Imperial Japanese Navy Page


At the beginning of the Second World War, the Japanese Navy (or, in the Japanese language, Nihon Kaigun, or even Teikoku Kaigun, the Imperial Navy) was arguably the most powerful navy in the world. Its naval aviation corps, consisting of 10 aircraft carriers and 1500 topnotch aviators, was the most highly trained and proficient force of its kind. Its 11 (soon to be 12) battleships were among the most powerful in the world. And its surface forces, armed with the superb 24" Type 93 (Long Lance) torpedo, were incomparable night fighters. How and why this impressive force was eventually crushed by the U.S. Navy is a subject that has fascinated me practically forever. Maybe I'm just intrigued by the underdog. In any case, this page is devoted to the proud navy that lost the Pacific War.


New Book on Battle of Midway!'s Jon Parshall and Tony Tully have published Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway. Click HERE for more information.

Sunken Japanese Carrier Wreckage Identified! played an integral part in identifiying wreckage from one of the Japanese carriers sunk at the Battle of Midway. Click HERE for more information.

What Can You Do Here, You Ask?

Well, a bunch of stuff. You can look at pretty pictures of Japanese warships, either ones I've scanned, or those that were sent to me by my readers. You can access detailed information on these vessels; their guns, torpedoes, sensors, names, and the officers who led them in combat. Perhaps you'd like to learn more about the Imperial Navy's Airforce? Or, if you want to get more in-depth, try Anthony "Tony" Tully's Untold Tales of the Imperial Japanese Navy, or my Special Features section, which has some really neat stuff as well. You can also check out the bibliography, the wargames page, the links page, and what's new on the site. And finally, you can learn a little about me, or you can get in touch with the creators of this page.

Site Directory

Images & Data Special Features

Scanned off of the box tops of all those 1/700 scale waterline model kits I brought back from Japan and then, ummm... never built (much to my wife's lasting amusement and derision).

Aircraft Carriers
Heavy Cruisers
Light Cruisers

 From My Friends
Photos and Video Caps
Models 01/15/2001


Naval Guns
Japanese Warship Names
Japanese Naval Officers
Economic Data and War Production Statistics
Info Sources & Links
What's New? 6/13/06

Online Forums

If you have questions regarding the Imperial Navy, and want them answered in a timely manner (i.e. you don't care to wait for me to get around to answering my email)(which is a very wise move on your part), these are good online places to find groups of knowledgeable people willing to share their information and respond to questions.

Tony Tully's Message Board
My friend Tony is a major contributor to this site, and is incredibly knowledgeable. Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp, the other experts and major contributors, are also available to answer questions posted on the board. IJN Ship & Aircraft Message Board

I think of as my sister site--I deal primarily with Japanese ships, they deal primarily with Japanese aircraft. But j-aircaft also has an online community discussing IJN ships and ship modeling that is second to none--very knowledgeable people, and a good attitude. Oddly enough, j-aircraft's Head Honcho, David Pluth, also lives in the same town I do, and we have breakfast together every so often. Who would have thought that Minneapolis, Minnesota would be such a hotbed of IJN activity? Weird...

Other Cool Sites

Mechanisms of I.J.N. Warships in 3-D

A link to an absolutely fantastic site. Ed's thing is creating 3-D computer models of Japanese warships, and they are stunning to look at. He has finished his first project (an Akizuki-class destroyer) and is now working on the cruiser Tone. We highly recomend that you visit this site and be awed at the work that he has put into his page. 

The World's Best Battleship: The Sequel!

By popular demand, a new, more complete look at the most powerful battleships of World War II. However, in this rendition of the 'Best BB Page' I compare and contrast not three, but seven battleships, and in much greater detail.

The Guns n' Armor Page!

Articles concerning ballistics, armor penetration, and battleship protective schemes, including a downloadable face-hardened armor penetration calculator! All of this material was contributed by Mr. Nathan Okun. Most of it is previously unpublished.

Imperial Japanese Naval Aviation

Comprehensive information on Japan's naval aviation arm, compiled and presented by Joao Paulo Juli´┐Żo Matsuura.

Bob Hackett with Sander Kingsepp

Updated 5/29/2006

Operational histories of Japanese Submarines in WW II. This is a series of records compiled by Bob Hackett, with important translation by Sander Kingsepp. A new group of postings will take place about every month.

Kido Butai!
By A.P. "Tony" Tully

Updated 5/25/2006

Operational histories and "close-ups" of Japanese aircraft carriers in WWII. This is a series of studies and records contributed by Anthony Tully, a naval historian and researcher. New postings of CV Troms will be made approximately every six weeks, and special detailed articles will also be posted.

Long Lancers!
By Allyn D. Nevitt

Updated 12/7/2002

Operational histories of Japanese destroyers in WWII. This is a series of studies contributed by Allyn Nevitt, a naval historian and researcher. Most DD and torpedo boats TROMS for the war have now been put up, but all remain "works in progress" and additional special articles and revisions to TROMs will be posted as new facts become known.

By Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp

Updated 6/6/2006

Operational histories of Japanese Cruisers in WW II. This is a series of records compiled by naval historians Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp. TROMS for all 43 CA/CLs have been posted. Revisions will be posted as new facts become known.

By Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp

Updated 6/6/2006

Operational histories of Japanese Battleships in WW II. This is a series of records compiled by naval historians Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp. WW2 TROMS for all 12 BBs have been posted. Revisions will be posted as new facts become known.

Tokusetsu Kansen!
Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall

Updated 6/13/06

Operational histories of Japanese auxiliaries and other ships. Coverge includes seaplane and submarine tenders, armed merchant cruisers, minelayers, subchasers, oilers, repair ships and hospital ships. New postings of TROMS will be made about once a month.

Mysteries and Untold Sagas of the Imperial Japanese Navy
By A.P. "Tony" Tully

Last Updated: 12/28/2003

An examination of mysteries, puzzles, and obscure stories surrounding Japanese naval vessels in World War II, with rare translated details; researched and compiled by Anthony Tully, a naval historian and researcher.

The Pacific War in Maps
The thirty-five most important battles of the Pacific War, complete with order of battle and losses, accessible through a map-driven interface. Be patient; the maps (especially the main Pacific map) are pretty graphics intensive (70-100k apiece; they take me maybe 1.5 minutes apiece at 28.8k baud.)
Kaiten Attack!

Pictures and information regarding the sinking of the U.S.S. Underhill (DE-682) by a kaiten manned-suicide torpedo. Be patient; this page is very graphics intensive, but worth the wait.

Admiral Furashita's Fleet

A whimsical look at a set of fictional Japanese naval units, created by Craig Burke.

Articles of Interest

Articles written by me and my readers.

Featured Book

A periodic review of a book pertaining to the Imperial Japanese Navy.

 Previous Reviews


[Note: I have the original scans for all my images. Some of them are quite large (2300 x 800 pixels, 650kbytes). Obviously, I don't put them out on the server for space considerations. However, if you have an interest in one or more of them, let me know, and I'll get them to you.]

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