"For Awhile We Were Sincerely Afraid They Were Going to Win" -Leonard "Bud" Fisher; 1992
This site is the realization of years of casual research and the genuine intention of building a place on the internet that took the Pacific Campaign from both angles: both the Japanese and American views while providing a prospective take in the form of specifications.
Research began in the winter of 1996, then merely as an afterthought to augment the then popular Sega Saturn game "Iron Storm". What began as a casual interest to then middle school students Daniel Walker (the eventual creator of the site) and collaborator Stephen Ward was further heightened in the spring of 1998 when the duo embarked on a large scale research project to create their own online game and reference site to go along with it.
While the game failed to materialize, both Ward and Walker began programing sections of the site independently, each with different views. Walker built the first homepage and the battleship sub-section, with Ward utilizing sections of Walker's 1997 online publication "Red Skies of the Pacific" in building the aircraft carrier section With the site largely incomplete in July of 1998, when Ward was forced to move cross county, Walker resumed full scale development of the site.
"After coding this same thing for 11 hours I was about ready to smack anyone in the Japanese Navy" -Stephen Ward; May, 1998
IJN Online was officially opened on November 11, 1998 with the following post in a Yahoo newsgroup
"Hey Again All, This is
Zuikaku here to announce that the project Phalanx and I have been working
on is finally complete! As of today the site is open and running
on Tripod (so far so good with them). We are severely hobbled by
the simple layouts they force us into, and the pop-up ads (donations are
now being accepted for a server!) but its working all right. Be sure
to visit us at http://members.tripod.com/~DanielWalker/ijn.html
Thanks!"- Official launch of IJN online; 11/11/1998
Following the initial introduction, traffic to the site was lackluster, primarily due to being rejected by most major search engines due to lack of content. However the addition of the cruiser, destroyer, officer info, and chartroom, traffic reached higher levels.
In the waning days of the millennium, Ward and Walker again conspired to rebuild IJN online. Backed by new technology and a full knowledge of HTML, the duo completely rebuilt and redesigned the site in January and February of 2000, until its re-release on February 26, 2000.
Today the site has attracted over 2000 users in the last 18 months. A small number compared to major sites, but considering the niche interest of its audience, and the fact that it was created by two 14-year-old boys on a 486 Thinkpad, IJN online has been a resounding success.
"When I hacked this thing together a few years ago, I had no idea the attention it would attract."-Daniel Walker; 1/25/2000
Wesley Morgan, Associate Writer
This site is dedicated to the immortal spirit of the veterans on both sides of the campaign. Their selfless acts ensured the survival of this nation, and the rise of another great one.
Early IJN Online Logo: Circa 1997
Daniel Walker: firstname.lastname@example.org