World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of P-51 Mustang
World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of T-34/85
World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of Fw-190
World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of Churchill
wwiivehicles.com ©2016
Search:
Japan's Imperial Navy flag

Japan's Fuso class Battleships

Photos

IJN Fuso:
IJN Fuso
Imperial War Museum, MH-5926
IJN Fuso:
IJN Fuso
Imperial War Museum, MH-6162
Vice Admiral Shori Nishimura's flagship the IJN Yamashiro at the Battle of Leyte on October 26, 1944:
Vice Admiral Shori Nishimura's flagship the IJN Yamashiro at the Battle of Leyte on October 26, 1944
Imperial War Museum, NYP-46105
IJN Yamashiro in Tokyo Bay with IJN Fuso and IJN Haruna in 1935:
IJN Yamashiro in Tokyo Bay with IJN Fuso and IJN Haruna in 1935
Imperial War Museum, NH-90773

Design

The Fuso class ships were laid down before the start of World War I as dreadnoughts under the 1911-1912 Emergency Expansion Program.1,2,4

At the time of their completion they were the most powerful battleships in the world until the Nagato class.2

After modernization in the 1930s they were reclassified as battleships.1

Modernization

In the 1930s both the IJN Fuso and IJN Yamashiro were upgraded to bring them closer in line with battleships of other nations.1

A funnel was removed and a tall pagoda style bridge was added.1,2,3

The mainmast was replaced by a small structure where anti-aircraft guns were placed.1

The aircraft catapult on the IJN Yamashiro was moved to the stern from the C turret.1,3

Hybrid Carriers

After the severe losses at Midway it was considered changing the Fuso class ships into hybrid carriers.1,2,3 However, after the Battle of the Marianna's most of the remaining navy pilots were killed and plans were dropped.1,2,3

Ships

IJN Fuso

  • Manufacturer: Kure Navy Yard1,2,4
  • March 11, 1912: Laid down.2,4
  • March 28, 1914: Launched.1,2,3,4
  • November 8, 1915: Completed.2,4
  • Early 1920s: Refit.2 Command centers built up on foremast.2 Front funnel received cap to deflect smoke.2
  • 1926: Torpedo net removed.2
  • 1930 - 19333, April 1930 - May 10, 1933, 19321, April 19, 1930 - May 12, 19334: Modernization at Kure Navy Yard.2 Mixed firing boilers replaced by oil firing.2,4 Main guns elevation increased to 43°, and 6" to 30°.2,3,4 Torpedo tubes removed.2 Catapult added to C turret.2 Hull lengthened.3
  • September 1934 - February 1935, September 16, 1934 - February 19, 19354: Modernization at Kure Navy Yard.2
  • February 26, 1937 - March 31, 1938: Refit at Kure Navy Yard.4
  • July 1941: Member of Battle Division 2 of First Fleet.2,4
  • November 1941: Member of Anchorage Defence Unit of the Main Force.4
  • December 8 - 13, 1941: Left Hashira Jima to meet Pearl Harbor Force to cover their withdrawal.4
  • February 9, 1942: Joined Screening Force of the Main Fleet.4
  • April 18 - 22, 1942: Tried to intercept United States Fleet that had launched Doolitle Raiders.4
  • May 29, 19424, June 1942: Member of Aleutian Screening Force.2,4
  • June 17, 1942: Arrived at Yokosuka.4
  • June 22 - 24, 1942: Sailed for Hashira Jima.4
  • September 1 - 9, 1942: At Kure.4
  • May 1, 1943: Member of Main Force.4
  • August 16, 1943: Member of Battleship Force.4
  • August 17 - 23, 1943: Sailed for Truk.4
  • October 17 - 19, 1943: Left Truk for Eniwetok.4
  • October 26, 1943: Returned to Truk.4
  • February 1, 1944: Member of Battleship Force, Shikashima Force.4
  • February 1 - 4, 1944: Sailed to Palau.4
  • February 16 - 21, 1944: Sailed to Lingga Roads.4
  • February 25, 1944: Member of Combined Fleet for training.2
  • March 1, 1944: Member of Mobile Force of the Combined Fleet.4
  • April 8 - 25, 1944: Sailed to Singapore.4 Put into dry dock for maintenance.4
  • April 17, 1944: Sailed to Lingga Roads.4
  • May 11, 1944: Sailed to Tawa Tawa to participate in A-Go Operation.4
  • May 30 - 31, 1944: Sailed to Davao as member of Diversion Force.4
  • May 31 - June 4, 1944: Planned to support Biak Operation but was cancelled.2,4 Attacked by B-24s but not hit.4
  • June 5, 1944: Joined Stand-by Force.4
  • July 1, 1944: Escorted by 4th Destroyer Division sailed for Davao and encountered submarine on the way.4
  • July 2, 1944: Arrived in Tarakan.4
  • July 8 - 15, 1944: Sailed for Kure.4
  • July 14, 1944: Shelled surfaced submarine and evaded three torpedoes.4
  • July 15 - 20, 1944: Refit.4
  • July 20, 1944: Member of First Training Force.4
  • September 10, 1944: Member of Battle Division 2 of Second Fleet.2
  • October 22 - 24, 1944: Leyte Gulf operations.2
  • October 24, 19442, October 25, 1944: Sunk.1,2,3,4 Battle of Leyte Gulf.2

IJN Yamashiro

  • Manufacturer: Yokosuka Navy Yard1,2,4
  • November 20, 1913: Laid down.2,4
  • November 3, 1915: Launched.1,2,3,4
  • March 31, 1917: Completed.2,4
  • 1917: Flying off platform added to No. 2 turret.4
  • Early 1920s, 1923 - 19244: Refit.2 Command centers built up on foremast.2 Front funnel received cap to deflect smoke.2 Searchlight platform added to front of second funnel.2
  • 1926: Torpedo net removed.2,4
  • 1930 - 19353, December 1930 - March 30, 1935, December 18, 1930 - March 30, 19354, 19351: Modernization at Yokosuka Navy Yard.2 Mixed firing boilers replaced by oil firing.2 Main guns elevation increased to 43°, and 6" to 30°.2,3 Torpedo tubes removed.2 Catapult added to stern.2 Hull lengthened.3
  • June 27, 1937 - March 31, 1938: Refit at Yokosuka Navy Yard.4
  • July 1941: Member of Battle Division 1 of First Fleet.2
  • November 1941: At Hashira Jima member of Screening Force of Main Fleet, First Fleet, 2nd Battle Squadron.4
  • December 1941: Member of Battle Division 2 of First Fleet.2,4
  • April 18 - 22, 1942: Tried to intercept United States Fleet that had launched Doolittle Raiders.4
  • May 20, 1942: Sailed with IJN Fuso as part of Support Force.4
  • June 1942: Member of Aleutian Force.2
  • June 8, 1942: Member of Northern Force.4
  • June 17, 1942: Arrived in Yokosuka.4
  • 1942 - 1944: Training in Inland Sea.2
  • February 1, 1943: Arrived in Yokosuka.4
  • September 1, 1943: Member of Surface Training Force.4
  • September 4 - October 8, 1943: Sailed to Hashira Jima.4 Gunnery training ship for new radar and cadets from Etaguchi acadamy.4
  • October 8, 1943: Member of T-3 Transport Force.4
  • October 15 - 20, 1943: Sailed to Truk with supplies and troops.4
  • October 31 - November 5, 1943: Sailed to Tokuyama.4 Evaded submarine attack.4
  • November 10, 1943: Member of Surface Training Force.4
  • December 29, 1943: Sailed to Yokosuka.4
  • December 31, 1943: Training ship.4
  • March 1, 1944: Member of 2nd Battle Squadron.4 Training ship for navy schools.4
  • October 22 - 24, 1944: Leyte Gulf operations.2
  • October 24 - 25, 19442, October 25, 1944: Sunk.1,2,3,4 Battle of Leyte Gulf.2

Usage

Since both ships were rather slow they primarily stayed near the Japanese home islands and did training.1,4

Battle of Leyte Gulf / Battle of Surigao Strait

On October 18, 1944, the IJN Fuso and IJN Yamashiro (flagship of Force C) sailed from Lingga Roads to Brunei Bay.4 Late on October 22, 1944, they, with the IJN Mogami and four destroyers sailed.4 On October 24, 1944, aircraft attacked, destroying all of Fuso's aircraft.4 Thirty nine PT boats then attacked that night along with Desron 54.4 Torpedoes from the destroyers hit the Fuso at 2:07 AM.4 She caught fire and then exploded into two parts.2,4

On October 25, 1944, the IJN Yamashiro was hit by an United States destroyer's torpedo.4 Three turrets were inoperable and the ship was slowed.4 At 2:51 AM Admiral Oldendorf's force of cruisers opened fire.4 At 3:10 AM the five old battleships (USS West Virginia, USS California, USS Tennessee, USS Maryland, and USS Mississippi) opened fire.4 At 3:11 AM she was hit by one or more torpedoes.4 By this time she was on completely on fire and at 3:19 AM the USS McDermut sunk her with a final torpedo.4

IJN Yamashiro was sunk by shells and torpedoes of the United States 7th Fleet at 4:19 AM.2

Specifications

  Fuso class as built
Crew 1,1932,4
Displacement 29,326 tons4, 29,330 tons2, 30,600 tons3
Displacement - Loaded 35,900 tons4
Physical Characteristics  
Length 673'2,4
205 m2, 205.13 m4
Length - Water Line 665'2,4
202.69 m4, 202.7 m2
Length - Between Perpendiculars 630'2,4
191.96 m4, 192 m2
Beam 94'2,4
28.6 m2, 28.65 m4
Draft / Height 26' 3"2, 28' 6"4
8.6 m2, 8.62 m4
Performance  
Speed 22.5 knots4, 23 knots2
Range at 14 knots 8,000 nautical miles2,4
Armament 14" twin turrets: 64
14" L/45 twin turrets: 62
6": 164
6" L/50: 162
Anti-Aircraft 3": 42, 124
Torpedo Tube - Below Waterline 21": 62,4
Aircraft None4
Armor  
Barbettes 8"4, 8" - 12"2
Belt - Main - Aft 4"2,4
Belt - Main - Amidships 12"2,4
Belt - Main - Bow 4"2,4
Bulkheads 12"4
Casements 6"4
Control Tower 6" - 12"2, 13.75"4
Deck 1.25" - 2.5"2,4
Turrets 8" - 12"2, 12"4
Engines  
Boilers Miyabara mixed firing: 242,4
Shafts 42,4
Turbines Brown-Curtis4
Curtis2
HP 40,0002,4
Coal 4,942 tons2, 5,022 tons4
Oil 1,010 tons2, 1,026 tons4
  Fuso class after modernization
Crew 1,3961,3, 1,4004
Displacement 34,700 tons1,3,4
Displacement - Loaded 39,154 tons4
Physical Characteristics  
Length 698'1,2,3,4
212.7 m2, 212.75 m3,4
Length - Water Line 689'2,3,4
210 m2,3,4
Length - Between Perpendiculars 630'1,2
192 m2
Beam 100' 5"4, 100' 6"1,2,3
30.6 m2, 30.64 m3,4
Draft / Height 31' 9"1,2,3,4
9.69 m3,4, 9.7 m2
Performance  
Speed 24.7 knots2,3, 24.75 knots1
Range at 16 knots 11,800 nautical miles2
Armament 14" twin turrets: 61,4
14" L/45 twin turrets: 62,3
6": 141,4
6" L/50: 143, 162
Anti-Aircraft 5" twin mounts: 41,4
5" L/40: 82
5" L/40 twin mounts: 43
25 mm: 161,3,4
25 mm twin mounts: 82
Anti-Aircraft - 1941 25 mm: 203,4
Anti-Aircraft - 1944 25 mm: 374
Anti-Aircraft - June 1944 25 mm: 373
Aircraft 31,2,3,4
Armor  
Belt - Main - Aft 4"1
Belt - Main - Amidships 8" - 12"1
Belt - Main - Bow 4" - 5"1
Control Tower 6"1, 12"1
Deck 1.5" - 2"1
Deck - Middle 3.8"3
Deck - Upper 2"3
Turrets 8" - 12"1
Engines  
Boilers 63
Kanpon Type RO oil fired: 42
Kanpon Type KHA oil fired: 22
Shafts 41,2,3
Turbines Geared1
Kanpon2
HP 75,0001,2,3
Oil 5,019 tons2, 5,100 tons3
  IJN Fuso
Crew  
Displacement 34,700 tons2
Displacement - Loaded  
Physical Characteristics  
Length  
Length - Water Line  
Length - Between Perpendiculars  
Beam  
Draft / Height  
Performance  
Speed  
Range at 14 knots  
Armament  
Anti-Aircraft  
Aircraft  
Armor  
Belt - Main - Amidships  
Belt - Main - Fore and Aft  
Belt - Upper  
Control Tower  
Deck  
Deck - Over machinery  
Deck - Over magazines  
Turrets  
Turret - Top  
Engines  
Boilers  
Shafts  
Turbines  
HP  
Oil  
  IJN Yamashiro
Crew  
Displacement 34,500 tons2
Displacement - Loaded  
Physical Characteristics  
Length  
Length - Water Line  
Length - Between Perpendiculars  
Beam  
Draft / Height  
Performance  
Speed  
Range at 18 knots  
Armament  
Anti-Aircraft  
Aircraft  
Armor  
Barbettes  
Battery  
Belt - Main - Amidships  
Belt - Main - Fore and Aft  
Belt - Upper  
Control Tower  
Deck  
Turrets  
Engines  
Boilers  
Shafts  
Turbines  
HP  
Oil  

Sources:

  1. Japanese Warships of World War II, A. J. Watts, 1966
  2. The Imperial Japanese Navy, A. J. Watts and B. G. Gordon, 1971
  3. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1922-1946, Robert Gardiner, 1987
  4. Battleships of World War Two An International Encyclopedia, M. J. Whitley, 1998
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site