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Identity statement

Reference code(s)
GB0099 KCLMA MF 463-493
Title
US MILITARY INTELLIGENCE REPORTS: Japan, 1918-1941
Date(s)
1918-1941, 1986
Level of description
collection level
Extent and medium of the unit of description (quantity, bulk, or size)
31 reels

Context

Name of creator(s)

US Military Intelligence Division

Administrative / Biographical history

From 1918 to 1941, the US military attaché, US Military Intelligence Division (MID), Japan, produced reports relating to Japanese military, political, social, and economic development. During this period the Japanese Empire consisted of the home islands, the former Kingdom of Korea, which was annexed in 1908, portions of Siberia, the former German Pacific island possessions seized by Japan following World War One, the dependent Kingdom of Manchukuo (Manchuria), and the occupied territories of northern China seized after 1931. The major function of the MID was the collection of military information about foreign nations. Military attachés and observers assigned to foreign countries were the principal means by which the MID collected such information. The main duties of the military attaché were to observe and report on the training, organisation, equipment, doctrine, and operations of foreign armed forces. Although the US first dispatched military attaches to foreign countries in 1889, it did not accredit an attaché to Japan until the outbreak of the Sino-Japanese War in 1894. Two years later a second military attaché was sent out, but the Spanish-American War cut short his tenure. A permanent military attaché was finally assigned in 1901 when the US and Japan were co-operating closely in the suppression of the Boxer Rebellion in China. For the subsequent forty years, until the Japanese attack on the US naval base at Pearl Harbor, a US military attaché was assigned to Japan. During the period 1918-1941, the military attaché's office in Tokyo usually had two assistants and a number of 'language officers'. The latter were assigned specifically to learn Japanese whilst attached to Japanese Imperial Army regiments as observers. While the military attaché advised the US Ambassador to Japan on military matters, acted as a liaison between US Army and the Japanese Imperial Army Headquarters, and gathered and disseminated intelligence, the 'language officers' translated training and technical manuals and reported on conditions in Japanese military units.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

University Publications of America, Bethesda, MD, USA.

Content & structure

Scope and content

US Military Intelligence Reports: Japan, 1918-1941 is a themed microfilm collection relating to US Military Intelligence Division (MID) in Japan, 1918- 1941. Included in the collection are microfilmed copies of US MID reports from the military attaché and his staff, and correspondence and telegrams between the military attaché, his staff, US Army Headquarters and the Japanese Imperial Army Headquarters, and US and foreign diplomats throughout the Far East. These documents have been arranged into eight sections: general conditions, political conditions, economic conditions, general conditions in Korea, army, field artillery, navy, and aviation. These sections are not mutually exclusive and all include a range of routine and special reports. Reports on domestic policy cover the rise of right wing, socialist, and communist organisations in Japan; the effects of the 1923 earthquake; Japanese industrial expansion, notably the securing of raw materials from neighbouring countries; the South Manchurian Railway Company; oil prospecting; and the iron and steel industries. Military and foreign policy reports concern the occupation of Korea, Siberia, Manchuria (Manchukuo), and the 1919 independence demonstrations in Korea. Specific military reports cover Japanese military tactics; military regulations; combat principles; training; organisation, the social attitude of officers; civil-military relations; aviation technology and statistics; the annual budgets of the Japanese War Ministry; naval building programmes; the scrapping of warships in accordance with the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922; naval operations in World War One; the use of air power against China; and the construction of offensive airfields in Indo-China.

System of arrangement

The collection is arranged into eight sections, according to subject matter, and chronologically therein.

Conditions of access & use

Conditions governing access

Open, subject to signature of Reader's undertaking form, and appropriate provision of two forms of identification, to include one photographic ID.

Conditions governing reproduction

Copies, subject to the condition of the original, may be provided for research use only. Enquiries concerning the copyright of the original material should be addressed to University Publications of America, Inc, 4520 East West Highway, Bethesda, MD, 20814-3389, USA.

Language/scripts of material

English

Finding aids

This Summary Guide, and in hard copy in the Centre's reading room, Robert Lester (ed.), US Military Intelligence Reports: Japan, 1918-1941 (University Publications of America, Inc, Bethesda, MD, 1986).

Allied materials

Existence and location of originals
King's College London College Archives

Notes

Note

Compiled Oct 1999

Description control

Rules or conventions

Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal Place and Corporate Names 1997.

This catalogue is made available under the Open Data Commons Attribution License. This catalogue may be updated from time to time in order to reflect additional material and/or new understandings of the material.

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Subjects

  • Air warfare
  • Armed forces
  • Collectivism
  • Communism
  • Diplomacy
  • Economic research
  • Economics
  • Fascism
  • Foreign relations
  • Higher science education
  • Industry
  • International conflicts
  • International relations
  • Manufacturing industry
  • Militarism
  • Military education
  • Military engineering
  • Military intelligence
  • Military liaison
  • Military operations
  • Military organizations
  • Organizations
  • Political doctrines
  • State security
  • Totalitarianism
  • War
  • Warfare
  • Wars (events)
  • World War Two (1939-1945)
  • World wars (events)

Corporate names

  • Japanese Army

Places

  • Crimea
  • Japan, East Asia
  • Korea, East Asia
  • Manchow, China, East Asia
  • Manchukuo
  • Manchuria
  • Russia, Eastern Europe
  • Siberia, Russian Federation, Eastern Europe
  • USSR, Eastern Europe

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