Yoshida Zengo (1885-1966)

Photograph of Admiral Yoshida ZengoLike Yamamoto

Japanese Navy Ministry. Via Wikipedia Commons

Yoshida was one of the senior admirals of the Japanese Navy, having served as commander of Combined Fleet in 1937 and as Navy Minister in 1939. Like his former classmate and close friend Yamamoto, he had been adopted into a prominent Japanese family as a promising heir (his birth name being Yohachi). Yamamoto said of his appointment as Navy Minister that "He is a good Navy Minister. We can sleep easily while he is in charge" (Boatner 1996). He was a staunch opponent of the Tripartite Pact, but was hospitalized with heart trouble (which Hotta suggests was actually a suicide attempt) and was forced to resign as Navy Minister just before the arrival of the German negotiators. This cleared the way for the Japanese Navy to support the Pact.

Yamamoto confided the Pearl Harbor plan to Yoshida in August 1941 as the two discussed the prospect of war with the United States (which both opposed.)

Yoshida commanded China Area Fleet during most of 1943.

Service record

1885-2-14   Born at Saga Prefecture
Midshipman Graduates from Naval Academy, standing 12th in a class of 192. Assigned AS Karasaki Maru
1905-1-3   CA Kasuga
1905-8-31 Ensign  
1906-5-10   Torpedo Boat Division 5
1906-8-7   AP Anegawa
1906-11-26   Gunnery Training Center
1907-4-15   Torpedo TrainingCenter
1907-8-5   DD Asatsuyu
1907-9-28 Lieutenant junior grade     
1907-10-28   CA Hashidate
1908-11-20   Torpedo School
1909-4-23   Training Torpedo Boat Division
1909-5-25   1 Naval District
1909-10-11 Lieutenant
1909-12-1   Naval College B-Course
1910-5-23   Torpedo School Advanced Course
1910-12-1   Commander, Torpedo Boat Division 4
1913-12-1   Naval College A-Course
1915-12-13 Lieutenant commander     
Staff, 3 Fleet
1917-12-1   1 Naval District
1918-4-25   Instructor, Torpedo School
1919-11-20   Staff, Destroyer Squadron 1
1919-12-1 Commander  
1920-6-3   Staff, Training Fleet
1921-5-12   Staff, Naval Education Command
1923-4-1   Staff, Education Bureau, Navy Ministry
1923-11-10   Chief, S2, Education Bureau, Navy Ministry
1923-12-1 Captain  
1924-3-25   Commander, CL Hirado
1924-12-1   Chief of staff, 4 Naval District
1925-5-15   Chief, S1, Bureau of Naval Affairs, Navy Ministry
1927-12-1   Commander, BB Kongo
1928-12-10   Commander, BB Mutsu
1929-11-30 Rear admiral
Chief, N2, Navy General Staff
1931-12-1   Chief of staff, Combined Fleet
1933-9-15   Director, Bureau of Naval Affairs, Navy Ministry
1934-11-15 Vice admiral
1936-2-1   Commander, Training Fleet
1936-12-1   Commander, 2 Fleet
1937-12-1   Commander, Combined Fleet
1939-8-30   Navy Minister
1940-11-15 Admiral Navy Counselor
1942-11-10   Commander, China Area Fleet
1943-12-1   Navy Counselor
1943-12-14   Director, Navy College
1944-3-15   Navy Counselor
Commander, 1 Naval District
Navy Counselor
1945-6-1 Retires  
1966-11-14   Dies


Boatner (1996)

Hotta (2013)

Materials of IJN (accessed 2009-12-11)

Pettibone (2007)

Prange (1981)

Spector (1985)

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