The Kwantung Army also known as the Guandong Army, was an army group of the Imperial Japanese Army in the early 20th century. It became the largest and most prestigious command in the IJA. Many of its personnel, such as Chiefs of Staff Seishirō Itagaki and Hideki Tōjō, were promoted to high positions in both the military and civil government in the Empire of Japan and it was largely responsible for the creation of the Japanese-dominated Empire of Manchukuo.
The Kwantung Army was a power unto itself on the Asian continent and had been responsible for Japan'swar againstChina. Many in the Army saw the relationship between the Kwantung Army and the Manchukuo Army, identical to their own with the Royal Hawaiian Army. They were the real power and could just as easily squash the puppet army should they show too much independence.
The Kwantung Army was a power unto itself on the Asian continent and had been responsible for Japan'swar against China. It dictated the country's foreign policy as often as Tokyo told it what to do. Many people in both civilian and political life disproved of the Kwantung's actions, but kept quiet as they feared assassination from the Army.
The Kwantung Army played a key role in Japan's war with the Soviet Union in 1939. Russian soldiers inflicted heavy casualties on the Kwantung Army. The dense, endless Siberian forests were ideal for mortars, snipers and traps which the Russians usually set up with devastating results. The Soviets also made widespread use of submachine guns whilst the Japanese soldiers were equipped with rifles which proved very poor in the Siberian forests. But nonetheless, the Kwantung army pushed deeper and deeper into Siberia. By summer 1940, it had captured Vladivostok. A ceasefire was signed shortly thereafter.
When the Racearrived in mid 1942, the Army was defeated in China, and forced back into Manchukuo where they made their last stand. After the Army was defeated at Harbin, the Kwantung Army was scattered, and after the annexation of Manchukuo, disbanded.