance of direction in the jungle is extremely difficult. Roads are practically non-existent, and trails seldom run in the right direction. Also, since visibility is limited, it is impossible to march on terrain features. Reliance therefore is placed on the compass, and advance and guide parties habitually are equipped with this instrument. Routes are selected by these parties, and marking is accomplished by blazing trees or stringing long vines. For night marches, luminous wood is used.

2. FORMS OF ATTACK. a. Tactical forms of attack. The main attack is normally an envelopment of one or both flanks, or a penetration. Frontal attacks are not recommended and, when they are made, the aim is generally a point penetration, which may be followed by an envelopment on one or both sides of the breach. The secondary attack is normal and usually frontal. Generally it takes the form of a demonstration, accompanied by obvious movements and noise, and is used to cover the movements of the main effort.

b. Envelopment. Envelopment is the most usual form of Japanese attack. It has been said by the Japanese that the perfect solution to a tactical problem is a neatly performed stratagem, followed by an encirclement or a flanking attack pushed home with the bayonet. The envelopment may be of one or both flanks, and although the wide envelopment is taught, in general practice the close-in envelopment is customary.

c. Point penetration. The point penetration frequently is employed. It invariably is directed against a soft spot that has been discovered by patrol activity and reconnaissance, or created by night action against heavy weapons that have disclosed their location by premature firing as a result of Japanese deceptive measures. Since their tactical doctrine states that once an advantage has been gained, it must be exploited to the fullest, it can be expected that the main strength of the Japanese attack will be directed against this point.

3. DEVELOPMENT OF OFFENSIVE COMBAT. The advance and approach march differ from that in open warfare because of the close nature of the terrain, where troops more often are restricted to one route of advance. In dense jungle it is not feasible to break down into small columns and extend in width because separate tracks would have to be cut for each column—a slow and tiring process. The usual formation is an advance in one column, with elements in the rear echelon available for maneuver to either flank. Rapidity in the advance is essential and is limited only by the rate of march of the heavy weapons elements.

4. CONDUCT OF THE ATTACK. a. Meeting engagements. There have been few clear-cut examples of meeting engagements except in the early stages of the war, and then in fairly open jungle. The advance guard, upon contacting the enemy, promptly notifies the elements in rear and attempts to knock out the opposition. If this does not seem readily possible, the advance guard, by use of ruses, attempts to make it appear as though it is deploying for battle. At that point it seeks out the flanks of the enemy and attempts to locate his heavy weapons. In the meantime, the main body moves to one or both flanks and advances as rapidly as possible with the intention of striking deep in flank or rear. If the hostile force presses the attack against the advance guard, it disperses to the flank and joins the main body.

b. Against deployed defense. Two methods of attack commonly are used against a deployed defense. First, an attempt is made by maneuver to strike the enemy in flank or rear; the actions are similar to those described for meeting engagements. That is, a demonstration is made on the front, using much noise, movement, and promiscuous firing to simulate strength, while the main force moves silently to a flank to make the envelopment. The second method is to feel out the front for soft spots. By use of ruses and deceptive tactics an attempt is made to locate automatic-weapons positions. When these are located, a heavy concentration of mortar fire is brought down so that troops may reach assaulting distance without being discovered. The assault is made, usually on a narrow front, and if the objective is not attained at once, succeeding waves follow through in an effort to overwhelm the enemy. The objective generally is set deep in enemy territory, and the assault attempts to carry straight through to it, leaving for succeeding elements the job of mopping up and, if necessary, consolidating. Intermediate objectives seldom are designated in the case of daylight attack.

c. Against position (static) defense. Tactical principles employed in an attack against a position defense in the jungle do not materially differ from those already discussed in open warfare. The difficulties of supply, communication, and control are great, and as a result there have been few successful coordinated attacks. Attempts frequently are made to attack a position at several points simultaneously, but most of these have resulted in piecemeal attacks. The Japanese belief in the inherent superiority of their infantry often leads them to attack without adequate artillery support, although their tactical doctrine calls for the neutralization of hostile artillery fire before attacking a position. This has seldom been accomplished, and, against the fire power of modern weapons, such an attack is usually disastrous. As in other types of attack, extensive use is made of demonstrations and other ruses to mislead the enemy into committing his reserves, as well as to discover the location of automatic-weapons and security detachments. If the position is entered, the leading elements will continue on through, not waiting to consolidate their gains until they have reached their objective or until they have been definitely stopped. Attacks on important positions often are rehearsed beforehand.

5. PLANS OF ATTACK. The plan of attack is thought out carefully by the commander and his staff, but many details, normally considered necessary by other armies, are omitted when the actual order is issued. The disposition of troops is not covered in detail, and boundaries are seldom given, for commanders depend on the training of their subordinates for the detailed conduct of the attack. By accepted standards, the directions issued to the artillery and other supporting arms are generally vague. Supply and administrative details as well as signal communication instructions are covered superficially. Emphasis is placed on the utilization of captured supplies and weapons, and a study of enemy weapons is included in Japanese training. Rapidity of the advance and vigorous attack are counted upon to overwhelm the enemy, and reliance is placed on the ability of the Japanese soldier to live off the land, fight with the bayonet, and withstand hardship until the objective is taken. It is evident that the Japanese Army is expected to be so well trained that detailed orders are unnecessary.

6. SUPPORTING FIRES OF INFANTRY WEAPONS. a. Machine guns. Machine guns normally are employed in pairs and are placed well forward to support front-line infantry. They go into position under cover, and advance preparations are made so that, by opening fire accurately and with surprise effect, fire superiority over the enemy may be quickly gained. Positions are selected with a view to advancing as the attack progresses. Forward movement to new positions may be by individual gun, or by pairs, depending on the terrain and the situation, but preference is shown for the latter. It is normal for the guns of the platoon to fire on the same target. Emphasis is placed on close cooperation with front-line infantry, but the guns are not used as a base of fire to the extent practiced by the U.S. Army.

b. Antitank guns. Antitank guns have a primary antitank mission, but in the absence of tank targets they fire on infantry. They are placed in position well to the front and go forward with the advance of front-line infantry.

c. Battalion and regimental guns. Battalion and regimental guns are assigned the primary mission of neutralizing the enemy's heavy guns and machine guns. They are located well forward and are prepared to move ahead to new positions with the infantry. They, too, are put in position under cover and seek surprise in opening fire. They are prepared to carry out indirect fire in missions, and, as in the case of antitank guns and machine guns, are directed to give close support to the front-line infantry.

d. Long-range fire. Although long-range fire of heavy infantry weapons is discussed in training manuals, it is seldom practiced. The bulk of the supporting weapons are placed well forward, and depend for the accomplishment of their mission on a heavy volume of fire accurately delivered with surprise effect.

7. SPECIAL OFFENSIVE OPERATIONS. a. Raids. Raids are extensively carried out for the purpose of harassing the enemy rear, striking at command posts, destroying artillery units, and penetrating defenses. The parties making these raids are highly organized and trained. Their composition and equipment depend on the mission. (See Chap. V.) Frequently the mission is a suicidal one and these parties will go to extremes in accomplishing it.

b. Night operations. The Japanese favor the night attack. Such attack is generally made on a narrow front and has a limited, well-defined objective. Where possible the Japanese attack uphill. This prevents their being silhouetted on the skyline, and the hill itself helps them to maintain direction. Night attacks are often accompanied by excessive use of signal flares, and, usually, a demonstration is carried out at some distance from the actual point of attack. An effort is made silently to destroy known heavy weapons positions just prior to the assault. The advance to the assault often is made with great secrecy and stealth. All supporting weapons may be used in the night attack.


1. GENERAL. The Japanese dislike of the defensive is evident throughout all of their teachings. It is regarded as a negative form of combat and one to be especially avoided in view of the heavy fire power it permits a modern army to build up against them. Their system of defense therefore is based on surprise, maneuver, and counterattack.

2. SELECTION AND OCCUPATION OF POSITION. a. General. The Japanese concept of selection and occupation of positions is normal. They defend high ground generally, although in view of the advantages of concealment in the valleys, on occasion they have strongly organized these low areas for defense. There is no such thing as a normal frontage for units in the jungle; generally the terrain is so close that small units can defend the limited avenues of approach. The Japanese habitually establish an outpost line of resistance, but this frequently consists of only a few snipers and observers, well forward on the trail in front of the position. The mission of this personnel is to warn its main position of the approach of the enemy, and to slow their approach by harassing tactics. The snipers may withdraw when the pressure becomes great, but it is not unusual for them to let forward elements of the enemy pass through and then to accomplish their mission by firing on his rear and by disrupting lines of communication.

b. Artillery. (1) There has not been sufficient use of artillery in the defense to enable conclusions to be drawn as to its normal method of employment. However, certain comments made by Japanese officers may be helpful in this connection. It was recommended that they site their guns on the flanks of the infantry, thus permitting fire to be brought to within a few yards of their own front lines without endangering their own troops. This method of siting also would help to overcome the difficulty of knowing just where the front lines were.

(a) Deceptive measures were stressed for the purpose of drawing hostile fire. Two methods mentioned were the construction of dummy positions and the lighting of fires, both at a distance from the positions actually occupied.

(b) It also was recommended that artillery fire be withheld until the enemy comes within close range, since this will result in more effective fire and will not disclose the artillery positions prematurely.

(2) Considerable emphasis is placed on the infantry guns, but these have been effective only for harassing missions.

(3) Small raiding parties have been used successfully to raid and destroy artillery positions. It is believed that the Japanese may regard this as a substitute for counter-battery.

3. ORGANIZATION OF THE GROUND. a. General. Defensive organization of the ground is very thorough. It consists of a series of strong points, organized in depth and mutually supporting, each one covered from the flanks and rear by riflemen in fox holes and in trees. The position normally is organized for all-around defense. Once the position or area to be defended has been selected, the commander plans his "fire-net" or locates the positions and sectors of fire for his automatic weapons. Riflemen are disposed around these weapons, and the preparation of earthworks is commenced without delay. When the terrain permits, caves are utilized for the location of both automatic weapons and riflemen. Machine guns are recognized as the backbone of the defense and are sited both singly and in groups. Normally, they are given only a final protective mission; their sectors of fire are extremely limited and generally close in front of the position. Lanes of fire for these guns are cut by tunneling through the underbrush, thus making it extremely difficult to locate them, but at the same time restricting their field of fire. Long range machine gun fire is not practical in the jungle. The guns are usually sited for cross fire. They may also be sited in ravines to deny this route of approach to the enemy, and on reverse slopes to catch troops as they come over the crest. Extensive use is made of alternate and dummy positions, and weapons are frequently moved from one position to another. Training publications indicate a knowledge of the use of barbed wire, but very little employment of it has been made in the jungle. This may be due to the difficulties of supply, since instances have been recorded of the use of thorny vines, interlaced to hinder the advance of the enemy.

b. Progressive improvement of position. Organization of the ground is progressive and continuous, and the longer a position is occupied, the better it will be dug in. Starting with only "fox holes," (rifle pits), the position ultimately will have a pillbox or "bunker" for the heavy weapons, constructed out of earth, palm logs and coral, or other local materials. These fortifications are improved as time permits until they are safe from practically anything except a direct hit by a large delayed-action shell or bomb. They are provided with several firing ports, and the earth is so arranged around them as to minimize dead space. Where the height of the water table will not permit these earthworks to be dug well into the ground, they are built up, sometimes to a height of six feet. Separate bomb-proof shelters are constructed as living quarters for personnel. Fox holes of supporting riflemen and alternate positions are connected by shallow communication trenches. No concrete or steel has been used to date in the construction of jungle pillboxes, reliance being well placed on local materials. Palm logs and coral do not splinter and will absorb a lot of punishment. Pillboxes and personnel shelters usually are constructed with a blast wall, or with the entrance at an angle to the main structure, so that grenades or shell bursts nearby will not affect the occupants. (See Defense Structures Sec. X.)

c. Concealment. Excellent fire discipline and lack of movement within the position, combined with good camouflage, are so effective that there is often doubt that the position is even occupied. Use has been made of dummy positions manned by dummy personnel in an effort to draw attackers' fire. The Japanese have made full use of the lush and rapid growth of jungle plants to conceal positions. When bunkers are used, the earth is built up with a slight gradient so as to avoid shadow and to present a natural appearance.

4. CONDUCT OF THE DEFENSE. a. Action of outposts. Individual snipers and small groups of infantry well to the front alert the main position upon the approach of hostile forces. Then they may either withdraw or remain concealed to harass the enemy during his approach. As reconnaissance or small advance parties approach the position, they are taken under fire by individual riflemen located on the flanks and in trees. Should the enemy scouts approach too closely to any of the pillboxes, they are fired upon by the covering riflemen. The automatic weapons do not fire at this early stage, and extreme care is taken not to disclose their location.

b. Action at main position. Surprise in the defense is regarded as vitally important and is achieved by withholding fire until the enemy is close on the position. A training manual states, "make preparations to be able to fire effectively, but it is important not to suffer losses by firing too quickly and exposing your position." Often fire is not opened until the enemy has approached to within ten yards of the position, and his mortar and artillery fire has lifted. If the position is attacked by a large force, the firing must begin at least when it is outside of grenade throwing distance (i.e. approximately 50 yards). Not until the enemy in force enters the lanes of fire do the automatic weapons open up, and when they do, their mission is to annihilate the enemy before he enters the position. A heavy volume of fire is delivered at close range, and this is supplemented by the use of grenade dischargers and mortars from positions located in rear of the front line. Frequently, certain gun positions that are not threatened remain silent during this initial phase, only to open fire later with surprise effect. In dense jungle, observers in trees may be used to signal the automatic gunners when to open fire, since the concealment of the pillboxes limits visibility. Even though one or more pillboxes are neutralized, remaining automatic weapons will maintain their fire to assist counterattacking troops. Garrisons are imbued with the idea that they must fight to the last man; consequently, pillboxes can be expected to hold out as long as there is an armed man left to defend them.

c. Counterattack. Counterattack is a vital part of Japanese defense. It is an offensive action, and in the mind of the soldier makes up for the "inglorious" defense he has been forced to adopt. Every unit has a counterattacking force. The counterattack is violent, and timed to strike before the enemy has had an opportunity to reorganize or consolidate. It frequently is preceded by a heavy concentration of mortar fire and is always supported by all available riflemen and automatic weapons. It differs from the normal in that it is seldom coordinated with other units, and the possibility of its failure is not considered. Since units of all sizes counterattack, the force often consists of as few as 8 or 10 men led by an officer or a noncommissioned officer. However, as the attack progresses through the position, larger counterattacks may be expected from the reserves of higher units. Because of the difficulties of movement through the jungle, these counterattacks are usually local. As a variation of the counterattack, mortar and artillery concentrations are plotted on the positions and can be promptly laid down if the enemy occupies them or attempts to reorganize near them. These concentrations have been known to make a captured position untenable by fire alone. In the case of positions that have been well built, mortar fire may safely be brought down on the position even though Japanese troops still occupy it.

5. AMBUSHES AND ROAD BLOCKS. a. Ambushes. The jungle offers many ideal opportunities for ambush which the Japanese have exploited, and they have been trained well in this type of operation. The size, composition, and armament of the force depend on the mission. No new principles are involved.

b. Road blocks. Due to the paucity of roads, road blocks are especially effective in slowing up the movement of road-bound equipment. One method is to place a block across the road, just around a bend. The party defending the block is disposed on either side of the road, and an antitank gun, or a larger caliber weapon is located in prolongation of the road, before the bend. These weapons are emplaced close to the block and are fired at point blank range. (See fig. 100.)

[Figure 100. Japanese road block.]
Figure 100. Japanese road block.

The Japanese have established road blocks in rear of the enemy, along his route of withdrawal. An enveloping force or raiding party is generally charged with this mission, which is very effective in disrupting the movements of the enemy at a critical time.

6. ANTITANK DEFENSE. a. General. The employment of tanks in the jungle has been rather limited, and the standard methods of defense, such as tank ditches and mine fields covered by antitank guns, are used. Antitank mines are sometimes augmented by an additional charge of explosive. Small antitank mine fields were laid in Guadalcanal in defiles to retard the American advance, but were not very effective. Anti-mines also were employed on roads in New Guinea.

b. Methods. The close nature of jungle terrain permits close-quarter attack. Special antitank defense parties are organized within lower units and trained in the technique of destroying hostile tanks. Some of their methods are as follows:

(1) When the advance of tanks is canalized, or can be anticipated, antitank mines are fastened to a long cord or vine. Two men conceal themselves on opposite sides of the route to be taken by the tank. As the tank passes between them, they quickly draw the antitank mine in front of the vehicle. Following the explosion, they attack the tank with Molotov Cocktails and small-arms fire directed at the ports.

(2) Different methods are employed to blind the tank, such as throwing paper bags of mud and lime at the ports or covering them with a blanket or shelter-half. When the tank is blinded, explosive charges are applied.

(3) Grenades or other explosive charges, fastened to a pole, are pushed into the tracks or under the treads.

(4) Magnetic mines are placed on the body of the tank where armor is most vulnerable.


8. WITHDRAWAL. Withdrawal, like defense, is contrary to the Japanese concept of war. Little attention is devoted to it in their texts and training, and reference to it is made as "retreat combat." Lack of medium artillery properly to cover a withdrawal, and the difficulties of long range machine gun fire in the jungle, often result in the sacrifice of the covering force. A training manual states: "During retreat, machine guns do not think of loss, but sacrifice themselves for the army by firing fiercely against strong pressure of the enemy or against the enemy which is of greatest danger to the first-line infantry. They must make the withdrawal of friendly troops easy. Allow no enemy advantage." Mines and booby traps are used to a limited extent. In the case of night withdrawals, snipers are left behind to harass and delay the enemy.


1. EMPLOYMENT OF TANKS AND MECHANIZED UNITS. Tanks and mechanized units have been employed to such a limited extent that no new tactical principles have been observed. Successful use of medium tanks in jungle terrain by Allied forces undoubtedly will point the way toward their use by the Japanese.

2. EMPLOYMENT OF AIRCRAFT. The density of the jungle makes it difficult for air observers to see small troop movements and installations that are properly dispersed. Air observation is used, however, to locate new tracks being prepared for large troop movements. Close support of ground troops by air is difficult, because ground troops generally cannot accurately indicate their location. The Japanese have used aircraft to bomb rear areas and known installations and have supplied ground units by parachute drop.

3. COMMENTS. The Japanese have made certain comments on Allied combat methods, some of which are reproduced because they indicate their trend of thought in improving their technique:

a. The Australians and Americans are better trained and equipped than their "former enemies."

b. When making frontal attacks, it is essential to neutralize Allied fire power.

c. The enemy (Allies) have great fire power. On defense they try to annihilate us before we enter their position. Sometimes they withdraw gradually and then bring heavy concentrations of artillery and mortar fire on us. It is essential to keep close on their heels: breaking through the heavy concentration of fire in front of the enemy's position is difficult, but once through it the attack becomes unexpectedly easy.

d. Plan to split the Allied advance through the use of artillery and machine guns, and counterattack to destroy the divided groups.

e. Allied artillery is accurate. Positions constructed of coconut logs will stand up under mortar and light artillery fire, but will be destroyed by delay-fused shells and "rapid fire guns."

f. Allied troops make good use of the correct approach and do not open the attack except at extremely short range. Therefore, the Japanese should clear lanes of fire for about 50 yards in front of their position.

g. The Allied troops take limited objectives then halt to reorganize before continuing the attack.

h. The Japanese are cautioned against replying to the fire of patrols as this discloses their gun positions.

i. The Allies attempt to hold frontally and envelope; the Japanese are advised to "envelope the envelopment."

j. Infiltration is regarded as easy, because Allied outposts are not located at regular intervals and are often far apart.

k. Allied outposts can be located by searching out the wire communications leading into them.

l. Australians are excellent guerrilla fighters.

m. When two patrols meet unexpectedly, the Japanese think that a few rifle shots or bursts from a light machine gun will rout the enemy.

n. Troops are instructed to concentrate on the personnel carrying automatic weapons as these are regarded as leaders.

o. Dawn and dusk, especially during rain, are considered by the Japanese as the best times for launching attacks because the enemy have tents over their trenches and are not alert.

4. RUSES. a. Description. The employment of ruses of all kinds by the Japanese cannot be over emphasized as these play a very important part in their operations. The variety of ruses that may be used is limited only by the imagination of the Japanese commanders. A few of those encountered to date are described below:

(1) Lighted cigarettes, firecrackers, moving vehicles, and barking dogs were used opposite one of the beaches on Singapore Island to lead the defenders to believe that the main attack would be made at that point.

(2) English speaking Japanese have called out commands in English in order to confuse their enemies.

(3) They have listened for the names of certain individuals and later called out to them by name. When the person addressed showed himself he was shot.

(4) Booby traps have been fastened to dead soldiers, fused to detonate when the body is moved.

(5) They have placed a dead Allied soldier in a conspicuous place and sited an automatic weapon to cover it. Thus, when Allied troops attempted to remove the body, they were shot.

(6) Even when badly wounded, or apparently dead, they have produced hand grenades from their clothing and attempted to kill medical personnel who would aid them.

(7) They have used the white flag of truce to get close to their enemy for combat purposes.

(8) They use firecrackers to simulate machine gun fire.

(9) They will expose themselves deliberately in an attempt to get their enemy to fire and thus disclose the location of his positions.

(10) In one case, a wave of Japanese skirmishers turned and fled. The Allied troops pursued and suddenly the retreating Japanese threw themselves on the ground. At this moment, heavy machine gun fire opened up on the Allied troops from the Japanese rear.

(11) They shake the bushes by ropes or other means in order to draw hostile fire and so locate gun positions.


1. Tactical principles in the jungle do not differ materially from those employed in open warfare. The technique or application of these principles, however, does vary, and the Japanese have taken advantage of this.

2. The Japanese use deceptive measures extensively and may be depended on to use ruses of all types to harass and deceive their enemy.

3. They stress the principle of surprise and employ it in the defense as well as in the offense. They do not disclose the location of their heavy weapons prematurely.

4. There is no such thing as impassable terrain, even in the jungle.

5. Japanese operations thus far have been characterized by inadequate artillery support, except in Malaya and the Philippines.

6. Speed is another cardinal tactical principle of the Japanese. They attempt to achieve surprise through rapidity of movement.

7. They take full advantage of natural cover and concealment, and thoroughly understand the importance of camouflage.

8. They believe strongly in the inherent advantages of vigorous offensive action, and often attack prematurely.

9. They have not made full use of supporting artillery.

10. Their organization of the ground and field fortifications are uniformly good.

11. On the defense their automatic weapons have very limited fields of fire, usually close in front of their position.

12. They will counterattack promptly when their position has been overrun, either by fire and movement or by fire alone.

13. They are hard fanatical fighters. On the defense they will often hold out to the last man. In the attack, once a plan of action has been decided upon, they will follow it through, even to a disastrous conclusion, since apparently they are unable or unwilling to readjust their plan.

14. They place a low value on human life and do not count the cost in taking an objective. Despite their extensive training and inborn confidence in the bayonet, they have not been outstanding in close combat.

15. The final conclusion to be drawn is: now that the Japanese have come up against forces in great numbers and units with unlimited resources of heavy equipment, their originally successful concept of jungle warfare, with their tactics based on surprise, mobility, and light equipment, has been shattered.

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