Feature Articles - The Minor Powers During World War One - Japan

Japanese troops in action near Kiaochow. Japan declared war on Germany on the 23rd August 1914, although Japanese ships had joined with the Royal Navy in attempting to prevent Admiral von Spee's German Pacific squadron from escaping from Kiaochow.

Japanese troops joined British forces from Wei-hai-Wei in besieging Kiaochow, the German colony on mainland China, which was taken after a 2-month siege on 7th November 1914.

Meanwhile, Japanese troops moved to occupy the German Pacific islands of Palau, the Marianas, the Marshalls and the Carolines on 6th October.

Japan gave naval assistance to the allies throughout the war.  On 4th May 1917, the British troop-ship Transylvania was torpedoed.  The escorting Japanese destroyer, Matsu rescued 2,500 soldiers from the water.

Japanese soldiers duly took their place in the international victory parade in Paris on 14th July 1919.

A bunker comprised a fortification largely built below ground level.

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Minor Powers