1st Fleet (Imperial Japanese Navy)

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The IJN 1st Fleet (第一艦隊 Dai-ichi Kantai?) was the main battleship fleet of the Imperial Japanese Navy.

History[edit]

First established on 28 December 1903, the IJN 1st Fleet was created during the Russo-Japanese War when the Imperial General Headquarters divided the Readiness Fleet into a mobile strike force of cruisers and destroyers to pursue the Imperial Russian Navy's Vladivostok-based cruiser squadron (the Imperial Japanese Navy '​s 2nd Fleet), while the remaining bulk of the Japanese fleet (the IJN 1st Fleet) continued to blockade Port Arthur in hopes of luring the battleships of the Russian Pacific Fleet out into a classic line-of-battle confrontation. The two fleets were combined into the Combined Fleet for the final Battle of Tsushima. The decisive victory of the Japanese fleet over the Imperial Russian Navy at the Battle of Tsushima validated the doctrine of the "decisive victory", or kantai kessen as stipulated by naval theorists such as Alfred Thayer Mahan and Satō Tetsutarō in the eyes of the Imperial Japanese Navy General Staff, and future naval procurement and deployment was centered around refinements of this doctrine.[1] The Mahanian objective was to build a fleet in being, a naval force kept deliberately in strategic reserve, as secondary forces based on cruisers and destroyers waged a campaign of attrition against an approaching enemy, who would then be destroyed in a climatic final battle similar to the Battle of Tsushima.[2][3] As a result of this doctrine, although individual ships and task forces were dispatched on occasion for specific combat operations, the main force in the Imperial Japanese Navy was mostly held in reserve from the time of its inception until near the end of World War II.

Commanders of the IJN 1st Fleet[edit]

Commander in chief [4]

Rank Name Date
1 Fleet Admiral Marquis Heihachiro Togo 28 December 1903 – 20 December 1905
2 Admiral Shichiro Kataoka 20 December 1905 – 22 November 1906
3 Vice Admiral Marquis Shinichi Arima 22 November 1906 – 26 May 1908
4 Fleet Admiral Baron Goro Ijuin 26 May 1908 – 1 December 1909
5 Admiral Baron Hikonojo Kamimura 1 December 1909 – 1 December 1911
6 Admiral Baron Shigeto Dewa 1 December 1911 – 1 December 1913
7 Fleet Admiral Viscount Tomosaburō Katō 1 December 1913 – 10 August 1915
8 Admiral Koichi Fujii 10 August 1915 – 23 September 1915
9 Admiral Motaro Yoshimatsu 23 September 1915 – 1 December 1917
10 Admiral Baron Gentaro Yamashita 1 December 1917 – 1 December 1919
11 Admiral Tanin Tamaya 1 December 1919 – 24 August 1920
12 Admiral Sojrio Tochinai 24 August 1920 – 27 July 1922
13 Admiral Isamu Takeshita 27 July 1922 – 27 January 1924
14 Admiral Baron Kantarō Suzuki 27 January 1924 – 1 December 1924
15 Admiral Keisuke Okada 1 December 1924 – 10 December 1926
16 Admiral Hiroharu Kato 10 December 1926 – 10 December 1928
17 Admiral Saburo Hyakutake 10 December 1928 – 11 November 1929
18 Admiral Eisuke Yamamoto 11 November 1929 – 1 December 1931
19 Admiral Seizo Kobayashi 1 December 1931 – 15 November 1933
20 Admiral Nobumasa Suetsugu 15 November 1933 – 15 November 1934
21 Admiral Sankichi Takahashi 15 November 1934 – 1 December 1936
22 Admiral Mitsumasa Yonai 1 December 1936 – 2 February 1937
23 Fleet Admiral Osami Nagano 2 February 1937 – 1 December 1937
24 Admiral Zengo Yoshida 1 December 1937 – 30 August 1939
25 Fleet Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto 30 August 1939 – 11 August 1941
26 Admiral Shiro Takasu 11 August 1941 – 14 July 1942
27 Vice Admiral Mizumi Shimizu 14 July 1942 – 20 October 1943
28 Admiral Chuichi Nagumo 20 October 1943 – 25 February 1944

Chief of Staff [4]

Rank Name Date
1 Fleet Admiral Baron Hayao Shimamura 28 December 1903 – 12 January 1905
2 Fleet Admiral Viscount Tomosaburō Katō 12 January 1905 – 20 December 1905
3 Admiral Koichi Fujii 20 December 1905 – 22 November 1906
4 Fleet Admiral Baron Gentaro Yamashita 22 November 1906 – 10 December 1908
5 Admiral Takeshi Takarabe 10 December 1908 – 1 December 1909
6 Admiral Kaneo Nomaguchi 1 December 1909 – 11 March 1911
7 Vice Admiral Saneyuki Akiyama 11 March 1911 – 1 December 1912
8 Admiral Isamu Takeshita 1 December 1912 – 24 May 1913
x position vacant 24 May 1913 – 1 December 1913
9 Vice Admiral Tetsutaro Sato 1 December 1913 – 17 April 1914
10 Vice Admiral Kazuyoshi Yamaji 17 April 1914 – 1 December 1914
11 Vice Admiral Shibakichi Yamanaka 1 December 1914 – 13 December 1915
12 Vice Admiral Saburo Horiuchi 13 December 1915 – 1 December 1917
13 Vice Admiral Hanroku Saito 1 December 1917 – 1 December 1918
14 Vice Admiral Kajishiro Funakoshi 1 December 1918 – 1 December 1919
15 Vice Admiral Hansaku Yoshioka 1 December 1919 – 1 December 1921
16 Vice Admiral Kumazo Shirane 1 December 1921 – 1 December 1923
17 Rear Admiral Bekinari Kabayama 1 December 1923 – 10 November 1924
18 Vice Admiral Kanjiro Hara 10 November 1924 – 1 December 1925
19 Vice Admiral Naotaro Ominato 1 December 1925 – 1 November 1926
20 Admiral Sankichi Takahashi 1 November 1926 – 1 December 1927
21 Vice Admiral Eijiro Hamano 1 December 1927 – 10 December 1928
22 Vice Admiral Ken Terajima 10 December 1928 – 30 October 1929
23 Admiral Koichi Shiozawa 30 October 1929 – 1 December 1930
24 Admiral Shigetarō Shimada 1 December 1930 – 1 December 1931
25 Admiral Zengo Yoshida 1 December 1931 – 15 September 1933
26 Admiral Soemu Toyoda 15 September 1933 – 15 March 1935
27 Admiral Nobutake Kondō 15 March 1935 – 15 November 1935
28 Admiral Naokuni Nomura 15 November 1935 – 16 November 1936
29 Rear Admiral Yasutaro Iwashita 16 November 1936 – 18 February 1937
30 Vice Admiral Jisaburo Ozawa 18 February 1937 – 15 November 1937
31 Vice Admiral Ibo Takahashi 15 November 1937 – 5 November 1939
32 Vice Admiral Shigeru Fukudome 5 November 1939 – 10 April 1941
33 Admiral Seiichi Ito 10 April 1941 – 11 August 1941
34 Vice Admiral Kengo Kobayashi 11 August 1941 – 6 January 1943
35 Vice Admiral Gihachi Takayanagi 6 January 1943 – 25 February 1944

References[edit]

Books[edit]

  • D'Albas, Andrieu (1965). Death of a Navy: Japanese Naval Action in World War II. Devin-Adair Pub. ISBN 0-8159-5302-X. 
  • Dull, Paul S. (1978). A Battle History of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1941-1945. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-097-1. 
  • Evans, David (1979). Kaigun: Strategy, Tactics, and Technology in the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1887-1941. US Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-192-7. 

External links[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Peattie & Evans, Kaigun
  2. ^ Willmont, After Midway: Japanese Naval Strategy 1942-45, pp177-199
  3. ^ Evans, Kaigun
  4. ^ a b Wendel, Axis History Database