21st Century Toys 21C20018 Japanese Imperial Marines 6-Figure Set (1:32 Scale)
"Duty is heavier than a mountain but death is lighter than a feather."
- Japanese Proverb
The Japanese Special Naval Landing Forces (SNLF), (Kaigun Rikusentai) were the marine troops of the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) and were only part of the IJN Land Forces. They saw extensive service in the Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945) and the Pacific theatre of World War II.
Prior to the late 1920s the IJN did not have a separate marine force, instead it used naval landing forces or rikusentai formed from individual ships's crews, who received infantry training as part of their basic training, for special and/or temporary missions.
In the late 1920s, the navy began to form Special Naval Landing Forces as standing regiments (albeit of battalion size). These forces were raised at - and took their names from - the four main naval districts/bases in Japan: Kure, Maizuru, Sasebo, and Yokosuka. These bases all raised more than one SNLF and others were later raised from IJN personnel in China, at Hankow, and Shanghai, for service in Canton and on the Yangtze River. On 7 December 1941 there were 16 SNLF units, this increassed to 21 units during the war. The strengths of each SNLF ranged from the prewar peak of 1,200 to a later 650 personnel. There was also a special detachment in the Kwantung area, garrisoning the ports of Dairen and Ryojun. In 1941, the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Yokosuka SNLF were converted to parachute units. They conducted more combat drops than Japanese Army parachute units during World War II.
The original SNLF personnel were well-trained, high quality troops with good morale and they performed well against unprepared and unorganized opposition across Southeast Asia. However, when faced with determined resistance, such as at the invasion of Timor and the Battle of Milne Bay in 1942, they often experienced heavy casualties, do to their unwillingness to give up. When completely out of ammo, they would often resort to fighting with their swords. They were also responsible for the war crimes committed in their defense of Manila during the American invasion of the Philippines during 1944.
In a famous last stand in 1943, the 1,500-strong 7th Sasebo SNLF and 1,000 base personnel at the Battle of Tarawa accounted for 3,000 U.S. Marine Corps casualties. They wore a greener version of the Imperial Japanese Army's uniform with an anchor on their helmet. Note: the Imperial Japanese Army also raised amphibious units called Sea Landing Brigades. These 3,500-strong brigades were used to assault and then garrison islands.
Pictured here is a set of 1:32 scale Japanese Imperial Marines 6-figure set assuming different poses. Sold Out!
Historical Account: "Stepping Stones" - The Battle of Saipan was a battle of the Pacific campaign of World War II, fought on the island of Saipan in the Mariana Islands from June 16th - July 9th, 1944. The Allied invasion fleet embarking the expeditionary forces left Pearl Harbor on June 5th, 1944, the day before Operation Overlord in Europe was launched. The U.S. 2nd Marine Division, 4th Marine Division, and 27th Infantry Division, commanded by Lieutenant General Holland Smith, defeated the 43rd Division of the Imperial Japanese Army, commanded by Lieutenant General Yoshitsugu Saito.