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The Southwest Area Fleet (南西方面艦隊 Nansei Hōmen Kantai?) was a fleet of the Imperial Japanese Navy established during World War II.


The Southwest Area Fleet was an operational command of the Imperial Japanese Navy established on April 10, 1942 to coordinate naval, air, and ground forces for the invasion, occupation and defense of the Philippines, French Indochina, Malaya, and the Netherlands East Indies.

The 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Southern Expeditionary Fleets and the IJN 13th Air Fleet were under operational control of the Southwest Area Fleet.

After February 1945, the headquarters of the Southwest Area Fleet was isolated in the Philippines, and the IJN 10th Area Fleet was created in Singapore to take over operational command of its surviving forces, with the exception of the 3rd Southern Expeditionary Fleet, which was also trapped in the Philippines.[1] Through fierce fighting during the American re-occupation of the Philippines, especially in Manila, Cebu and Mindanao, the surviving elements of the Southwest Area Fleet and the 3rd Southern Expeditionary Fleet were largely annihilated by the end of May 1945.


  • Southwest Area Fleet (HQ Manila)
    • First Expeditionary Fleet (Singapore)
    • Second Expeditionary Fleet (Surabaya)
    • Third Expeditionary Fleet (Manila)
    • Fourth Expeditionary Fleet (Ambon)
    • IJN 13th Air Fleet

Commanders of the IJN Southwest Fleet

Commander in chief [2]

Rank Name Date
1 Vice Admiral Ibo Takahashi 10 Apr 1942 – 15 Sep 1942
1 Admiral Shiro Takasu 15 Sep 1942 – 18 Jun 1944
1 Vice Admiral Gunichi Mikawa 18 Jun 1944 – 1 Nov 1944
1 Vice Admiral Denshichi Okawauchi 1 Nov 1944 – 15 Sep 1945

Chief of staff

Rank Name Date
1 Vice-Admiral Toshihisa Nakamura 10 Apr 1942 – 10 Oct 1942
2 Vice-Admiral Takeo Tada 10 Oct 1942 – 15 Mar 1944
3 Rear-Admiral Hidehiko Nishio 15 Mar 1944 – 1 Nov 1944
4 Vice-Admiral Kaoru Arima 1 Nov 1944 – 6 Sep 1945



  • D'Albas, Andrieu (1965). Death of a Navy: Japanese Naval Action in World War II. Devin-Adair Pub. ISBN 0-8159-5302-X. 
  • Dull, Paul S. (1978). A Battle History of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1941-1945. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-097-1. 

External links


  1. D'Albas, Death of a Navy
  2. Wendel, Axis History Database

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