The Japanese Imperial Navy was perhaps the only one to enter the war perfectly prepared, since the expansionist ambitions of Japan had involved the country in a war much earlier, in the Indochinese sector. Unlike the army, which remained always very conservative in structure and means, the navy gave proof of great openness and wisdom towards the...
The Japanese Imperial Navy was perhaps the only one to enter the war perfectly prepared, since the expansionist ambitions of Japan had involved the country in a war much earlier, in the Indochinese sector. Unlike the army, which remained always very conservative in structure and means, the navy gave proof of great openness and wisdom towards the "external" realities of the island of the Rising Sun, which brought it in relatively little time, to in 1918, it was the third naval force in the world after Great Britain and the United States. Already in those years Japan was planning and building battle units of great conception and power that, unlike the units built by other marinas in the same period, had a good balance between speed, protection and armament. The fleet, after the Washington Naval Treaty, grew in means and preparedness becoming a frighteningly efficient war apparatus, with excellent quality units and completed by highly motivated and prepared crews: its purpose as destroyer of the adversaries and conqueror of overseas territories was pursued through the development of an efficient boarded aviation, landing vehicles and departments and adequately prepared units.
Despite the presence of a strong core of aircraft carriers, the Japanese navy set its tactics still basing on the idea of frontal collision with the enemy: the air forces had to engage, weaken and slow it down, while the bulk of the fleet would have to later , engage and destroy it with large battle units, cruisers, torpedoes and submarines.
From this idea derived the heavy modernization of the old battleships and the construction of the two supercorazzate Yamato and Musashi. All this led to the lack of exploitation of the potential of airplanes and submarines, both designed with auxiliary functions rather than real protagonists which should have been (and were in the other fleets).
Instead, much care was devoted to the construction and refinement of the torpedoes, the speed of the "heavier" units made them sometimes use them as cruisers, demonstrating their quality and the preparation of their crews; on the other hand, there was a modest degree of development of detection and pointing technologies and navigation equipment. The ships were always used with decision and accuracy, achieving many successes in the first phase of the Pacific campaign. The Japanese navy always sought direct contact with the enemy in a comparison of calibers and armor, in an approach to the battle that reflected the ideals of glory, honor and devotion typical of the samurai.