Japan

Operation Cherry Blossoms at Night

Japan 7 Min Read

During the last months of the war, Ishii was preparing for a long-distance attack on the United States. This operation, codenamed “Cherry Blossoms at Night”, called for the use of airplanes to spread plague over Southern California at night. The plan was finalized on March 26, 1945. Five of the new I-400-class long-range submarines were to be sent across the…

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Air Warfare Japan Naval 17 Min Read

SAMURAI OF THE SKIES

The Imperial Japanese Navy began experimenting with aviation as early as the British and Americans. But because Japan did not see much combat in World War I, it had fallen behind the other powers by 1918. To catch up, it turned to its traditional mentors: for the army, the French;…

Japan Naval 13 Min Read

Japanese Pre-WWII Navy Part I

Japanese battleship Kirishima In China and later in the Pacific, Japanese amphibious assaults were marked by surprise landings, often at night, at several spots simultaneously or in rapid sequence. Air and naval superiority were always present at the point of attack. Japan had no marine corps as such. The army…

Japan Naval 10 Min Read

Japanese Pre-WWII Navy Part II

CV Kaga converted from a Tosa-class battleship. Mindful of America’s industrial superiority, Japanese authorities realized that any protracted war, even if waged defensively, would require as many aviation resources as the empire could muster. The solution lay in building fast, medium size merchant and passenger ships that could be quickly…

Battle Japan Naval 8 Min Read

The Battle of Dan no Ura

With the rise of the samurai class to a position of power Japan became split by the bitter fighting of the Gempei War, fought between the rival clans of Minamoto and Taira. Much use was made of ships in Minamoto Yoshitsune’s pursuit of the Taira through the waters of the…

Biography Japan 36 Min Read

Prince Shōtoku 573–621

Prince Shōtoku flanked by younger brother (left: Prince Eguri) and first son (right: Prince Yamashiro), drawn by unknown author Founding Father’ was suddenly delivered of him without effort. He was able to speak as soon as he was born, and was so wise when he grew up that he could…

Japan Naval History 33 Min Read

The Battle of Samar

At 6:35 A.M., as sunrise revealed a grayed-out and hazy dawn, the most powerful concentration of naval gun power the Japanese empire had ever assembled reordered its geometry in preparation for daylight operations. Twenty-five miles to Taffy 3’s north, lookouts on the heavy cruiser Chokai and light cruiser Noshiro reported…

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Japanese Siege Weapons

Early Fortifications Although fortifications were constructed in Japan prior to the feudal period, frequent conflicts…

Samurai: The warrior class of feudal Japan

The Samurai, the warrior class of ancient Japan, dominated that country’s political and social structure…

Yamato (1941) Part I

IJN Yamato by Chris Flodberg  The tower carried Type 21 and 22 radar, the main…

The Franco–Thai War (1940–1941)

The Battle of Ko Chang took place on 17 January 1941 during the Franco-Thai War…