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Vice-Admiral Nagumo, Chuichi

Born in 1887, Chuichi Nagumo gained a reputation for a volatile temperament and for aggressive but unsophisticated strategies. He became a torpedo expert. He was not enthusiastic about the concept of the Hawaii Operation, belonging to thGreat All-Out War Theory school of thought. Nonetheless he was put in command of the First Air Fleet, in spite of his inexperience with airborne operations. He presided from his flagship Akagi with Commander Minoru Genda (Genda, Minoru) as his air adviser. It has been said that he was in error in calling off the third attack wave and thus completing the destruction of the US Pacific Fleet, but in fact no such action was contemplated; two waves only were planned. Nagumo was in command of the air fleet at the Battle of Midway (Midway, Battle of) where he was in part unfortunate, but made the serious error of concentrating on bombing the island and neglecting the possibility of a chance to destroy the American aircraft carriers. His own carriers were caught without fighter cover and sunk. Nagumo served under Admiral Kondo at Santa Cruz in October 1942, in the Marianas in June 1944 and killed himself when he felt defeat had become inevitable, on 6 July 1944.

See also: Akagi; Midway, Battle of; First Air Fleet; Genda, Minoru; Great All-Out War; Hawaii Operation

You can find out more about Vice-Admiral Chuichi Nagumo in the following Osprey books:

CAMPAIGN 62 Pearl Harbor 1941; CAMPAIGN 30 Midway 1942