Shibasaki Keiji (1894-1943)

Photograph of Shibasaki Keiji Fair use may apply.

Shibasaki Keiji (Shibazaki Keiji) was a 49-year-old rear admiral in command of the SNLF troops on Tarawa when it was invaded by the Americans in late 1943.  He came from Hyogo Prefecture and graduated from the Naval Academy in 1915.  He spent the early part of the war in the Special Naval Landing Forces and was promoted to rear admiral in May 1943.  He seems to have been an energetic and inspiring commander, skilled at troop training and with expertise in field works.  These qualities were all too apparent to the Americans at Tarawa, in spite of the fact that Shibasaki was killed by U.S. naval artillery very early in the battle.

A million men cannot take Tarawa in a hundred years.

Service record

1894-4-9   born in Hyogo prefecture
Midshipman Graduates from Naval Academy, standing 26th in a class of 95. Assigned to CL Adzuma
1916-8-22   BB Settsu
1916-12-1 Ensign BB Satsuma
1917-10-10   CL Yakumo
1918-12-1 Lieutenant junior grade
1919-7-8   CL Chikuma
1919-10-11   2 Naval District
1919-12-1   Torpedo School Basic Course
1920-5-31   Gunnery School Basic Course
1920-12-1   DD Kaba
1921-3-19   BB Yamashiro
1921-12-1 Lieutenant Naval College Navigator Course
1922-12-1   DD Tachikaze
1923-10-15   AO Kamoi
1924-12-1   AG Musashi
1925-12-1   1 Naval District
1926-1-15   Staff, Training Fleet
1927-2-1   1 Naval District
1927-4-1   Instructor, Naval Academy
1927-12-1 Lieutenant commander     
1928-12-10   Staff, Burea of Personnel, Kure
1930-8-10   Navy General Staff
1932-11-15   Aide-de-campe, Prince Asaakira
1933-11-1   Adjutant, 1 Naval District
1934-10-22   Navy General Staff
1934-11-15   Staff, Bureau of Personnel, Navy Ministry
1936-12-1   Commander, PG Ataka
1937-12-1 Captain 2 Naval District
1937-12-15   Staff, 2 Naval District
1939-11-15   Executive officer, Kanko Area Base Force
1940-9-25   Chief, Administration Section, Naval Hydrography Command
1941-9-10   Staff, China Area Fleet
1941-9-15   Chief of staff, Shanghai Special Naval Landing Force
1943-4-25   Commander, Kure Defense Squadron
1943-5-1 Rear admiral
1943-7-9   Staff, 4 Fleet
1943-7-20   Commander, 3 Base Force
1943-11-25 Vice admiral
Killed in action


Alexander (1995)

Materials of IJN (accessed 2008-4-24)

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