Komatsu Teruhisa (1888-1970)

Photograph of Komatsu Teruhisa

Wikimedia Commons

Prince Komatsu Teruhisa was a cousin of the Empress and former dean of the Naval Staff College. He was commander of  1 China Fleet at the commencement of the Pacific war. In March 1942 he became commander of 6 Fleet and was widely thought by his colleagues to have botched the submarine deployments for the battle of Midway. However, the failure of his boats to reach their assigned patrol line in time to spot the approaching American carriers was apparently predicted by the Navy General Staff officer for submarines, who was aware of the poor material condition of the boats in 5 Submarine Squadron. Komatsu's family connections, and the successful sinking of Yorktown by I-168, probably saved him from being scapegoated for the Midway debacle.

Komatsu shifted the emphasis of Japanese submarine operations away from attacks on warships and towards commerce raiding. Had this strategy been driven home, it might have caused the Allies considerable difficulty protecting their long, vulnerable lines of communication.

In June 1943 he was replaced by Takagi Takeo, taking command of 3 Naval District (Sasebo). He never held a sea command again. After the surrender he was elevated to the House of Councillors.

Service record

1888-8-12   born (Prince Teruhisa)
Graduates from Naval Academy, standing 26th in a class of 179. Assigned to CA Aso
1910-7-20   BB Satsuma
1910-12-15 Ensign
1911-8-4   Gunnery School Basic Course
1911-12-20   Torpedo School Basic Course
1912-4-24   BB Kawachi
1912-12-1 Lieutenant junior grade     

House of Peers
1913-9-20   CA Soya
1914-5-27   BC Kurama
1914-12-1   1 Naval District
1915-12-13 Lieutenant Navy College B-course
1916-6-1   Gunnery School Advanced Course
1916-12-1   Kongo
1917-9-11   Yugure
1917-12-1   Urakaze
1918-6-19   Yamashiro
1918-12-23   1 Naval District
1919-12-1   Navy College A-course
1921-12-1 Lieutenant commander
1922-12-1   Staff, Battleship Division 2
1923-11-10   Instructor, Navy College
1925-1-12   On leave for private study in Britain
1925-12-1 Commander  
1927-12-1   Instructor, Navy College
1928-12-10   Executive officer, Isuzu
1929-11-15   Executive Officer, Nagato
1930-12-1 Captain Commander, Itsukushima
1931-11-14   Commander, Jingei
1932-12-1   Commander, Kiso
1933-11-15   Navy General Staff
1934-11-15   Commander, Nachi
1935-12-2   Instructor, Navy College
1936-12-1 Rear Admiral
Commander, Submarine Squadron 1
1937-12-1   Commandant, Submarine School
1938-11-15   Chief Instructor, Navy College
1940-11-15 Vice Admiral
Commander, Ryojun Guard District
1941-7-5   Commander in Chief, 1 China Fleet
1942-3-16   Commander in Chief, 6 Fleet
1943-6-21   Commander in Chief, 3 Naval District
1944-11-4   Director, Navy Academy
1945-1-15   Navy General Staff
1970-11-5   Death


Fuller (1992)

Materials of IJN (accessed 2008-2-18)

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