The Sword of Lieutenant General Takazō Numata


Numata surrendered the sword when, together, with Rear Admiral Kaigye Chudo, he surrendered all Japanese forces in South East Asia at Rangoon on 26 August 1945.

Numata (1892-1961) was Chief of Staff of Japanese Southern Army and the representative of Field Marshal Count Terauchi, who had suffered a stroke. A former Japanese military attaché in Italy and author of a study of the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05, Numata had been successively Deputy Chief of Staff and Chief of Staff to Japanese 11th Amy in China (1938-39), Chief of Staff of Japanese 3rd Army in China (1941-42), Commander of Japanese 12th Division in China (1942-43), and Chief of Staff of Japanese Second Area Army in the Philippines and New Guinea (1943-44), before being appointed Chief of Staff of Southern Army responsible for South East Asia and the South West Pacific in December 1944. Whilst on a tour of inspection in May 1944 he took temporary command of Japanese forces on Biak when US forces invaded.

At Numata’s request, his surrendered sword was passed by Earl Mountbatten of Burma to Brigadier Mark Maunsell. Mark Stuart Ker Maunsell (1910-80) was educated at Cheltenham College and commissioned into the Royal Artillery. The regular Brigade Major of 2nd Division, he was posted to command 99th (Royal Bucks Yeomanry) Field Regiment RA (TA) when Lieutenant Colonel John Whiteley MP became CRA of 36th Indian Division in August 1942. He commanded the regiment in the First Arakan campaign before returning to the staff in March 1944. Subsequently, Maunsell was appointed Chief of Staff to the Allied Control Commission for French Indochina in 1945 before being CRA of 20th Indian Division (1946), Assistant Commandant of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (1946), Chief of Staff in Hong Kong (1949), and Chief of Staff to I Corps in the British Army of the Rhine (1954). Maunsell, who published a study of morale and leadership in 1947, was awarded the DSO in 1943 and appointed OBE in 1945 and CBE in 1952. After retirement from the army he was Chairman of National Trust Trading. Maunsell presented Numata’s sword to the Bucks County Territorial Association in April 1946.


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