Operation Kita (i)


'Kita' (i) was an unrealised plan by the Imperial Japanese navy for the evacuation of the garrison of Attu island in the Aleutian islands group (May 1943/29 May 1943).

The island had been occupied by the Japanese on 6 June 1942 in 'Aq', but toward the middle of the following year, the increasing threat to their three island garrisons in the island group suggested that Attu be abandoned. The plan for the evacuation was agreed in the middle of May 1943, after US forces had landed in 'Landcrab', and a task force was earmarked for the undertaking. This force was to comprise the aircraft carriers Zuikaku, Shokaku, Hiyo and Zuiho, the light cruiser Agano and some other other light warships including destroyers, which quickly started to assemble in Tokyo Bay.

The Japanese then decided that the risk posed by the undertaking was considerably greater than its putative benefits, and the plan was abandoned on 29 May, leaving the island’s garrison to be overrun.