Inner Mongolian Army

The Inner Mongolian Army, also sometimes called the Mengjiang National Army, referred to the Inner Mongolian military units in service of Imperial Japan and its puppet state of Mengjiang during the Second Sino-Japanese War, particularly those led by Prince Demchugdongrub. It was primarily a force of cavalry units, which mostly consisted of ethnic Mongols, with some Han Chinese infantry formations.

Inner Mongolian Army
Flag of Mongol Military Government (1936-1937)
Country Mengjiang
Allegiance Empire of Japan
Size10,000 (1936)
20,000 (1937)
EngagementsSecond Sino-Japanese War

World War II

Ceremonial chiefPrince Demchugdongrub
Li Shouxin


Early actions

Unidad de caballería personal del Príncipe De Wang
A unit of Prince De Wang's personal cavalry, 1935

After Japanese intrigues led to the formation of the Mongol Military Government under Prince Demchugdongrub (De Wang), the Inner Mongolian Army was initially formed from the personal units of various Mongol banner chiefs. Among those was Prince De Wang's personal bodyguard force of about 900 men, armed with weapons from the armories of the "Young Marshal" Zhang Xueliang, who had given them to the Prince in an attempt to win his favor. It was not the largest Mongolian army but was the most efficient, being aided by Japanese advisers. Another source of recruits were the bandit gangs that were based in the region. Thus the original force came to include Mongolian tribesmen along with Han Chinese bandits and irregulars from the Manchukuo Imperial Army,[1] the latter of which were led by the warlord Li Shouxin.[2] He would later be appointed the commander of the army.[3]

This exotic force suffered from disunity and poor discipline during the preparations to invade the Nationalist-controlled Inner Mongolian province of Suiyuan in 1936. The majority of them were also poorly armed, with only about half of them having rifles. They were primarily armed by weapons from the stocks of the defeated Young Marshal, which fell into the hands of the nearby Japanese puppet state of Manchukuo. Among the preparations was the setting up of an air arm for the Inner Mongolian Army, but this air force was a purely Japanese one. It consisted of Japanese aircraft flown by Japanese pilots, who did not even bother applying any Mongol insignia to their aircraft and just flew with the original Japanese ones. In total it had 28 planes and were based at a town about forty miles north of Kalgan, the Inner Mongolian capital. They flew several bombing missions against Nationalist targets in an attempt to soften them up for the coming operation.[2]

The invasion of Suiyuan finally began in October 1936 with Inner Mongolian units, a group of Han Chinese collaborators under Wang Ying called the Grand Han Righteous Army, and a number of Japanese "advisers" embedded among them. The whole operation was overseen by Japanese staff officers. First contact between Inner Mongolian and National Revolutionary Army troops occurred on 14 November in the town of Hongor. They launched several attacks against the Nationalist defenders over the course of the next couple of days but were repulsed each time with considerable casualties. The Mongols were not lacking in courage but were untrained for this sort of fighting. A final assault launched during a snowstorm on 16 November was likewise beaten back by Chinese machine guns. A surprise counterattack by the Nationalists on 17 November resulted in the Inner Mongolian Army and its allies being forced to retreat and regroup at their headquarters in Bailingmiao, where they received some training from the Japanese. The Nationalist General Fu Zuoyi then led an assault on the city, using three trucks to break through the city gates. The defending force reportedly consisted of the 7th Division of the Inner Mongolian Army and lost 300 killed, 600 wounded, and 300 captured. They also left behind a significant amount of equipment which was taken by the Nationalists.[2]

Although the operation was a failure, skirmishes continued over the next eight months between Japanese and Inner Mongolian troops on one side and the Nationalists on the other. When the Second Sino-Japanese War began in 1937 after the Marco Polo Bridge Incident, they tried to invade again. In August 1937 six or seven divisions (some sources say nine) repulsed an assault by three Chinese divisions in heavy fighting. They were assisted by Japanese aircraft and gave the Nationalists some 2,000 casualties. An attack on Bailingmiao resulted in its recapture, led by cadets from the Military Training School that had been established in 1936. Over 20,000 Mongols advanced into the remaining provinces with Japanese support, later being involved in the Battle of Taiyuan.[4]

Final years

As the Pacific War began in 1941, Japan worked to mobilize all of its puppet troops, including the Inner Mongolian Army, to fight its war. They played on Prince De Wang's desire to become the emperor of all of Mongolia by promising to eventually give him Outer Mongolia (controlled by the Soviet satellite state the Mongolian People's Republic at the time). He committed Mongolian Army and police units to assisting Japanese operations throughout northern China against guerrillas and bandits during the period from 1938 until the defeat of Japan in 1945. These operations often resulted in high civilian casualties due to the Mongol and Japanese troops attacking civilians living in the areas where the insurgents were known to be hiding. By that time, Japanese officers had total control over both the Mengjiang government and army.[5] They forced the Prince to sign a decree stating that the Mongolian government had declared war on the United Kingdom and the United States in 1941.[6]

In August 1945, after the Soviets declared war on Japan, the Red Army and its allied Mongolian People's Army invaded both Manchukuo and Mengjiang during the Manchurian Strategic Offensive Operation. The few Inner Mongolian cavalry units that engaged the Soviets proved to be no match for the battle-hardened Red Army and were swept aside, with the Mongolian regime falling shortly after Japan surrendered.[7] Prince De Wang led the army (which consisted of six divisions at the time, two cavalry and four infantry, and some independent brigades) in battle personally. Three divisions were destroyed by the Red Army, the rest reportedly joined the Chinese Communists.[8]


Inner Mongolian soldier 1937.jpeg
An Inner Mongolian infantryman in full uniform, 1937

The army was divided into divisions of about 1,500, with one division being composed of three regiments of 500 men each. One regiment included four cavalry squadrons and one machine gun company, the latter having a strength of 120 men. However, the standard structure mostly existed on paper and it was unlikely that it was used in reality. A military training school was also established in 1936 with an intake of 500 cadets. However, the cadets became disillusioned and about 200 of them deserted.[4]

Their order of battle for the Suiyuan Campaign was as follows:[4]

  • Li Shouxin's Command
    • Jehol Mongols (3,000)
    • Chahar Mongols (1,000)
  • Pao Yueh-ching's Command
    • 8th Division (2,000)
    • Mongol irregulars and bandits (3,000)
  • Prince De Wang's troops (1,000)

By 1937 their forces were organized in six or nine divisions.[4] In later years the Inner Mongolian Army was organized as follows:[9]

  • Inner Mongolian Army (4,400) – Li Shouxin
    • 4th Cavalry Division (900)
    • 5th Cavalry Division (900)
    • 6th Cavalry Division (800)
    • 7th Cavalry Division (800)
    • 8th Cavalry Division (1,000)
  • Mongolian Self Government Army of Pin Banner 'Pinkwangfu' (3,000) – Pao Shan
  • Mongolian Self Government Army of Po Banner 'Powangfu' (3,000) – Han Se-wang


The rank system of the Inner Mongolian Army was modeled on that of the Manchukuo Imperial Army (which itself was based on Imperial Japanese Army ranks). Instead of maroon bands on the shoulder insignia the Mongols used blue. The rank of general was held by Prince De Wang as commander-in-chief and Li Shouxin as the commander of the army.[10]

Rank Epaulette
Lieutenant General
Major General
High officers
Junior Lieutenant
Lower officers
Warrant Officer
Staff Sergeant
Junior Sergeant
Lance Corporal
Private first class
Private second class

Weapons and equipment

The a wide variety of rifles found their way into the Inner Mongolian Army arsenal, mostly bought by Prince De Wang or given by the Japanese. The first weapons that they received were 10,000 Mauser Model 13 rifles from the Mukden factory, given as a gift by the Young Marshal Zhang Xueliang. Other small arms included the Swiss Sig. Model 1930 sub-machine gun, utilized by bodyguards in small numbers. Machine guns in use numbered about 200 with some of them being the Czech ZB-26 light machine gun. Those also came from Zhang Xueliang's former army after it was defeated by the Japanese. The Inner Mongolians had about 70 artillery pieces, mostly mortars but also a few field and mountain guns, from former Nationalist stores. Reportedly they did use a few armored cars and tanks, but they were most likely operated by Japanese.[4]

The early uniforms worn by Mongolian troops were their civilian clothing. Typical it consisted of a long blue padded cotton tunic that was worn which reached down to the ankles along with an orane sash around the waist. Headgear was either a lambs' wool hat or a colored turban wrapped around the head. The color of the turban varied with each Mongol banner clan having a distinctive one. In addition they wore a leather bandolier for cartridges which was slung over the left shoulder. Some soldiers were dressed in loose fitting cotton jacket and trousers along with a peak cap. In 1936 a new uniform was in use, modeled on the Nationalist Chinese uniform. It included a loose-fitting grey jacket and grey cotton trousers. A peaked grey cotton peaked cap was worn along with it (similar in appearance to those worn by the Russian Imperial Army during World War I). Other uniforms they used included the regular Japanese Army uniform but with Inner Mongolian insignia.[10]

See also



  1. ^ Jowett (2004), pp. 51–52
  2. ^ a b c Jowett (2004), pp. 53–55
  3. ^ MacKinnon (2007), pp. 161–162
  4. ^ a b c d e Jowett (2004), pp. 56–57
  5. ^ MacKinnon (2007), pp. 163–164
  6. ^ MacKinnon (2007), p. 167
  7. ^ Jowett (2004), pp. 36–38
  8. ^ Radnayev, Batozhab. Потомок Чингисхана против Мао | Descendant of Genghis Khan against Mao (in Russian). Published 5 February 2012.
  9. ^ Jowett (2004), p. 125
  10. ^ a b Jowett (2004), p. 126


  • Jowett, Philip (2004). Rays of the Rising Sun, Volume 1: Japan's Asian Allies 1931–45, China and Manchukuo. Helion and Company Ltd. ISBN 978-1-874622-21-5.
  • MacKinnon, Stephen; Lary, Diana (2007). China at War: Regions of China, 1937–45. Stanford University Press. ISBN 978-0804755092.

External links

Actions in Inner Mongolia (1933–36)

The Inner Mongolian Campaign in the period from 1933 to 1936 were part of the ongoing invasion of northern China by the Empire of Japan prior to the official start of hostilities in the Second Sino-Japanese War. In 1931, the invasion of Manchuria secured the creation of the puppet state of Manchukuo and in 1933, Operation Nekka detached the province of Jehol from the Republic of China. Blocked from further advance south by the Tanggu Truce, the Imperial Japanese Army turned its attention west, towards the Inner Mongolian provinces of Chahar and Suiyuan, with the goal of establishing a northern China buffer state. In order to avoid overt violation of the Truce, the Japanese government used proxy armies in these campaigns while Chinese resistance was at first only provided by Anti-Japanese resistance movement forces in Chahar. The former included in the Inner Mongolian Army, the Manchukuo Imperial Army, and the Grand Han Righteous Army. Chinese government forces were overtly hostile to the anti-Japanese resistance and resisted Japanese aggression only in Suiyuan in 1936.

Collaborationist Chinese Army

The term Collaborationist Chinese Army refers to the military forces of the puppet governments founded by Imperial Japan in mainland China during the Second Sino-Japanese War and World War II. They most notably include the armies of the Provisional (1937–1940), Reformed (1938–1940) and Reorganized National Governments of the Republic of China (1940–1945), which absorbed the former two regimes. Those forces were also commonly known as puppet troops but went under different names during their history depending on the specific unit and allegiance, such as Nanjing Government Army. In total, it was estimated that all pro-Japanese collaborationist Chinese forces combined had a strength of around 683,000.


Demchugdongrub (Mongolian: ᠳᠡᠮᠴᠦᠭᠳᠥᠨᠷᠥᠪ, Demçigdonrob, Дэмчигдонров, romanized: Demchigdonrov, [tɪmt͡ʃʰəktɔŋrəw], 8 February 1902 – 23 May 1966), also known as Prince De or Teh, was a Mongolian prince descended from the Borjigin imperial clan who lived during the 20th century and became the leader of an independence movement in Inner Mongolia. He was most notable for being the chairman of the pro-Japanese Mongol Military Government (1938–39) and later of the puppet state of Mengjiang (1939–45), during the Second Sino-Japanese War. In modern day, some see Demchugdongrub as a Mongol nationalist promoting Pan-Mongolism while others view him as a traitor and as the pawn of the Japanese during World War II.

Grand Han Righteous Army

The Grand Han Righteous Army (大漢義軍) was a collaborationist Chinese army cooperating with the Empire of Japan in campaigns in northern China and Inner Mongolia immediately prior to the official start of hostilities of the Second Sino-Japanese War.

Index of World War II articles (I)

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Ice-Cold in Alex

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It's Everybody's War

It Ain't Half Hot Mum

It Happened Here

Itagaki Taisuke

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Italian-occupied France

Italian 101 Motorised Division Trieste

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IX Corps (United Kingdom)

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IX Waffen Alpine Corps of the SS (Croatian)


Izumo-class cruiser

Izzy Cohen

Li Shouxin

Li Shouxin (Mongolian: ᠪᠤᠶᠠᠨᠳᠡᠯᠭᠡᠷ, Буяндэлгэр; Chinese: 李守信; pinyin: Lǐ Shǒuxìn; Wade–Giles: Li Shou-hsin; Hepburn: Ri Shyushin; July 11, 1892 - May 1970) was a pro-Japanese commander in the Manchukuo Imperial Army amd later the Mengjiang National Army.

List of orders of battle

This is a list of orders of battle, which list the known military units that were located within the field of operations for a battle or campaign. The battles are listed in chronological order by starting date (or planned start date).

Manchukuo Imperial Air Force

The Manchukuo Imperial Air Force (Chinese: 飛行隊; pinyin: Fēixíng Duì) was the air force of the Empire of Manchuria, a puppet state of Imperial Japan. The air force's predecessor was the Manchukuo Air Transport Company (later renamed the Manchukuo National Airways), a paramilitary airline formed in 1931, which undertook transport and reconnaissance missions for the Japanese military.

Manchuria Aviation Company

Manchuria Aviation Company(traditional Chinese/Kyūjitai: 滿洲航空株式會社; simplified Chinese: 满州航空株式会社; Shinjitai: 満州航空株式会社; Hanyu Pinyin: Mǎnzhōu Hángkōng Zhūshì Huìshè; Wade–Giles: Man3-chou1 Hang2-k'ung1 Chu1-shih4 Hui4-she4 Japanese Hepburn: Manshū Kōkū Kabushiki-gaisha, "MKKK")

was the national airline of Manchukuo.

Manchuria Aviation Company was established on 26 September 1931 in Fengtian by order of the Japanese Kwantung Army, out of the Manchurian branch office of Japan Air Transport, the forerunner of Imperial Japanese Airways. It officially adopted the name Manchuria Aviation Company on the proclamation of the independence of Manchukuo. Major shareholders were the Manchukuo government, the South Manchurian Railway Company and the Sumitomo zaibatsu.

From the beginning, the Manchuria Aviation Company was a paramilitary airline, whose primary purpose was to provide transport and logistical support for the military, and for the transport of mail. Civilian passengers were carried and charter operations undertaken on a lower priority.

In 1936, an "Independent Volunteer Battalion" of the MKKK consisting of 13 aircraft fought on the side of the Inner Mongolian Army against Kuomintang-held Suiyuan.The airline had a "hub" in Hsinking and was linked by regular flight routes from Harbin, Shamussi (Kiamusze), Kirin, Mukden, Antung, Chinchow, Chengde, Tsitsihar, Hailar, and the Kwantung Leased Territory and Korea areas, for connections with Imperial Japanese Airways (Dai Nippon Koku KK) to Japan itself or foreign routes. A long distance route between Hsinking and Berlin was also pioneered in 1938.

The repair shops of the MKKK produced copies of the Fokker Super Universal (Nakajima Ki-6) and the De Havilland DH.80 "Pussmoth"

The Manchuria Aviation Company ceased operations in August 1945 during the Soviet invasion of Manchuria. However, wartime fuel and equipment shortages had previously curtailed its operations considerably. Remaining aircraft, goods and equipment were confiscated, to the benefit of the Soviet Union and Communist Chinese, after the conflict.

Men Bingyue

Men Bingyue (traditional Chinese: 門炳岳; simplified Chinese: 门炳岳; pinyin: Mén Bǐngyuè; Wade–Giles: Men Ping-yueh; 1890–1944) was a general in the Chinese National Revolutionary Army during the Second Sino-Japanese War. As commander of the 7th Cavalry Division he participated in the Suiyuan Campaign in 1936, defeating the Japanese backed Inner Mongolian Army. After the beginning of the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1937 he was made Commander of the 6th Cavalry Army, fighting in the Battle of Taiyuan defending Suiyuan. In 1940 he was made Deputy Commander in Chief of the 17th Army Group. In 1941, he was made Commander of the 7th Cavalry Army. He died in August 1944 in Chongqing.


Mengjiang (Mengkiang; Chinese: 蒙疆; pinyin: Měngjiāng; Wade–Giles: Meng3-chiang1; Hepburn: Mōkyō), also known in English as Mongol Border Land or the Mongol United Autonomous Government, was an autonomous area in Inner Mongolia, existing initially as a puppet state of the Empire of Japan before being under nominal Chinese sovereignty of the Reorganized National Government of the Republic of China from 1940 (which itself was a puppet state). Formed in 1939, it consisted of the then-Chinese provinces of Chahar and Suiyuan, corresponding to the central part of modern Inner Mongolia. It has also been called Mongukuo or Mengguguo (or Mengkukuo; Chinese: 蒙古國) (in analogy to Manchukuo, another Japanese puppet state in Manchuria). The capital was Kalgan, from where it was ruled by the Mongol nobleman Prince Demchugdongrub. The territory returned to Chinese control after the defeat of the Japanese Empire in 1945.


The Mongols (Mongolian: Монголчууд, ᠮᠣᠩᠭᠣᠯᠴᠤᠳ, Mongolchuud, [ˈmɔŋ.ɢɔɮ.t͡ʃʊːt]) are a Mongolic ethnic group native to Mongolia and to China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. They also live as minorities in other regions of China (e.g. Xinjiang), as well as in Russia. Mongolian people belonging to the Buryat and Kalmyk subgroups live predominantly in the Russian federal subjects of Buryatia and Kalmykia.

The Mongols are bound together by a common heritage and ethnic identity. Their indigenous dialects are collectively known as the Mongolian language. The ancestors of the modern-day Mongols are referred to as Proto-Mongols.

Mukden Arsenal Mauser

The Mukden Arsenal Mauser also known as the Model 13 Mauser and Liao Type 13 was a rifle that implemented characteristics of both the Mauser Type 4 and the Arisaka rifles. They were mostly built in the Mukden arsenal in Manchukuo.

Operation Chahar

Operation Chahar (Japanese: チャハル作戦, romanized: Chaharu Sakusen), known in Chinese as the Nankou Campaign (Chinese: 南口戰役; pinyin: Nankou Zhanyi), occurred in August 1937, following the Battle of Beiping-Tianjin at the beginning of Second Sino-Japanese War.

This was the second attack by the Kwantung Army and the Inner Mongolian Army of Prince Teh Wang on Inner Mongolia after the failure of the Suiyuan Campaign (1936). The Chahar Expeditionary Force was under the direct command of General Hideki Tōjō, the chief of staff of the Kwantung Army. A second force from the Peiping Railway Garrison Force, later the 1st Army under General Kiyoshi Katsuki, was also involved.

Order of battle Suiyuan campaign

Japanese attempt to increase the size of their puppet state of Inner Mongolia in the Suiyuan campaign.

Suiyuan campaign

The Suiyuan campaign (Chinese: 綏遠抗戰; pinyin: Suīyuǎn kàngzhàn; Japanese: 綏遠事件, romanized: Suīyuǎn shìjiàn) was an attempt by the Inner Mongolian Army and Grand Han Righteous Army, two forces founded and supported by Imperial Japan, to take control of the Suiyuan province from the Republic of China. The attempted invasion occurred in 1936, shortly before the Second Sino-Japanese War. The Japanese government denied taking part in the operation, but the Inner Mongolians and the other collaborationist Chinese troops received air support from Japanese planes and were assisted by the Imperial Japanese Army. The entire operation was overseen by Japanese staff officers. The campaign was unsuccessful, mostly due to lack of training and low morale among the Mongolians and other collaborators. The defense of Suiyuan, one of the first major successes of China's National Revolutionary Army over Japanese-supported forces, greatly improved Chinese morale.

Wang Ying (ROC)

Wang Ying (Chinese: 王英; pinyin: Wáng Yīng; 1895 – November 4, 1950) was a Chinese bandit and minor Japanese puppet warlord from western Suiyuan. He was involved in the Chahar People's Anti-Japanese Army in 1933, commanding a formation called the 1st Route. Following the suppression of the Anti-Japan Allied Army, Wang Ying went over to the Japanese Kwantung Army and persuaded them to let him recruit unemployed Chinese soldiers in Chahar Province. He returned to Japanese-occupied Northern Chahar with enough men to form two Divisions that were trained by Japanese advisors. By 1936 Wang was commander of this Grand Han Righteous Army attached to the Inner Mongolian Army of Teh Wang.

Following the failure of their first Suiyuan campaign, the Japanese used the Grand Han Righteous Army to launch another attempt to take eastern Suiyuan in January 1937. Fu Zuoyi routed Wang’s army, and it suffered heavy losses.After 1937 he was able to establish a small puppet army, independent of Mengjiang, in Western Suiyuan under Japanese protection. His Self Government Army of Western Suiyuan in 1943 consisted of over 2300 men in three divisions, in a March 1943 British intelligence report.After the Surrender of Japan, Wang Ying surrendered to Fu Zuoyi, and was appointed Commander of the 1st Cavalry Group. He was then made Commander of the 14th Cavalry Column, the 12th War Area. In 1946 he was appointed senior staff officer of the Beiping Camp for the Chairperson of the Military Committee (軍事委員會委員長北平行營高級參謀). After that he also held the Supreme Commander of the Military for Subjugation Communists, the Route of Ping-Pu (平蒲路剿共軍総司令).After the establishment of the People's Republic of China, Wang Ying was arrested. He was convicted of treason and anti-revolution and sentenced to death by the Beijing People's Court on May 23, 1950. He appealed to the Supreme People's court, but the court affirmed the original judgement. He was executed by firing squad in Beijing on November 4, 1950.

Yoshiko Kawashima

Yoshiko Kawashima (川島 芳子, Kawashima Yoshiko, 24 May 1907 – 25 March 1948) was a Chinese princess of Manchu descent. She was raised in Japan and served as a spy for the Japanese Kwantung Army and puppet state of Manchukuo during the Second Sino-Japanese War. She is sometimes known in fiction under the pseudonym "Eastern Mata Hari". After the war, she was captured, tried and executed as a traitor by the Nationalist government of the Republic of China. She was also a notable descendant of Hooge, eldest son of Hong Taiji.

ZB vz. 26

The ZB vz. 26 was a Czechoslovak light machine gun developed in the 1920s, which went on to enter service with several countries. It saw its major use during World War II, and spawned the related ZB vz. 27, vz. 30, and vz. 33. The ZB vz. 26 influenced many other light machine gun designs including the Bren light machine gun and the Type 96 Light Machine Gun. The ZB-26 is famous for its reliability, simple components, quick-change barrel and ease of manufacturing.

This light machine gun in the Czechoslovak army was marked as the LK vz. 26 ("LK" means "lehký kulomet", light machine gun; "vz." stands for "vzor", Model in Czech). ZB vz. 26 is incorrect marking because "ZB-26" is a factory designation (Československá zbrojovka v Brně), while "vzor 26" or "vz. 26" is an army designation.

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