Text of Japanese Battle Order

Japanese Battle Order


Carrier Striking Task Force Operations Order No. 1
23 November 1941
To: Carrier Striking Force

1. The Carrier Striking Force will proceed to the Hawaiian Area with utmost secrecy and, at the outbreak of war, will launch a resolute surprise attack on and deal a fatal blow to the enemy fleet in the Hawaiian Area. The initial air attack is scheduled at 0330 hours, X Day. Upon completion of the air attacks, the Task Force will immediately withdraw and return to Japan and, after taking on new supplies, take its position for Second Period Operations. In the event that, during this operation, an enemy fleet attempts to intercept our force or a powerful enemy force is encountered and there is a danger of attack, the Task Force will launch a counterattack.

2. The disposition of Force will be as shown on Chart 1.

3. The Operation of Each Force.

a. General
While exercising strict antiaircraft and antisubmarine measures and making every effort to conceal its position and movements, the entire force (except the Midway Bombardment Unit) in accord ance with special orders will depart as a group from Hitokappu Bay at a speed of 12-14 knots. The force refueling en route when ever possible will arrive at the standby point (42 N, 165 W). In the event bad weather prevents refueling en route to the standby point, the screening unit will be ordered to return to the home base. Subsequent to the issuance of the order designating X Day (the day of the outbreak of hostilities), the force will proceed to the approaching point (32 N, 157 W).

Around 0700, X-1 Day the Task Force will turn southward at high speed (approximately 24 knots) from the vicinity of the approaching point. It will arrive at the take-off point (200 nautical miles north of the enemy fleet anchorage) at 0100 hours X-Day (0530 Honolulu time) and committ the entire air strength to attack the \ enemy fleet and important airfield on Oahu.

Upon completion of the air attacks, the Task Force will assemble the aircraft, skirt 800 nautical miles north of Midway, return about X + 15 Day to the western part of the Inland Sea via the assembly point (30 N, 165 E) and prepare for Second Period Operations. In the event of a fuel shortage the Task Force will proceed to Truk via the assembly point.

The force may skirt Midway in the event that consideration of an enemy counter-attack is unnecessary due to sucessful air attacks or if such action is necessitated by fuel shortage.

In this event, the 5th Carrier Division with the support of the KIRISHIMA from the 3rd Battleship Division will leave the Task Force on the night of X-Day or the early morning of X + 1 Day and carry out air attacks on Midway in the early morning of X + 2 Day.

If a powerful enemy force intercepts our return route, the Task Force will break through the Hawaiian Islands area southward and proceed to the Marshall Islands.

b. Patrol unit
The patrol unit will accompany the main force. In the event the screening unit is returned to the home base, the patrol unit will screen the advance of the main force and the launching and the landing of aircraft. After the air attack, the patrol unit will station itself between the flank of the main force and the enemy. In the event of an enemy fleet sortie, the patrol unit will shadow the enemy and in a favorable situation attack him.

c. The Midway Bombardment Unit
The Midway Bombardment Unit will depart from Tokyo Bay around X-6 Day and, after refueling, secretly approach Midway. It will arrive on the night of X Day and shell the air base. The unit will then arrive and, after refueling, return to the western part of the Inland Sea. The oiler SHIRIYA will accompany the bombardment unit on this mission and will be responsible for the refueling operation.

d. Supply Force
The supply force will accompany the main force to the approaching point, carrying out refuelings, separate from the main force, skirt 800 nautical miles north of Midway, return to the assembly point by 0800 hours, X + 6 Day, and stand by.

4. The Task Force may suspend operations en route to the Hawaiian area and return to Hitokappu, Hokkaido or Mutsu Bay, depending upon the situation.

Commander, Carrier Striking Task Force
Nagumo, Chuichi

[Admiral Nagumo]Admiral Chuichi Nagumo, IJN


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