Kido Butai sets sail into History

Today in History, November 26, 1941:

The Japanese Combined Fleet sets sail from the Kurile Islands in northern Japan, enroute to a point 300 miles north of the US Naval base at Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii.

The fleet consisted of 6 aircraft carriers; Akagi, Kaga, Hiryu, Soryu, Zuikaku, and Shokaku; battleships, destroyers, and many other supporting units.

The fleet maintained radio silence in order to facilitate their surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7th.

In the interim, the Japanese government continued peace negotiations with the US, but only capitulation by the US would have caused them to recall the attack force.

The fleet was commanded by Admiral Chuichi Nagumo, a veteran Japanese Naval Officer. He was not a flyer, and some of his decision in the coming days would reflect that.

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