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Zoom Presentation – “Ghosts of the Kido Butai”

Wed 18 Sep, 11:00 am - 1:00 pm

Zoom Presentation,

Overview –

As of January 1944, the fate of Japan’s wartime empire in the Pacific was rapidly approaching a terminal precipice. The loss of two-thirds of the Imperial Japanese Navy’s Kido Butai carrier strike arm at Midway in June 1942 had left the Combined Fleet dependent upon just two fleet carriers and a raft of smaller carrier conversions for the source of its offensive aerial strike power. While the United States Navy had demonstrated its rejuvenated carrier strength in the recent invasion of Tarawa and the reconquest of the Gilbert Islands, the Japanese desperately awaited the introduction of new fleet carriers and aircraft types to effectively counter the building American offensive before it reached the shores of Japan itself.

This presentation examines the final wartime generation of the IJN’s aircraft-carrier arm, and the reasons for its complete failure to influence events in the Pacific War during the course of 1944. The analysis pays particular attention to the construction and service of the single Taiho and Shinano-class carriers and the three Unryu-class vessels, as well as the last generation of carrier aircraft, conspicuously absent a replacement for the previously all-conquering but by now obsolescent Mitsubishi A6M Zero fighter. In detailing these projects, the viewer shall be presented with a fundamental illustration as to why, in spite of all the technological prowess displayed by her designers and engineers, Japan’s effort to carve out a massive maritime empire was always doomed to fail on the altar of chronic shortsightedness erected by the nation’s paramount military leadership.

Presenter – Angus Britts

Angus is a qualified historian who has authored three books about military history, the third of which, Ikara: Australia’s Cold War Wonder Weapon, has been published on behalf of the Naval Historical Society of Australia. His principal areas of research involve the development of the ‘Singapore Strategy’ from 1921 – 1942, and the rise of airpower at sea during the same period. A volunteer with the Society, his other interest include politics, international relations, and the ongoing trials and tribulations of Australia’s national cricket and rugby teams. He is 57 years of age, and resides in Neutral Bay, Sydney.

 Detail –

Date and Time:1100am Wednesday 18th. September 2024 (Sydney time)

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Wed 18 Sep
11:00 am - 1:00 pm
Event Category:


Naval Historical Society of Australia
02 9537 0035
View Organiser Website


Zoom Presentation