Accession Number:

ADA612159

Title:

Japanese Naval Military Culture in the Pacific War

Descriptive Note:

Monograph

Corporate Author:

ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2014-05-22

Pagination or Media Count:

42.0

Abstract:

The U.S. Marine Corps established in 2005 the Center for Advanced Operational Culture Learning in Quantico, Virginia. The intent was to retain lessons from military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. However, although the importance of culture is obvious during tactical interactions between soldiers and the civilian populous, the importance of culture in planning operations is not clear. This monograph analyzes how Japanese military cultural norms interfered with the tactical, operational and strategic military decisions that ultimately decided the outcome of the war. Imperial Japan was selected because Japanese culture during World War II was dramatically different from American culture and, therefore, the influence of culture on planning would likely be more pronounced and easier to observe. To avoid the cultural generalizations and to narrow the scope of study, the research was limited to the military culture of the Imperial Japanese Navy IJN during the Pacific War and considers two major decisions for study, the plans to attack Pearl Harbor and Midway. Because cultures have a large number of attributes, social, philosophical, and historical, the research investigated only the historical aspect of cultural norms. Beginning with the 1905 Russo-Japanese War the research examined the evolution of the Imperial Japanese Navys culture until the outbreak of the Pacific War. The Russo-Japanese War was selected as the starting point because Japanese naval leaders focused on the lessons of 1905 when planning for war against the United States. The study shows that Japans decision to attack Pearl Harbor was planned to achieve a specific set of operational goals similar to the attack on Port Arthur in 1904. The plan was heavily influenced by the Imperial Navys culture. Similarly, the Battle of Midway became a pivotal point in the Pacific War because the Japanese sought a quick, decisive victory despite the fact that changes in operational factors meant the Japanese coul

Subject Categories:

  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE