IJA fleet organization, OOB etc.

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Re: IJA fleet organization, OOB etc.

Post by PTO Researcher » 28 Aug 2023 18:38

Hi Fontessa,

Thank you for this information! Did these fleets maintain shore establishments as well or were they always "afloat"? For example, I came across some of Niehorster's work that suggests that Second Fleet might have been based at Sameh, Hainan Island on 8/12/41 but the flagship was the heavy cruiser Takao at the time: http://niehorster.org/014_japan/41-12-0 ... fleet.html Niehorster has shore-based locations for other fleets as well but only for 8/12/41 and 15/7/42 and I have no idea of the accuracy of this information. I've generally found his order of battle work mostly good but I've also found areas where I've had to rely on other sources. SNLFs and Tokusetsukansen are good examples.

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Re: IJA fleet organization, OOB etc.

Post by PTO Researcher » 28 Aug 2023 22:48

Hi Fontessa,

Some additional questions on your response:

For Second Fleet, was flag transferred from Atago to Yamato on 10/23/44 instead of 12/23/44? Atago was sunk at Palawan Passage on 10/23/44.
For Third Fleet and the First Mobile Fleet during the period 6/19/44-11/15/44, was the flag on Zuiho or Zuikaku? There is conflicting information in the response above.
For Fifth Fleet, do you have flagship information for the period 9/1/44-12/5/44? Should this be Nachi which you've listed for Northeast Area Fleet?

Thank you in advance!

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Re: IJA fleet organization, OOB etc.

Post by fontessa » 29 Aug 2023 01:35

PTO Researcher wrote:
28 Aug 2023 18:38
Hi Fontessa,

Thank you for this information! Did these fleets maintain shore establishments as well or were they always "afloat"? For example, I came across some of Niehorster's work that suggests that Second Fleet might have been based at Sameh, Hainan Island on 8/12/41 but the flagship was the heavy cruiser Takao at the time: http://niehorster.org/014_japan/41-12-0 ... fleet.html Niehorster has shore-based locations for other fleets as well but only for 8/12/41 and 15/7/42 and I have no idea of the accuracy of this information. I've generally found his order of battle work mostly good but I've also found areas where I've had to rely on other sources. SNLFs and Tokusetsukansen are good examples.
Thanks. As a rule, the fleet HQ was placed on the flagship. When you click on each fleet in the chart below, the Commanding Officer, Flagship Anchorage, and Flagship will be displayed. For example, when the war started, the Combined Fleet HQ was located in Nagato anchored in Hiroshima (More precisely, Hashirajima Anchorage) but there were no related facilities on the ground in Hiroshima. In other words, the Commander and HQ staff lived in Nagato. The exception to this great tradition was the transfer of the Combined Fleet HQ to land (Hiyoshi) in later years. In fact, I don't really understand the Move of the HQ after Heian Maru, the flagship of the 6th Fleet was sunk. I think they moved to Kure in the end. ・・・
http://niehorster.org/014_japan/41-12-08_navy/_ijn.html

柱島泊地.jpg

Seeing your second question, I noticed there was some confusion in my upload. I'll do some more research before answering.

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Re: IJA fleet organization, OOB etc.

Post by ijnfleetadmiral » 29 Aug 2023 05:49

fontessa wrote:
26 Aug 2023 19:15
PTO Researcher wrote:
25 Aug 2023 15:22
Would anyone have information on where the administrative staffs of various Japanese fleets were located during the war? I am specifically looking for locations for the following fleets:

Second Fleet from 12/8/41-5/15/42 and from 9/1/44-4/20/45 (the headquarters was disbanded on 4/20/45)
Third Fleet from 12/8/41-3/10/42 and from 9/1/44-11/15/44 (the headquarters was disbanded on 3/10/42 and again on 11/5/44)
Fifth Fleet from 9/1/44-2/5/45 (the headquarters was disbanded on 2/5/45)
Sixth Fleet from 9/1/44-8/15/45
Northeast Area Fleet from 9/1/44-12/5/44 (the headquarters was disbanded on 12/5/44)
First Mobile Fleet from 9/1/44-11/15/44 (the headquarters was disbanded on 11/15/44)

I assume these fleets went afloat during operations but that they left their planning staff behind on land but I could be wrong...
Maybe;

Second Fleet:
on Flagship;
Atago: 14/7/1942-9/1/44
Atago: 9/1/44-12/23/44
Yamato: 12/23/44-4/20/45

Third Fleet
on Flagship;
Ashigara: 4/10/1941-3/10/1942
Shokaku: 7/14/1942-4/1/1944
(ADD) Taiho: 4/1/44-6/19/1944 (Taiho sank)
(ADD) Zuiho: 6/19/1944-11/15/44
First Mobile Fleet
on Flagship;
Taiho: 4/1/44-6/19/1944 (Taiho sank)
Zuiho: 6/19/1944-11/15/44

Commander and HQ member of the 3rd Fleet was appointed these of 1st Mobile Fleet as regular posts and these of the 3rd Fleet as additional posts on 3/1/1944.
They moved from Shokaku to Taiho on 4/1/1944.
They moved from Taiho to Zuikaku on 19 June 1944.
They were on Zuikaku till 11/15/44.

Sixth Fleet
on Flagship;
Katori: 11/20/1940-2/15/1944
Heisan Maru: 2/15/1944-2/18/1944
Truk: 2/18/1944-???
Kure: ???-8/15/1945
Northeast Area Fleet
on Flagship;
Nachi: 9/1/44-12/5/44

fontessa
Second Fleet
ATAGO - 07 December 1941 - 13 May 1942
CHOKAI - 13 May 1942 - 27 May 1942 (temporary while ATAGO in refit)
ATAGO - 27 May 1942 - 23 October 1944
KISHINAMI - 23 October 1944 (temporary during rescue of survivors)
YAMATO - 23 October 1944 - 07 April 1945
VACANT - 07 April 1945 - 20 April 1945

Third Fleet
ASHIGARA - 07 December 1941 - 10 March 1942
SHOKAKU - 14 July 1942 - 26 October 1942
ARASHI - 26 October 1942 - 27 October 1942 (temporary during transfer of flag)
ZUIKAKU - 27 October 1942 - 25 March 1944
SHOKAKU - 25 March 1944 - 15 April 1944
TAIHO - 15 April 1944 - 19 June 1944
WAKATSUKI - 19 June 1944 (temporary during transfer of flag)
HAGURO - 19 June 1944 - 20 June 1944 (temporary during transfer of flag)
ZUIKAKU - 20 June 1944 - 25 October 1944
OYODO - 25 October 1944 - 27 October 1944
HYUGA - 27 October 1944 - 30 October 1944
UNRYU - 30 October 1944 - 07 November 1944
RYUHO - 07 November 1944 - 15 November 1944

Fifth Fleet
TAMA - 07 December 1941 - 29 April 1942
NACHI - 29 April 1942 - 5 November 1944
Manila - 5 November 1944 - 13 November 1944 (temporary due to sinking of NACHI)
HATSUSHIMO - 13 November 1944 - 22 November 1944 (temporary during transfer of flag)
ASHIGARA - 22 November 1944 - 14 December 1944
HYUGA - 14 December 1944 - 1 January 1945
OYODO - 1 January 1945 - 5 February 1945

Sixth Fleet
KATORI - 07 December 1941 - 15 February 1944
HEIAN MARU - 15 February 1944 - 18 February 1944
Truk - 18 February 1944 - ???
Saipan - ??? - 09 July 1944
Kure - 09 July 1944 - 15 August 1945

Mobile Fleet
Same as Third Fleet - 1 April 1944 - 15 November 1944

Northeast Area Fleet
Same as Fifth Fleet - 1 September 1944 - 5 December 1944
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Re: IJA fleet organization, OOB etc.

Post by ijnfleetadmiral » 29 Aug 2023 05:57

fontessa wrote:
29 Aug 2023 01:35
Hashirajima Anchorage
Random questions about the anchorage site...can anyone visit it, or are permits required? Can one spread ashes there?
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Re: IJA fleet organization, OOB etc.

Post by PTO Researcher » 29 Aug 2023 06:34

Hi Fontessa,

Thank you! Perfect as always. You are a fountain of knowledge when it comes to these difficult questions!

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Re: IJA fleet organization, OOB etc.

Post by fontessa » 29 Aug 2023 13:39

ijnfleetadmiral wrote:
29 Aug 2023 05:49
fontessa wrote:
26 Aug 2023 19:15
PTO Researcher wrote:
25 Aug 2023 15:22
Would anyone have information on where the administrative staffs of various Japanese fleets were located during the war? I am specifically looking for locations for the following fleets:

Second Fleet from 12/8/41-5/15/42 and from 9/1/44-4/20/45 (the headquarters was disbanded on 4/20/45)
Third Fleet from 12/8/41-3/10/42 and from 9/1/44-11/15/44 (the headquarters was disbanded on 3/10/42 and again on 11/5/44)
Fifth Fleet from 9/1/44-2/5/45 (the headquarters was disbanded on 2/5/45)
Sixth Fleet from 9/1/44-8/15/45
Northeast Area Fleet from 9/1/44-12/5/44 (the headquarters was disbanded on 12/5/44)
First Mobile Fleet from 9/1/44-11/15/44 (the headquarters was disbanded on 11/15/44)

I assume these fleets went afloat during operations but that they left their planning staff behind on land but I could be wrong...
Maybe;

Second Fleet:
on Flagship;
Atago: 14/7/1942-9/1/44
Atago: 9/1/44-12/23/44
Yamato: 12/23/44-4/20/45

Third Fleet
on Flagship;
Ashigara: 4/10/1941-3/10/1942
Shokaku: 7/14/1942-4/1/1944
(ADD) Taiho: 4/1/44-6/19/1944 (Taiho sank)
(ADD) Zuiho: 6/19/1944-11/15/44
First Mobile Fleet
on Flagship;
Taiho: 4/1/44-6/19/1944 (Taiho sank)
Zuiho: 6/19/1944-11/15/44

Commander and HQ member of the 3rd Fleet was appointed these of 1st Mobile Fleet as regular posts and these of the 3rd Fleet as additional posts on 3/1/1944.
They moved from Shokaku to Taiho on 4/1/1944.
They moved from Taiho to Zuikaku on 19 June 1944.
They were on Zuikaku till 11/15/44.

Sixth Fleet
on Flagship;
Katori: 11/20/1940-2/15/1944
Heisan Maru: 2/15/1944-2/18/1944
Truk: 2/18/1944-???
Kure: ???-8/15/1945
Northeast Area Fleet
on Flagship;
Nachi: 9/1/44-12/5/44

fontessa
Second Fleet
ATAGO - 07 December 1941 - 13 May 1942
CHOKAI - 13 May 1942 - 27 May 1942 (temporary while ATAGO in refit)
ATAGO - 27 May 1942 - 23 October 1944
KISHINAMI - 23 October 1944 (temporary during rescue of survivors)
YAMATO - 23 October 1944 - 07 April 1945
VACANT - 07 April 1945 - 20 April 1945

Third Fleet
ASHIGARA - 07 December 1941 - 10 March 1942
SHOKAKU - 14 July 1942 - 26 October 1942
ARASHI - 26 October 1942 - 27 October 1942 (temporary during transfer of flag)
ZUIKAKU - 27 October 1942 - 25 March 1944
SHOKAKU - 25 March 1944 - 15 April 1944
TAIHO - 15 April 1944 - 19 June 1944
WAKATSUKI - 19 June 1944 (temporary during transfer of flag)
HAGURO - 19 June 1944 - 20 June 1944 (temporary during transfer of flag)
ZUIKAKU - 20 June 1944 - 25 October 1944
OYODO - 25 October 1944 - 27 October 1944
HYUGA - 27 October 1944 - 30 October 1944
UNRYU - 30 October 1944 - 07 November 1944
RYUHO - 07 November 1944 - 15 November 1944

Fifth Fleet
TAMA - 07 December 1941 - 29 April 1942
NACHI - 29 April 1942 - 5 November 1944
Manila - 5 November 1944 - 13 November 1944 (temporary due to sinking of NACHI)
HATSUSHIMO - 13 November 1944 - 22 November 1944 (temporary during transfer of flag)
ASHIGARA - 22 November 1944 - 14 December 1944
HYUGA - 14 December 1944 - 1 January 1945
OYODO - 1 January 1945 - 5 February 1945

Sixth Fleet
KATORI - 07 December 1941 - 15 February 1944
HEIAN MARU - 15 February 1944 - 18 February 1944
Truk - 18 February 1944 - ???
Saipan - ??? - 09 July 1944
Kure - 09 July 1944 - 15 August 1945

Mobile Fleet
Same as Third Fleet - 1 April 1944 - 15 November 1944

Northeast Area Fleet
Same as Fifth Fleet - 1 September 1944 - 5 December 1944
Thanks! You made up for the flaws in my research.


ijnfleetadmiral wrote:
29 Aug 2023 05:57
fontessa wrote:
29 Aug 2023 01:35
Hashirajima Anchorage
Random questions about the anchorage site...can anyone visit it, or are permits required? Can one spread ashes there?
JNSDF doesn't use the old Hashirajima Anchorage area now. So anyone can enter and exit there freely. Whether or not the spread of ashes is allowed will be decided by the administrative agency, but I don't know that far. Below is the map of there. Battleship Mutsu was sunk on 6 August 1943 by an explosion in her main gun ammunition store. Her Commanding Officer, CAPT Miyoshi Teruhiko (43), and more than 1,100 men died. The Mutsu Memorial Hall has been built on Suo-oshima to commemorate them.

柱島泊地 2.jpg

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Re: IJA fleet organization, OOB etc.

Post by PTO Researcher » 29 Aug 2023 16:26

Hello Fontessa,

Ok, so you got me interested in the Combined Fleet flagships so I did some additional research. Most of what I've found is from the Imperial Japanese Navy Page TROMs (http://www.combinedfleet.com/kaigun.htm) augmented by Wikipedia articles (the Japanese versions) on the various ships so I can't vouch for veracity here but the history appears to be mostly corroborated.

Combined Fleet:
NAGATO - 01 December 1925 - 12 February 1942
YAMATO - 12 February 1942 - 11 February 1943
MUSASHI - 11 February 1943 - 28 March 1944
28 March 1944 - 4 May 1944: Flag was initially transferred ashore at Palau to 30th Base Force / Third Southwest Expeditionary Fleet. While in transit from Palau to Davao, Philippines on 30 March, CiNC Combined Fleet (Admiral Mineichi Koga) died when his H8K crashed during a typhoon. It's not clear where Combined Fleet headquarters was based between Koga's death and Admiral Soemu Toyoda's appointment to CiNC Combined fleet on 3 May, 1944. Perhaps vacated?
OYODO - 4 May 1944 - 29 September 1944
29 September 1944 - 15 August 1945: Combined Fleet moved ashore to an underground bunker at Keio University in Hiyoshi near Yokohama. Source is the OYODO TROM for the initial transfer: http://www.combinedfleet.com/oyodo_t.htm and the following link indicating this location lasted through the end of the war: https://www.recorder.com/Archives/2015/ ... -GR-062515

Again, I can't vouch for the accuracy and would welcome your feedback.

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Re: IJA fleet organization, OOB etc.

Post by fontessa » 30 Aug 2023 00:59

PTO Researcher wrote:
29 Aug 2023 16:26
Hello Fontessa,

Ok, so you got me interested in the Combined Fleet flagships so I did some additional research. Most of what I've found is from the Imperial Japanese Navy Page TROMs (http://www.combinedfleet.com/kaigun.htm) augmented by Wikipedia articles (the Japanese versions) on the various ships so I can't vouch for veracity here but the history appears to be mostly corroborated.

Combined Fleet:
NAGATO - 01 December 1925 - 12 February 1942
YAMATO - 12 February 1942 - 11 February 1943
MUSASHI - 11 February 1943 - 28 March 1944
28 March 1944 - 4 May 1944: Flag was initially transferred ashore at Palau to 30th Base Force / Third Southwest Expeditionary Fleet. While in transit from Palau to Davao, Philippines on 30 March, CiNC Combined Fleet (Admiral Mineichi Koga) died when his H8K crashed during a typhoon.
OYODO - 4 May 1944 - 29 September 1944
29 September 1944 - 15 August 1945: Combined Fleet moved ashore to an underground bunker at Keio University in Hiyoshi near Yokohama. Source is the OYODO TROM for the initial transfer: http://www.combinedfleet.com/oyodo_t.htm and the following link indicating this location lasted through the end of the war: https://www.recorder.com/Archives/2015/ ... -GR-062515
The reason why the Combined Fleet Flagship was changed from Yamato to Musashi was that the latter was built by Mitsubishi Shipbuilding, which had a lot of experience in building passenger ships, so it was more comfortable to live in. At Truk Atoll, the anchorage area was set between Natsujima and Harujima. Here is a picture of Yamato and Musashi there. The distinguishing point between the two battleships was the "spread" of the rear mast - Musashi's wide, Yamato's narrow. Also, on Musashi's front mast (white square part), an admiral's flag should have been raised to indicate that the Commanding Officer of the Combined Fleet was on board.

トラック諸島 Truck Islands.jpg

大和 武蔵 トラック 3.jpg

大和 武蔵 トラック.jpg


PTO Researcher wrote:
29 Aug 2023 16:26
It's not clear where Combined Fleet headquarters was based between Koga's death and Admiral Soemu Toyoda's appointment to CiNC Combined fleet on 3 May, 1944. Perhaps vacated?
Combined Fleet HQ vanished with the missing ADM Koga Mineich (34). From April 2nd when ADM Koga's death was confirmed to April 4th, Admiral Takasu Shiro (35), Commanding Officer of the Southwest Area Fleet, temporarily took the command of the Combined Fleet. However, his commanding area was limited to the southwestern area, and the Naval General Staff conducted operational guidance in the central Pacific and southeastern areas.

Command Transfer of Combined Fleet
When a commander became unable to command the fleet, his command was transferred to the second. The Fleet Commanders of the Combined Fleet at this time, ADM Koga Mineichi (35) died, were:
 3rd Fleet / 1st Mobile Fleet CO: VADM Ozawa Jisaburo (37)
 2nd Fleet / 1st Mobile Fleet CO: VADM Kurita Takeo (38)
 6th Fleet CO: VADM TAKAGI Takeo (39)
 Northeast Area Fleet CO: VADM Totsuka Michitaro (38)
 Central Pacific Area Fleet CO: VADM Nagumo Chuichi (36)
 Southeast Area Fleet CO: VADM Kusaka Jinichi (37)
 Southwest Area Fleet CO: ADM TAKASU Shiro (35)
ADM TAKASU Shiro took over the command because he was the most senior among the above.


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Last edited by fontessa on 30 Aug 2023 02:35, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: IJA fleet organization, OOB etc.

Post by ijnfleetadmiral » 30 Aug 2023 02:21

fontessa wrote:
29 Aug 2023 13:39
Thanks! You made up for the flaws in my research.
Glad to help!
fontessa wrote:
29 Aug 2023 01:35
Whether or not the spread of ashes is allowed will be decided by the administrative agency, but I don't know that far.
I was going to try and have my ashes spread over the No.1 Buoy's location when my time comes.
fontessa wrote:
29 Aug 2023 01:35
Battleship Mutsu was sunk on 6 August 1943 by an explosion in her main gun ammunition store.
Don't you mean 8 June 1943?
fontessa wrote:
29 Aug 2023 01:35
The Mutsu Memorial Hall has been built on Suo-oshima to commemorate them.
Is that still open? Last I heard it had closed.
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Re: IJA fleet organization, OOB etc.

Post by fontessa » 30 Aug 2023 03:01

ijnfleetadmiral wrote:
30 Aug 2023 02:21
fontessa wrote:
29 Aug 2023 01:35
Battleship Mutsu was sunk on 6 August 1943 by an explosion in her main gun ammunition store.
Don't you mean 8 June 1943?
I was wrong. Thanks for the correction. At around 12:15 Mutsu exploded.
According to the Japanese Wiki;
In order to hand over the flagship buoy to Nagato heading for Hashirashima Anchorage, the mooring was scheduled to be changed at 1:00 pm.
Is this the reason you want the ashes spread over the No.1 Buoy's location?
ijnfleetadmiral wrote:
30 Aug 2023 02:21
fontessa wrote:
29 Aug 2023 01:35
The Mutsu Memorial Hall has been built on Suo-oshima to commemorate them.
Is that still open? Last I heard it had closed.
Yes, the Mutsu Memorial Museum is open now.
https://nagisapark.jimdofree.com/%E9%99 ... %E9%A4%A8/


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Re: IJA fleet organization, OOB etc.

Post by ijnfleetadmiral » 30 Aug 2023 03:10

fontessa wrote:
30 Aug 2023 03:01
Is this the reason you want the ashes spread over the No.1 Buoy's location?
Actually, it's because it's where YAMATO and MUSASHI would've anchored.
fontessa wrote:
30 Aug 2023 03:01
Yes, the Mutsu Memorial Museum is open now.
Glad to hear it's open for business!
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Re: IJA fleet organization, OOB etc.

Post by PTO Researcher » 30 Aug 2023 09:00

Thank you Fontessa! I might come back for some late war Air Fleet and Air Flotilla headquarters locations in the near future as I'm getting ready to get back into IJN land-based air research.

And when I get back to Japan someday (hopefully soon), I plan to visit the Kure Maritime Museum. I very much want to see that 1:10 scale model of the YAMATO. The pictures I find online are amazing.

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Re: IJA fleet organization, OOB etc.

Post by fontessa » 05 Sep 2023 16:59

The Photos of Hashirajima Anchorage
Hashirajima Anchorage was designated as a 要塞地帯 Fortified Area and civilians entering was restricted, so there are very few photos of it. Two photographs taken by CDR (Eng.) 竹内将人 Takeuchi Masato were shown in a Japanese magazine 歴史群像 Rekishi Gunzo Book published on 4 April 2023. Takeuchi graduated from the Naval Engineer School in 1927. If he had been found to have taken the photos, he would have been severely punished. The magazine says these photos were taken between December 1941, and January 1942, when Hiei stayed there.
The magazine title is 未公開写真発見! 開戦間もない柱島泊地と就役直後の戦艦大和 Unreleased photos discovered! Hashirajima Anchorage just after the war started and the Battleship Yamato just after her commissioning

柱島泊地 1.jpg

柱島泊地 2.jpg

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Re: IJA fleet organization, OOB etc.

Post by Eugen Pinak » 11 Sep 2023 08:50

Thank you for the photos, Fontessa. Its amazing that new photos still surfacing after all those years.

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