Japanese China Area Fleet

The China Area Fleet was the only significant portion of the Japanese Navy that was not under the command of Combined Fleet. It was organized to support the interminable war in China and consisted largely of naval infantry of the Special Naval Landing Forces, their supporting naval aircraft, and some river gunboats and destroyers.

2 China Fleet was originally organized in January 1941 to carry out coastal operations along the Fukien coast south to Canton. Four divisions and an air division were detailed to the fleet and eight regimental-scale amphibious landings took place in February and March alone, helping to seal off the Chinese coast.

Administrative structure, 7 December 1941:

China Area Fleet (Koga; at Shanghai)
   CL Idzumo

AK Banshu Maru #21

AK Minowa Maru

AK Tenran Maru

AK Zuiho Maru

AO Juko Maru (478 tons)

AO Koryu Maru (6680 tons, 12 knots)

AO Moji Maru

PT Hiyodori (with Hong Kong Attack Force)

DMS W-28

AGS Hausa

China Area Fleet Air Group (at Shanghai)

    8 B5M Mabel

1 L3Y Tina

Shanghai Special Base Force (Makita)

DD Hasu


DD Tsuga

AGP Nihonkai Maru (2684 tons)

Shanghai SNLF

Gunboat Division 13

    PG Hyakufuku Maru (986 tons)

PG Shosei Maru (998 tons)

PG Unkai Maru #1 (2225 tons)

Gunboat Division 14

PG Nishho Maru

PG Shinko Maru #1 (935 tons)

PG Tosho Maru (1289 tons)

1 China Fleet (Komatsu; at Hankow)

PG Ataka

10 river gunboats

Hankow SNLF

Yangtze River Squadron (Komatsu)

Ankei SNLF (at Anking)

Yangtze SNLF (at Hankow)

2 China Fleet (Niimi; at Canton)

9 river gunboats

2 China Fleet Air Group

4 E7K Alf

Torpedo Boat Division 11 (with Hong Kong Attack Force)

PT Kiji

PT Kari

15 Mixed Squadron (Koga M.)

CL Isuzu

PG Hashidate

PT Kamo (234 tons)

PT Kasasagi (with Hong Kong Attack Force)

Canton Special Base Force (Inoue)

PG Uji

PG Muro Maru Possibly used as a hospital ship?

PG Hitonose

PG Sozan Maru

PG Saga

Minesweeper Division 4

    AMc Ranzan Maru (219 tons)

AK Tsukushi Maru (1859 tons; on loan to 14 Army)     

Amoy Special Base Force (Hatakeyama)

PG Kasajima

PG Seisho Maru

3 China Fleet (Kawase; at Sanya)

3 China Fleet Air Group

4 E7K Alf

South Patrol Division (Kawase)

CL Iwate

PY Renun Ko

PY Sekikyusho

Hainan Naval District (Sunagawa)

1 Maizuru SNLF

4 Yokosuka SNLF

8 Sasebo SNLF

Hainan Air Group

4 B5M Mabel

Torpedo Boat Division 1

PT Hayabusa




Tsingtao Air Group

4 E7K Alf

Task forces, 7 December 1941:

Hong Kong Attack Force (Niimi; off Hong Kong)      
  PT Hiyodori

Elements, 2 China Fleet

  Torpedo Boat Division 11

  PT Kiji

PT Kari

PT Kasasagi On loan from 15 Mixed Squadron

Elements, Destroyer Division 6 On loan from DesRon1, First Fleet

DD Ikazuchi

DD Inazuma


Peattie et al. (2011)

Prados (1995)

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