The Japanese Carrier ‘Taiho’ Blew Up Due to a Terrible Mistake
Six torpedoes from the U.S. Navy submarine USS Albacore headed toward the Japanese aircraft Taiho as she launched her planes on the morning of June 19, 1944 during the fighting on the Philippine Sea — the largest carrier battle in history and the last major Japanese carrier operation. “White... Read more
Russia Invaded Japanese Islands With U.S. Ships — After Japan Surrendered
Seventy years after World War II ended, Japan and Russia are still trying to sign a peace treaty. The persistent bone of contention? The Kuril Islands, seized by Soviet troops in a bloody amphibious landing after Japan announced it was ready to surrender. But how and why did the Soviets seize the Kurils... Read more
Japan Dreamed of Supercarrier-Size Battleships
In January 1936 Japan announced its intention to withdraw from the London Naval Treaty, accusing both the United States and the United Kingdom of negotiating in bad faith. The Japanese sought formal equality in naval construction limits, something that the Western powers would not give. In the wake of... Read more
The 1937 Battle of Shanghai Was Asia’s Stalingrad
Open Road Media sponsored this post on March 23, 2016. Today Shanghai is a hub of international trade and culture and one of the world’s great cities. But in 1937, it was a battlefield. Imperial Japanese troops fought the Chinese Nationalist army in the seaside metropolis in one of... Read more
The Canine Heroes of the Imperial Japanese Army
This story originally appeared on Feb. 6, 2014. In the corner of the Enmei Buddhist Temple grounds in the coastal city of Zushi in Japan’s Kanagawa Prefecture, stands a stone cenotaph that reads “Monument to the Protection of Animals.” The inscription dates back to 1958, but before that time... Read more
Kongo Versus the Earthquake
This story originally appeared on Feb. 27, 2014. This month marks the third anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake. Much of the country, myself included, felt the shaking that day—but it was the subsequent tsunami that did the most damage. On March 11, 2011, the sea swept across... Read more
Japanese Stealth Fighters Could Get Land-Attack Cruise Missiles
Japan’s strict commitment to self-defense meant that for decades its military lacked certain weapons and equipment such as precision-guided munitions, land-attack missiles and true “power projection” aircraft such as refueling tankers and long-distance transport planes. In the first several decades after World War II, this made sense—Japan’s pacifistic military... Read more
That One Time the Nazis Helped China Fight Japan
This story originally appeared on Jan. 3, 2014. Most people who stayed awake for at least half of their high school history class knows that the Axis Powers in World War II consisted of Germany, Italy and Japan. But few know that German tactics and weapons—not to mention some... Read more
Hubris Led to the Japanese Carrier Fleet’s Doom at Midway
A devil’s advocate is a precious commodity. That has to be one of the takeaways from revisiting the Battle of Midway 75 years on, and it should be etched on the internal workings of any martial institution that wants to survive and thrive amid the rigors, danger and sheer orneriness... Read more
In 1905, Japanese Battleships Pulverized a Russian Fleet
In late May 2017, it will be 112 years since the Imperial Japanese Navy’s catastrophic defeat of the Imperial Russian Navy during the Battle of Tsushima. The clash in question was a result of the Russo-Japanese War of 1904 and 1905 — a conflict provoked by the Russian search... Read more
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