The 1st Special Squadron (January 1917 – October 1918) was an Imperial Japanese Navy fleet. In accordance with the Anglo-Japanese Alliance, the fleet helped defend Australia and New Zealand as well as Allied shipping in the Pacific and Indian oceans during World War I.
Imperial Japanese Navy in World War I
At the outbreak of war, the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) stood at 3,800 personnel and consisted of sixteen ships, including the , the light cruisers and , the destroyers , and , and the submarines and . Another light cruiser () and three destroyers were under construction, and a small fleet of auxiliary ships was also being maintained.
After the Imperial German Navy's German East Asia Squadron was destroyed early in the war, most RAN ships were redeployed to the European theatres, leaving Australia and New Zealand exposed to German merchant raiders operating in the Pacific. The Australian government requested help from the British Admiralty, as the remainin