Efforts to reach peace accords and the expectation of one decisive battle actually put Japan on a collision course to war with the United States.

Musashi

How Pearl Harbor Happened

By Richard G. Higgins

Commander Mitsuo Fuchida, strike leader for Operation Hawaii and 20-year veteran of the Imperial Japanese Navy (Kaigun), strapped himself into the observer’s seat as his Nakajima B5N2 “Kate” torpedo bomber, piloted by Lieutenant Mitsuo Matsuzaki, and lifted off from the carrier Akagi on the black morning of December 7, 1941. Read more

U.S. Navy air power shattered Japanese carrier based strength in a one-sided battle during the invasions of Saipan, Guam, and Titian.

Musashi

The Great Marianas Turkey Shoot

By David H. Lippman

Another invasion also began on June 6, 1944. By virtue of the International Date Line, the two invasions sailed on different days, but both sortied within the same 24-hour period. Read more

U.S. Navy Helldiver aircraft attack the Japanese battleship Musashi in the Sibuyan Sea during the Battle of Leyte Gulf. Painting by Sam L. Massette.

Musashi

Battle of Sibuyan Sea

By John Wukovits

In warfare, desperate times call for desperate measures, and in the fall of 1944 the empire of Japan found itself in precisely that predicament. Read more

Musashi

Demise of the Japanese Navy

By Christopher Miskimon

The Japanese superbattleship Musashi was steaming east along with a fleet of other battleships, cruisers, and destroyers on their way toward what was expected to be a climactic battle at Leyte Gulf. Read more