The Pacific War Online Encyclopedia
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Historical Center #NH 62798.
Cropped by author.
Hara Chuichi (Hara Tadaichi) was commander of Carrier Division 5 (Zuikaku and Shokaku) in the attack on Pearl Harbor. He later wrote of the attack that it "did not fit any thinking that I knew to be right," believing that "we won a great tactical victory at Pearl Harbor and thereby lost the war." Historians have largely come to share this view.
Hara’s carriers fought at Coral Sea, where he found himself under the command of his close friend Takagi Takeo, but the carriers suffered sufficient aircrew attrition and combat damage that they were not present at the disastrous Battle of Midway. Hara flew his flag from the Ryujo in the battle of the Eastern Solomons, where she was sunk. Following the battle, Hara was posted back to Japan to a training command.
In February of 1944, Hara was made commander of 4 Fleet at Truk, but his command became increasingly irrelevant as the Mandates were bypassed by the Allies (Leckie 1962):
The seasons do not change. I try to look like a proud vice admiral, but it is hard with a potato hook in my hands. It rains every day, the flowers bloom every day, the enemy bombs us every day — so why remember?
remained at this post until the end of the war.
Like almost every other Japanese carrier commander of the war, Hara was not an aviator, but a torpedo expert like Nagumo. However, he had an intelligent and flexible mind and had commanded carriers long enough by the time the war broke out to have some familiarity with their strengths and weaknesses. He had made his reputation as a staff officer in China between 1938 and 1940, where he had drawn some wrath to himself by opposing the escalation of hostilities and refusing to send inflammatory Army dispatches over his ship’s radio. Genda Minoru, who planned the Pearl Harbor attack, said that "He looked tough, but he did not have the tiger's heart" (Prange 1981). Hara occasionally drank to excess, and his behavior while drunk as well as his heavy build may have accounted for his nickname, "King Kong."
||Graduates from Naval Academy, standing 85th out of a class of 148. Assigned to CA Aso|
||Torpedo School Basic Course|
|1915-5-26||Gunnery School Basic Course|
|1917-12-1||Submarine Division 3
|1918-12-1||Lieutenant||Torpedo School Advanced Course|
|1919-12-1||Torpedo School Specialist Course|
|1923-11-10||Instructor, Torpedo School|
||Naval College A Course|
|1927-12-1||Staff, 2 Fleet
|1928-12-10||Staff, Destroyer Squadron 1
|1929-11-30||Commander||Instructor, Torpedo and Gunnery Schools|
|1933-10-20||Staff, Cruiser Division 11
|1933-12-20||Trip to Europe, United States
|1935-11-15||Chief of staff, Ryojun Guard
|1937-12-1||Staff, Naval Shipbuilding Command
|1938-9-15||Staff, 5 Fleet
|1939-3-10||Inspector, Asian Development Agency|
||Chief of staff, 2 China
|1941-8-13||Staff, 1 Air Fleet
|1941-9-1||Commander, Carrier Division 5
|1942-7-14||Commander, Cruiser Division 8
|1943-5-18||Commander, 11 Combined Air Group|
|1944-2-19||Commander, 4 Fleet
Materials of IJN (accessed 2008-2-18)
The Pacific War Online Encyclopedia © 2007-2011 by Kent G. Budge. Index
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