Osami Nagano

Osami Nagano

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Osami Nagano

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was a Japanese career naval officer and fleet admiral in the Imperial Japanese Navy from 1934. More of an administrative officer than a sea commander, he was Chief of the Imperial Japanese Navy General Staff for the majority of World War II, from April 1941 to February 1944.


Nagano was born in Kōchi to an ex-samurai family. He graduated from the 28th class of the Imperial Japanese Naval Academy in 1900, ranked second of his class of 105 cadets. After midshipman service in the cruiser and battleship , he was commissioned as an ensign and assigned to the cruiser . He served in a number of staff positions during the Russo-Japanese War, the closest he came to combat was as commander of a land-based heavy naval gun unit during the siege of Port Arthur.

After his promotion to lieutenant in 1905, he served on the battleship . He took coursework in naval artillery and navigation from 1905–1906, and later served as chief gunnery officer on the cruiser from 1906-1908. Nagano graduated from the Japanese Naval War College in 1909.

He was promoted to lieutenant commander in 1910 and he was assigned as chief gunnery officer on the battleship . From January 1913 to April 1915, Nagano was a language officer in the United States, during which time he studied at Harvard Law School.

During World War I, Nagano served as executive officer on the cruisers and cruiser . He was promoted to captain in 1918, and received his first (and only) ship command, the cruiser in 1919.

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