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Nobutake Kondo.jpg

Nobutake Kondo (25 September 1886 – 19 February 1953) was an Admiral of the Imperial Japanese Navy who commanded the Japanese 2nd Fleet during World War II.


Nobutake Kondo was born on 25 September 1886 in Osaka, and he joined the Imperial Japanese Navy in 1907. In 1937, he was promoted to Vice Admiral after having taken part in the Japanese occupation of the German Empire's ports from 1920 to 1923 in the aftermath of World War I and the Treaty of Versailles. In 1941, he took command of the Japanese 2nd Fleet and directed the sinking of the Royal Navy's HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse on 10 December, an early defeat for the United Kingdom. In 1942, he led the Support Force at the Battle of Midway before fighting in the southwest Pacific Ocean at the Battle of the Eastern Solomons, Battle of Santa Cruz, and Battle of Guadalcanal. After the defeat at Guadalcanal, he was left in command of a large ship fleet at Truk that went unused in the war, and from December 1943 to May 1945 he led the China Area Fleet. Appointed to the Supreme War Council that month, he was there for only a few months when Japan surrendered to the United States. He died in 1953 at the age of 66.