Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 28

ADMIRAL ISOROKU YAMAMOTO (1884-1943) INTRODUCTION 1. It is nearly six decades since the end of the World War II.

The men behind major

success stories of the war in the Japanese perspective contribute to a lone, Admiral in their imperial Navy. He was the architect behind the total destruction of Pearl harbour. Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, one of the most notable sailors and military strategists and greatest Admiral in the world led the Japanese Fleet during Second World War and engaged in many naval battles in the central Pacific Region. Most of the time, It was his background knowledge contributed indirectly to his successes over the US fleet at Pearl harbour. Admiral-of-the-Fleet Isoroku Yamamoto was best known in the West for three reasons: a. b. c. 2. His brave plan for the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. His defeat by inferior forces at the Battle of Midway. Dramatic manner of his death in an air ambush over Bougainville.

One of the reasons for his outstanding ability as a commander and planner was his

unusual understanding of the enemy. Yamamoto had studied English in Boston, had been a naval attach in Washington during the 1920s, and had led the Japanese naval delegation to the second London Naval Conference in 1934, and so had a better understanding of the West than most Japanese leaders of his generation. He had also experienced action at first hand early in his career when he was wounded while serving on board a cruiser during the Battle of Tsushima in 1905. Yamamoto was a far-thinking strategist and was one of the first of his generation to recognise the crucial importance of air power in naval operations. He did much to develop land-based, long-range anti-shipping aircraft which would be used in conjunction with mobile striking forces built around fast, modern aircraft carriers. He was a brilliant strategist, a skill honed through an almost obsessive interest in card games and Japanese chess. He is often portrayed as being an unwilling participant in war against the USA. He certainly recognised the difficulties of defeating Americas economic and industrial strength and made himself unpopular among certain right wing groups in Japan by expressing his reservations, however, some authors do not share this perception of Yamamoto.


His departure from the world is a great lost to the Japanese, since this single man was

a threat to the entire America. The great lessons of his courage, enthusiasm, leadership, will power and knowledge still remain to groom and guide the future leaders.

AIM 4. The aim of this presentation is to study and analyze the leadership qualities of

Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto in relation to his naval career.

SEQUENCE a. b. c. d. e. Early life and naval career. Analysis of Naval Battles. Analysis of Qualities and Comparison with Contemporary Leaders. Lessons learnt. Conclusion.

EARLY LIFE AND NAVAL CARRIER Early Life 5. On 04th April 1884, at Nagaoka, Niigata, Japan Child was boned to family headed by

a school principle Takano Sadayoshi. The child was named Isoruko Takano. In Japanese language the Isoruko is referred to 56, the fathers age when he was born. Isoruko was the sixth son of the family and further he had one younger sister. They hadnt good child hood due to economical difficulties. Isoruko couldnt even afford for text books and hence he had to borrow them and copied them from his subordinates. His first job was to support his brothers to remove the snow in the roofs of houses in the village. But they had a good family harmony. Children could gather much knowledge from their father. The war stories told by the father, lead the interest in Isorukos mind on war. Isoruko was a good dancer in his child hood and he could win the prices in the annual spring festivals. His father encouraged him to dance in front of visitors. Takano family usually had gone for fishing for salmon. When Isoruko grew older, he learnt to fish in the sea as well as he learned the ways of the winds and the waves.


When he was 12, Isuruko joined Niggoka, middle school where it was functioning on

Military style. He was a very good athlete when schooling and he had become the best sportsman in his 16th. In 1901, at the age of 16, Isoruko sat for the entrance examination for the Japanese Naval Academy where he was the second out of 300 candidates. After 04 years of very hardship training he graduated, obtaining the 07th position in naval academy. 7. At the age of 33 in 1916, Isoruko was adapted to into the Yamamoto family and took

Yamamoto name. It was c common practice for Japanese families lacking sons to adopt suitable young men to carry their family name. In 1918 Isoruko married to Reiko Mihashi with whom he had two sons and two daughters. But this family life was ended with divorce due to his unhidden affair with a lady named Geisha. Naval Career 8. In this era Japan was about to test her strength as a full scale naval power for the first

time. Isoruko had a opportunity to take a part in the Russo Japanese war in 1905 serving on the cruiser Nisshin. Though he was wounded at the battle losing two fingers of left hand, it gave the eager for young officer. In 1916 he graduated from the Naval Staff College and in same year he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Commander. 9. In 1919 he got opportunity to study at the Harvard University, where he studied about

oil industry. At there he took a keen interest in military aviation since he identified that the grooving weapon of the western was aero plane. He could get opportunity to visit USA aircraft factories too. After his return to Japan in 1923 Yamamoto was promoted to Captain and given command of the cruiser Fuji. Next year he changed his specialty from gunnery to naval aviation after following a flaying lesson. Then he became the director of the new Naval Air Training Base at Kasumigaura, from where elite pilots were produced for the navy. In 1925 he was appointed as the Naval Attach in Washington for three years. 10. After returning home in 1928, Yamamoto gave command for the aircraft carrier

Akagi. In 1930 Yamamoto took commander of the first air fleet and in 1931 he was promoted to Rear Admiral. In late 1936 Yamamoto was appointed as the Vice Minister of the Navy and from this position he argued strenuously for naval aviation and fought against the construction of new battle ships. In 1938 Yamamoto was appointed as the as the Vice

Minister of Navy. In 1939 he was promoted to Admiral and became commander in chief of the combined naval fleet.

ANALYSIS OF NAVAL BATTLES The Attack on Pearl Harbour 11. TORA, TORA,TORA, which told the entire world that AMERICAN PACIFIC

FLEET HAS BEEN CAUGHT UNAWARE 12. It was dawn of December 07, 1941 the sun was just beginning to rise in Hawaii.

Admiral Isoroku Yamamotos surprise attack plan to the Pearl Harbour execution part was under way. A fleet of 184 aircraft started taking off from six Japanese aircraft Carriers. High over the Pacific, Imperial Naval aviators lining the centre of formation, triangle of High-level bombers, Dive-bombers and Torpedo planes under the command of Cdr Fuchida winged their way to the Hawaii islands. 13. US Pacific Naval base in Oahu, Hawaii was attacked by the Japanese when Army,

Navy and marines were totally unprepared to fight the attack. The surprise was such that most of the service personnel were on leave. The attack promoted US to join the Allies in the 2nd world war. More than 2500 members of the US armed forces were killed and the large part of US Pacific Fleet was destroyed or damaged. The attack on Pearl Harbour was the beginning of pacific war. The success of Japanese attack on US Pacific fleet at Pearl Harbour was mainly attributed to the element of surprise. 14. At 1000 in little over two hours the attack on Pearl Harbour came to an abrupt end

after two successive wave of attack. The Japanese aircraft began returning to their carriers, only twenty-nine aircraft failed to return. Commander Fuchida and Genda wanted to send a third wave of aircraft to complete the destruction of the American Naval Base especially the huge oil storage tanks. But Admiral Nagumo did not authorize further attacks. At 1300 AKAGI the command ship reversed course towards Japan and rest of the Task Force followed.

Analysis the Light of Principles of War 15. In the conduct of all military operations it is essential to select and clearly define the

aim. The whole art and science of the war depends upon the selection of right aim, correct distribution of available resources and forces to achieve that aim. Admiral Yamamoto had selected the aim to attack Pearl Harbour and cause maximum damage to the US Pacific fleet. Once the planning was over, Japanese attacked the Pearl Harbour with full force and crippled the US Fleet present there. 16. Their conviction and faith on the cause brought them 3500 miles away from home to

attack and destroy the enemy. This successful attack further boosted the morale of the Japanese. 17. The security plays an important role in any military operation. The Japanese were

conscious about this aspect. They conducted extensive aerial exercises in the similar conditions as of Hawaii in Japan to train the pilots and even these pilots did not know the reasons of such rigorous exercises. The security of Japanese plan played a big contribution in the Japanese success. 18. Adverse weather and thick fog assisted concealment. It is important to note that the

element of surprise and ability to refuel at sea en route were the most vital factors for success of the overall attack plan. Pearl Harbour attack is the many tacticians refer to explain one of the most vital elements of the principles of war Surprise. The powerful tool to win a war and Japanese success during this attack was mainly due to the element of surprise. The Japanese was maintained absolute radio silence to ensure the element of surprise. The reminder of the Fleet had maintained flow of radio traffic in order to mislead the Americans to believe that the Fleet is in home waters. 19. Conflicts demand a high degree of flexibility to ensure pre arranged plans to be

altered to meet changing situations. The Japanese were flexible in planning. They made three alternate plans to attack on Pearl Harbour. The Force Commander was given the flexibility to return back if the force is detected at any moment before attack. 20. The correct and skilful application of the other principles of war should lead logically

to the concentration of men, weapons, fire power and all resources to defeat the enemy at a

selected place and time. The deployment of six aircraft carriers with all aircraft in order to achieve the aim is a classic example of the principle of concentration of forces. 21. Sound administration is a pre requisite for the success of an operation. Logistic

considerations are often deciding factors in assessing the feasibility of an operation. Good training, sound knowledge of equipment and belief on leader is the essential ingredients of administration. An intensive training of aircrew in Torpedo attack, Dive and High level bombing was carried out. Good administration is directly related to morale and to win a battle. Strategic Appraisal 22. The purpose of the attack on Pearl Harbour was to neutralize American naval power

in the Pacific. The Japanese wanted license to do as they pleased in the Pacific and Asia, and thought they could get this by eliminating American influence. Japan knew that American naval power could not be neutralized indefinitely, but thought that by dealing it a heavy blow at Pearl Harbour, the American Navy could be neutralized long enough for Japan to achieve its objectives in Asia and the Pacific. 23. In terms of its strategic objectives the attack on Pearl Harbour was, in the short to

medium term, a unique and spectacular success which eclipsed the wildest dreams of its planners and has few parallels in the military history of any era. For the next six months, the United States Navy was unable to play any significant role in the Pacific War, and with the US Pacific Fleet out of the picture, Japan was free to conquer South-East Asia, the entire South West Pacific, and even extend its reach far into the Indian Ocean. 24. In the longer term, however, the Pearl Harbour attack was an unmitigated strategic

disaster for Japan. In the first place, the main Japanese target was the three American aircraft carriers stationed in the Pacific, but these were not in Pearl harbour at the time of the attack and escaped unharmed. 25. Furthermore, although the Japanese forces inexplicably did not consider them an

important target, the base also had large fuel oil storage facilities and a successful bombing of them could not only have resulted in massive fires that could have devastated the base, but it would also have crippled much of the Pacific Fleet by robbing them of a major fuel supply and fuelling centre thousands of miles from the mainland. 6


Most significantly of all, the Pearl Harbour attack galvanized a divided and half-

hearted nation into action as nothing else could have done overnight, it made the whole of America utterly determined to defeat Japan, and it forever removed any question of a negotiated. 27. On completion of successful attack to Pearl harbour, the mind of the Yamamotos

was uncertain and hoping retaliate attack from the US and its clear from his saying ,"I fear we have awakened the sleeping giant, and filled him with a terrible resolve." - Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, 8 Dec 1941

Battle of Java Sea 28. The Battle of Java Sea, fought by Cruisers against Cruisers was the one of biggest

surface engagement. The Japanese amphibious forces gathered to strike at Java, and on 27 February 1942, the main American-British-Dutch-Australian Command naval force, under Admiral Doorman, sailed northeast from Surabaya to intercept a convoy of the Eastern Invasion Force approaching from the Makassar Strait. 29. The Japanese task force protecting the convoy consist with two heavy and two light

cruisers and 14 destroyers including the 4th Destroyer Squadron engaged with the ABDA force in the Java Sea, and the battle raged intermittently from mid-afternoon to midnight as the Allies tried to reach and attack the troop transports of the Java invasion fleet, but they were repulsed by superior firepower. The Battle of the Java Sea was a resounding victory for the Japanese defeating unified command known as American-British-Dutch-Australian (ABDA) Command. Japan invasion force successfully landed troops forty miles to the west of Surabaya at Kragan. In the fighting, Dutch Admiral Doorman lost two light cruisers and three destroyers, as well as one heavy cruiser badly damaged and around 2,300 killed. Japanese losses numbered one destroyer badly damaged and another with moderate damage. 30. With the victorious Java with its oil wells was safely gone to the Japanese hands.

Admiral Yamamoto now had enough fuel to fight as long as his ships could float. 31. In terms of its strategic objectives the battle of Java Sea was a unique and spectacular

success for the Japanese.

Battle of the Coral Sea 32. The Battle of Coral Sea in May 1942 was the first naval battle fought entirely

between aircraft carriers in which no ship on either side sighted the enemy. The Coral Sea bounded on one side by 1500 miles of the Great Barrier Reef of Australia and on the other side by New Caledonia, the New Hebrides and the Louisiades. 33. Admiral Yamamoto rejected the traditional Japanese naval strategy of keeping the

fleet in home waters awaiting the enemy's arrival and the Japaneses plan was to advance deeper into the Solomon Island to seize Tulagi coupled with capture of Port Moresby in Papua, which would bring Queens land with in range of Japanese bombers and mastery of Coral Sea. Followed by invasion of New Caledonia, Fiji and Samoa to isolate the Australia. Then the combined Fleet under Admiral Yamamoto was to cross the Pacific to annihilate the remains of American Fleet and capture of Midway Island including Western Aleutians. The aim was to establish a ribbon defence anchored at Autto, Midway, Wake, Marshal and Gilberts to bring the Americans to negotiation favourable for the Japanese. 34. The Battle taken place from 1st to 8th May 1942 and the out came of the battle was the

loss of American Carrier LEXINGTON and damage to the YORKTOWN. It had occurred at a critical movement when it was known that another massive Japanese invasion was imminent. For the Japanese the loss of SHOHO and damage of SHOKAKU along with the Japanese losses in aircraft and expert aircrew were both more numerous and much more difficult to replace. Therefore, both Japanese carriers were unable to take part in the battle of Midway. Japanese aggression had received its first serious check as the Port Moresby operation was abandoned and never attempted through the sea route again. In terms of

units lost it was a tactical victory for the Japanese but a strategic victory for the United States. Analysis in the light of principles of war 35. Japanese planners simultaneously tried two main objectives of occupying Port

Moresby and destroying the American pacific fleet .Centre of Gravity Talugi. Simultaneous operations in all areas indicate a fundamental weakness. Had they engaged pacific fleet first, Japanese would have succeeded. Moreover there were differences between Army and navy on carrying out such type of operations.


For carrying out this operation, Japanese had organised five separate naval groups.

Such strategy would have worked only in case of emasculate planning and well co-ordinate actions. Which was lacking e.g. No help could be provided to Talugi Group by carrier force when they were attacked upon on 04 May 1942. Similarly on 7th May, Port Moresby invasion group was called back due to non availability of carrier strike force which was operating separately. The tactical competence required for this operation was lacking. 37. Vice/Adm Inouye, Commander Fourth fleet could not exercise the control over his

forces divided in complex manner. He had virtually no operational control on 25 Air Flotilla Commander at Rabaul. Similarly when ever needed carrier force was for away from actual scene. 38. Japanese always tendered to divide their forces into numerous subgroups. Which cost

them strategic results. Due division of forces in various groups and each group having its own tasks, these was no room left for flexibility in execution of their duties. A strict time frame was thus necessary for every group. Moreover on highest ranks, no timely directions were issued to relax this time limit. 39. Owing to two powerful instruments (MAGIC & RADAR) Allies exactly knew the

Japanese plans. Through RADAR, they were able to detect the opponents on long ranges. Though unknown to them, breaking of codes did enormous damage to Japanese aim. 40. Japanese possessed high morale due to their victories in the preceding days. But

sinking of SHOHO changed the situation and they could not wage this battle for long time. Battle of Midway 41. The Battle of Midway between 4th and 6th June 1942, a great naval battle took place

between the United States Pacific Fleet and the Imperial Japanese Navy about 180 miles (288 km) north-west of America's Midway Atoll. The two small islands that comprise Midway Atoll are located 1,120 miles (1,800 km) north-west of Hawaii and 2,250 miles (3,620 km) east of Japan. It continues to grip the imaginations of those interested in World War II. This is true not just because it was the pivotal engagement of the Pacific theatre but also because it was a battle the Americans should have lost, but instead won by one of the most lopsided margins in naval history. The Japanese entered the battle with an overwhelming advantage in ship-sinking firepower, but in the end they were soundly trounced. All four of their aircraft 9

carriers were sunk, as against just one of the Americans. Most dramatically, three of the Japanese carriers were destroyed in a span of just two minutes, and only minutes before those carriers were to have launched their own attack against the American carrier fleet. On 4 June 1942, Japans offensive naval air power was virtually destroyed in a single battle, and what little chance it ever had of winning the war in the Pacific went up in the smoke of its burning carriers. Analysis 42. Yamamoto's plan for Midway Island has been the subject of much criticism. When

analysis it is found that the Japanese made two high commandlevel mistakes that were lead to blame for the Japanese disaster. The first was a massive failure of communication and the second was rearming the torpedo planes. Communication Failure 43. When Nagumo departed from Japan on 27 May, he and most of the Japanese naval

high command believed that the Americans were completely unaware of the Midway operation and their carriers would probably be at Hawaii. He never knows that Yamato intercepted on 29 May a transmission from an American submarine in the vicinity of the Japanese transport group. Yamamoto had not passed any of this vital information on to Nagumo, because he had decided on a policy of strict radio silence, he assumed that Akagi had picked up the same transmissions he had been receiving on Yamato. 44. By 2 June (1 June in Hawaii) even the Naval General Staff in Tokyo, in an about-

face, had come to the conclusion that the Americans had discovered the Midway operation and might be sending carriers to ambush Nagumos Mobile Force. It sent that intelligence in an urgent radio message addressed to both Yamamoto and Nagumo. Yamamoto received this warning, but Nagumo did not. Yamamoto was inclined to relay it to Nagumo but Yamamoto assumed that it received by Nagumo and he maintained radio silence. Thus, three days before the attack on Midway it seems that almost everyone in the Japanese naval high command suspected that American carriers might be at Midway, everyone except Nagumo.


Admiral Nagumoss rearming the torpedo planes dilemma 45. The American naval presence in the Midway area had been discovered by a Japanese

search planethe infamous "Tone 4"on the morning of 4 June, at 0728, almost three hours before the fatal bombing at 1025 by American dive-bombers from the carriers Enterprise and Yorktown. Before the American fleet was discovered, Nagumo had ordered the rearming of his torpedo planes and dive-bombers for a second strike on Midway. The planes were struck below to the hangar decks, the torpedo planes (on Akagi and Kaga) were to be reloaded with eight-hundred-kilogram land-type bombs in place of torpedoes, and the dive-bombers (on Hiryu and Soryu) with 242-kilogram high-explosive fragmentation bombs instead of 250kilogram, armour-piercing anti-ship bombs. 46. The rearming of the torpedo planes with land-attack bombs contravened a standing

order by Yamamoto that half of the torpedo planes in Nagumos Mobile Force were always to be fitted with torpedoes, on standby in the event an American carrier fleet showed up at Midway. When analyse if the absence of those planes, loaded with fuel and ordnance, from the flight decks of the carriers at 1025 would have greatly reduced the damage inflicted on them by the American dive-bombers from Enterprise and Yorktown. Analysis in the light of principles of war 47. Keeping these in view the Battle of Midway will now be analyzed in the light of

Principles of war. Selection and maintenance of aim 48. Admiral Yamamoto had selected 2 aims to be achieved at the same time i.e., to

destroy the US Pacific fleet and to attack and seize the Midway Islands. The plan was a contradiction in terms since its conception. The major flaws in the plan were: a. To seize an Island, a strict time-line has to be made. However while seeking

to destroy mobile fleets in the vastness of oceans; the time-lines are usually flexible. b. To take an island, a fleet can sit around and surround it. To destroy the last

remnants of a fleet, one has to physically go after it and move around. The plan required one fleet to do 2 jobs, for which it could do neither at full capacity. Thus the aims selected were unsustainable and could not be maintained.


Surprise and Security 49. The breaking of Japans General Purpose code JN-25 prior to the commencement of war provided the Americans with the ability to plan the battle with complete knowledge of what was about to happen. Due to this weakness of security in Japanese plan, the surprise factor shifted from Japan to America. Since surprise was a key factor in Yamamotos plan, his plan was already falling apart and allowed Americans to catch the Japanese at their weakest moment. 50. The surprise was also nearly impossible on American carriers since they were equipped with radar for search and tracking. However the only two radars on Japanese ships were on battle ships far away from its carriers. Furthermore Japanese Reconnaissance was poor and at times non-existent. Morale 51. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour served as a great morale booster for the

Japanese troops. Although the aim of destroying the carriers was not achieved, yet the pacific appeared like a large lake to the Japanese now. Concentration of forces 52. Many commentators state it violated the principle of concentration of force, and was

overly complex. The first and the foremost mistake of Japanese was the decision to leave behind 2 carriers, Shokaku and Zuikaku. Their added strength would have been a great help at Midway. This additional power might have completely overwhelmed the American

Forces. Another contingency that led to Japans loss was the wrong disposition of her forces. The battle ships were far behind the carrier force. If Yamamoto had kept his forces together, he would have easily achieved numerical superiority over the US forces, or at least had a better chance of defeating them by increased Anti Air protection of carriers through the battleships that also had a massive long-range firepower capability. 53. The second problem with the disposition was the fact that in the main force all his

carriers were together, creating the problem that when one was found then all the carriers were found presenting an easy target and hard to protect against an attack of concentrated force. And also the distance between the dispositions of Japanese forces made it difficult to react according to the requirement of the situation, which demanded a high degree of coordination.


Flexibility 54. According to Murphys Law, Anything that can go wrong; will. This is exactly

what happened to Japan. The battle was a series of continually wrong decisions. A complex and contradictory plan was conceived by an over-confident nation. No thought was put forth as to what might go wrong, for they believed nothing could or would go wrong. If the Japanese had been prepared for all what-ifs instead of their probably and most-likely, they could have foreseen all possible problems. Due to this lack of flexibility, the Japanese made rash decisions, which were not planned for in advance and resulted in a total loss for Japan. Battle of Guadalcanal 55. Guadalcanal is part of the Solomon Islands which lie to the north-eastern approaches

of Australia. Though it is a humid and jungle-covered tropical island its position made it strategically important for both sides in the Pacific War. If the Japanese captured the island, they could cut off the sea route between Australia and America. If the Americans controlled the island, they would be better able to protect Australia from Japanese invasion and they could also protect the Allied build-up in Australia that would act as a springboard for a major assault on the Japanese. 56. Being the Guadalcanal was that advanced base, Admiral Yamamoto commanded the

numerous attempts to reinforce the Japanese soldiers on Guadalcanal and New Guinea. The results of these efforts only resulted in marginal success. 57. Yamamotos Combined Fleets ships met American naval forces in two great carrier

battles during the battles for Guadalcanal the Battle of the Eastern Solomons and the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands and inflicted some heavy damage on the American carriers. The Americans lost the Hornet at Santa Cruz and the Wasp to the torpedoes of a Japanese submarine. The Enterprise sustained heavy damage and had to retreat to Pearl Harbour for repairs. Meanwhile, Japanese cruisers and destroyers sank several American cruisers at the Battle of Savo Island, the Battle of Cape Esperance, the first night of the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, and the Battle of Rennell Island. 58. The Japanese lost two battleships, the Hiei and Kirishima, one light carrier Ryujo and

several cruisers and destroyers. While the Americans lost more ships, the Japanese suffered


strategic defeats at each of the naval battles they fought against the Americans because they failed to land enough men and materiel to help their soldiers defeat the American Marines and soldiers on Guadalcanal. In addition, the losses among Japanese were even more appalling. 59. The situation became so severe such that many Japanese soldiers almost starved to

death. The Japanese had to abandon their attempts to retake Guadalcanal and concentrate their efforts against MacArthur on New Guinea. The last surviving Japanese soldier left Guadalcanal on February 8, 1942. The Americans had full control of Guadalcanal and its valuable airfields on the next day.

LEADERSHIP APPRAISAL 60. Leadership is defined as, inspiring and directing forces and resources toward a

purposeful end; establishing a teamwork climate that engenders success providing the vision that both focuses and anticipates the future course of events. 61. Admiral Yamamoto was a leader of strict principle and mostly authoritarian. He

always remained strict to his plan at any cost. Despite his personal oppositions, he planned the attack on Pearl Harbour and executed the same with grand success. 62. As a commander he sometimes gave liberty to his under command to make decision

in a particular situation. When the question arose, whether there would be a second wave of air attack on Pearl Harbour to destroy the shore installations, he left it to be decided by his Force Commander Nagumo. Unfortunately Nagumo did not attack for the second time, which ultimately gave Americans enough scope to recover. Professional Competence 64. The knowledge will strengthen the confidence of the leader. Knowledge makes

confident leaders as well as confident subordinates. Admiral Yamamotos professional competence was of high reputation. In fact, his professional capability was indispensable for Japan.



He was elected to the Japanese naval academy and was honoured distinguished

graduation when he was just 22 years. Having visited and studied at the US Naval War College, Harvard University and the exposure he had as naval attach in the USA made him well matured diplomat which also gave the confidence to fight against the USA afterwards. His background knowledge gave him a great ideology about aircraft carriers. The subordinates of Yamamoto believed and respected him for his professional ability. Yamamoto was able to launch one of the worlds modern and strongest naval fleet by the end of 1930. 63. In April of 1919, Yamamoto began two years of study at Harvard University, where

he concentrated on the oil industrythe lifeblood of any modern navy. Returning with the rank of commander in July of 1921, he was appointed instructor at the prestigious naval staff college in Tokyo. 64. His professional competence was based on historical, operational and organisational

perspective. As a young man of twenty, he bravely fought at Tsushima against the Russians and gained experience in naval battles. He studied the lessons of the First World War with great care. While in America he pursued his interest in naval policy making. He studied naval warfare painstakingly, visiting various installations and devoting every moment to his studies. 65. Admiral Yamamoto became one of the Japans leading theorists on the military

applications of aviation. Even the Americans continued to respect his reputation as the first great practitioner of air-sea warfare. 67. Admiral Yamamotos professional ability and military contributions to his country

were considerable. His emphasis on aircraft and aircraft carries showed real foresight to the future naval warfare. He had remarkable technical knowledge and was appointed as the Chief of the Technical Division of Naval Air Crops. He insisted on torpedo bombers and long range bombers and most of all he demanded a fast carrier borne fighter plane. His emphasis on torpedo aircraft proved to be fully justified at Pearl Harbour by demonstrating that they were the real striking power of modern fleet while the fighter plane was the primary defence. His deployment of the carrier task forces showed remarkable imagination.


Ethics 66. Yamamoto was firm in professional beliefs. He was always straightforward and bold

in his opinion, even if his superiors did not like it. He was a man who hated pomposity. When Prime Minister Konoye asked Yamamoto, what chances Japan had in a war against Britain and America. He with his usual directness replied If we are told to fight, regardless of consequences, we can run wild for 6 months or a year but after that I have utterly no confidence. I hope you will try to avoid war with America. Contrary to his opinion on war against the US, when ordered to do so, he planned, organised and executed the attack on Pearl harbour with unprecedented vigour. 67. Yamamoto was a successful role model in his organisation. Even as a senior

commander, he received training for several hours everyday to learn flying. The flyers used to love him for his unparalleled interest in naval aviation. Motivation 69. He used to motivate his under command by rewarding intrinsically. When numerous

accidents and casualties evoked frustration amongst the flyers, Yamamoto said, .... I regard death in training as a heros death. Not only that, Yamamoto listed the names of dead-pilots which was compulsorily saluted by all. This unprecedented respect and honour shown to colleagues inspired the pilots. 70. In April 1943, he planned a risky visit to motivate his troops in the northern part of

Solomon Island despite Commander in Chief, Rear Adm Joshimas warning, not to undertake the visit. But he did not care such suggestion and during the flight his aircraft was shot down by Americans fighters. His concern for subordinates struck the hearts of every sailor and each was ready to die for him. His leadership touched even the lowest ranks of the navy. Will Power 71. He had tremendous strength of will power which made him distinct from other

leaders. He was injured in the first battle that he participated and lost two of his fingers. But that could not stop perusing him from achieving mastery in naval warfare. His defeat in the battle of midway did not stop him to prepare for further blow to the enemy. He was optimistic and proactive with his plans and strength.



During the Russo-Japanese War Yamamoto was onboard cruiser Nisshin, On 27 May

1905, in the battle of Tsushima Strait his ship was struck by Russian shells. He wrote home, I realised no fear when the shells began to fly around me, damaging the ship and killing many men. At 1850 hours a shell hit Nisshin and knocked me unconscious. I was wounded in the right leg and two fingers of my left hand were blown away. The Russian ships were utterly defeated, and their dead bodies littered over the sea. When victory was announced at 0200 next day, even the wounded cheered. This is one of the many evidences to prove the will power of Yamamoto to dominate the events in war. Organizational Vision 73. Admiral Yamamoto was a very good organiser. With rigorous studies and enormous

experience he could determine the threats to Japan correctly. Once decided to launch offensive against the US, he could correctly assess the main US naval air power at Pearl harbour, as his first assignment. Launching attack against Pearl harbour was unthinkable for Japanese Force. He reorganised the existing set-up and redrawn the battle tactics, where the battle would be conducted centring aircraft carrier. In fact, he was the inventor of carrier battle concept. The Japanese doctrine was to use the carriers to provide an air umbrella for battleship force. But Yamamoto changed the tactics. He used the carriers to project firepower deep into enemy territory. 74. He also opposed the traditional Japanese strategy of keeping the fleet in home waters

and wait for the enemys arrival, which was actually a defensive concept. His concept was to send submarines, torpedo bombers and even aircraft carriers ahead of the main force to fight enemy. If the enemy was not defeated, then final offensive was launched from battleship waiting in the home waters. 75. Though his organisational vision was wider but his intelligence network was

inadequate. For that, he missed his first target at Pearl Harbour and his force was defeated in Midway. He failed to take right action in Guadalcanal, where he planned to capture the islands part by part. Thereby he divided his force in a number of small groups, which ultimately weakened him everywhere and strong in nowhere. This gave the US Force easy chance to defeat him.



He used to communicate his concepts to his subordinates through personal contacts in

the form of conference, written orders and meetings. He mostly used personal contact as his craft to communicate and implement his plans and missions. He often used special aircraft for his command, control and communication purpose. Command Climate 77. As a commander, Yamamoto was successful. His planning was always centralised but

the execution was decentralised. He was successful in Pearl Harbour, Sumatra, Java, Borneo, etc but miserably failed in Midway and Guadalcanal. He used to supervise the activities of his under command personally and directly, which was not always required to be done by a personality like him. His visit to Solomon Islands was not that important under the prevailing situation. But due to his over enthusiastic attitude, he did it and ultimately he had to pay with his life. 78. He was very meticulous in maintaining time. He was never late anywhere. He used to

keep strict accountability of his men and material. He was sensitive about anything said against his nation. 79. He undertook number of risks as a valiant hero. Pearl Harbour itself was a risk. But

sometimes, he was over confidant about his plan and success, ignoring his limitation in intelligence net work. And he was ready to accept the failures of his subordinates. Innovation 85. Admiral Yamamoto was a very innovative character and showed that quality in many

instances which were instrumental to series of victories. 86. In 1930 Yamamoto took command of the 1st Air Fleet and the following year was

promoted to rear admiral incharge of the navy's technical service. Yamamoto, who had learnt to fly, became convinced that future wars would be decided by air power and embarked on a massive new building programme. 87. In office, he did the expected, promoted the development of aircraft carriers. At the

same time, he opposed the construction of new battleships, claiming that they could be sunk by torpedo planes. Yamamoto quoted an old Japanese proverb, "The fiercest serpent may be overcome by a swarm of ants," then elaborated: "These ships are like elaborate religious 18

scrolls which old people hung up in their homes. They are of no proved worth. They are purely a matter of faithnot reality." 88. In 1934 the Japanese built around 445 aircraft. This increased to 952 (1935), 1,181

(1936), 1,511 (1937), 3,201 (1938), 4,467 (1939) and 4,768 (1940). This included fighters, torpedo-bombers and dive-bombers. The most important of these were the fighters Mitsubishi A5M, Nakajima Ki-27, and the Mitsubishi A6M and the bombers Mitsubishi ki21 and Mitsubishi G3M. Courage 89. While in office, he took several courageous stands. He opposed army desires for an

alliance with Germany, fearing that such an agreement would lead to war with the United States and Britain, the world's two strongest naval powers, and possibly the Soviet Union. Moreover, he noted, the Imperial Navy and indeed the entire Japanese economy depended on imports of raw materials from the United States. In 1937, he opposed Japan's invasion of China when Japanese planes bombed the U.S. gunboat Panay, cruising China's Yangtse River. Three Americans were killed, and 43 were injured. Yamamoto personally apologized to U.S. Ambassador Joseph C. Grew, saying, "The Navy can only hang its head." 90. Such views made Yamamoto unpopular and became a target for extremist attacks.

The atmosphere became so hostile that tanks and machine guns were installed in the Navy Ministry. Supposedly, extreme rightists offered 100,000 yen as reward for his assassination. Bearing 91. A man short even by Japanese standards (five feet three inches), with broad shoulders

accentuated by massive epaulets and a thick chest crowded with orders and medals. But a strong, commanding face dominates and subdues all the trappings. The angular jaw slants sharply to an emphatic chin. The lips are full, clean-cut, under a straight, prominent nose; the large, well-spaced eyes, their expression at once direct and veiled, harbour potential amusement or the quick threat of thunder. Imagination



Yamamoto is generally regarded as one of the most prominent leaders in the Japanese

Navy for making significant changes to its organization, although he was also responsible for several critical defeats. Yamamoto is considered as an imaginative leader. 93. Admiral Yamamoto possessed high intelligence and a strong will to achieve what he set out to accomplish and possessed strategic vision, and credited as the catalyst for transformation of his organization. He foresaw the evolving nature of the strategic threat to his country and developed innovative concepts for the organization to adapt to and remain relevant. Admiral Yamamoto was a fierce proponent for converting the navy from a battleship focused fleet to an aircraft carrier focused fleet. He based his concept on initial observations he made as a student at Harvard, during World War I, and continued to refine it throughout his career. When he was Vice Minister of the Japanese Navy, Admiral Yamamoto argued with members of the Naval Staff that, in modern warfare battleships would be as useful as a samurai sword.

COMPARISON WITH CONTEMPORARY LEADER ADMIRAL CHESTER W. NIMITZ 93. Admiral Nimitz participated 1st world war as a submariner but no eventful

performance was recorded. In WW II in between 1941 to 1945 as C-in-C of Pacific Fleet, he could achieve a series of victories. 94. Admiral Nimitz, did include his subordinate commanders in the planning process. He

called his Task Force commanders, their staffs, intelligence and operations officers together with his staff to plan. Included were Rear Admirals Fletcher, Spruance and Commander Layton (Intelligence). Admiral Nimitz shared information and took suggestions from subordinates to heart. The plan became theirs; he increased their loyalty and motivation level through this process. Unity of purpose and effort were established and the mission, both tasks and purpose were clear, opening the path for success. 95. Admiral Yamamoto's planning process neither applied Sun Tzu's advice nor did it

incorporate a team approach in planning. Two of his fleet commanders, Vice Admiral Kondo and Vice Admiral Nagumo, were not included at all during the planning. Since both were involved in other operations, Admiral Yamamoto did not want to distract them. As a result, staff members, who did not have firsthand knowledge of the capabilities of these forces, drew


up the plans. The resulting weaknesses were apparent even before the operation began. Yamamoto called together his subordinate commanders at the Battleship Yamato on 1st May 1942 for a briefing. This was the first time that Admiral Nagumo and Kondo were exposed to the plan and each saw serious problems with it, but Yamamoto was not open to discussion. He told Kondo that the plan was credible since it was written by senior staff officers and he had no intentions of changing it. That same day, a major war game began during which several other flaws in the plan came to light. Yamamoto overlooked these flaws since officially his plan won, Thus, Yamamoto did not build a team, establish unity and inspire subordinates, nor did he realistically view the situation in developing his plan. Although his commanders understood what tasks were assigned, and understood that the U.S. carriers were the center of gravity, the plan left some serious unanswered questions.

Admiral Isoroku Yamamotos failure to defeat the U.S. Pacific Fleet during the battle of Midway was the event that precipitated the eventual defeat of the Japanese Combined Fleet in the Pacific theater during World War II. Fresh off a resounding victory over the U.S. Navy at Pearl Harbor, Admiral Yamamoto was very near achieving complete dominance in the Pacific as well as validating to his detractors the preeminence of his carriers as the decisive weapon in naval warfare. All he needed to do, was find and finish the U.S. Pacific Fleets carriers. Sailing boldly into the Central Pacific Ocean with the most powerful fleet known to man, Admiral Yamamoto found the U.S. carriers, but instead of destroying them, the strength of his Combined Fleet - four fast carriers - were sent to the bottom of the Central Pacific Ocean and the Japanese Navy was never again capable of a strategic offensive. Leadership faults and traits are observable and are likely to be imitated by subordinates. This is what happened to Admiral Yamamotos Combined Fleet Staff when they assembled to conduct the pre-Midway war-game. According to Parshall and Tully, instead of using the war games as an analytic tool to validate assumptions and test the validity of the operational design, Admiral Yamamoto and his staff treated this important event as merely a pro forma step they must complete before setting sail


LESSONS LEARNT 96. In the first six to twelve months of a war with the United States and Great

Britain I will run wild and win victory upon victory. But then, if the war continues after that, I have no expectation of success Admiral Yamamoto in an interview with Shigeharu Matsmoto. 97. Having lived and studied previously in the United States, Admiral Isoruku Yamamoto

of the Imperial Japanese Navy was not eager to enter into war with that country. Ordered into combat by his country, Admiral Yamamoto was the most reluctant of warriors who seemed to know that it was his destiny to fight and die for his Emperor in a lost cause. 98. One of the great advantages that the United States enjoyed in its war with Japan was

the cracking of the Japanese code. This gave the U.S advanced warning of impending Japanese operations. One such operation was a visit by Admiral Yamamoto to the Japanese base on Bougainvillea. Allied intelligence intercepted and decoded a message describing the visit, and the 13th Air force decided to welcome him. Even the highest ranking American military commanders felt that to give a direct order to assassinate an enemy commander was above them, and the day after the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo, 18 American P-38s from the Air force launched from Guadalcanal, flew to Bougainvillea, found the Admirals flight , and shot down his plane killing him. That was an end of Japanese Nelson Admiral Isoruku Yamamoto. 99. It is necessary to select and define the aims clearly in the conduct of war as a whole,

and in each military operation bearing the superior authoritys intention in mind. Though the, Battle of Midway was a failure due to the lack of security in communication; mainly it was a not availability of combat support services and the functions of combat. However Admiral Yamamotos aim was very definite. 100. Achieving Surprise in battle has won many wars for great military leaders including

Admiral Isoruku Yamamoto. So did Admiral Yamamoto in 1941 directing his entire first fleet at Pearl harbour, where his enemy was unprepared and disorganized. So he could achieve the trump of surprise against the enemy.



Admiral Yamamotos character edifies the effectiveness of the Concentration of

Force if it timely adopted. The ideal example again was from the attack on Pearl harbour. It was a gigantic harmonized attack with around 350 planes launched from six aircraft carriers of the United States to suffer their greatest naval defeat. 102. He could achieve the security of his forces and resources, but not the Economy of

Effort especially in the attack on Pearl harbour, since the US Carrier Fleet was out of the harbour. The effort he made with his forces would have been very economical; provided that he could destroy US carrier fleet and oil storage facility in Hawaii concurrently forcing the US Navy in dire straits for a considerable period than he achieved. 103. Sun Tzu said, If you only know yourself, not the enemy; the chances of winning and

loosing the war are equal. It was proved in the battle of Midway. The importance of having accurate and up-to-date intelligence of the enemy for the success of operation; and the disastrous effects it may cause on own forces for not having the same was also proved. 104. However, Admiral Yamamoto failed to maintain the communication security during

Midway Operation. Neglecting one of the most important Principles of War that is Security, made him to face the greatest naval defeat of Japan, and his untimely death at the hand of his foe, Americans. 105. Good communication between the commander and the subordinate is of paramount

important; whether they take the form of a verbal message, a letter, or a signal. The crucial requirement is that the recipient must clearly understand the commanders intent. There must be no room for misinterpretation. Failure to maintain good communication with Admiral Nagumo during Pearl Harbour attack resulted Nagumo to withdraw without a second successive strike. A similar communication lapse was also experienced during the Midway Operation. Battle plan was very complicated, and almost the entire Fleet hastily convened constituted own forces. But Commanding Officers had not been briefed thoroughly. No one knew what to do in an eventuality, or when plan went wrong. 106. Selecting personnel with professional ability and expertise are as Subordinate

Commanders a battle winning factor in the concept of Mission Command. Admiral Nagumo was an Anti-Submarine Warfare specialised officer, who could not comprehend the evolving battle of aircraft, and Carrier Based Operations.



In establishing the grand strategy, a country needs to consider its own goals, the likely

reactions of other countries, own economic weaknesses, and developments in international affairs. She also needs to take into account of the strategic goals of both her potential enemies and potential allies. Japans expansionist politics can be traced back at least till 1895, when she seized (Formosa) Taiwan. In 1931 she invaded Manchuria, and in 1937 attacked China. These and other conquests alarmed the Western powers, notably the US, who imposed an embargo on the export of certain manufactured goods and oil to Japan. By mid 1941, Japan realised that they must either withdraw from the lands they had conquered to prevent US interference, or go to war. Japanese authorities failed to understand those

issues, and ensured that the latter would be chosen. The ultimate result was her surrender on 2nd September 1945, following the atomic air raids on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Lesson Learnt From Attacking Pearl Harbour 108. Lets see what lessons are to be learnt from this battle. a. Operational and intelligence works require centralization of authority and

clear-cut allocation of responsibilities. b. Supervisory officials cant safely take anything for granted in the alerting of

subordinates. c. Any doubt as to whether outposts should be given information should always

be resolved in favour of supplying the information. d. The delegation of authority or the issuance of orders entails the duty of

inspection to determine that the official mandate is properly exercised. e. The implementation of official orders must be followed with closet

supervision. f. The maintenance of alertness towards responsibility must be insured through




Complacency and procrastination are not out of place where sudden and

decisive actions are of the essence. h. The coordination and proper evaluation of intelligence in times of stress must

be insured by continuity of service and centralization of responsibility in competent officials. j. There is no substitute for imagination and resourcefulness on the part of

supervisory and intelligence officials. k. Communications must be characterized by clarity, forthrightness and

appropriateness. l. Procedures must be sufficiently flexible to meet the exigency of unusual

situations. m. Restriction of highly confidential information to a minimum number of

officials, while often necessary, should not be carried to the point of prejudicing the work of the organization. n. 109. There is great danger of being blinded by the self-evident.

If we could only learn lessons from such campaigns, we would be able to avoid

disasters like pearl harbour and at the same time conduct operations like pearl harbour.

Lessons Learnt from Battle of Coral Sea 110. Foregoing analysis of this war brings out the following lessons: a. It is must that to conduct a coordinated operation a well-netted command and

control structure as well as inter-Services harmony is required. b. Training is the most vital ingredient of a good fighting force. Operational

training of all personnel including the force commanders is of significance importance.


c. d.

Quality is not the quantity of forces counts in Naval War. A comprehensive surveillance and security system is essential to avoid a

surprise attack from the enemy. e. The carrier operations proved that ship borne air operations had come of ages.

The aircraft had not become the main strike weapon of the navies. f. The Battle of the Coral Sea dispelled any doubt what so ever that battleships

can never be the capital units and the carrier become synonymous with sea power. g. h. fight. j. While the Japanese intended to be on the offensive in order to strike the first The importance of SLOCs still holds good today. The centre of gravity must to safe guarded because from it is drawn the will to

blow, the Americans planned to be on the defensive and retaliate if attacked. k. Control of air is essential for the success of the operation. But it is not the full

of victory. Lesson Learnt from Battle of Midway 111. Following lessons can be drawn from the Battle of Midway: a. b. c. space. d. The air element is a dominant factor in the naval warfare and air power is a The singleness of the aim is a vital factor. The security of information is very important to win or loose a war. It is essential to concentrate forces against the enemy at correct time and

real force multiplier in modern warfare.



Positive control and coordination is a key to success. The commander should

be able to exercise a positive control over his battle field elements during the operations. f. Effective surveillance is of immense importance to get early warning and

deny enemy the surprise. g. The enemy should never to be under estimated. Nothing can be more

dangerous than Victory Disease. h. Correctly deployed submarines can help to attain the aim. However, correct

estimates/intelligence has to be available for fruitful deployment of this potent weapon. As in case of this was neither side could utilize submarines. j. Superiority in numbers does not automatically mean victory. There are

numerous intangible factors which can play pivotal role in victory or defeat. 112. Entire picture is continuously winning wars might be over estimated own forces and

their capabilities and would not be known about the enemy and their capabilities have been ended up every one of Japanese people and resources.

CONCLUSION 113. Admiral Yamamoto through out his younger period, learning from his father and

mother were contributed shaping his stronger character. Yamamoto in the spirit of the Samurai always displayed high level of honour, loyalty and dedication. His education in US during the teenage years made him stronger in vision and knowledge from which he could enhance his states. It enables him to influence the development and advancement of carrier based operations. After induction of Carrier fleet in Pearl Harbour attack, It is understood that no one could maintain the ability to dominate the sea without a Carrier Force. 114. Admiral Yamamoto also realized that a decisive battle would be needed to win the

war for Japan, and after Doolittles Raid on Tokyo, advanced the attack plans for Midway. He established a massive force which consisted of over 130 Japanese ships to combat the


United States naval operations in the Pacific. However, after the loss of the battle, Yamamoto told his council that he didnt want anyone blaming the loss on the submarine force or the navy, because the loss was Yamamotos fault, and his alone. 115. While during the Solomon Islands campaign, Admiral Isoroku Yamamotos Betty

bomber was ambushed by a squadron of P-38 Lightning fighter aircraft over Bougainville. These aircraft were sent after intercepting a Japanese coded transmission which revealed that Yamamoto would be on an inspection tour of forward air bases. All aboard the two Betty bombers were killed. 116. Admiral Yamamotos death was a tragic blow to Japanese morale. Many commanders

felt that they had lost Japans greatest naval figure in the Pacific War. Yamamoto's remains were cremated at Buin and his ashes were returned to Japan on his last flagship, the battleship 'Musashi'. Yamamoto was posthumously promoted to the highest rank of Fleet Admiral.