Long time Singaporean collector of World War One and Two militaria from both Axis and Allied nations.

Living historian with 'Syonan Reflections'.

Husband, educator, friend and ex-soldier too.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Wartime Photos of Chinese / Korean / Japanese / other Asian soldiers

Being Chinese myself, I have always been facinated with the possibility of finding Asians in German service. I embarked on this research since 1997 and thanks to the numerous sources and assistance, that this photo gallery is possible.

These are actual and original wartime pictures depicting Chinese, Korean and Japanese soldiers in German service.

Among the minorities of Russian conscripts and volunteers, there are still some unique individuals from many unexpected Asian countries that filled the German ranks. The following photographs show these men from Asian countries like China, Japan, Korea. But one must be cautioned that some of these men came from varying ethnicities and lived along the borders of China and Russia.

Every effort has been taken to provide an accurate photo caption. Please click the thumbnail for a bigger picture.

Highly debated photos

Asiatic Heer soldats captured on D-Day by American troops.

It is highly possible that the heer soldats squatting down in the 1st pic are the three much debated " Korean " soldiers captured by the US troops during D-Day given their asiatic features. I also recalled Stephen Ambrose's book stating something like that. Any further info is appreciated to confirm this picture!

Captured possible Japanese Heer soldat ( Far Left )
being interrogated by the US troops

Updates! According to a Korean SBS documentary (Our website was featured in this doc!) uncovering about Koreans in German service and from the US Archives there is an official caption for this photo:


Public Relations Division
U.S. Coast Guard
Washington, D.C.



Dismay and lonliness is written on the face of this
young Jap,
wearing a Nazi uniform and snapped by a Coast Guard
combat Photographer in a roundup of German prisoners
on the beaches of France. The Jap is giving his name
and number to an American Army captain.


Asian soldiers captured on D-Day

The above photos document just some of the many asiatic soldiers / volunteers captured on D-day. Note the easily recognisible Asian features. I am sure the British / American troops would be surpirsed to find these non-German soldiers there.

Above photo: Captured Turkmenistan volunteer ( In suspenders and round neck pullover) in Normandy 1944. Note sharp "asian" features.

Photo courtesy of : OstBattaillion

Three captured Heer soldiers during Operation Market Garden in 1944 included an Asiatic soldier of possible Mongolian Origin ( 1st man from Left )

Turkmenistan volunteers Note sharp "asian" features and web belts worn.

Photo courtesy of : OstBattaillion

The two photos above are very intriguing as it shows what seems to be Japanese army officers in Germany or prehaps German occupied area on attachment to observe their military tactics etc. Note their unusual sleeve shields on the right side of the tunic. I would personally love more information on these guys.

Very interesting picture of Hungarian soldiers / volunteers that includes a true chinese soldier being awarded the Iron Cross 2nd Class!! Other information about this picture is still unknown.

Chiang Kai Shek's son Chiang Wei Guo (1916 - 1997)

Chiang Wei Guo studied at several universities, including Soochow University and National Chiao Tung University, but did not complete his education at either school.

Chiang Kai-shek had sent his eldest son, Chiang Ching-kuo to the Soviet Union to study, but it became impossible for him to send Wei-kuo there after the KMT violently ended its alliance with the Chinese Communists in the Shanghai Massacre.

Consequently, he sent Wei-kuo to Nazi Germany for military training instead. During his time in Germany, he served as a Lieutenant commanding a panzer tank during the 1938 Anschluss with Austria. Afterwards, he returned to China and quickly rose through the ranks through his father's connections. He became a major at 28, a lieutenant colonel at 29, a colonel at 32, and major general at 34.

For further reading: Wikipedia

Chiang as an officer candidate in the Wehrmacht.
The shoulder boards indicate the rank of Unteroffizier.

Other unidentified pictures of Asian soldiers -
Any info would be greatly appreciated!

D-Day casualty?

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