|Manchukuo Imperial Army|
Flag of Manchukuo
|Allegiance||Empire of Manchuria|
|Engagements||Second Sino-Japanese War
Soviet-Japanese Border Wars
World War II
|Ceremonial chief||Emperor Puyi|
After the Mukden Incident, the Imperial Japanese Army inherited approximated 60,000 troops of Marshal Zhang Xueliang's 160,000 strong Northeastern Army, who had defected to the Japanese with their generals. These Chinese turncoats included many isolated units the Japanese captured and interned in the rapid invasion of Manchuria along the railroad lines, and included:
The Manchukuo Imperial Army was formed from these forces after the establishment of the state of Manchukuo in March 1932. They were initially armed from the captured equipment and arsenals of the Northeastern Army. As many of the men were inexperienced recruits or irregular forces, and many were opium addicts, they were not of the highest grade in combat ability. Furthermore, many were simply mercenaries willing to fight for the side with the highest pay, and consequently the reliability, if not the loyalty, of many units of the early Manchukuo Imperial Army was questionable.
In August 1932, a unit of 2000 men deserted their garrison at Wukimiho, taking their weapons over to the anti-Japanese guerrillas. Likewise, the Manchukuo 7th Cavalry revolted around the same time. According to one ranking Japanese officer, the main source of weapons against the Japanese and Manchukuo forces was the Manchukuo Army itself, and there were a number of cases where Manchukuo troops went into battle only to desert to the enemy en masse.  The most notable desertion was that of General and former Manchukuo War Minister Ma Zhanshan in April 1932 from the Heilongjiang Provincial Guard Army with several thousand troops along with many artillery pieces.
In its first form the Manchukuo Imperial Army was organized in seven Provincial Guard Armies (one for each province), with a total of over 111,000 men. An Independent Cavalry Brigade was created to provide a garrison for the capital of Hsinking, and the Manchukuo Imperial Guard was raised in February 1933 from men of Manchu ethnic backgrounds as part of the capital garrison to provide protection for Emperor Puyi and senior government officials.
In 1934, new regulations stated that only officers who had been trained by Manchukuo government approved schools would be permitted to serve in the Manchukuo Imperial Army. This was an effort to weed out the unreliable remnants of the former Northeastern Army, and to raise the standards and training of the army as a whole. It was also one of the first steps in an attempt to break the tradition of warlordism, wherein generals in command of a provincial army viewed their command area as a personal fiefdom for their own enrichment.
In 1938, military training academies were opened in Mukden and Hsinking
Initially, the Manchukuo Imperial Army suffered from problems arising from the fact that its military uniform was indistinguishable from that of the anti-Japanese forces and bandits. This issue was rectified by 1934, with new uniforms in a style similar to that of the Imperial Japanese Army, and using a color-code system on the collar badges (black for military police, red for infantry, green for cavalry, yellow for artillery, brown for engineer and blue for transport).
The early Manchukuo Imperial Army inherited a hodgepodge of weapons from the former Kuomintang arsenals, which created tremendous problems with maintenance and supply. For example, there were 26 kinds of rifles and over 20 kinds of pistols in use in 1932.
A priority was made to unify weaponry around the Type 38 Rifle as a standard, along with the Type 3 Heavy Machine Gun and Type 11 Light Machine Gun. Artillery units were to be equipped with the Type 38 Field Gun and Type 41 75 mm Mountain Gun.
By 1935, 50,000 Type 38 cavalry rifles had been imported from Japan and the machine guns were replaced over the next two or three years. By the start of the Pacific War, the weaponry of the Manchukuo Imperial Army was the almost same as the Japanese Army. Mauser pistols were used by soldiers and Browning and Colt pistols were used by the officers.
This is a list of standard infantry weapons in use in the Manchukuo Imperial Army:
Given the effectiveness of Soviet armored units in the Battle of Khalkhin Gol and other border clashes, it is surprising that more emphasis was not placed on the development of tanks by the Japanese and Manchukuo forces. The Manchukuo Imperial Army had a number of armored cars built by Isuzu and modified by the Dowa Automobile Company of Manchukuo. From 1943, some 10 Type 94 Tankettes were passed from Japanese forces to the Manchukuo Army to form one armored company. During the war, a Manchukuo version of the Mitsubishi Light Tank (Type 95 Ha-Go) in use in training tank schools, but did not reach substantial operational deployment.
In August 1934 the Manchukuo Imperial Army was reoganized into five district armies, each divided into two or three zones. Each zone had one or two Mixed Brigades assigned to it, as well as a training unit. The Mixed Brigades were formed of one or two infantry regiments, a cavalry regiment and an artillery or mortar company, with a strength of 2,414 men, 817 horses (in double infantry regiment units) or 1515 men, 700 horses (in single infantry regiment units). The cavalry brigades were formed of three cavalry regiments and an artillery or mortar company, with a strength of 1,500 men, 1,500 horses. The total strength of the Manchukuo Imperial Army at this time was 72,329 men. The new organization was;
By 1944 the manpower of the Manchukuo Imperial Army had increased to over 200,000 men according to Soviet intelligence sources. They reported the army had the following units: 
Army of Manchukuo