Imperial Japanese Navy General Staff

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Imperial Japanese Navy HQ, 1930s

The Imperial Japanese Navy General Staff (軍令部, Gunreibu) was the highest organ within the Imperial Japanese Navy. In charge of planning and operations, it was headed by an Admiral headquartered in Tokyo.

History[edit]

Created in 1893, the Navy General Staff took over operational (as opposed to administrative) authority over the Imperial Japanese Navy from the Navy Ministry. It was responsible for the planning and execution of national defense strategy. Through the Imperial General Headquarters it reported directly to the Emperor, not to the Prime Minister, Diet of Japan or even the Navy Ministry. It was always headed by an admiral on active duty, and was based in Tokyo.

"The ministry was responsible for the naval budget, ship construction, weapons procurement, personnel, relations with the Diet and the cabinet and broad matters of naval policy. The General Staff directed the operations of the fleet and the preparation of war plans".[1]

After the Washington Naval Conference of 1921-22, where Japan agreed to keep the size of its fleet smaller than that of the United Kingdom and the United States, the Imperial Japanese Navy became divided into the mutually hostile Fleet Faction and Treaty Faction political cliques. The Navy Ministry tended to be pro-Treaty Faction and was anxious to maintain the Anglo-Japanese Alliance. However the Navy General Staff came to be dominated by the Fleet faction, and gradually gained ascendancy in the 1930s with increasing Japanese militarism.The Navy General Staff pushed through the attack on Pearl Harbor against the wishes of the more diplomatic Navy Ministry.

After 1937, both the Navy Minister and the Chief of the Navy General Staff were members of the Imperial General Headquarters.

With the defeat of the Empire of Japan in World War II, the Navy General Staff was abolished together with the Imperial Japanese Navy by the American occupation authorities in November 1945 and was not revived by the post-war Constitution of Japan.

Organization[edit]

The General Staff was organized as follows:

  • 1st Section: Operations Bureau
  • 2nd Section: Weapons and Mobilization Bureau
  • 3rd Section: Intelligence Bureau
  • 4th Section: Communications Bureau

Chiefs of the General Staff[edit]

Chief of the General Staff Took office Left office Time in office
1
Baron Itō Toshiyoshi
Toshiyoshi, ItōRear Admiral
Baron Itō Toshiyoshi
(1840–1921)
8 March 188917 May 188970 days
2
Baron Arichi Shinanojō
Shinanojō, ArichiRear Admiral
Baron Arichi Shinanojō
(1843–1919)
17 May 188917 June 18912 years, 31 days
3
Viscount Inoue Yoshika
Yoshika, InoueRear Admiral
Viscount Inoue Yoshika
(1845–1929)
17 June 189112 December 18921 year, 178 days
4
Viscount Nakamuta Kuranosuke
Kuranosuke, NakamutaVice Admiral
Viscount Nakamuta Kuranosuke
(1837–1916)
12 December 189218 July 18941 year, 218 days
5
Count Kabayama Sukenori
Sukenori, KabayamaAdmiral
Count Kabayama Sukenori
(1837–1922)
18 July 189411 May 1895297 days
6
Count Itō Sukeyuki
Sukeyuki, ItōMarshal Admiral
Count Itō Sukeyuki
(1843–1914)
11 May 189520 December 190510 years, 223 days
7
Marquis Tōgō Heihachirō
Heihachirō, TōgōAdmiral
Marquis Tōgō Heihachirō
(1848–1934)
20 December 19051 December 19093 years, 346 days
8
Baron Ijuin Gorō
Gorō, IjuinAdmiral
Baron Ijuin Gorō
(1848–1934)
1 December 190922 April 19144 years, 142 days
9
Baron Shimamura Hayao
Hayao, ShimamuraAdmiral
Baron Shimamura Hayao
(1858–1923)
22 April 19141 December 19206 years, 223 days
10
Baron Yamashita Gentarō
Gentarō, YamashitaAdmiral
Baron Yamashita Gentarō
(1863–1931)
1 December 192015 April 19254 years, 135 days
11
Baron Kantarō Suzuki
Suzuki, KantarōAdmiral
Baron Kantarō Suzuki
(1868–1948)
15 April 192522 January 19293 years, 282 days
12
Kanji Kato
Kato, KanjiAdmiral
Kanji Kato
(1870–1939)
22 January 192911 June 19301 year, 140 days
13
Taniguchi Naomi [ja]
Naomi, TaniguchiVice Admiral
Taniguchi Naomi [ja]
(1870–1941)
11 June 19302 February 19321 year, 236 days
14
Prince Fushimi Hiroyasu
Hiroyasu, FushimiMarshal Admiral
Prince Fushimi Hiroyasu
(1875–1946)
2 February 19329 April 19419 years, 66 days
15
Nagano Osami
Osami, NaganoMarshal Admiral
Nagano Osami
(1880–1947)
9 April 194121 February 19442 years, 318 days
16
Shimada Shigetarō
Shigetarō, ShimadaAdmiral
Shimada Shigetarō
(1883–1976)
21 February 19442 August 1944163 days
17
Oikawa Koshirō
Koshirō, OikawaAdmiral
Oikawa Koshirō
(1883–1958)
2 August 194429 May 1945300 days
18
Toyoda Soemu
Soemu, ToyodaAdmiral
Toyoda Soemu
(1885–1957)
29 May 194515 October 1945139 days

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Spector

References[edit]

Books[edit]

  • Asada, Sadao (2006). From Mahan to Pearl Harbor: The Imperial Japanese Navy and the United States. US Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-042-8.
  • Schencking, J. Charles (2005). Making Waves: Politics, Propaganda, And The Emergence Of The Imperial Japanese Navy, 1868-1922. Stanford University Press. ISBN 0-8047-4977-9.
  • Spector, Ronald (1985). Eagle Against the Sun. New York: Vintage Books. ISBN 0-394-74101-3.

External links[edit]