Koga, Admiral Mineichi, 1885-1943

Admiral Koga replaced Admiral YAMAMOTO as Commander in Chief of the Combined Fleet after the latter’s death on 17 April 1943. Unflamboyant, efficient and cool, he was nonetheless seduced by the idea of the ‘Decisive Battle’ with the Allied Fleet, a do-or-die conflict which would decide the nation’s fate. He completed plans for this battle (Operation Z) on 8 March 1944 but he knew the chances of victory were slim. On 31 March 1944 he set out to die in a plane which disappeared in a storm without trace.

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