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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Otozō Yamada
Yamada Otozo.jpg
General Otozō Yamada
Native name
山田 乙三
Born(1881-11-06)November 6, 1881
Nagano prefecture, Japan
DiedJuly 18, 1965(1965-07-18) (aged 83)
Allegiance Empire of Japan
Service/branch Imperial Japanese Army
Years of service1903–1945
Unit3rd Cavalry Regiment
Commands held
AwardsOrder of the Sacred Treasure First Class, Order of the Rising Sun First Class, Order of the Golden Kite Second Class

Otozō Yamada (山田 乙三, Yamada Otozō, 6 November 1881 – 18 July 1965) was a general in the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II.


A native of Nagano Prefecture, Yamada graduated from the 14th class of the Imperial Japanese Army Academy in 1903. He was promoted to lieutenant in February 1905 and taught as an instructor at the academy. He was promoted to captain in September 1912, and graduated from the 24th class of the Army Staff College in November.

As a cavalry officer, his rise through the ranks was steady. He was promoted to major in June 1918 and appointed an instructor at the army cavalry school, receiving a promotion to lieutenant-colonel in August 1922. In August 1925, he was promoted to colonel and appointed commander of the IJA 26th Cavalry Regiment. In 1926, he was Chief of Staff of the Chosen Army. He served in the communications section of the 3rd Bureau of the Imperial Japanese Army General Staff from 1927–1930.

Yamada was promoted to major general in August 1930 and appointed Commandant of the Cavalry School. From 1931–1932, he returned to the field as commander of the IJA 4th Cavalry Brigade, before resuming a number of administrative positions (including that of Commandant of the Imperial Japanese Army Academy) to 1937. He was promoted to lieutenant general in August 1934.[1]

With the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1937, Yamada was named commander of the IJA 12th Division, based in Manchukuo. He became commander of the IJA 3rd Army in 1938, and that of the Central China Expeditionary Army from 1938–1939.

Yamada was promoted to full general in August 1940, and was recalled to Japan to assume the post of Inspector-General of Military Training from 1940–1944. He also served as a member of the Supreme War Council during this period.

In July 1944, Yamada returned to Manchukuo as final commander in chief of the Kwantung Army,[2] but soon advised Imperial General Headquarters that it would be impossible to hold the border with the Soviet Union with the forces allocated. With no aid forthcoming from Japan, Yamada attempted to organize large numbers of poorly trained conscripts and volunteers into eight new infantry divisions and seven new infantry brigades. When the Soviet Army invaded Manchuria on 9 August 1945, Yamada's makeshift forces were shattered within days.[3]

At the surrender of Japan, Yamada was taken as a prisoner of war to Khabarovsk in the Soviet Union, where he was a defendant in the Khabarovsk War Crime Trials and sentenced to 25 years in a Soviet labor camp for war crimes primarily related to the activities of Unit 731.

Yamada was released in 1956 and was repatriated to Japan where he died in 1965.


  1. ^ Ammenthorp, The Generals of World War II
  2. ^ Wendel, Axis History Database
  3. ^ Frank, Downfall:The End of the Imperial Japanese Empire


  • Frank, Richard B. (2001). Downfall: The End of the Imperial Japanese Empire. Penguin (Non-Classics). ISBN 0-14-100146-1.
  • Fuller, Richard (1992). Shokan: Hirohito's Samurai. London: Arms and Armor. ISBN 1-85409-151-4.
  • Hayashi, Saburo; Cox, Alvin D (1959). Kogun: The Japanese Army in the Pacific War. Quantico, VA: The Marine Corps Association.

External links

Government offices
Preceded by
Yoshijirō Umezu
Governor-General of Kwantung
Succeeded by
Military offices
Preceded by
Yoshishige Shimizu
Commander of 12th Division
March 1937 – Jan 1938
Succeeded by
Uemura Seitaro
Preceded by
Nogi Maresuke
Commander of 3rd Army
Jan 1938-Dec 1938
Succeeded by
Hayao Tada
Preceded by
Shunroku Hata
Commander, Central China Expeditionary Army
Dec 1938 – September 1939
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Toshizō Nishio
Inspector-General of Military Training
October 1940 – July 1944
Succeeded by
Hajime Sugiyama
Preceded by
Commander, General Defense Command
July 1941 –Dec 1941
Succeeded by
Prince Naruhiko Higashikuni
Preceded by
Yoshijirō Umezu
Commander, Kwantung Army
July 1944 – September 1945
Succeeded by

This page was last edited on 8 September 2019, at 22:50
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