Sōsaku Suzuki

Sōsaku Suzuki (鈴木 宗作, Suzuki Sōsaku, 27 September 1891 – 19 April 1945) was a general in the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II.

Sōsaku Suzuki
General Sōsaku Suzuki
BornSeptember 27, 1891
Aichi Prefecture, Japan
DiedApril 19, 1945(1945-04-19) (aged 53)
Santander, Cebu, Commonwealth of the Philippines
AllegianceEmpire of Japan
Service/branch Imperial Japanese Army
Years of service1912 - 1945
Commands heldThirty-Fifth Army
Battles/warsSecond Sino-Japanese War
World War II


Born in Aichi prefecture, Suzuki graduated from the 24th class of the Imperial Japanese Army Academy in 1912. After leaving 31st class of the Army War College in 1921, he served as a resident officer in Germany from 1922 to 1925. Winning promotion to captain in 1927, Suzuki was assigned to the Army Ministry's Military Affairs Section the following year.

Transferred to the Kwangtung Army in 1933, Suzuki served in Manchuria for three years as Chief of the Kempeitai and, shortly following his promotion to major in 1935, he became commander of the IJA 4th Infantry Regiment until 1937.[1]

Promoted to major general the next year, Suzuki was named Vice Chief of Staff of the Central China Expeditionary Army where he served until 1939.

After a number of staff assignments on the Imperial Japanese Army General Staff, Suzuki was promoted to lieutenant general in March 1941 and reassigned to the IJA 25th Army under General Tomoyuki Yamashita in November.

The IJA 25th Army was active in the Singapore-Malaysia campaign from 8 December 1941 to 5 February 1942 in the early stages of the Pacific War. He ordered Sook Ching, a systematic purge of perceived hostile elements among the Chinese in Singapore, in 1942.

After a series of administrative posts relating to military transportation, between 1943 and 1944, Suzuki was appointed commander of the IJA 35th Army and, with his headquarters in Cebu, was charged with the defense of the southern Philippines.

With American landings at Leyte from 20 October 1944 Suzuki sent 45,000 soldiers to meet the Allied forces; however, numerical superiority of land and air power, the Allies decimated the Japanese forces by the end of December. On 25 December 1944 he received orders to evacuate as many troops as possible to defend the other southern Philippine islands. On 24 March 1945 he escaped to Cebu City, and when the American and Filipino troops landed on Cebu on 26 March 1945, he retreated into the hills, and from there attempted to withdraw to Mindanao.[2] On April 8, he received a telegram that his aide, Major Rijome Kawahara, was killed and that Cebu City had fallen to the combined American and Filipino troops. Nevertheless, he continued his trip to escape, however, as he attempted to do so, his boats were attacked by aircraft and Suzuki was killed in action on 19 April 1945. He was posthumously promoted to full general.


  1. Ammenthorp, Steen. "Suzuki Sokaku". The Generals of World War II.
  2. Budge, Kent. "Suzuki Sosaku". Pacific War Online Encyclopedia.

Further reading


  • Dupuy, Trevor N. (2006). Harper Encyclopedia of Military Biography. New York: HarperCollins Publishers. ISBN 0-7858-0437-4.
  • Fuller, Richard (1992). Shokan: Hirohito's Samurai. London: Arms and Armor. ISBN 1-85409-151-4.
  • Hayashi, Saburo; Cox, Alvin D (1959). Kogun: The Japanese Army in the Pacific War. Quantico, VA: The Marine Corps Association.
  • Morison, Samuel Eliot (2002). History of United States Naval Operations in World War II. Vol. 13: The Liberation of the Philippines—Luzon, Mindanao, the Visayas, 1944–1945. University of Illinois Press. ISBN 0-252-07064-X.
  • Vego, Milan N. (2006). Battle for Leyte, 1944 : Allied And Japanese Plans, Preparations, And Execution. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-885-2.
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