General Sōsaku Suzuki
|Born||September 27, 1891|
Aichi Prefecture, Japan
|Died||April 19, 1945 53) (aged|
Santander, Cebu, Commonwealth of the Philippines
|Allegiance||Empire of Japan|
|Years of service||1912 - 1945|
|Commands held||Thirty-Fifth Army|
|Battles/wars||Second 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.
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. 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.
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