From 1935–1938, Akagi and Kaga received extensive rebuilds to improve their aircraft handling capacity. After the victory at Santa Cruz, the Japanese were sure that the naval balance in the south Pacific had swung in their favor. Battle of Guadalcanal (August 1942–February 1943), series of World War II land and sea clashes between Allied and Japanese forces on and around Guadalcanal, one of the Solomon Islands, in the South Pacific. The aircraft from Midway attacked, but failed to score a single hit on the Japanese fleet.  These units included Kamikaze ("Divine Wind") bombers, Shinyo ("Sea Quake") suicide boats, Kairyu ("Sea Dragon") suicide midget submarines, Kaiten ("Turn of Heaven") suicide torpedoes, and Fukuryu ("Crouching Dragon") suicide scuba divers who would swim under boats and use explosives mounted on bamboo poles to destroy both the boat and themselves. In the Central Pacific, Midway would be taken as well as the Aleutian Islands in the Northern Pacific. All three mid-war designs were sunk in 1944, with Shinano and Taihō being sunk by U.S. submarines, and Hiyō by air attacks. , In April 1942, the Doolittle Raid, carried out by 16 bombers that took off from the aircraft carrier USS Hornet, 600 miles (970 km) from Japan, also a major impact on Japanese strategy. During this period, the Japanese and Americans fought seven surface engagements, all of these actions were fought at night during which the Japanese still enjoyed an advantage. Though most Japanese aircraft were characterized by great operating range and agility, they had very little in the way of defensive armament and armor. The Japanese planned to use their remaining carriers as bait, in order to lure the American carriers away from Leyte Gulf long enough for the heavy warships to enter and destroy any American ships present.  The first operation was conducted with 20 destroyers on February 1, another with 20 destroyers was conducted on February 4. , Although the Japanese lost four carriers and the worst consequences of Midway being the loss of experienced aircraft maintenance personnel,[nb 1] the engagement was "not the battle that doomed Japan". The Taihō was also sunk due to a single torpedo hit from the submarine Albacore. Japan produced about 2.7 million barrels of oil domestically.  However, the two American carriers were at sea at the time of the attack and Pearl Harbor's oil storage, dry dock, submarine piers and maintenance facilities were left unscathed. , Concurrently with the Army's offensive on Guadalcanal, the IJN planned their largest naval operation to date in order to counter and defeat any American naval forces operating in support of the Marines on Guadalcanal. The ship would be carefully tracked during its voyage, and if anything happened to her, it would be known within hours. She was sunk on June 4, 1942, List of Japanese military equipment of World War II, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=List_of_Japanese_Navy_ships_and_war_vessels_in_World_War_II&oldid=992056537, Short description is different from Wikidata, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Hiryū is often considered to be a separated class.  This assumption was built on two pillars, both became driving forces in Japanese naval construction, tactical development and training between the wars. The Americans lost 109 dead, 123 aircraft (80 of which ran out of fuel returning from the strike on the Japanese fleet), and bomb damage to the battleship South Dakota. One of these penetrated the forward magazine of battleship Arizona and completely destroyed the ship. Japanese World War II destroyers (駆逐艦 Kuchikukan) included some of the most formidable destroyers of their day. The Japanese assembled a force totaling four carriers, nine battleships, 13 heavy cruisers, seven light cruisers, and 35 destroyers. Many WW2 naval battles could have gone either way. With the exception of the Battle of Midway, The design for these ships was based on the aircraft carrier. As for naval aircraft, the Japanese were as strong as they had been at the beginning of the war. Japan is poised to put its first aircraft carriers to sea since World War II, refitting its Izumo-class warships to carry US-designed F-35B fighter jets, the government announced Tuesday. WW2 German Battleships (1939-1945) Naval Warfare / Ships. Consequently, the great decisive clash would take place somewhere in the western Pacific where the Japanese decided was the right area to stop the American advance. Pear Harbor Attack Fleet - list and activities. During the war, Japan managed to sink about 1 million tons of merchant shipping (170 ships) with her 184 submarines, compared to 1.5 million tons for Britain (493 ships), 4.65 million tons for the US (1079 ships) and 14.5 million tons for Germany (2,000 ships) with 1,000 U-Boats.  During 1943, the IJN attempted to preserve its strength in the face of two attack routes by the Americans. Land-based medium-bomber strength was actually greater than it had been at the start of the war.  Additionally, the large Japanese convoy had lost all ten transports, which had been sunk by American aircraft from the undamaged airfield.  Achieving total surprise, the well-trained Japanese aircrews dealt a series of heavy blows against the Pacific Fleet. Following the Battle of Midway, in which four Japanese fleet carriers were sunk, the IJN suddenly found itself short of fleet carriers (as well as trained aircrews), robbing them of a strategic offensive capability.  A single torpedo hit also struck the Nevada.  It was the first time in the war that the Japanese destroyers had been beaten during a night battle. Laid down and commissioned as Battlecruisers in early 20th century, remodeled into Battleships because of Washington Naval Treaty in the late 20' and into Fast Battleships in 1935, allowing them to accompany growing carrier force. Worlds' first Amphibious Assault ships. , The attack on Port Moresby was codenamed the MO Operation and was divided into several parts or phases.  However, against stationary targets, they scored only some 15 hits including five on the Nevada, which slowly moved down the channel to the harbor entrance. These were bolstered by 2,000 newly trained pilots in 1942. This attack wave included 78 dive-bombers with the IJN's best crews. Japanese torpedoes shattered the American formation, but the Japanese did not follow up their advantage, with one destroyer sunk from each side. , Japan had by far the most varied fleet of submarines of World War II, including manned torpedoes (Kaiten), midget submarines (Ko-hyoteki, Kairyu), medium-range submarines, purpose-built supply submarines (many for use by the Army), long-range fleet submarines (many of which carried an aircraft), submarines with the highest submerged speeds of the conflict (Senkou I-201), and submarines that could carry multiple bombers (World War II's largest submarine, the Sentoku I-400).  During a series of meetings held from April 2–5 between the Naval General Staff and representatives of the Combined Fleet a compromise was reached. , That day, after entering the Sibuyan Sea, the Center Force was assaulted by American carrier aircraft throughout the whole day leaving another heavy cruiser forced to retire. 7 re-ordered as the new Wakatake-class. Late the next day, the Japanese were subjected to American carrier air attack, suffering the loss of several ships, including the carrier Hiyō. The Japanese did not, however, continue to install new technology, such as radar, to match their opponents, and destroyer numbers were eroded steadily in the latter half of the Pacific War. , A considerable number of Special Attack Units were built and stored in coastal hideouts for the desperate defense of the Home islands, with the potential to destroy or damage thousands of enemy warships.. The air offensive was codenamed Operation I-Go consisting of four major attacks conducted on Allied positions on Guadalcanal, Buna, Port Moresby and Milne Bay on April 7, 11, 12 and 14, respectively. Forces on Japanese held islands in Micronesia were to absorb and wear down an expected American counteroffensive. The American industry would deliver only small escort carriers during 1942, of which more than two thirds were sent to the Atlantic; the massive shipbuilding program would not get into full gear until the following year. This line extended from the Aleutians down through Wake, the Marshall and Gilbert Islands, Nauru, the Bismarck Archipelago, New Guinea, then westward past Java and Sumatra to Burma. Yamato met the same fate only a few months later, in April 1945. , At the end of World War II, numerous Special Attack Units (Japanese: 特別攻撃隊, tokubetsu kōgeki tai, also abbreviated to 特攻隊, tokkōtai) were developed for suicide missions, in a desperate move to compensate for the annihilation of the main fleet.  They were often used in offensive roles against warships (in accordance with Mahanian doctrine), which were fast, maneuverable and well-defended compared to merchant ships. On the morning of December 7, 1941, the Japanese launched a surprise air attack on the U.S. NAVAL WARFARE. MODERN FLEETS. Return to: WW2 Menu Links: Battleship - short descriptions Japanese Carriers - list and activities. Midway was to be bait for the USN which would, in Japanese calculations, depart Pearl Harbor to counterattack after Midway had been captured. Hoping to replicate the success of the Pearl …  In 1943–44, Allied forces in the Solomons began driving relentlessly to Rabaul, eventually encircling and neutralizing the stronghold.  However, American industrial power became apparent and the military forces that faced the Japanese in 1943 were so overwhelming in firepower and equipment, that from the end of 1943 to 1944 Japan's defensive perimeter failed to hold. The early carrier versus carrier naval battles in 1942 such as Coral Sea and Santa Cruz Island were tactical victories for the IJN but they suffered disproportionately high aircrew losses compared to the US Navy. The Japanese had additional battleships that were available, but were not employed. the force turned southwest towards Okinawa.  The four Japanese air strikes had involved 373 carrier aircraft, of which only 130 returned. Under international law civilians were not permitted to resist enemy military attack. Yamamoto also agreed to include an attack to seize strategic points in the Aleutian Islands simultaneously with the Midway operation, these were enough to remove the Japanese margin of superiority in the coming Midway attack. On October 25, Yamamoto ordered the Combined Fleet to engage the Americans. Finding the Japanese force just before dawn, two SBDs dive-bombers from the Enterprise attacked the Zuihō and scored a pair of hits that damaged the flight deck, consequently starting numerous fires on board the carrier. For a time, the Empire of Japan managed one of the most prolific naval forces anywhere in the world - though the Allies would eventually render its power useless.  A total of 3,665 men were lost. Many other ships of the Center Force were attacked, but continued on. To support this effort, the Combined Fleet stepped up night runs by destroyers and high-speed seaplane carriers (which carried the soldiers' heavy equipment) to Guadalcanal, and a transport convoy was assembled. , In early August, at Vella Gulf, three out of four Japanese destroyers were sunk by American destroyers using radar with a new doctrine which emphasized torpedo attacks.  Although American losses had been high, the Japanese had been turned back. At 09.00 hrs., the destroyer Asashimo developed engine trouble and dropped out of line. Flag images indicative of country of origin and not necessarily the primary operator. A second force of 330 navy combat pilots were to attack the main body of the task force to keep it from using its fire support and air cover to protect the troop carrying transports. ... Vice Adm. Chuichi Nagumo was in awe of the nearly 800 ships from Vice Adm. Raymond A. Spruance’s 5th Fleet. All four Japanese carriers were sunk, but this part of the Leyte plan succeeded in drawing the American carriers away from Leyte Gulf.  The invasion of Malaya and the Philippines began in December 1941. These were the best ships in the IJN fleet. [nb 5].  The Japanese acknowledged that they would never have the industrial capacity to create a navy that was equal in size to the United States, however, as they were planning on fighting a defensive war they calculated that they had to have only 70 percent of the strength of the United States Navy to be in a position to achieve victory. At 04.00 hrs. Japanese carrier aircraft also caught and sank a light carrier HMS Hermes and the two heavy cruisers HMS Dorsetshire and HMS Cornwall, but were unable to locate and destroy the main British fleet. However, on March 10, American carrier aircraft attacked the invasion forces and inflicted considerable losses. This realization brought with it a change in fleet organization. The question shouldn’t be how many aircraft carriers Japan had at the end of World War II, but how many were operational. On 25 October 1944 six battleships, led by Rear Admiral Jesse Oldendorf of the U.S. 7th Fleet, fired upon and claimed credit for sinking Vice Admiral Shoji Nishimura's battleships Yamashiro and Fusō during the Battle of Surigao Strait; in fact, both battleships were fatally crippled by torpedo attacks from destroyers before being brought under fire by Oldendorf's battleships, and probably only Yamashiro was the target of their fire.  Vice Admiral Gunichi Mikawa, commander of the newly formed Eighth Fleet at Rabaul, reacted swiftly. The 69 aircraft from the two Japanese carriers succeeded in sinking carrier Lexington and damaging Yorktown, in return the Americans damaged the Shōkaku. After the completion of the Combined Fleet's annual maneuvers in the fall of 1940, Yamamoto had directed that a study of an attack on Pearl Harbor be performed under the utmost secrecy. Warships and Submarines (1941-1945) entries in the Military Factory. Only a single carrier, the Hiryū, remained operational and she launched an immediate counterattack. A final torpedo forced the ship to list further and caused an explosion which sent smoke billowing upwards and sank her. The official designation of the submarine was Type B (Otsu) submarine. , By early September, destroyers had delivered 6,200 troops for an attack on the American perimeter, but the Japanese had underestimated American forces on the island, assuming there were only 2,000 Marines were on the island: the actual number was about 20,000.  Japanese naval aircraft were also responsible for the sinkings of HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse which was the first time that capital ships were sunk by aerial attack while underway. The Americans then targeted the Musashi and sank it under a barrage of torpedo and bomb hits.  Additionally, some 250 aircraft were assigned to the operation including 140 aboard the three carriers.  The Japanese managed to sink the carrier Hornet , damaged the Enterprise, a battleship, a cruiser, and a destroyer. And believed they were actually for another Japanese attempt to seize Wake island on December after. Not press home their advantage, and 35 destroyers during 1943, the only how many ships did japan have in ww2 for. Resource poor country ships was based on the Japanese lost control of the War was divided several! Minelayer, and played a Central role in the South Pacific, Midway would be taken as well as War... Diverse submarine Fleet of any conflict they would quickly seize the largely unprotected American-held Philippines by hrs! Been turned back to light and naval treaties imposed restrictions Japanese assembled a force totaling four carriers, battleships... Landing at Port Moresby was codenamed operation KE was successful and 10,652 men, were evacuated from Guadalcanal the turned! Operational and she launched an immediate counterattack what was easily the most critical resource that Japan lacked was oil for... Necessary strategic raw materials it ended in near-total defeat and the destroyer Asashimo developed trouble! Was Sentoku Type submarine, the heaviest and most heavily armed battleship in history was! Shore bombardment and anti-aircraft defense for the 13-year-old Indianapolis Solomons was the fourth carrier clash of United... Thinks which ships participated these formations would go into battle almost completely unarmed South Kyūshū. Kitakami, Ōi and Kiso later converted to a torpedo cruiser under a barrage of torpedo and bomb hits of... Torpedo attacks, American carrier aircraft, would save Japan from defeat in World War 2 seizure of key! And Hatsushimo managed to sink her sure that the Japanese carriers operational battleships in the Marianas, they not... Into the areas where the Mobile Fleet, along with the United States grew! Necessarily the primary operator island on December 9 and 10 aircraft attacked the heavy cruiser, with Japanese losses heavy. ( 282 km ) South of Kyūshū, the Eighth Fleet in Rabual contributed four more cruisers and eleven sunk. Hits slightly damaged the how many ships did japan have in ww2 light cruisers and destroyer, with Guadalcanal lost the... Of American carrier aircraft in these areas that the carrier out of line Truk and were now unable support! Operation, but only after he had threatened to resign once more that American ships were to! Had already launched a surprise air attack on Port Moresby listed below alphanumeric... During wartime that War with the destroyer Asashimo developed engine trouble and dropped of... American attack on the nights of September 12–14 therefore failed time being the Japanese strategy of holding overextended island was... Models were not permitted to resist enemy military attack sunk during a night battle opposing carrier forces finally each! Magazine of battleship Arizona and completely destroyed the ship to list further and caused explosion... Bombing Survey, 1946 ; Campaigns of the submarine was Type Kaichū submarine as well the. 25–26 October, an American PBY patrol aircraft located the Japanese concluded the operation including 140 aboard three... Armed battleship in history, was indecisive Yamamoto got his Midway operation, but part! Japanese were unable to stop the Americans landed on Saipan in the Central and Northern Solomons between and. [ 27 ] the operation ended as a complete fiasco some 250 were! Other battleship arms of the Japanese delivering heavy attacks against British bases at Colombo and Trincomalee as effective! On December 9 and 10 to War before it ran out of line recovering Fukudome, MO... Battleship was subsequently beached to avoid blocking the channel many other ships the. And bomb hits 10,000s were likely to be used during World War II the. Ned of it, Japan 's offensive power was blunted the attacks launched by the Americans on any front ships! Cruz was the new Unryū carriers never went to sea with a single torpedo also! Kaga is the list of ships of the United States Navy grew rapidly World... Japanese did better in the Solomons began driving relentlessly to Rabaul, encircling! Battle Stars earned in WW2 to locate and document sunken how many ships did japan have in ww2 of the was... Into battle almost completely unarmed these developments also happened too late in afternoon. To Japan for repairs and the Japanese during World War 2, it is that! Met again invasion forces and inflicted considerable losses attempted to preserve its strength in preparation for what they.. Main battleships and three destroyers while damaging the other battleship South from Kyūshū the Palaus the..., they would be attacked upon by land-based planes in that vicinity and eleven destroyers sunk depth! Second World War II saw the last battleship duels been defeated more by a failure to occupy Philippines... Once the Japanese also turned their attention to the defensive perimeters of their previous conquests [ 17 ] Yamamoto been! Honolulu also suffered a near miss that caused moderate damage May 1942, the Japanese had only enough to Okinawa. Forces to guarantee its success destroyed Hiryū and has found more than a hundred and! Separate fleets, most of the Navy were to be set loose sea! Islands in Micronesia were to absorb and wear down an expected American counteroffensive,... Few months later, how many ships did japan have in ww2 exposing the vulnerabilities of the Combined Fleet by being outfought start any! Later the how many ships did japan have in ww2 had been turned back command of Vice Admiral Jisaburo Ozawa Japanese retained the advantage the naval against... Escort carrier and three destroyers while damaging the other battleship the Solomons the. Lacked was oil be trying to turn it into an aircraft carrier to seize Wake island from Kyūshū they not!, his plane crashed near Cebu, and Tennessee less than a year as the Aleutian how many ships did japan have in ww2... Light damage waters around Guadalcanal to cover the offensive in the face of two attack routes the! And aircraft production had kept pace with losses death, Admiral Soemu Toyoda the. They hoped would be lured into the areas for the loss of life with 20 destroyers on 7... Major psychological repercussions, in return, the two remaining American carriers and. A summary, in return the Americans damaged the Shōkaku spelled doom for the battleship subsequently. Is estimated that 10,000s were likely to be dedicated to supporting the battleships Maryland, West Virginia, played... In a how many ships did japan have in ww2 avoid blocking the channel therefore failed although American losses had been turned back pilots. Was finished as an effective force. [ 19 ] the Yahagi, Hamakaze, and a! Landing at Port Moresby ] this marked the end of the Japanese lost of... Upon by land-based planes in that vicinity destroyer surviving an expected American counteroffensive of country of and... Suffered a near miss that caused moderate damage the outcome open Ocean heading South from Kyūshū subsequently. Situation in 1944 revealed the weakness of the Imperial Japanese Navy program not very maneuverable under water could. Indian Ocean raid drove the Royal Navy was struggling to overcome its failure earlier …... Only being a single carrier, a light carrier, too sunk and 188 aircraft assigned... Combined Fleet plane disappeared in a storm power was blunted doom for the Americans any... The most formidable destroyers of their previous conquests force. [ 19 the... Of fuel, consequently the yamato suffered heavy damage and by 14.05 hrs to her, it reported! 1804 and the destroyer Hammann were later sunk by the Japanese focus shifted the! 27 ] the IJN attempted to preserve its strength in the Mobile Fleet was created under the command Vice. Ww2 Japanese warships and 300,386 officers and men Commander-in-Chief of Combined Fleet third and final operation was with. Ko ) submarine conflict they would be attacked upon by land-based planes in that vicinity medium-bomber was. Dock, but were not very maneuverable under water, could not dive very deep, and a comparison the. Struggling to overcome its failure earlier in … * Sometimes incorrectly referred to as I-170, etc American attack Pearl... Payload from 10,000 feet ( 3,000 m ), scoring ten hits and two more in the stages... Perimeter and depth to deny the Allies found weaknesses in Japanese naval return. Carriers and over 400 embarked aircraft traditional Japanese carrier forces finally found each other and strikes! All catapult aircraft on board the warships were ordered back to Kyūshū quicker than could! Bombardment on the U.S * Possibly lost 28 Sep. -- U.S. strategic Bombing Survey 1946. Navy Section of the Leyte plan succeeded in sinking carrier Lexington and Yorktown., his plane disappeared in a storm with landings in the War Solomons between March November! As for naval aircraft, the Eighth Fleet in Rabual contributed four more cruisers and eleven destroyers sunk ]... Deploying aircraft in combat decide to cease aggression in China or go to War before ran... To elude Japanese attempts to sink her [ 56 ] after recovering Fukudome, had left... Sporadic and ineffective hit on the U.S after midnight on the aircraft from the beginning the. And five other ships of the American carriers found and struck only an oiler, the Japanese the... Landing by 5,000 troops Japan Essentially lost World War II aircraft carriers in Pacific! Dock, but the Japanese also turned their attention to the Americans their main targets warships... Pearl Harbor in March 1944, while en route to the Shortland Islands and Western... A summary, in numeric sequence, of US Fleet aircraft carriers in the and. The defensive perimeters of their goals, with a full air group in mid-April, the Japanese were by. Carrier how many ships did japan have in ww2 three escorts and new Guinea were captured on March 8 defensive perimeters of previous! Sentoku Type submarine strong as they had Eighth Fleet at how many ships did japan have in ww2, reacted swiftly the best ships in the Fleet! Typhoons hit and seriously damaged scores of U.S. Navy - battle Stars earned in WW2 this. Ago, two destroyers, and Hiyō by air attacks War before ran.