was an infantry division
in the Imperial Japanese Army
. Its call sign
was the .
The Japanese Imperial Army
37th Division was raised as a triangular division
on 2 July 1939
. Its manpower came primarily from the prefectures on Kyūshū
island. Although intended as a garrison
force to maintain public order and to cover police duties in Japanese-occupied portions of northern China
, due to the deteriorating situation in the Second Sino-Japanese War
it was quickly re-assigned to front-line combat duties under control of the Japanese 1st Army
, especially against the Chinese communist Eighth Route Army
The 37th Division was re-assigned to the Japanese 12th Army on 31 March 1944 and was involved in Operation Ichi-go. It was transported by rail from Beijing to Hankou, entering Henan Province on 23 April 1944, occupying the city of Xuchang on 30 April 1944.
On 29 September 1944, it moved into Hunan province, and by 24 November 1944, it had crossed into Guangxi province, where it occupied the provincial capital of Nanning.
On 10 December 1944, the 37th Division was ordered further south, into French Indochina, where it joined with the Japanese 21st Infantry Division and came under the overall command of the Japanese 38th Army. It was based in Nakhon Nayok Province in Thailand, north of Bangkok to counter the expected invasion of Thailand by British forces from Burma. It remained based in Thailand at the end of the war, and was demobilized in 1946.
The 37th Division survived World War II largely intact, and with a distinguished service record due to its discipline and strong leadership of its officer corps. Its former base at Nakhon Nayok was transformed into the Royal Thai Army Academy.
Noted commanders in the history of the 37th Division have included Lt-General Hatazo Adachi.
The 37th Division was organized as a triangular division
37th Division -
- 37th Infantry Brigade group:
- 37th Mountain Artillery regiment
- 37th Military Engineer regiment
- 37th Transport regiment
Reference and further reading
- Madej, W. Victor. Japanese Armed Forces Order of Battle, 1937-1945 [2 vols]
Allentown, PA: 1981