Manchukuo Forces: Orbat
v.1.0 March 24, 2002

Source: Taki's Imperial Japanese Army Page.
Click here to contact Taki

Manchukuo was the puppet Japanese republic set up in Manchuria on March 1, 1932. This followed the Japanese invasion of China. Japan was opposed to a resurgent China and this was one of the reasons it attacked.

 Manchukuo Forces

At first, they were organised to employ the local military parties in Manchuria. The organization of the Manchukuo Forces when it was established is as follows.

Fangtien Guard Army (20,541)

HQ (678)

1st Teaching Unit (2,718)

1st Mix Brigade (2,467)

2nd Mix Brigade (2,104)

3rd Mix Brigade (2,467)

4th Mix Brigade (1,755)

5th Mix Brigade (1,291)

6th Mix Brigade (2,238)

7th Mix Brigade (2,014)

1st Cavarly Brigade (1,098)

2nd Cavarly Brigade (1,625)

Jilin Guard Army (34,287)

HQ (1,447)

2nd Teaching Unit (2,718)

Cavalry Detachment (1,295)

Infantry Detachment (1,163)

4th Infantry Brigade (3,548)

5th Infantry Brigade (3,244)

2nd Infantry Brigade (2,343)

8th Infantry Brigade (2,301)

3rd Infantry Brigade (2,496)

 1st Infantry Brigade (2,301)

7th Infantry Brigade (2,343)

4th Cavalry Brigade (2,037)

1st Cavalry Brigade (1,867)

2nd Cavalry Brigade (1,598)

3rd Cavalry Brigade (1,598)

Yilan Unit (706)

North Manchuria Railway Guard Force

HQ (151)

Sanrin Unit (1,452)

Heilongjiang Guard Army (25,162)

HQ (1,016)

3rd Teaching Unit (2,718)

1st Cavalry Brigade (2,244)

2nd Mix Brigade (3,085)

5th Mix Brigade (1,934)

1st Mix Brigade (3,085)

3rd Mix Brigade (3,085)

4th Mix Brigade (3,085)

2nd Cavarly Brigade (2,244)

3rd Cavarly Brigade (2,666)

East Hingganling Guard Army (1,818)

North Hingganling Guard Army (874)

South Hingganling Guard Army (1,682)

Rehe Guard Army (17,945)

HQ (301)

Artillery Unit (854)

Cavalry Unit (172)

Infantry Unit (1,294)

Chengde Area Forces (4,783)

Chifeng Area Forces (3,414)

Chaoyang Area Forces (3,977)

Weichang Area Forces (3,150)

Seian Army (Fangtien) (3,760)

Xinjing Cavalry Brigade (2,018)

River Fleet (640)

Grand Total 111,044 men

Note: Numbers in parenthesis are strength (men). Xinjing was the capital of the Manchukuo and it was renamed as Changchun after WWII. Fangtien was renamed as Shenyang after WWII.

Formations:  When Manchukuo Army was established, the rule of formation was not fixed and the units were different each other in the formation.

The basic formation is as follows.

Mix Brigade HQ

Infantry Regiment

Cavalry Regiment

Mortar Company

Infantry Regiment HQ

Infantry Battalion

Infantry Battalion

Mortar Company

Infantry Battalion HQ

Infantry Company

Infantry Company

Infantry Company

Mortar Company

Some Mix Brigades had two Infantry Regiments. One company had 100 to 200 men.

Soldiers and Weapons

The soldiers of the Manchukuo Army were all mercenaries. Their quality was very low, and many of them were opium addicts, gamblers and scoundrels. They had little loyalty to the state, but subject to their boss by human relations.

Manchukuo Army used the weapons which the military parties had and there were many kinds of weapons. For example, 26 kinds of rifle and over 20 kinds of pistol existed. Most of the mortars were made in China.

The Numbers of Weapons in 1933:

 Rifle 77,268

LMG 441

HMG 329

Inf. Gun 281

Mountain Gun 88

Field Gun 70


The uniform is similar to the Japanese and the color of the collar badges is also similar, ie. black for MP, red for infantry, green for cavalry, yellow for artillery, brown for engineer and blue for tranport. The shape of the collar badge is a bit different from the Japanese. The side of the badge is stuck out like . The shoulder badge is also similar to the Japanese. At first. the color of the base plate was silver, but it was changed to brown later.


The aim of the reorganization is to remove human relations within the military parties and to centralize the control of human affairs, administration and weapons. Many old generals and officers were retired and new young officers were promoted to the important post. It took 3 years to complete the reorganization.

Organization in 1935

1st District Army (Fangtien) 12,321 men

HQ 1st Teaching Unit

1st Mix Brigade

2nd Mix Brigade

3rd Mix Brigade

4th Mix Brigade

5th Mix Brigade

6th Mix Brigade

2nd District Army (Jilin) 13,185 men

HQ 2nd Teaching Unit

7th Mix Brigade

8th Mix Brigade

9th Mix Brigade

10th Mix Brigade

2nd Cavalry Brigade

3rd Cavalry Brigade

4th Cavalry Brigade

3rd District Army (Qiqihar) 13,938 men

HQ 3rd Teaching Unit

11th Mix Brigade

12th Mix Brigade

13th Mix Brigade

14th Mix Brigade

15th Mix Brigade

5th Cavalry Brigade

4th District Army (Harbin) 17,827 men

HQ 4th Teaching Unit

16th Mix Brigade

17th Mix Brigade

18th Mix Brigade

19th Mix Brigade

20th Mix Brigade

21st Mix Brigade

22nd Mix Brigade

23rd Mix Brigade

6th Cavalry Brigade

5th District Army (Chengde) 9,294 men

HQ 4th Teaching Unit

24th Mix Brigade

25th Mix Brigade

26th Mix Brigade

7th Cavalry Brigade

Other Units

East Hingganling Guard Army 929 men

West Hingganling Guard Army 858 men

North Hingganling Guard Army 656 men

South Hingganling Guard Army 1,052 men

Seian Guard Army (Fangtien) 2,769 men

1st Xinjing Cavalry Brigade 2,311 men

River Fleet 719 men

Grand Total 79,329 men

Formation in 1934 Mix Brigade (A)

2,414 men, 817 horses

HQ Infantry Regiment

Infantry Regiment

Cavalry Regiment Mortar or Artillery Company

Mix Brigade (B)

1,515 men, 700 horses

HQ Infantry Regiment

Cavalry Regiment

Mortar or Artillery Company

Cavalry Brigade (A)

1,500 men, 1,500 horses

HQ Cavalry Regiment

Cavalry Regiment

Cavalry Regiment

Mortar or Artillery Company

Cavalry Brigade (B)

1,075 men, 1,077 horses

HQ Cavalry Regiment

Cavalry Regiment

Mortar or Artillery Company

Infantry Regiment

899 men, 117 horses

HQ Infantry Battalion

HQ Infantry Company

Infantry Company

Infantry Company

MG Company

HQ Infantry Battalion

Infantry Company

Infantry Company

Infantry Company

MG Company

Mortar Company

Cavalry Regiment

458 men, 484 horses

HQ Cavalry Company

Cavalry Company

Cavalry Company

MG Company

Teaching Unit

1,614 men, 717 horses

HQ Teaching Section

Infantry Regiment

Cavalry Regiment

Artillery Regiment

Cadet Company

Renewal of the Weapons

The weapons were renewed according to the following plan.

  1. Unify the rifle with Type 38 Rifle.
  2. Unify the MG with Type 3 HMG and Type 11 LMG
  3. Equip Artillery units with Type 38 Field Gun and Type 41 Mountain Gun. However, also use Krupp Mountain Guns for the time being.


At first, 50,000 Type 38 Cavarly Riles were supplied from Japan and the rifles of the cavalry had been unified in 1935. Infantry rifles and MGs were replaced in two or three years. In the last WWII, the weapon of the Manchukuo Army was the almost same as the Japanese Army. The Fangtien arsenal was enlarged in order to produce and repair the rifle, MG and artillery. The ammunitions and small arms were ordered to the private factories in Manchuria. LMG Around 1936, the Czech LMGs which had been used were replaced by Type 11 LMG.

One company had 4 Type 11 LMGs. It was planned to increase LMGs to 6 to 8 but it was not finished. In 1945, Tesseki troops were supplied with Type 96 LMGs. HMG One MG company had 4 Type 3 HMGs. Later, it was planned to replace Type 3 HMG to 7,7mm HMG but it was not executed. Tesseki troops were supplied with Type 93 7.7mm HMG. Infantry Mortar When the Manchukuo was established, Manchukuo Army had captured many Chinese mortars from the Dongbei Armies and also seized a mortar factory in Fangtien. The Chinese mortar is 7cm-caliber. One mortar company had 4 mortars. Field Gun At first, captured 75mm field guns made in Europe were used. However, there were only 4 companies equipped with them. Mountain Gun Krupp and Type 41 Mountain Guns were deployed. More than half of the mountain guns were Krupp guns. Grenade Stick hand grenades were mainly used. Grenades were produced in the private factories in Manchuria.

Rifle Infantry rifle and cavalry rifle were unified with Japanese Type 38 rifles. The rifles produced in Manchuria were graved with a circle in place of a crysanthemum. Grenade Discharger Japanese Type 10 Grenade Discharger was used. Pistol Mauser Type 1 pistol was used by the soldiers and Mauser Type 2 or 3, Browning and Colt pistol was used by the officers. Knife and Sword They were produced in the Fangtien arsenal. AA Gun AA guns were supplied from Japan. Some AA guns were converted from the vessels of the River Fleet. Airplane Airplanes were supplied from Japan, Optical Device, Communication Device and Engineering Tools They were purchased from the market and the repair was also orderd to the private factories. Motorcar They purchased the commercial motorcars mainly. Chevorlet and Dodge truck were many used. Some Japanese trucks were also used, but Toyota and Nissan trucks were very poor quality apart from Isuzu Truck. The repair ot the motorcars was executed in the Army motorcar factory. The armor cars were converted from the Isuzu truck by the Dowa Automobile Company. - Motorcar Unit The first motorcar unit was organized in 1935. It was named the 1st Independent Fangtien Motorcar Unit. The main purpose of this unit was to bring up motorcar drivers. It had 8 passenger cars, 22 trucks, 8 armored cars and 5 motorcycles. The motorcar Units were increased and there existed 7 units when WWII ended. 2nd Motorcar Unit (Mudanjiang) 3rd Motorcar Unit (Quiquihar) 4th Motorcar Unit (Harbin) 5th Motorcar Unit (Xinjing) 6th Motorcar Unit (Dongjingcheng) 7th Motorcar Unit (Chengde) - Armor Unit In 1943, about 10 Type 94 Tankettes were passed from the Japanese armor unit. One armor company was organized with these tankettes. - Engineer Around last 1943 or early 1944, 7 engineer units were organized. Engineer units increased to 30 units until the WWII ended.


Manchukuo Air Force was established in Feb., 1937. 30 men were selected from the Manchukuo Army and they learned at the Japanese aircraft arsenal in Harbin. Then, they moved to the airfield in Xinjing and settled an air unit. The first commander of the air unit was 1st Liut. Uta. When it was created, it had only one plane, old French fighter Nieuport. Then, Type 88 Scout/Bombers and Type 91 Fighters were supplied from Japan. Japanese pilots and ground crews were also deployed.

After the first air unit started successfully, the second air unit was settled in Fangtien and the third air unit was settled in Harbin around 1938-1939. In July, 1940, Air Defense HQ was settled in Xinjing and it commanded air units. HQ was rename as Air Unit HQ in 1941. The aircraft arsenal was settled in Fangtien in 1941. In 1940, the flight school of the Manchukuo Army was established in Fangtien. It taught both military and civil pilots.

Organization in 1941

Air Unit HQ

1st Air Unit (Xinjing)

2nd Air Unit (Fangtien)

3rd Air Unit (Harbin)

Tongliao Independent Air Unit Flight School

Aircraft Arsenal Air Unit

1st Squadron Officers (Approx. 5 Japanese, 6 Chinese) 12 to 14 NCOs Approx. 90 Soldiers

2nd Squadron

3rd Squadron Ordnance Depot Approx. 15 Japanese, 30 Chinese

In 1942, one squadron was created in the Flight School. Later it was increased to 3 squadrons.

From 1944, all Manchukuo Air Force belonged to the Japanese 2nd Air Army. At that time, Fangfu Air Corps was created and it commanded the air squadrons of the Flight School and 2nd Air Unit. - Equipment and Fight From 1941 to the end of WWII, the main equipment of the Air Force was the Type 97 Fighter (Ki-27). It was far inferior to the B-29 Bomber and it is quite impossible to shoot down B-19 by normal attack. So, the Kamikaze attack against B-29 was trained. In Dec., 1944, a B-29 was firstly destroyed by Kamikaze attack. The Air Force requested Type 1 Fighter (Ki-43) and Type 2 Fighter (ki-44). However, they were supplied in only small numbers. In those days, they had about two hundred. Among them, 100 to 120 planes were fighters, about 30 were training planes and the rest were transport planes and others. In 1945, the air raids of B-29 against Manchuria were decreased and the threat of the Soviet invasion against Manchuria was increased. The Air Force trained the air fight and the ground attack against tanks. When the Soviet invaded into Manchuria, the 2nd Air Army ordered the suicide-attack against the Soviet tanks to the Air Force. The Air force was prepared for the suicide-attack, but the war ended before it was executed.


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