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Imperial Japanese Navy General Staff

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

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

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

Chief of the General Staff Dates Previous Post Next Post Notes
1 Ito Toshiyoshi.jpg Rear Admiral
Itō Toshiyoshi
8 March
1889
17 May
1889


2 Arichi Shinanojo.jpg Rear Admiral
Arichi Shinanojō
有地品之允
17 May
1889
17 June
1891

Commander-in-chief
Standing Fleet
3 Inoue Yoshika.jpg Rear Admiral
Inoue Yoshika
17 June
1891
12 December
1892
Commander-in-chief
Standing Fleet
Commander-in-chief
Sasebo Naval District
4 Nakamuta Kuranosuke.jpg Vice-Admiral
Nakamuta Kuranosuke
12 December
1892
18 July
1894
Commander-in-chief
Kure Naval District

5 Kabayama Sukenori.jpg Vice-Admiral
Kabayama Sukenori
18 July
1894
11 May
1895


Promoted to Admiral
6 Itoh Sukeyuki.jpg Vice-Admiral
Itō Sukeyuki
伊藤雋吉
11 May
1895
20 December
1905
Commander-in-chief
Combined Fleet
Naval Councilor Promoted to Admiral
7 Togo Heihachiro in uniform.jpg Admiral
Tōgō Heihachirō
東郷平八郎
20 December
1905
1 December
1909
Commander-in-chief
Combined Fleet
Naval Councilor
8 Ijuin Goro.jpg Vice-Admiral
Ijūin Gorō
伊集院五郎
1 December
1909
22 April
1914
Commander-in-chief
1st Fleet
Naval Councilor Promoted to Admiral
9 Shimamura Hayao.jpg Vice-Admiral
Shimamura Hayao
22 April
1914
1 December
1920

Naval Councilor Promoted to Admiral
10 Yamashita Gentaro.jpg Admiral
Yamashita Gentarō
山下源太郎
1 December
1920
15 April
1925
Naval Councilor Naval Councilor
11 Suzuki Kantaro.jpg Admiral
Suzuki Kantarō
鈴木貫太郎
15 April
1925
22 January
1929
Naval Councilor Reserved
12 Kanji kato.jpg Admiral
Katō Hiroharu
加藤寛治
22 January
1929
11 June
1930
Naval Councilor Naval Councilor Resigned rather than attend a state dinner
in honor of US Ambassador William Richards Castle Jr.
13 Naomi Taniguchi.jpg Admiral
Taniguchi Naomi [ja]
谷口尚真
11 June
1930
2 February
1932
Commander-in-chief
Kure Naval District
Naval Councilor
14 Prince Fushimi Hiroyasu.jpg Vice-Admiral
Prince Fushimi Hiroyasu
2 February
1932
9 April
1941
Naval Councilor Naval Councilor Promoted to Admiral
Promoted to Marshal-Admiral
15 Osami Nagano.jpg Admiral
Nagano Osami
永野修身
9 April
1941
21 February
1944
Naval Councilor Naval Councilor Forced to resign following Operation Hailstone
16 Shimada Shigetarō.JPG Admiral
Shimada Shigetarō
嶋田繁太郎
21 February
1944
2 August
1944
Minister of the Navy Naval Councilor Also Minister of the Navy until 17 July
Forced to resign after the downfall of the Tojo Cabinet following the loss of Saipan
17 Oikawa koshirō.JPG Admiral
Oikawa Koshirō
及川古志郎
2 August
1944
29 May
1945
Commander-in-chief
Escort Fleet
Naval Councilor Resigned after the Emperor refused to consider peace proposals
18 Toyoda Soemu.JPG Admiral
Toyoda Soemu
豊田副武
29 May
1945
15 October
1945
Commander-in-chief
Combined Fleet

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Spector

References

Books

  • 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