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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) paratroops saw action in various parts in 1942 but the very high casualty rates in units comprising highly trained, elite soldiers led most of them to be withdrawn to the Japanese mainland until late 1944. In Novermber and December 1944 various IJA paratroop units were deployed in the Philippines. They were involved in several engagements in Leyte, fighting both US forces and Philipino guerillas. Their casualty rates were very high; often all participants were wiped out. As a result the IJA airborne units were constantly being re-formed with new units being formed from the survivors - generally stragglers or those left behind to guard a position. The group here are intended to represent such a patched together unit.

In the early war Japanese paratroopers typically wore overalls and the specialist canvas covered helmet. Photos of IJA paratroops in Leyte show some units still wearing this early war outfit. Other units wore a standard IJA uniform, often with a jump smock. Some sources suggest that IJA paratroops wore khaki versions of IJA uniform; others, including a subsequently published US intelligence report suggest they wore green. It is always possible that both are right and both colours were worn. Some of the figures are shown with the early war helmet and overalls (from the ITPT paratooper figures) and. Where they are shown with a standard IJA uniform I have gone with the green (from the DID Suzuki figure).

The bodies for 5 of the 6 figures are the shorter ITPT bodies, with the head and hands replaced. All heads are DID. One figure, the tallest, is the DID Suzuki figure. A significant number of Koreans served in the IJA, including in elite forces. They are reported to have served in some numbers in the Philippines. A number of reports from US forces expressed surprise at finding taller "Japanese", sometimes 6 foot or more, who turned out to be Koreans. The taller figure is, therefore, intended to be a Korean serving with the IJA. Koreans were not given an IJA rank so this figure has no rank insignia. The boots on all figures are DID and standard IJA helmets are custom helmets produced by Weylen (Mondo)some time ago, to whom I am grateful.

The plants in the photos are real plants, the turf is real and so is the mud. Likewise the mud on the figures' clothing is real.



















 

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very nice, good to see other IJA fans and their works on the board.
 
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