Oka Takasumi (1890-1973)

Photograph of Oka Takasumi

Via Wikimedia Commons

Oka Takasumi (Oka Takazumi) graduated from the Naval Academy in 1911 and the Naval Staff College in 1923. He was a submariner but held numerous staff assignments between the wars. He was a vice admiral and political and military specialist in the Navy Ministry and directed the Bureau of Naval Affairs in the period just before the Pacific war broke out. This was a powerful position, since any government agency dealing with the Navy had to go through the Bureau of Naval Affairs, making Oka one of the three most influential staff officers (bakuryu) in Japan.

Oka was opposed to the Tripartite Pact and supported a Japanese withdrawal from China to placate the Americans, and opposed an immediate decision to go to war in August 1941; but he apparently also told the Army General Staff that the Navy preferred an attack on the Netherlands East Indies to an attack on Russia. He joined Nagano and Shimada in insisting that diplomacy be sacrificed in order to win the impending war. 

After Japan was brought to ruin, Oka was sentenced to life imprisonment for crimes against the peace.

Oka was unmarried, pro-German, and generally a supporter of Army policies. He was unsuccessful in gaining Army support for attacks on the key Allied bases in Hawaii and Australia, but did negotiate Army support for the Port Moresby operation that led to the Battle of the Coral Sea.

Service record

1890-2-11   born
1911-7-18 Midshipman Graduates from Naval Academy, standing 52nd in a clas of 148. Assigned to CL Soya
1912-3-29   BB Katori
1912-12-1 Ensign  
1914-1-15   BB Hiei
1914-12-1 Lieutenant junior grade
Torpedo School Basic Course
1915-5-26   Gunnery School Basic Course
  DD Uranami
1916-4-1   Submarine Division 1
1916-12-1   Submarine Division 2
1917-6-9   Staff, 2 Special Task Fleet
1917-9-5   Yokosuka Sailor Corps
1917-12-1 Lieutenant Naval College B-Course
1918-4-15   Torpedo School Advanced Course
1918-12-1   Commander, Submarine Division 1
1919-11-1   Commander, Submarine Division 13
1919-11-20   Commander, Submarine Division 1
1920-5-29   Submarine Division 14
1920-12-1   Commander, SS-12
1921-6-1   Commander, SS-29
1921-12-1   Naval College A-Course
1923-10-15   Navy General Staff
1923-12-1 Lieutenant commander     
Instructor, Submarine School
1924-5-20   Resident Officer, France
1925-7-13   Superintendant, Versailles Treaty
1926-5-31   Navy General Staff
1926-9-1   Staff, Submarine Squadron 1
1926-12-1   Commander, Ro-61
1927-5-20   1 Naval District
1927-11-15   Instructor, Naval College
1928-12-10 Commander  
1931-10-10   Navy General Staff
1932-10-25   Attendant to Plenipotentiary, Geneva Conference

1934-4-26   Navy General Staff
1934-11-15   Chief, Temporary Construction Bureau, Navy Ministry
1936-12-1   Commander, AS Jingei
1937-12-1   Navy General Staff
1938-1-15   Chief, S1, Bureau of Naval Affairs,  Navy Ministry
1939-10-10   Chief, N3, Navy General Staff
1939-11-15 Rear admiral
1940-10-15   Director, Bureau of Naval Affairs, Navy Ministry
1942-11-1 Vice admiral
1944-7-18   Navy Vice-Minister
1944-9-9   Commander, Chinkai Guard District
1945-4-20   Navy General Staff
1973-12-4   Dies


Fuller (1992)

Hotta (2013)

Materials of IJN (accessed 2008-6-18)

Prange (1981)
Russell (1958)

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