Takeo Kurita (20th c.)
Takeo Kurita was a famous twentieth century Japanese admiral. The BattleTech timeline, which begins to deviate from real history around the year 1988, posits that descendants of Takeo Kurita would form House Kurita, the ruling dynasty of the Draconis Combine, in the twenty-fourth century.
In BattleTech history, Takeo Kurita's great-great grand-niece Katherine Kurita married Takayoshi Fuchida in the spring of 2021. From that marriage descended the line that would ultimately form the empire that became the Draconis Empire in 2319. His great-great-great-great grand-nephew, the grandson of Takayoshi and Katherine, had the same name and would be known in history for his military actions while resolving strikes in Brazil.
- Takeo Kurita is one of the few real-world historical persons in BattleTech with a fictional component, in this case his line of descendants—in BattleTech, he is held to be the ancestor of Shiro Kurita, who was the founder of the Draconis Combine. The following biographical section is segregated because it is nonfictional real-world information, canonical the BattleTech universe from an off-hand mentioning in Experimental Technical Readout: 1945 and implicitly also because the BattleTech timeline only begins to substantially deviate from the real world timeline in ca. 1986 according to an official ruling by the BattleTech Line Developer made in regards to this Technical Readout, establishing its status as fully canonical.
Takeo Kurita (28 April 1889—19 December 1977) was a Vice Admiral in the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II, and, with the famous super-battleship Yamato as his flagship, the commander of arguably the most powerful fleet in human history.
Real World History
Vice Admiral Takeo Kurita is best known for being Commander-in-Chief of the 2nd IJN Fleet from 1943 on, which included the Yamato and her sister ship, Musashi (famous for being the heaviest battleships ever constructed), 3 other battleships, 10 cruisers and 13 destroyers (but no aircraft carriers). After his flagship, the cruiser Atago, was sunk by an American submarine six days prior to the Battle of Leyte Gulf, forcing Kurita to swim for his life, he transferred his flag to the Yamato.
In the Battle off Samar (central part of the Battle of Leyte Gulf), Kurita's fleet ran into American task force "Taffy 3", composed of escort carriers and destroyers, 30 minutes after dawn. Believing he had chanced upon the carriers of the enemy 3rd Fleet, Vice Admiral Kurita ordered an immediate general attack although his ships were just in the process of changing their steaming formation from nighttime to air defense formation. His vastly superior force thus attacked in an uncoordinated fashion, exacerbated by the flagship Yamato falling far behind while avoiding an aerial torpedo attack. Kurita effectively lost tactical control of the battle. Facing dogged resistance from Taffy 3 (with additional air support from Taffy 2), Kurita mauled Taffy 3 but suffered relatively high losses in return and ordered his forces to regroup after about two and a half hours. Upon learning of the destruction of other nearby IJN forces, he decided to retreat.
After the war, he found work as a scrivener and masseur. It was not until late in his life that he talked about the war; he told his biographer that he withdrew because he felt the war was lost, and did not believe in wasting the lives of his men for a futile effort.
- See also: Takeo Kurita (Wikipedia article)
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), p. 9, "Kearny And Fuchida"
- The Star League, p. 9, "Timeline: 2014 - 2027"
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), p. 24, "Conquest of Resistance"
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), p. 10, "Politics and Technology"