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Japan's Imperial Navy flag

Japan's Ise class Battleships

Photos

IJN Ise in 1937 after modernization:
IJN Ise in 1937 after modernization
Kure Maritime Museum
IJN Ise after being converted to a hybird battleship-carrier on August 24, 1943, near Sata Point:
IJN Ise after being converted to a hybird battleship-carrier on August 24, 1943, near Sata Point
Kure Maritime Museum

Design

The Ise class were laid down during World War I and were to be improved Fuso class dreadnoughts as part of the 1912 Emergency Expansion Program.

The central turrets were placed together and the other turrets had better arcs of fire which allowed for better firing that the Fuso class.

The living quarters for the crew were very narrow and cramped.

Modernization

In 1930/1931/1936 the Ise class received their now familiar pagoda type bridge structure.

During the modernization in the mid 1930s the boilers were updated to oil firing and a funnel removed. The turbines replaced and this increased speed by 2.33 knots.

The hull was also lengthened 25'.

The 14" guns could now elevate to 43°. Two of the 5.5" gun casements were removed.

All of the torpedo tubes were removed.

Conversion to Hybrid Battleship-Carrier

After the heavy losses at Midway it was decided to transform the Ise class ships into hybrid battleship-carriers. The X and Y turrets were removed. The deck was raised two levels and a platform added. This formed a hanger that held 22 seaplanes. There was an elevator in the center of the deck.

It was designed to launch all the planes within 20 minutes by the two catapults.

To recover the seaplanes they would land alongside and a crane would lift them back aboard. Other plans involved having regular carrier planes that would take off but land on an accompanying carrier or on land.

During this conversion the 5.5" casement guns were removed. Four 5" anti-aircraft twin mounts and 37 25 mm guns were added.

In October 1944 the catapults were removed to allow for better fire from the C and D turrets.

Even with all the conversion there weren't enough pilots and none of the special planes (D4Y4 Suisei "Judy") that were intended to be carried. There's no reports of any aircraft from these ships entering in combat.

Ships

IJN Ise

  • Manufacturer: Kawasaki at Kobe
  • May 10, 1915: Laid down.
  • November 2, 1916, November 12, 1916: Launched.
  • December 15, 1917: Completed.
  • 1935 - 1937, August 1935 - March 23, 1937, August 1, 1935 - March 23, 1937: Modernization at Kure Navy Yard.
  • July 1941: Member of Battle Division 2, 1st Fleet.
  • November 1941: Member of 2nd Division of the 1st Fleet.
  • December 8 - 13, 1941: Escorted Pearl Harbor Force.
  • January 1942: Gunnery trainer.
  • March 12 - 16, 1942: Failed to intercept USS Yorktown.
  • April 18 - 22, 1942: Attempted to intercept Doolittle Raiders.
  • May 29 - June 4, 1942: Member of Midway Operation.
  • June 17, 1942: Arrived in Yokosuka.
  • June 24, 1942: Returned to Inland Sea.
  • July 14, 1942: Member of Main Force of Combined Fleet.
  • February 23, 1943: Sailed to Kure for conversion.
  • February 28 - August 23, 1943, March 15 - October 8, 1943: Conversion to hybrid battleship-carrier.
  • February 10, 1943: Member of 2nd Battleship Squadron, 1st Fleet.
  • May 1, 1943: Member of Carrier Division 4, 3rd Fleet.
  • September 1943: Midshipman trainer.
  • October 1943: Arrived in Yashima to become member of T-3 Transport Force.
  • October 15 - 20, 1943: Carried supplies and troops to Truk.
  • November 5, 1943: Arrived in Tokuyama.
  • February 1944: MEmber of Combined Fleet.
  • April 1944: Member of Carrier Division 4.
  • October 20 - 27, 1944: Battle of Leyte Gulf. Minor damage.
  • October 28, 1944: Returned to Japanese Islands.
  • November 15, 1944: Member of Carrier Division 4, 2nd Fleet.
  • March 1, 1945: Deactivated at Kure.
  • March 19, 1945: Bombed by TF58.
  • July 18, 1945, July 28, 1945: Sunk. Aircraft from TF38 sank her in shallow water at Kure.

IJN Hyuga

  • Manufacturer: Mitsubishi at Nagasaki
  • May 6, 1915: Laid down.
  • January 21, 1917, January 27, 1917: Launched.
  • April 30, 1918: Completed.
  • 1934 - 1936, October 1934 - September 7, 1936, November 23, 1934 - September 7, 1936: Modernization at Kure Navy Yard.
  • July 1941: Member of Battle Division 2, 1st Fleet.
  • November 1941: Member of 2nd Battle Squadron, 1st Fleet.
  • December 8 - 13, 1941: Sailed to escort Pearl Harbor Force and returned to Hashira Jima.
  • March 12 - 16, 1942: Failed to intercept USS Yorktown.
  • April 18 - 22, 1942: Attempted to intercept Doolittle Raiders.
  • May 29 - June 4, 1942: Member of Midway Operation.
  • June 17, 1942: Returned to Yokosuka.
  • July 1942: Member of Combined Fleet.
  • May 1 - November 18, 1943, July 1 - November 30, 1943: Conversion to hybrid battleship-carrier.
  • November 30, 1943: Member of 2nd Division of 2nd Battle Squadron of Combined Fleet.
  • May 1, 1944: Member of Carrier Division 4, 3rd Fleet.
  • October 20 - 27, 1944: Battle of Leyte Gulf. Minor damage.
  • October 28, 1944: Returned to Japanese Islands.
  • November 15, 1944: Member of Carrier Division 4, 2nd Fleet.
  • March 1, 1945: Deactivated at Kure.
  • March 19, 1945: Bombed by TF58. Hit by two bombs.
  • July 24, 1945: Sunk. Aircraft from TF38 sank her in shallow water at Kure.

Usage

Battle of Leyte Gulf

The IJN Ise and IJN Hyuga were both members of Admiral Ozawa's Carrier Decoy Force.

Along with the IJN Zuikaku, IJN Zuiho, IJN Chitose, and IJN Chiyoda they had 108 aircraft between them with none on the Ise or Hyuga.

On October 25, 1944, United States carrier aircraft spotted the group. All four carriers were lost and the Ise and Hyuga only sustained minor damage.

Specifications

  Ise class as built
Crew 1,360
Displacement 29,990 tons
Displacement - Loaded 31,260 tons, 36,500 tons
Physical Characteristics  
Length 683'
208.18 m
Length - Water Line 675'
205.7 m, 205.74 m
Length - Between Perpendiculars 640', 642'
195 m, 195.6 m
Beam 94'
28.6 m, 28.65 m
Draft / Height 27', 27' 1"
8.8 m, 8.86 m
Performance  
Speed 23 knots, 23.5 knots
Range at 14 knots 9,680 nautical miles
Armament 14" twin turrets: 6
14" L/45, 35.6 cm twin turrets: 6
5.5": 12
5.5" L/50, 14 cm: 20
Anti-Aircraft 3", 76 mm: 4
Torpedo Tube - Below Waterline 21": 6
Aircraft None
Armor  
Barbettes 8", 12"
Belt - Main - Aft 3"
Belt - Main - Amidships 12"
Belt - Main - Bow 3"
Bulkheads 12"
Casements 6"
Control Tower 6" - 12", 13.75"
Deck 1.25" - 2", 1.25" - 2.5"
Turrets 8" - 12"
Turrets - Front 12"
Turrets - Side 10"
Engines  
Boilers Kanpon: 24
Kanpon Type RO mixed firing: 24
Shafts 4
Turbines Curtis
HP 45,000
Coal 4,534 tons, 4,607 tons
Oil 1,389 tons, 1,411 tons
  Ise class after modernization
Crew 1,376
Displacement 35,800 tons
Displacement - Loaded 40,169 tons
Physical Characteristics  
Length 708'
215.8 m
Length - Water Line 700'
213.3 m, 213.36 m
Length - Between Perpendiculars 640', 642'
195 m
Beam 104', 104' 1", 111'
31.7 m, 31.75 m, 33.8 m
Draft / Height 30', 30' 2"
9.15 m, 9.2 m, 9.21 m
Performance  
Speed 25.3 knots, 25.5 knots
Range at 16 knots 7,870 nautical miles
Armament 14" twin turrets: 6
14" L/45, 35.6 cm twin turrets: 6
5.5": 16
5.5" L/50, 14 cm: 16
Anti-Aircraft 5" dual mounts: 4
5" L/40, 12.7 cm twin mounts: 4
25 mm dual mounts: 10
25 mm: 20
Aircraft 3
Armor  
Belt - Main - Aft 3" - 5"
Belt - Main - Amidships 8" - 12"
Belt - Main - Bow 3" - 5"
Control Tower 6" - 12"
Deck 1.5" - 2.5", 2" - 3.75", 6.75"
Deck - Middle 3.8"
Deck - Upper 2"
Turrets 8" - 12"
Engines  
Boilers 8
Kanpon: 8
Kanpon Type RO oil fired: 8
Shafts 4
Turbines Geared
Kanpon
HP 80,000, 80,825
Oil 5,113 tons, 5,229 tons, 5,313 tons
  Ise class after becoming hybrid battleship-carrier
Crew 1,463
Displacement 35,350 tons
Displacement - Loaded  
Physical Characteristics  
Length 720' 5", 720' 6"
219.6 m, 219.62 m
Length - Water Line 700'
213.3 m
Length - Between Perpendiculars 642'
195.7 m
Beam 111'
33.8 m
Draft / Height 29' 6", 29' 7"
9 m, 9.03 m
Performance  
Speed 25.5 knots
Range at 16 knots 9,449 nautical miles
Armament 14" twin turrets: 4
14" L/45, 35.6 cm twin turrets: 4
Anti-Aircraft 5" dual mounts: 8
5" L/40, 12.7 cm twin mounts: 8
25 mm triple mounts: 19
25 mm: 57
Anti-Aircraft - June 1944 25 mm triple mounts: 31
25 mm: 15, 104
Anti-Aircraft - September 1944 5" 30 barrel rocket launchers: 6
Aircraft Bomber seaplanes: 22
Armor  
Belt - Main - Aft  
Belt - Main - Amidships  
Belt - Main - Bow  
Control Tower  
Deck  
Deck - Middle  
Deck - Upper  
Turrets  
Engines  
Boilers  
Shafts  
Turbines  
HP  
Oil 4,182 tons, 4,249 tons
  IJN Ise
Crew  
Displacement 35,800 tons
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 Curtis
HP  
Oil  
  IJN Hyuga
Crew  
Displacement 36,000 tons
Displacement - Hybrid 35,200 tons
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 Parsons
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