Title page from Part I of Navy Operation Plans and Orders.
Title page from Part I of Navy Operation Plans and Orders, 1941-1944.

Navy Operation Plans and Orders: 1941-1944, 1945

MS 418

A collection in the
Special Collections & Archives Department,
Nimitz Library

Naval Academy Seal

United States Naval Academy
589 McNair Road
Annapolis, MD 21402-5029

Prepared by: David D'Onofrio

September 2012

Descriptive Summary

8 linear inches.
Access to the Navy Operation Plans and Orders: 1941-1944 is unrestricted.
The Navy Operation Plans and Orders: 1941-1944 are the physical property of Nimitz Library. Copyright belongs to the authors or creators of the works, or their legal representatives. For further information, consult the Head, Special Collections & Archives.
It is the responsibility of the researcher to secure written permission to publish, reprint, or reproduce material from Special Collections & Archives. The researcher assumes responsibility for infringement of copyright or literary or publication rights. Please contact the Head, Special Collections & Archives for permission to publish and for further information
Preferred Citation:
Navy Operation Plans and Orders: 1941-1944, MS 418
Special Collections & Archives Department
Nimitz Library
United States Naval Academy

Historical Sketch

On October 28, 1944, the Japanese cruiser Nachi arrived in Manila Bay, along with several other vessels, to provide support to Japanese reinforcements landing at Leyte. Beginning the next day, Nachi came under attack by American forces from Task Group 38.2, until she was finally sunk off Corregidor on November 5 by aircraft from U.S.S. Lexington (Aircraft carrier: CV-16). After American forces recaptured Manila in March 1945, divers from U.S.S. Chanticleer (Submarine rescue ship: ASR-7) dove on the wreck and recovered classified Japanese Navy planning documents. Upon being returned to the General Headquarters of the Southwest Pacific Area, General Douglas MacArthur ordered that the documents be translated and distributed by the Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

Selected Bibliography

Lacroix, Eric.  Japanese Cruisers of the Pacific War. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2007

Scope and Content Note

The Navy Operation Plans and Orders, comprising 8 linear inches of documentation, span from 1941 to 1944, and consist entirely of captured Japanese naval plans and orders from World War II.

The Navy Operation Plans and Orders are arranged by part number into a single record series with no subdivisions. Originally the product and property of the Imperial Japanese Navy, the Plans and Orders were distributed between April and August 1945 in twelve parts. The plans and orders, which also include charts, glossaries, tabular data, and subject indexes, touch upon Japanese preparations for war with the United States, Operation Sho, destroyer and cruiser doctrines, North Pacific operations, the Ominato Guard District, Philippine operations, and various other Japanese Navy operational doctrines and strategies.

Container List

Box Folder  
1 1 Part I: Task Force Ultrasecret Operation Orders 76 and 77, Order 76 and Serials 108, 1003, 1004 (1944), April 1945

Includes materials pertaining to Operation Sho, Japanese air defense, and training for Task Force Hikokitai.

2 Part II: Night Operations Force Doctrine, May 1945
3 Part III: Mobile Fleet Doctrine, May 1945

Includes materials on combat policy, order of cruising under alert, and regulations for recovering returning airplanes.

4 Part IV: Northeast Area Force and 2 Base Air Force Ultrasecret Operation Orders (1943-1944), May 1945

Pertains to Japanese fleet operations in the North Pacific.

5 Part V: Diversion Attack Force Ultrasecret Operation Orders and Orders (1944), May 1945

Pertains to diversionary forces during Operation Sho.

6 Part VI: Ominato Guard District Ultrasecret Operation Orders and Serials (1942-1944), May 1945

Pertains to the operation and defense of the Ominato Guard District (naval base), including mine laying, air scouting, document destruction, and communications.

7 Part VII: Combined Fleet Doctrine, 1943 - Book One: Combat, June 1945
8 Part VIII: Combined Fleet Operation Orders, Orders and Serials, June 1945

Pertains to operations in case of war with the United States, Great Britain, and the Netherlands, initial preparations for war, basic force organization, operations in the Philippines, Operation AL, Operation MI, and communications.

Box Folder
2 1 Part IX: 2 Fleet Destroyer Squadron Doctrine and Procedure (1943), August 1945

Includes combat policy, naval landing organization, torpedo and mine preparation regulations, maneuver regulations, engine regulations and controls, and regulations for communications.

2 Part X: CarDiv Four Doctrine (1941); Cruiser Division Doctrine (1944); Diversion Attack Force Doctrine (1944); Identification of Friendly Forces, August 1945