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British Intelligence on Japanese Army Morale During the Pacific War: Logical Analysis or Racial Stereotyping?

The British army's image of the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) during the Pacific War (1941-45) was shaped by a logical analysis of the intelligence obtained through combat experience. Early in the war, the Japanese soldier's exceptional level of morale played a crucial role in enabling the IJA to oust the Allies from Southeast Asia. By late 1944, the British concluded that when the Japanese were being pushed back on all fronts their fighting spirit was prone to deteriorate when faced with setbacks and prolonged hardships on the battlefield, thus significantly damaging the IJA's capabilities. British appreciations were based not on preconceived notions, but on a judicious analysis of the relevant information.