The following pages provide a wealth of knowledge on most all classes of ships fielded by the Imperial Japanese Navy in the second world war.  Click on the principle class below for a deep dive into all the ships that made up that class.  Good hunting!


The mighty battleships of the Japanese Navy were a eclectic collection of old and new.  The Japanese had the most unique looking battleships and the largest battleship ever built by any nation.

Aircraft Carriers

The Japanese pioneered carrier design and aviation in the 1920’s and 1930’s.  Their carrier fleet was employed to great effect in the first 6 months of the conflict; seemingly unstoppable.

Heavy and Light Cruisers

The most diverse collections of cruisers the world has ever seen; the cruisers of the Japanese Navy were rarely conventional.  From torpedo cruisers, to scout plane cruisers to treaty-busting heavy cruisers, the Japanese had them all.


Destroyers and Destroyer Escorts

The destroyers of the Japanese Navy were integral in protecting the fleet from submarines, aircraft and other surface vessels.  The Japanese were the first to create AAW destroyers and one class fielded more torpedoes on board than entire destroyers squadrons of other nations.


When the Japanese designed their submarines they had two things in mind: large size and large operational range.  Japanese submarines were a foe to be reckoned with.  Some classes carrier and launched aircraft for scouting and attack.