INTERROGATION NAV NO. 43
USSBS NO. 192
JAPANESE NAVAL PLANNING
Interrogation of: Captain OHMAE, Toshikazu, IJN; an officer of 25 years service. In June 1942 he was transferred from the Bureau of Military Affairs to the Staff of the Southeast Area Fleet, in which capacity he planned and directed the First Battle of SAVO ISLAND. From December 1943 he was on the Staff of the First Mobile Fleet and took part in the planning and execution of the operations for the defense of the MARIANAS and of the PHILIPPINES as Chief of Staff to Vice Admiral OZAWA, CinC First Mobile Fleet and Third Fleet. From January 1945 he has been attached to the Naval General Staff. He was also Staff Officer 11th Air Fleet and 3rd Mobile Fleet.
Interrogated by: Captain T.J. Hedding, USN.
The chief objective of this interrogation was to clarify and amplify the answers to NAV MEMORANDUM O on Japanese Naval Planning. Captain OHMAE is probably the most intelligent and well informed Japanese Naval Officer that has been interrogated by this section. His background of assignments in this war have given him exceptional qualifications on this subject. He participate din many of the important campaigns and completed his duties as Chief of the First Section of the Naval General Staff. It is considered that the opinions expressed by Captain OHMAE are indicative of the opinions of responsible and informed Naval Officers.
Q. In regard to the answers submitted by the Historical Research Department of the Naval General Staff on the subject of Japanese Naval Planning, is the basis factual, are the opinions expressed your own and do you consider these opinions represent the opinions of the Naval General Staff?
A. That pertaining to specific operational plans and the descriptions of these plans are factual; they are based on records. The opinions expressed are my own, and I feel that they do represent in general the opinions of the members of the Naval General Staff.
Q. You have stated that there was a plan to attack HAWAII in March 1942 by shore-based aircraft. From what bases were these attacks to be launched?
A. After the occupation of MIDWAY, attacks would be launched from there.
Q. Was the failure military or economic?
A. I believe the economic failure was more important. The failure of air power was the reason for the military failure. I believe too much emphasis was put on the offensive in our naval thinking and in our War College training.
It is highly significant that there are no questions asked regarding any potential invasion or series of raids on the West Coast. Both parties, being naval officers, not only knew the improbability and ineffectiveness of such ideas, but would have also known if such plans existed or not.