Vice Admiral Jisaburō Ozawa fought in the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War Two. Ozawa commanded the Japanese fleet at the decisive Battle of the Philippine Sea, where he was defeated by the Americans. This was a heavy blow for the Japanese. Ozawa attempted (but was not allowed) to resign; he continued serving the Imperial Japanese Navy until its dissolution at the end of the war.
Born in 1896 on Kyūshū island. Ozawa graduated from the Japanese Naval Academy in 1909. By 1936 he had been promoted to the rank of Rear Admiral. The following year, Ozawa was appointed Chief-of-Staff of the Combined Fleet and in 1940, he was made Vice Admiral and president of the Japanese Naval Academy.
After Japan attacked Pearl Harbour in December 1941, Ozawa became responsible for Japan's naval operations in the South China Sea. From January to March 1942 his fleet helped invade Java and Sumatra.
In June 1942, the Japanese met the Americans in the Philippine Sea. The United States 5th fleet, commanded by Admiral Raymond Spruance, emerged victorious against Ozawa’s fleet. The Japanese suffered heavy losses. Ozawa lost nearly 400 sea-based planes in the 'Great Marianas Turkey Shoot'. During the battle, Ozawa was hampered by miscommunication. Returning pilots to his carriers reported that they had sunk four US carriers and destroyed many American planes. Buoyed by this news, Ozawa was keen to take the fight to the Americans. Only when it became apparent that his force had been severely weakened did Ozawa retreat to Okinawa. He tried (but was not allowed) to resign after this humiliating defeat.
See also: George Patton
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