Kōzō Satō

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Kōzō Satō
Sato Kozo.jpg
Born(1871-05-15)15 May 1871
Hanamaki, Iwate, Japan
Died 23 March 1948(1948-03-23) (aged 76) [1]
Allegiance Empire of Japan
Service/branchNaval ensign of the Empire of Japan.svg  Imperial Japanese Navy
Years of service 1891-1923
Rank Vice Admiral
Commands held Suzuya, Tone, Azuma, Fusō
Imperial Japanese Navy Academy
2nd Special Task Fleet
Ōminato Guard District
Battles/wars First Sino-Japanese War Russo-Japanese War World War I

Kōzō Satō(佐藤 皐蔵,Satō Kōzō, May 15, 1871 – March 23, 1948) was a Japanese admiral in the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War I.

Imperial Japanese Navy Naval branch of the Empire of Japan

The Imperial Japanese Navy was the navy of the Empire of Japan from 1868 until 1945, when it was dissolved following Japan's surrender in World War II. The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) was formed after the dissolution of the IJN.

World War I 1914–1918 global war originating in Europe

World War I, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as "the war to end all wars", it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history. It is also one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide.



Satō was born in Hanamaki city in modern-day Iwate prefecture. He was a graduate of the 18th class of the Imperial Japanese Naval Academy in 1891, ranking 6th out of 61 cadets. His classmates included future admiral Abo Kiyokazu.

Hanamaki, Iwate City in Tōhoku, Japan

Hanamaki is a city in Iwate Prefecture, Japan. As of 28 February 2017, the city had an estimated population of 97,401, and a population density of 107 persons per km2, in 36,859 households. The total area of the city is 908.39 square kilometres (350.73 sq mi). Hanamaki is famous as the birthplace of Kenji Miyazawa and for its hot spring resorts.

Imperial Japanese Naval Academy

The Imperial Japanese Naval Academy was a school established to train officers for the Imperial Japanese Navy. It was originally located in Nagasaki, moved to Yokohama in 1866, and was relocated to Tsukiji, Tokyo in 1869. It moved to Etajima, Hiroshima in 1888. Students studied for three or four years, and upon graduation were commissioned as midshipmen, attaining the rank of ensign after a period of active duty and an overseas cruise. In 1943, a separate school for naval aviation was opened in Iwakuni, and in 1944, another naval aviation school was established in Maizuru. The Academy was closed in 1945, when the Imperial Japanese Navy was abolished. The Naval Academy Etajima opened in 1956 and the site now serves as the location for Officer Candidate School of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force.

As a midshipman, Satō served on Hiei, Katsuragi, Takachiho, and Hashidate, and after promotion to ensign, on the Amagi. In 1894, during the First Sino-Japanese War, he was assistant navigator on the converted passenger liner Saikyō-Maru, serving under the formidable Admiral Kabayama Sukenori during the Battle of the Yalu River.

A midshipman is an officer of the junior-most rank, in the Royal Navy, United States Navy, and many Commonwealth navies. Commonwealth countries which use the rank include Canada, Australia, Bangladesh, Namibia, New Zealand, South Africa, India, Pakistan, Singapore, Sri Lanka, and Kenya.

Japanese ironclad <i>Hiei</i> Japanese corvette

Hiei was the second and last vessel of the Kongō-class ironclad corvettes built for the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) in the 1870s. They were built in the United Kingdom because the Japanese were unable to build ironclad warships in Japan. She became a training ship in 1887 and made training cruises to the Mediterranean and to countries on the edge of the Pacific Ocean. The ship returned to active duty during the First Sino-Japanese War of 1894–95 where she was damaged during the Battle of the Yalu River. Hiei also participated in the Battle of Weihaiwei and the invasion of Formosa in 1895. The ship resumed her training duties after the war, although she played a minor role in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–05. She was reclassified as a survey ship in 1906 and was sold for scrap in 1912.

Japanese corvette <i>Katsuragi</i>

Katsuragi (葛城) was the lead ship in the Katsuragi class of three composite hulled, sail-and-steam corvettes of the early Imperial Japanese Navy. The ship was named for a mountain located between Osaka and Nara prefectures.

After serving on Atago and Kaimon, Satō was promoted to lieutenant in 1897 and was appointed as chief gunnery officer on Chin'en in 1898. In 1900, he served on the Hatsuse on its voyage to the United Kingdom and back. He served in staff positions from 1901–1902, and was sent as a military attaché to the United Kingdom in April 1903. While in the United Kingdom, he was promoted to lieutenant commander.

Japanese gunboat <i>Atago</i>

Atago (愛宕) was a composite hulled, steam gunboat, serving in the early Imperial Japanese Navy. She was the third vessel to be completed in the four vessel Maya class, and was named after Mount Atago in Kyoto.

Japanese corvette <i>Kaimon</i>

Kaimon was a sail-and-steam corvette of the early Imperial Japanese Navy. Although the name Kaimon translates to "sea gate", the ship was named for Mount Kaimon, although written with different kanji, located in Kagoshima prefecture.

Japanese battleship <i>Hatsuse</i> Shikishima-class battleship

Hatsuse was a Shikishima-class pre-dreadnought battleship built for the Imperial Japanese Navy by the British firm of Armstrong Whitworth in the late 1890s. The ship participated in the early stages of the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–1905, including the Battle of Port Arthur on the second day of the war. She was involved in the subsequent operations until she struck two mines off Port Arthur in May 1904. The second mine detonated one of her magazines and Hatsuse sank almost immediately afterwards with the loss of over half her crew.

After his return in February 1904, Satō was assigned as chief gunnery officer on Azuma, where he served during the Russo-Japanese War at the Battle off Ulsan. He was transferred to Tokiwa, where he was chief gunnery officer during the Battle of Tsushima. After the end of the war, he served on the battleship Katori on its 1905 voyage to the United Kingdom. Returning to Japan in August 1906, he was promoted to commander and served as an instructor at the Naval Gunnery School from 1907 to the end of 1909.

Japanese cruiser <i>Azuma</i> ship

Azuma (吾妻) was an armored cruiser built for the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) in the late 1890s. As Japan lacked the industrial capacity to build such warships herself, the ship was built in France. She participated in most of the naval battles of the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–05 and was lightly damaged during the Battle off Ulsan and the Battle of Tsushima. Azuma began the first of five training cruises in 1912 and saw no combat during World War I. She was never formally reclassified as a training ship although she exclusively served in that role from 1921 until she was disarmed and hulked in 1941. Azuma was badly damaged in an American carrier raid in 1945, and subsequently scrapped in 1946.

Russo-Japanese War war between the Russian Empire and the Empire of Japan

The Russo-Japanese War was fought during 1904-1905 between the Russian Empire and the Empire of Japan over rival imperial ambitions in Manchuria and Korea. The major theatres of operations were the Liaodong Peninsula and Mukden in Southern Manchuria and the seas around Korea, Japan and the Yellow Sea.

Battle off Ulsan battle

The naval Battle off Ulsan, also known as the Battle of the Japanese Sea or Battle of the Korean Strait, took place on 14 August 1904 between cruiser squadrons of the Imperial Russian Navy and the Imperial Japanese Navy during the Russo-Japanese War, four days after the Battle of the Yellow Sea.

In December 1910,Satō became executive officer on the battleship Aki. On December 1, 1911, he was promoted to captain and received his first command: the cruiser Suzuya. He subsequently commanded Tone (1913), Azuma (1913) and Fusō (1915). Satō was promoted to rear admiral on Dec 1, 1916. [2]

An executive officer (CCE) is generally a person responsible for running an organization, although the exact nature of the role varies depending on the organization. In many militaries, an executive officer, or "XO," is the second-in-command, reporting to the commanding officer. The XO is typically responsible for the management of day-to-day activities, freeing the commander to concentrate on strategy and planning the unit's next move.

Japanese battleship <i>Aki</i> Satsuma-class battleship

Aki (安芸) was a Satsuma-class semi-dreadnought battleship built for the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) during the first decade of the 20th century. She was the second battleship built domestically in Japan and the first to use steam turbines for propulsion. The ship was named for Aki Province, now a part of Hiroshima Prefecture. The ship saw no combat during World War I. Aki was disarmed in 1922 and sunk as a target in 1924 in accordance with the terms of the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922.

Japanese cruiser <i>Tone</i> (1907) ship

Tone (利根) was a protected cruiser of the Imperial Japanese Navy. The ship was named after the Tone River in Tokyo.

On February 7, 1917 Satō was assigned command of the 2nd Special Task Fleet, a task force of Japanese destroyers deployed to Malta in the Mediterranean as part of Japan’s assistance to the Allied war effort under the Anglo-Japanese Alliance. Sato commanded two squadrons of 17 destroyers from aboard the flagship Akashi, patrolling the eastern Mediterranean from Alexandria to Marseilles and from Alexandria to Taranto against the Imperial German Navy and Austro-Hungarian Navy. His forces escorted convoys of merchant vessels and troopships, and performed anti-submarine warfare duties. Future admirals Tamon Yamaguchi and Raizō Tanaka were members of his staff. These operations were under the overall command of Royal Navy Admiral Sir Somerset Gough-Calthorpe, and Rear Admiral George A Ballard, who highly praised Satō in dispatches to London. [3] The Japanese ships were at sea on combat duty on average 25 days or more each month. The Japanese Navy spent 72 percent of their time at sea compared with 60 percent by the British and about 45 percent by the French and Italian Navy. [4]

After his return to Japan after the end of the war, Satō was commandant of the Naval Artillery School. He was promoted to vice admiral in December 1920, and commanded the Ōminato Guard District in 1921. He went into the reserves from 1923. [5]

Satō died after the end of World War II in 1948. Many of the overseas honors and decorations he was awarded by the Entente Powers in World War I are displayed at the Hanamaki City Museum at his hometown of Hanamaki, Iwate. [6] These include the following:

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  1. Nishida, Imperial Japanese Navy
  2. Nishida, Imperial Japanese Navy
  3. Halpern. A Naval History of World War I. Page 393
  4. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-02-13. Retrieved 2016-05-29. Hirayama. Rising Sun in the Mediterranean.
  5. Tucker, World War I. page 1639
  6. Hanamaki City Museum Archived 2011-07-22 at the Wayback Machine .