Vice-Admiral Ibo Takahashi was Vice-Admiral of the IJN, Vice Chief of Naval General Staff, and protege of K. Kato in 1932.
He was a militant who influenced the implementation of K. Kato's proposal to devolve the right of overall naval command from the Ministry of the Navy to the Chief of Naval General Staff. The implementation of the proposal was ratified by Emperor Hirohito on 25 September 1933.
He was Commander of the Combined Fleet from 1934 to 1936. On 10 February 1939, he stated the Japanese Navy needed to expand rapidly in a southern direction towards New Guinea, Celebes and Borneo. As Chief of Staff of the Combined Fleet, he was replaced by S. Fukudome and possibly retired in January 1940. He was seemingly recalled and became Commander of the 3rd Fleet, the Blockade and Transport Force, which included the 5th and 7th Cruiser Squadrons and the 2nd and 4th Destroyer Flotillas. He formed part of the Southern Force under the command of Vice-Admiral Nobutake Kondo based in Formosa in 1941.
In January and February of 1942, this force was split into the Eastern and Central Forces. The first for the invasions of Menado, Kendari and Makassar in Celebes and the second for the invasion of Netherlands Borneo.
In January 1942, he commanded amphibious operations in the Banda Sea theatre.
Later, in February 1942, he was Commander of Eastern and Central Forces during the invasion of Java. He personally directed the Direct Support Force under Rear-Admiral Shoji Nishimura, the Second Escort Force under Rear-Admiral Raizo Tanaka, the 1st and 2nd Naval Base Forces, under Rear-Admiral Takeo Kurita, the Third Escort Force, under Rear-Admiral C. Hara, and the First Air Group made up of the light carrier Ryujo and 56 transports. The Eastern Force defeated the Allied ABDA Fleet under the command of Admiral Doorman in the Battle of the Java Sea. Ibo completed the invasion of Java without serious further resistance. Possibly by the end of the War, he had become an Admiral.
On 2 December 1945, in Tokyo, he was put under arrest as a suspected war criminal by the American occupation forces.
Copyright © Klemen. L. 1999-2000
Forgotten Campaign: The Dutch East Indies Campaign 1941-1942