Many people have written asking about why I put this page up in the first place, and why I have an interest in the subject matter. So maybe I should give a little background on myself.
I've been interested in things naval since I began to read. I also started building models of naval vessels at a fairly early age. Because of my interest, my father began bringing home 16mm films of the Victory at Sea series for me to watch. Even then, I remember being intrigued by the Japanese Navy sequences. I built a kit of the heavy cruiser Haguro when I was in fifth grade, and that pretty much sealed it as far as the Japanese Navy was concerned. I went on to build quite a number of their ships up through high school. When I played naval wargames with my friends, guess who always played the Japanese?
When I went off to college, I kind of thought that was it. I gave away my models to a friend before I left. I was doing other things, like being a geology major and playing the bass guitar. I was also taking Japanese (and I was really bad at it, too). Then, towards the end of my college tenure, I started getting interested in Political Science, and particularly defense analysis. I started doing a lot of work on the (then) Soviet Navy, particularly in anti-submarine warfare. After graduating from Carleton College, I was accepted to Georgetown University's Ph.D. program in Government, where I continued in defense studies. However, after a year I decided to return to Minneapolis. Since then I have worked primarily in computers, and earned my MBA in Operations in 1994 from the University of Minnesota.
Prior to MBA school, my wife and I decided to move to Japan for a year, just to do something different. We lived in Hiroshima, which is very near the town of Kure, which during the war was a very large Japanese naval base. The Yamato was built there, for instance. Also in the neighborhood was Etajima, the site of the former Japanese Naval Academy. Perhaps not surprisingly, my interest in the Japanese Navy began to re-assert itself in a big way, and I collected more models (including all the ones I had built when I was younger) and more books on the subject. I haven't really stopped working on my library since then.
When I decided I wanted to build a website, it was fairly apparent to me what it had to be about. In my estimation, a homepage is largely a shrine to the things one thinks are cool. And there was nothing out there on the Web regarding the IJN that I could see. 'Find a need and fill it', I always say. And the rest is, so to speak, history.
The page has been a tremendously satisfying thing to put together, and has really fulfilled a need of mine to be published. Not only that, but I have received thousands of e-mails from twenty-five countries around the world, which is neat. As a result, I've met a number of really fine people, and have learned a tremendous amount from them. That's a side benefit I never anticipated when I put this thing up. I'd like to say, too, that the other thing that has made this page so cool is the fact that it is becoming more of a collaborative effort all the time. I enjoy working with people who have the same interests I do, and it really tickles me that there others out there who have been willing to contribute their time and energy to the page and make it a better place. Thanks, guys; I could not have done it without you!
Anthony "Tony" Tully is a naval historian/researcher and with Jon Parshall the co-author of the best-selling Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway from Potomac Books. He is also the author of "Battle of Surigao Strait" from University of Indiana Press and an unpublished manuscript on the last battles of the IJN, some of which is published in the "Mysteries" articles. Managing-Editor, Tony joined the Combined Fleet.com partnership in 1997, and with Jon Parshall and David Dickson, in 2000 identified underwater remains of the Japanese aircraft carrier Kaga discovered in 1999. These findings were first aired in a Discovery Channel special ("The Search for the Japanese Fleet") in December 2000. In addition, he has served a fact-checker and historical consultant on the "Battle 360" History Channel series and given numerous presentations at symposiums. He served as historical consultant in ongoing diving expeditions surveying the Surigao Strait battlefield. He is a member of and has written articles for the International Naval Research Organization (aka "Warship International"), and the United States Naval Institute. Other research activities include Roman and Byzantine History, Theological Studies, Volcanism, and the Medieval Period. Some writing projects and interests include Science-Fiction, Philosophy, and Psychology. A graduate of Texas Tech University, with postgraduate studies, Tony currently works in the information technology and support field. He runs the Tully's Port at Combined Fleet discussion forum on naval matters. He can be contacted at: email@example.com
Bob Hackett is a military historian and researcher. Retired from the United States Air Force and later from the aerospace industry. Bob worked with Parallax Film productions of Canada in the making of "Sen Toku: The Search for Japan's Ghost Fleet" that first aired in a Discovery Channel special in 2004. This effort resulted in the finding of dozens of Japanese submarines scuttled off Goto Retto in 1946 in "Operation Road's End". Bob also worked with A & F Productions of California in the making of "I-169: Revenge of Pearl Harbor" about Truk Lagoon and the loss of the submarine. This production first aired on the History Channel in 2005. In addition, he authored "Japan's Underwater Convoys" an article about the IJN's "Yanagi" missions to France that appeared in the October 2005 "World War II" magazine and has written several other unpublished articles about the IJN. Bob co-authored with Sander Kingsepp the History and Record of Movements for the Pacific War for Classic Warships Publishing's IJN KONGO, MYOKO, YAMATO, TAKAO and NAGATO Class warships series. In 2009, Bob served as historical consultant to Wild Life Productions of California in the making of the National Geographic Special "Hunt for the Samurai Subs." He can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Sander Kingsepp of Estonia is also a military historian and researcher. A talented linguist, Sander's translations of Japanese source materials have added immeasurably to many of our TROMs. Sander co-authored with Bob Hackett the History and Record of Movements for the Pacific War for Classic Warships Publishing's IJN KONGO, MYOKO, YAMATO, TAKAO and NAGATO Class warships series.
Peter Cundall is a maritime historian and researcher who specializes in merchant ships. He has contributed to or edited a number of books mainly based around Japanese merchant shipping in the interwar and World War II period and recently co-authored a register of Japanese Merchant Ships built between 1942-45. Over the years he has collected a great amount of information from Ultra decrypts and other sources on Japanese shipping movements before, during and after the war. He resides in Australia and works for a large shipping company. He can be contacted at: email@example.com
Allyn D. Nevitt is a naval historian and researcher. His background is primarily as a public servant, first with Los Angeles County, and then the City of San Diego, the last eight years as Circulation Supervisor for San Diego Public Library. He is now retired, but continues to work on a number of projects, including being 'chief of staff' and a researcher for Gary Grigsby, author of Pacific War, Steel Panthers, and many other wargames. He is a member of the International Naval Research Organization, the U.S. Naval Institute, the Grand Canyon Trust, and the National Parks and Conservation Society. His hobbies include military history, camping & hiking, James Dean, and Disney villains. He can be contacted at: anevitt @ cox.net
Erich Muehlthaler of Germany is a military historian and researcher who specializes in Japanese merchant ships especially those between 100 and 1000 grt and also in shipping captured by the Japanese after outbreak of the Pacific War. A talented linguist, he has a good command of Japanese, Dutch and French languages. For several years, he has worked with John D. Alden and Craig R. McDonald providing additional and new data for their outstanding reference work the “United States and Allied Submarine Successes in the Pacific and Far East during World War II”. Erich also was honoured to write the foreword for the book’s fourth edition. He is an electrical engineer for a large chemical company and resides in Bavaria, Germany.
Pete works largely behind the scenes with CombinedFleet.com, focusing mainly on the technical aspect of things. He is a history enthusiast in his own right, running the website World War II Database that catalogs personalities, equipment, events, and photographs from the WW2 period. Some of his technical articles are published at the website Developer Notes.