Yukio Kasahara - Biography


Kasahara was born into a military family in Sendai, but attended the First Tokyo Middle School as a youth. He graduated from the 22nd class of the Imperial Japanese Army Academy in 1913, and from the 22nd class of the Army Staff College in November 1918.

Kasahara was sent as a military attaché to Moscow, Russia from 1929–1932, and became fluent in the Russian language. On his return to Japan, he was assigned to the Soviet Branch of the 4th Section (European & American Military Intelligence), 2nd Bureau, of the Imperial Japanese Army General Staff.

From 1933-1934, he became an instructor at the Cavalry School, and was subsequently appointed commander of the Imperial Guards Cavalry Regiment from 1934-1936.

Kasahara returned to the 2nd Bureau of the General Staff in 1936 as Chief of the 4th Section, 5th Section and 6th Section, covering all of the European, American and Russian Intelligence. He was a major proponent of the hokushin-ron philosophy, feeling strongly that the Soviet Union posed a major threat and a major opportunity for Japan.

From 1937-1938, Kasahara was sent to Manchukuo as Vice Chief of Staff of the Kwantung Army. He visited Germany as part of a military mission in 1938 after the conclusion of the Tripartite Pact, and returned to the General Staff on his return to Japan.

However, Kasahara was soon dispatched back to China. From 1939-1941, he served as Chief of Staff of the Northern China Area Army. He was then promoted to commander in chief of the IJA 12th Division from 1941-1942.

For most the remainder of the war (1942–1945), Kasahara served as Chief of Staff of the Kwantung Army. However, in April 1945, he was appointed to replace General Yoshio Uetsuki as commander of the IJA 11th Army, and thus participated in the Operation Ichi-Go offensive, notably at the Battle of Guilin-Liuzhou.

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