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Japanese Navy Canteen

Article about: Have had this one lying around for a many years. Pulled it out today as I'm slowly (very slowly) starting to photograph everything I have. From what I understand, it is the officers model bu

  1. #41


    Russ wrote to ask me to clarify the difference between the terms NLF and SNLF and some other names.

    A lot of confusion must come from the fact that NLF 陸戦隊 was not a name for a unit, but a name of a duty, detail or temporary task of ship crews. They were normal sailors attached to ships that got assigned to land duty when in port, like sentries. So NLF was initially only a temporary role for full-time sailors. It might make things clearer to translate Rikusentai as Land Combat Task Force or Detail. Better yet, in Star Trek lingo, NLF simply meant "Land Combat Away Team".

    Being an away team from ships, they would have vessel names. And when several away teams joined together from various ships, they got named by squad or fleet number. So these teams were named "Battleship XX LF (land force) 戦艦XX陸戦隊" "The Xth Squad LF 第X戦隊陸戦隊" or "The Nth Fleet LF 第X艦隊陸戦隊", according to size.

    In contrast, SNLF 特別陸戦隊 that emerged in addition to the above in the 1930s was full time land duty and was a unit independent of any ship. SNLF were set up for large naval bases and establishments. They were an Away Team that were permanently away. Thus for Star Fleet they would have been a planet garrison.

    Then as Japan's naval sphere extended to the Pacific Islands, certain places needed to be constantly held by the navy, and for these lesser naval positions, the full time NLF task force assigned to hold the island or place got named without any "Special" prefix and got called "Guard Unit 警備隊" or "Defense Unit 防衛隊". Their unit designations neither included the word Special nor the description of Rikusentai. They didn't get called "special" because the position to be held was no permanent naval installation, but only of temporary strategic importance.

    To summarize, there were ship-based NLF, as temporary units and then there were full time land-based NLF, which were called SNLF, if stationed at major installations. The land-based NLF stationed at minor
    naval holdings were called simply Defense or Guard units. All these units were NLF, which is not a unit name, but an attribute in the sense that "being Gay" is an attribute, but people don't have that description as part of their personal names. Or simply translate NLF as "Fish out of water" not to get confused.

    "Fish out of the water" is apt as the army called them "Kappa", which were monsters living in ponds that have a saucer-like basin on the top of their heads, which needed to be kept wet at all times. They could survive on land as long as the saucer held water, but they shrivelled up when it went dry. The navy called the army guys "Imo (Potatoes)" in return.

    So the units that got all the reservists were SNLF or the other full time land units having names like Guard and Defense units.
    Last edited by nick komiya; 02-19-2018 at 10:35 AM.

  2. #42


    The English translation of "Naval Landing Force" is not technically wrong, at least when describing the early NFL function, which was indeed as a ship's "landing party" in the same vein as the Star Trek "Away Team", but many seem to misinterpret this as meaning "mass landing operations in the face of the enemy", which by design was an army function, not of the NLF. So to avoid misunderstanding, I used the term "Naval Land Forces" here, which describes the NLF function more accurately throughout the whole history of the NLF, even towards the end of WW2.

    Whether as an away team or permanently land based unit, they were primarily facility guards with their offensive role as navy paratroopers being a notable exception.

    In Japan, the navy itself was managed like a branch of the army in basic intent, and their allocated purpose was to keep sea lanes clear for army logistics. The rest was army business. Thus it was also the army that had sole control of the draft process, and the army allocated personnel to the navy. And it was army MPs that also oversaw navy personnel and even civilians, for that matter.

  3. #43


    Many thanks for your patience Nick, and your detailed explanations!



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