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Great All-Out War Theory

The Japanese had achieved a striking victory over Russia by sinking the Far Eastern Fleet with torpedoes in Port Arthur (Lâshun) on the Liaodong Peninsula on the western side of Korea Bay in February 1904 and destroying the relieving Western Fleet in the Battle of Tsushima, between Japan and Korea, in May 1905. The victory propelled Japan onto the world stage as a major power. It also gave rise to the Great All-Out War concept in which careful planning would give technical superiority over the Americans. Each ship built was to outclass its American counterpart in crucial ways - fire-power, speed or some other factor. American encroachment into the western Pacific would be subjected to erosion by submarine warfare before a mighty ship-to-ship action would destroy the fleet of the USA. This neglected the increasing importance of air power, of which Admiral Isoruku Yamamoto (Yamamoto, Isoruku) was well aware after the British success at Taranto. The plans developed by Rear Admiral Takajiro Onishi and Commander Minoru Genda (Genda, Minoru) for the attack on Pearl Harbor were therefore opposed by the traditionalist Great All-Out War theorists.

See also: Genda, Minoru; Pearl Harbor; Taranto; Yamamoto, Isokoru

You can find out more about the Great All-Out War Theory in the following Osprey book:

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