[Lone Sentry: WWII Photographs, Documents and Research]
[Lone Sentry: World War II Photographs, Documents and Research]
Home Page  |  Site Map  |  What's New  |  Search  |  Contact Us

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 IV: Japanese Air Service

Section III: Strategic Doctrine

1. GENERAL. Strategic doctrines are based upon the national policy. The strategic function of all arms is to implement the national mission by maintenance of control of all territory within the Japanese sphere of conquest. The Japanese Air Forces have been assigned a role of greatest importance in attaining these objectives.

a. Naval Air Service. The Japanese Naval Air Service was organized originally as a highly effective striking weapon, with light maneuverable aircraft of high performance characteristics that were well adapted to support swift thrusts by amphibious forces. The function of the air force in these operations was to provide cover for the task forces involved, and, by swift surprise attacks, to destroy the opposing enemy air force on the ground or in the air, thereby clearing the way for landing operations. The Naval Air Service was equipped to operate either from carriers or from land bases and frequently has undertaken the permanent defense of land areas.

b. Army Air Force. The Army Air Force has been assigned the function of providing support for the ground troops and conducting counter-air-force operations.

c. Disposition. With the completion of Japan's planned conquests in mid-1942, the Army and Naval Air Services were disposed for the strategic defense of the vast areas under her control. As the threat of war with the Soviet Union diminished, strength was reduced in Manchuria and in Japan, and distributed along the perimeter of the newly acquired Empire, apparently in accord with relatively fixed predetermined commitments. These commitments were maintained fairly consistently until early 1941, when heavy Allied pressure, brought to bear simultaneously on several fronts, forced a realignment.

d. Mobility. The Japanese have achieved great mobility for their Air Forces by the construction of many new airfields throughout their sphere of conquest. Strength can be shifted quickly from one area to another on interior lines and, because of the availability of facilities in depth, can readily be withdrawn from sustained combat as occasion demands.

e. Strategy. It may be assumed that the ultimate strategic objective of the Japanese Air Force will be to defend Japan itself and the inner zone. Meanwhile, until the vital parts of the Empire are threatened, both Army and Navy Air Services will give support to troops and naval forces only in defensive or offensive-defensive operations up to the point where their overall strength is not seriously impaired.

f. Abandonment of perimeter defense. Consistent with this doctrine of strategic defense, the Japanese Air Forces have curtailed or abandoned the air support of ground troops at outlying points along the perimeter whenever the cost of such support has become excessive.

[Back to Table of Contents] Back to Table of Contents

LONE SENTRY | Home Page | Site Map | What's New | Search | Contact Us