Shikazuke Haruyama
Japanese officer
Born April 9, 1899
Yamagata, Japan
Died August 27, 1945
Goroka, New Guinea
Affiliation(s) Flag of Japan Japan
Rank Commander, Japanese 60th Army
Final Position General
Key Conflicts World War I
Second Sino-Japanese War
World War II
Key Battles First Battle of Lae
Battle of the Kokoda Trail
Battle of Goroka
Shikazuke Haruyama was a general in the Imperial Japanese Army from 1940 to 1945, commanding the Japanese 60th Army. He fought in the New Guinea Campaign, and was killed in action on August 27, 1945, the last general officer to die in World War II.

Biography Edit

Japanese uniform 1916

1916 Japanese army uniform

Early Life and Career Edit

Shikazuke Haruyama was born in 1899 in Yamagata Prefecture, Japan, to Hideyoshi Haruyama and Ido Gozen, two rich plantation owners. Haruyama served in the Battle of Tsingtao in World War I as a private in the Imperial Japanese Army, and returned home to Yamagata in 1918. In 1921, when Japan invaded Russia during the Russian Civil War, he returned to active duty as a Lieutenant, and made it to Major by 1922. Haruyama later fought in the Second Sino-Japanese War, serving in the Battle of Wuhan in 1938. After this, he became a Colonel, and was made the commander of the Japanese 60th Army following the death of General Shirozumi Zamayumi in a plane crash.

World War II Edit

Haruyama was thus breveted "General", and fought the Americans and Australians in New Guinea from 1942 to 1944, when he was transitioned to Rabaul briefly. When he returned in December 1944, he lost most of his troops and land; he lost his own HQ in the Allied offensives. By April 1945, his army was one of three remaining Japanese armies in New Guinea. His 100,000 surviving troops were poorly-equipped, and were low on morale. He continued resistance even after the surrender of Japan on August 15, despite his supply situation and the ceasefire.

Death Edit

Haruyama was killed in action of the 27th of August, 1945, in a firefight with American and Australian soldiers at Goroka. Haruyama's camp was in the middle of the jungle, but it was discovered by Allied patrols, who opened fire on a party of Japanese soldiers and officers out to gather ammunition. Haruyama was one of the officers, and was killed by rifle fire. His army was taken over by Sugeo Hatakeyama, surrendering on September 1.