November 23, 1941
: From Carrier Striking Task Force Operations Order No. 1:
To Carrier Striking Task Force 1. The Carrier Striking Task Force will proceed to the Hawaiian Area with utmost secrecy and, at the outset of the war, will launch a resolute surprise attack on and deal a fatal blow to the enemy fleet in the Hawaiian Area. The initial air attack is scheduled at 0330 hours, X Day. Upon completion of the air attacks, the Task Force will immediately withdraw and return to Japan and, after taking on new supplies, take its position for Second Period Operations. In the event that, during this operation, an enemy fleet attempts to intercept our force or a powerful enemy force is encountered and there is danger of attack, the Task Force will launch a counterattack. ....
While exercising strict antiaircraft and antisubmarine measures and making every effort to conceal its position and movements, the entire force (except the Midway Bombardment Unit) in accordance with special orders will depart as a group from Hitokappu Bay at a speed of 12–14 knots. The force refueling en route whenever possible will arrive at standby point (42 N, 156 W). In the event bad weather prevents refueling en route to the standby point, the screening unit will be ordered to return to the home base. Subsequent to the issuance of the order designating X Day (the day of the outbreak of hostilities), the force will proceed to the approaching point (32 N, 157 W). Around 0700 hours, X Day the Task Force will turn southward at high speed (approximately 24 knots) from the vicinity of the approaching point. It will arrive at take-off point (200 nautical miles north of the enemy fleet anchorage) at 0100 hours X Day (0530 Honolulu time) and commit the entire air strength to attack the enemy fleet and important airfields on Oahu.
Upon completion of the air attacks, the Task Force will assemble the aircraft, skirt 800 nautical miles north of Midway, return about X + 15 Day to the western part of the Inland Sea via the assembly point (30 N, 165 E) and prepare for Second Period Operations. In the event of a fuel shortage the Task Force will proceed to Truk via the assembly point. The force may skirt near Midway in the event that consideration of an enemy counter-attack is unnecessary due to successful air attacks of if such action is necessitated by fuel shortage.
In this event, the 5th Carrier Division with the support of the Kirishima from the 3rd Battleship Division will leave the Task Force on the night of X Day or the early morning of X + 1 Day and carry out air attacks on Midway in the early morning of X + 2 Day. If a powerful enemy force intercepts our return route, the Task Force will break through the Hawaiian Islands area southward and proceed to the Marshall Islands...The Task Force may suspend operations en route to the Hawaiian area and return to Hitokappu Bay, Hokkaido or Mutsu Bay, depending upon the situation. (Dillon)