Title: Uneasy Lies the Head that Wears a Crown – A History of the British Commonwealth Occupation Force

Author: John, Arthur

Condition: Near Mint

Edition: 1st Edition

Publication Date: 1987


Cover: Soft Cover without Dust Jacket – 130 pages

Comments: The detailed history of the British Commonwealth Occupation Force – Japan (BCOF) during the late 1940s.

The British Commonwealth Occupation Force (BCOF), was the name of the joint Australian, Canadian, British, Indian and New Zealand military forces in occupied Japan, from 21 February 1946 until the end of occupation in 1952. At its peak, BCOF comprised about 40,000 personnel, equal to about 25% of the number of US military personnel in Japan.

While US forces were responsible for military government, BCOF was responsible for supervising demilitarisation and the disposal of Japan’s war industries. BCOF was also responsible for occupation of the western prefectures of Shimane, Yamaguchi, Tottori, Okayama, Hiroshima and Shikoku Island. They were also supported by the Women’s Auxiliary Service (Burma). BCOF headquarters was at Kure.

For most of the occupation period Australia contributed the majority of the BCOF’s personnel. The initial BCOF presence included the Australian 34th Infantry Brigade, British 5th Infantry Brigade, Indian 268th Brigade and the 2nd New Zealand Expeditionary Force (in J-Force). The position of commanding officer was always filled by Australians: Lt Gen. John Northcott, February to June 1946; Lt Gen. Horace Robertson, June 1946 to November 1951, and; Lt Gen. William Bridgeford from November 1951 until the end of the occupation.