The Special Naval Landing Forces (SNLF) were the Japanese marines used during World War II by the Imperial Japanese Navy. Created in 1928 as standing naval regiments, the SNLF received its baptism of fire in 1932, in the Battle of Shanghai, at the beginning of the Sino-Japanese War. The Japanese marines were highly-trained in jungle warfare and coastal defense as they were also intensely-indoctrinated in the idea that their main duty was to die for their emperor if necessary. During World War II, they participated in the invasion and conquest of the Philippines, the Solomon, Gilberts, and Mariana Islands, as well as New Guinea and Malay. A SNLF’s soldier was the toughest Japanese warrior the Allied troops had to confront in the Pacific Theater during the Island-Hopping Campaign. Organized around 23 regiments, they constituted a force of approximately 250,000 men. Some units were also trained as air-borne troops.
Weapons used by the Japanese Marines
Tanks: Type 89 medium tank, Type 95 light tank; Type 2, Type 3, and Type 5 amphibious tanks; Type 92 heavy armored car.
Machine guns: Type 92 (7.7-mm), Type 3 (6.5-mm), Hotchkiss (13.2-mm).
Submachine guns: Type 100 (8-mm).
Rifles: Arisaka (6.5-mm, bolt-action).
Other weapons: knee mortar (50-mm), flamethrowers, grenade launchers, Nambu pistols.
Japanese Special Naval Landing Forces in Action (video)