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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. #61


    Quote by nick komiya View Post
    Now we are mixing up perception and the facts behind organisational intent.

    Let me clarify once more what need the NLF was created to fill within the navy's design.

    The main mandate for the navy was to keep sealanes clear for army logistics and it was the army that was to stage landings and take the land objectives. Thus, it was the ship crews and aviators, who were expected to take on the main role of keeping the sealanes clear. This naturally required naval bases and airfields to be located at strategic points and these strategic points needed to be guarded and defended, for which the NLF were conceived.

    In a company comparison, the flyers and ship crews were the navy's income earners and the NLF were the night watchmen for the product warehouses. As this was the grand design, personnel allocation assigned first rate recruits to aviation and ship crews. Ship crews and aviators were basically on a equal footing, and ship crews, who wanted to become flyers were allowed to enroll into the aviation program by passing a test.

    But for a night watchman's position, nowadays a company won't even bother to assign it's own people to such a tertiary role and will hire a security company. But the IJN did not have such luxury, so they assigned third rate people to serve a tertiary function. As they were land-based troops, key people got sent to the army to receive combat training. And when the navy formed their own paratroops, they naturally drew from the pre-existing NLF as they were the only naval resources trained for land fighting.

    Anyway, by design, the NLF like the Volkstrum, were rear area troops that were not supposed to have much contact with the enemy, so long as the ship and plane crews were delivering what they were supposed to and the army fulfilled their mandate as planned. But we all know that the tide had reversed and in the end, what was the rear line had to become the front line. Thus circumstance forced the night watchmen to fight at the frontlines, and these the American's found to be tenacious and fierce fighters like the cop in the wrong place at the wrong time in the "Die Hard" films.

    What the IJN intended to be their third rate troops still were capable of putting up a good fight as perceived by the invading Americans. Even third rated troops were trained to stick to their roles until death, so there was no reason they should not put up a good fight.

    The Americans collectors like to see the NLF like a John McClane figure and I'm just trying to make you aware that he was just a NYPD cop, not special forces. What American collectors need to know is that only looking at one side of the coin is misleading.

    One does not task night watchmen/rear area troops with spearheading the invasion/occupation of Kiska and Attu in the Aleutians. Sovereign soil of the United States. They were assigned the assault landing at Wake island well opposed by United States Marines. They were trusted with the defense of the all important airfield on Guadalcanal. They made up a large part of the 911 force for the entirety of the fighting for the Solomons. For those that don't know. I consider Nick a friend. I treasure his input on all things related to the subject. I just disagree with his opinion on this matter and that's ok. I like that the conversation has been open and civil. One would expect nothing less from Nick Komiya.
    Regards, Scott

  2. #62


    At the beginning of the 30s, the Japan Army was considered one of the best in the world.
    The selections were very rigorous as well as the training, more than a soldier for stress and fatigue committed suicide.
    In the book by Saburo Sakai it is clear that the choices were very selective, the same Saburo complains that if the selection of pilots was less rigidly, in 1943 and 1944 there would not have been the problem of not having enough and you would not had to resort to personal, bad trained compared to the excluded of the previous era.
    In practice, even if replacement troops and of third choice, the rigid selections and the very hard training (especially at the beginning of the conflict) meant that these soldiers were combative and better prepared than the best allied soldiers.
    So the fact that they were third-choice does not mean they were bad soldiers, especially in the good years of the imperial army.

  3. #63


    Company night watchmen do not lead assaults or kill people, but the watchmen we are talking about are navy soldiers. Though within the navy they had the role of stationary rear echelon guards and staffed by older guys unfit for aviator and seamen duties, they were trained as professional killers like all soldiers. And as the only land fighting force within the navy, if the land operation could not be carried out by the army, for whatever reason, the NLF eagerly stood in for the army role, be it assault, paratrooping, landings in front of the enemy. The NLF was never conceived for such roles, but in emergencies anything to do with fighting on land was assigned to them without any hesitation. If the army couldn't help, they simply got the job no matter how daunting the task was.

    They did not hesitate, as even third rate Japanese soldiers were trained to believe they were far superior to the most elite of the enemy troops. Thus third rate troops were totally sufficient as paratroopers and for leading assaults. They typically assaulted enemy positions with a force only half or less the size of the enemy, and still believed it would be an easy victory. This kind of arrogance and stupidity worked in favor when the going was good, but from around Guadalcanal it will continuously backfire and bring defeat by squandering resources.

    Also, the grand design of the Japanese military would never let the Navy assign their best men to any land force to rival the army on land. As I mentioned before, the Navy was virtually designed to be a branch of the army in Japan. All fresh recruits the navy got came through the army, as the army had 100% control of all the draftees. The navy was not empowered to recruit its own men with the exception of volunteers, who went directly to the navy. All other new inductions came courtesy of the army, who allocated necessary men to the navy in preset ratios. The army naturally understood that the navy also needed topnotch men for aviation and shipboard service, so the navy got a fair deal in that regard, but the army would have choked off the supply, if the navy ever tried to create a land force from its topnotch soldiers to step into army territory. Draft papers told young men to report to their hometown army regiment and there, part of them got set aside for the navy. That is how you normally entered the navy and this system only worked if the navy and army stuck strictly to their job descriptions or mandates.

    There really is no contradiction between Scott's view and mine. The only mistake is to look at one side only. As Type 4 said, the Americans encountered Japan's third rate troops and regarded them as first rate opponents. Even though they were third rate, they were professionals trained to believe they were better than the best of the Americans. We can call that blind stupidity, but that misplaced arrogance of mind did overcome the limitations in matter and allowed them to fight like elite soldiers in the eyes of the Americans. The NLF itself would have admitted that they were considered third rate within the navy, but still they would have rated themselves far superior to the Americans. In Germany, this kind of fanaticism is attributed to the Waffen SS, but in Japan, all members of the army and navy were brainwashed to behave in that manner with only a few exceptions.

    So to call them "the elite of the Japanese navy" is totally wrong because that implies the IJN intention of their positioning within the navy, but if the Americans wish to flatter them as elite soldiers, the NLF vets will gladly accept that with a look of embarrassment on their faces. The "Mind over Matter" fighting spirit of old men has created a mixup of Perception and Intention that persists to this day. Or shall we simply say "the Japanese and Americans simply used a different yardstick for measuring men"?

    Scott, if you want to continue, please kindly do so without re-quoting my whole post, as readers can follow the story better without continuous reruns of the earlier episode.
    Last edited by nick komiya; 08-14-2018 at 09:28 AM.

  4. #64


    I believe the rivalry between army & navy still exists & that Nick shows his bias. I disagree with the overall picture Nick propagates. "Third rate" ? I'd say equal to the army. We need to compare early (China campaign) SNLF vs Army based on historical facts, unit histories, hundreds of period photos, unique equipment etc. Late war is another story.

  5. #65


    Jareth, I look forward to you showing us results of those research topics.

  6. #66


    Opinions aside people will draw their own conclusions based on the numerous info available.

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