Japan’s forging of a naval air arm, in which aircraft carriers had an independent and decisive role, within its battleship-dominated Imperial Navy was one of the most noteworthy disruptive innovations of the interwar years. Although the British had demonstrated the future role of naval aviation on more than one occasion during World War I, the Imperial Japanese Navy emerged from the conflict with little experience in aviation. Amazingly, however, by late autumn 1941, Japanese carrier air was the most potent offensive air force of any navy. Within the first five months of the Pacific war, the Japanese Fleet Air Arm had not only decimated enemy forces at Pearl Harbor, Port Darwin, Trincomalee, and Colombo with aerial attacks, but also had sent HMS Repulse and HMS Prince of Wales to watery graves, the first time in naval warfare that dreadnoughts under way were sunk by air attack.1