Uniform of the Manchukuo Army

In the early days of the state of Manchukuo the soldiers of its army wore the uniform of their former employer, the 'Young Marshal'. The only difference in dress between the Manchukuo Army and their foes, the Nationalist northern army, was that the Manchukuo Army wore yellow armbands and the Nationalist troops wore red. The basic uniform at that time would have been light grey in colour, with the new cap badge in the shape of a star divided into five colours - red, blue, black, white and yellow. New dress regulations were introduced throughout the 1930s, and by 1939 the Manchukuo Army had a distinctive uniform. The colour was Japanese khaki and the style was similar to the Japanese model. Three types of headgear were worn: a forage cap, which was similar to the Japanese model but with a flatter crown; a peaked cap; and a fur hat for winter service.

Japanese Hat Winter ArmyChina Nacionalist Uniform

Nationalist light machine-gun crew in action in the late 1930s. Both men wear the German 1935 model steel helmet and the light khaki cotton summer uniform. The light machine-gun is the Czechoslovakian ZB-30, which was imported in large numbers and also produced in China. (Fusiliers' Museum, Lancashire)

Nationalist light machine-gun crew in action in the late 1930s. Both men wear the German 1935 model steel helmet and the light khaki cotton summer uniform. The light machine-gun is the Czechoslovakian ZB-30, which was imported in large numbers and also produced in China. (Fusiliers' Museum, Lancashire)

The Japanese 1930 model helmet was also worn in limited numbers in the fighting on the border with Mongolia in 1939.

Ranks were indicated by the same system of stars and stripes on the shoulder bars as in the Warlord armies of the 1920s, but the highest ranking general had, in addition to three stars, an orchid blossom on the end of the shoulder bar nearest the collar. Before 1937 shoulder bars were in the branch colour, the same as on the collar insignia; after that date the collars stayed in the branch colour but all shoulder bars became maroon for all branches.

Was this article helpful?

+2 -1

Post a comment