The IJN Kongo, IJN Haruna, IJN Hiei, and IJN Kirishima joined the IJN Akagi, IJN Kaga, IJN Hiryu, and IJN Soryu in the Indian Ocean to attack Allied merchant ships and interrupt supply lines.
The IJN Kongo and IJN Haruna, with the four ships of the 17th Destroyer Squadron, were sent to bombard Christmas Island on March 7, 1942.
Large fleet of five carriers, the four Kongo class battlecruisers, and a covering force of cruisers and destroyers was led by Admiral Nagumo.
A Catalina saw the fleet on April 4, 1942, and was shot down after it reported in.
On April 5, 1942 the HMS Cornwall and HMS Dorsetshire were sunk south of Ceylon by carrier aircraft.
On April 9, 1942, a force of nine Blenheims attack and five were shot down.
Battle of Guadalcanal
On the night of October 13 - 14, 1942, IJN Kongo bombarded Henderson field with 430 14" rounds and the IJN Haruna fired 438 14" and 21 6" rounds.
On the night of November 12 - 13, 1942, the IJN Hiei, IJN Kirishima, a cruiser, and twelve destroyers were sent to bombard Henderson Field but were intercepted by TG67.4. The USS Atlanta and USS San Francisco were lost to a combination of gun fire and torpedoes. IJN Hiei was hit by 50 5" - 8" rounds from the USS Portland and USS San Francisco. The IJN Hiei was hit by four aircraft borne torpedoes on November 13, 1942. She was later scuttled by Japanese destroyers.
IJN Kirishima was intercepted by the USS South Dakota and USS Washington on the night of November 14 - 15. She was hit by nine 16" and 40 5" shells at 8,400 yards. Abandoned and scuttled on November 15, 1942, at 3:20 AM / 3:23 AM.