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Japan's Imperial Navy flag

Japan's Aoba class cruiser

Photos

IJN Aoba:
IJN Aoba
Imperial War Museum, MH-6201

Design

The Aoba class ships were improved Furutaka class cruisers. They were approved in the 1922 - 1929 Program. The Aoba class was designed by Captain Hiraga Yuzuru and Lieutenant Commander Fujimoto Kikuo.

The Aoba class were to have 7.9" / 8" twin turrets and a catapult on the aft of the ships.

Aircraft

In March / May 1928 a catapult was installed for the first time ever on a Japanese ship, the Kinugasa. The Aoba received her catapult in January 1929.

Initially the E2N1 floatplane was used, but this was replaced at the end of 1932 by the E4N2.

Armament

Name Elevation Range
7.9" / 20 cm Type 3 Nendo Shiki, 7.9" / 20 cm L/50 Type 3 40° 26,700 m

Ships

IJN Aoba

  • Manufacturer: Mitsubishi at Nagasaki
  • June 1923: Ordered.
  • September 18, 1923: Named Aoba.
  • February 4, 1924: Laid down.
  • September 25, 1926: Launched.
  • September 20, 1927: Completed.
  • September 1927: Member of 5th Cruiser Squadron.
  • 1930: Catapult replaced by gunpowder type.
  • 1932: Two 13.2 mm Hotchkiss quad mounts added.
  • May 20, 1933: Member of 6th Cruiser Squadron.
  • November 15, 1935 - November 30, 1936: Member of 7th Cruiser Squadron.
  • December 1, 1936, September 1, 1937: Put into reserves.
  • 1937 - 1938, October 15, 1937 - October 30, 1940, 1938 - 1940, November 1938 - October 1940, November 1938 - October 30, 1940, 1940: Refit at Sasebo. Each torpedo mount reduced to 4 tubes each and made to be able to rotate. 7.9" guns replaced by 8" guns. Eight 25 mm twin mounts, four 13 mm twin mounts, and 24 depth charges added. Main armament upgraded to 8" / 20.3 cm Type 3 Nendo Shiki. Four 25 mm twin mounts and two 13.2 mm twin mounts added. Catapult updated and two E7K2 floatplanes added. Mixed firing boilers updated to oil fired.
  • November 15, 1940: Returned to active duty and joined 6th Cruiser Squadron.
  • March - October 1941: Training.
  • December 1941: Member of 6th Cruiser Division. Flagship of Admiral Goto / Rear Admiral Aritomo Goto.
  • December 10, 1941: Guam.
  • December 20 - 23, 1941: 2nd Wake Island attack.
  • January 23, 1942, January - February 1942: Rabaul and Kavieng invasion.
  • March 1942, March - April 1942: Lae and Salamaua invasions. Also Buka, Bougainville, Shortlands, and Manus.
  • April 10, 1942: Arrived in Truk.
  • April 30, 1942: Departed Truk.
  • May 1 - 10, 1942: Coral Sea operations.
  • June 5, 1942: Arrived in Kure.
  • August 9, 1942: Slightly damaged by single round during Battle of Savo Island.
  • August 24, 1942: Battle of Eastern Solomons
  • October 11, 1942: Battle of Cape Esperance. Badly damaged by 24 / 40 rounds. No. 3 Turret destroyed.
  • October 22, 1942: Arrived in Kure for repairs.
  • 1942 - March 1943, December 1942 - February 1943: Repairs at Kure. No. 3 Turret removed and hole covered. 25 mm triple mount added.
  • February 20, 1943: Arrived in Truk.
  • April 3, 1943: At Kavieng a B-17 bomb hit torpedo tubes and two exploded. Beached and towed to Truk.
  • March 1943, March 1, 1943: Member of First Southern Expeditionary Fleet. With Tone and Chikuma raided Indian Ocean.
  • August 1, 1943: Arrived in Truk.
  • August 1943, August - November 1943: Repairs at Kure. No. 3 Turret replaced. Two 25 mm triple mounts added. Speed reduced to 28 knots due to damage to engines.
  • December 24, 1943: Arrived in Singapore.
  • February 1944: Flagship of 16th Cruiser Squadron.
  • May 1944: There were six 25 mm twin mounts and three 25 mm guns installed. There was a total of fifteen 25 mm guns.
  • June 1944, July 1944: Refit at Singapore.
    There were five 25 mm twin mounts and ten to fifteen 25 mm guns installed.
    There were five 25 mm triple mounts, six 25 mm twin mounts, and 10 25 mm guns installed.
    There were four 25 mm triple mounts and fifteen 25 mm guns installed.
    There was a total of 42 25 mm guns. Four of the torpedo tubes were removed.
  • October 20, 1944: Sailed from Brunei to Manila.
  • October 23, 1944, October 24, 1944: Hit by torpedo from USS Bream. Towed to Manila by Kinu. Temporary repairs at Cavite. Sailed to Kure for repairs.
  • December 1944, December 12, 1944: Arrived in Kure / Japan. Declared unrepairable.
  • February 28, 1945: Put into reserves.
  • March 1945: Four 25 mm twin mounts added.
  • March 19, 1945: Heavily damaged during carrier raid on Kure.
  • April 24, 1945: Heavily damaged by TF38 and settled to bottom.
  • June 1945: Refit. A total of five 25 mm triple mounts, ten 25 mm double mounts, and fifteen 25 mm guns were installed.
  • June 1945: Turned into floating battery.
  • July 14, 1945: Hit during attack on Kure.
  • July 24, 1945: Hit by bomb from carrier aircraft. Settled to a depth of 25'.
  • July 18, 1945: Hit during attack on Kure.
  • July 28, 1945: Hit by aircraft from TF38 and B-24s from the 7th USAAF which broke off the stern.

IJN Kinugasa

  • Manufacturer: Kawasaki at Kobe
  • June 1923: Ordered.
  • August 11, 1922: Named Kinugasa.
  • January 23, 1924: Laid down.
  • October 24, 1926: Launched.
  • September 30, 1927: Completed.
  • September 1927: Member of 5th Cruiser Squadron.
  • 1930: Catapult replaced by gunpowder type.
  • 1932: Two 13.2 mm Hotchkiss quad mounts added.
  • May 20, 1933: Member of 6th Cruiser Squadron.
  • November 15, 1935 - November 30, 1936: Member of 7th Cruiser Squadron.
  • December 1, 1936, September 1, 1937: Put into reserves.
  • 1937 - 1938, October 15, 1937 - October 30, 1940, 1938 - 1940, October 1938 - October 1940, October 15, 1938 - October 30, 1940, 1940: Refit at Sasebo. Each torpedo mount reduced to 4 tubes each and made to be able to rotate. 7.9" guns replaced by 8" guns. Eight 25 mm twin mounts, four 13 mm twin mounts, and 24 depth charges added. Main armament upgraded to 8" / 20.3 cm Type 3 Nendo Shiki. Four 25 mm twin mounts and two 13.2 mm twin mounts added. Catapult updated and two E7K2 floatplanes added. Mixed firing boilers updated to oil fired.
  • March 1, 1941: Returned to active duty and joined 6th Cruiser Squadron.
  • March - October 1941: Training.
  • December 1941: Member of 6th Cruiser Division.
  • December 10, 1941: Guam.
  • December 20 - 23, 1941: 2nd Wake Island attack.
  • January 23, 1942, January - February 1942: Rabaul and Kavieng invasion.
  • March 1942, March - April 1942: Lae and Salamaua invasions. Also Buka, Bougainville, Shortlands, and Manus.
  • April 10, 1942: Arrived in Truk.
  • April 30, 1942: Departed Truk.
  • May 1 - 10, 1942: Coral Sea operations.
  • June 5, 1942: Arrived in Kure.
  • August 9, 1942: Damaged slightly by two hits at Battle of Savo Island.
  • August 24, 1942: Battle of Eastern Solomons
  • October 11, 1942: Battle of Cape Esperance. Slightly damaged by four rounds from USS Salt Lake City. Hit USS Boise with eight rounds and USS Salt Lake City with two rounds.
  • October 14 - 15, 1942: Bombard Henderson Field.
  • November 12 - 14, 1942: Naval Battle of Guadalcanal. Damaged by land based aircraft.
  • November 14, 1942: Sunk by aircraft from USS Enterprise west of Rendova Island. 51 crewmen died.

Specifications

  Aoba class
Crew 604, 622, 625, 773
Displacement 7,100 tons, 8,300 tons, 9,380 tons
Displacement - Loaded 8,760 tons, 8,900 tons, 10,583 tons
Physical Characteristics  
Length 595', 602' 6", 607' 6"
185.166 m, 185.17 m, 185.87 m
Length - Water Line 580', 595', 602' 4"
181.356 m, 183.5 m, 183.58 m
Length - Between Perpendiculars 580', 582' 3", 582' 6", 584' 6", 585' 3"
176.784 m, 177.48 m, 177.5 m
Beam 50' 9", 51' 11", 52', 54.16', 57' 9"
15.83 m, 16,506 m
Draft / Height 14' 9", 18' 6", 18.77', 18' 9"
5.7 m, 5.71 m, 5.72 m
Performance  
Speed 33 knots, 33.33 knots, 34.5 knots, 35 knots
Range at 14 knots 6,000 nautical miles, 7,000 nautical miles, 12,000 nautical miles
Armament 7.9" / 20 cm L/50 twin turrets, 7.9" / 20 cm Type 3 Nendo Shiki twin turrets, 20 cm L/50 Type 3 twin turrets: 3
8", 8" twin turrets, 8" L/50 twin turrets: 3, 6
Anti-Aircraft 4.7", 4.7" / 12 cm L/45, 4.7" / 12 cm Type 10 Nendo, 12 cm L/45 Type 10 HA: 4
25 mm twin mounts: 4
13 mm twin mounts: 2
7.7 mm Lewis machine gun: 2
Machine guns: 2, 10
Torpedo Tubes 21", 24", 61 cm: 2 mounts 4 tubes each, 2 mounts 6 tubes each, 12
Aircraft 1, 2
Armor  
Belt - Main 2", 3"
7.6 cm
Deck 1.375", 1.4", 1.5", 2"
3.5 cm
Deck - Armored 1.37"
3.5 cm
Deck - Middle 1.9"
Gunhouses 1"
Magazine 2"
5.1 cm
Turrets 1", 1.5", 5"
3.7 cm
Engines  
Boilers 12
Kanpon: 12
Kanpon mixed fired: 2
Kanpon oil fired: 10
Shafts 4
Turbines Geared, Parsons geared
HP 95,000, 102,000, 108,456
Coal 400 tons, 450 tons
Oil 1,400 tons, 1,800 tons
  Aoba class 1940
Crew 657
Displacement  
Displacement - Loaded 11,660 tons
Physical Characteristics  
Length 185.17 m
Length - Water Line  
Length - Between Perpendiculars 176.78 m
Beam 17.56 m
Draft / Height 5.66 m
Performance  
Speed 34 knots
Range at 14 knots 8,000 nautical miles
Armament 20 cm L/50 Type 3 twin turrets: 3
Anti-Aircraft 12 cm L/45 Type 10 HA: 4
25 mm Type 96 twin mounts: 4
13 mm Type 93 machine gun twin mounts: 2
Torpedo Tubes 51 cm Type 92: 2 mounts 4 tubes each
Aircraft Navy Type 94: 2
Armor  
Belt - Main  
Deck  
Turrets  
Engines  
Boilers Kanpon oil fired: 12
Shafts 4
Turbines  
HP 110,000
Oil 2,040 tons
  Aoba
Crew  
Displacement 9,000 tons
Displacement - Loaded  
Physical Characteristics  
Length  
Length - Water Line  
Length - Between Perpendiculars  
Beam  
Draft / Height  
Performance  
Speed  
Range at 14 knots  
Armament  
Anti-Aircraft  
Torpedo Tubes  
Aircraft  
Armor  
Belt - Main  
Deck  
Turrets  
Engines  
Boilers  
Shafts  
Turbines Parsons geared
HP  
Oil  
  Kinugasa
Crew  
Displacement  
Displacement - Loaded  
Physical Characteristics  
Length  
Length - Water Line  
Length - Between Perpendiculars  
Beam  
Draft / Height  
Performance  
Speed  
Range at 14 knots  
Armament  
Anti-Aircraft  
Torpedo Tubes  
Aircraft  
Armor  
Belt - Main  
Deck  
Turrets  
Engines  
Boilers  
Shafts  
Turbines Brown-Curtis geared, Curtis geared
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. The Imperial Japanese Navy in the Pacific War, Mark E. Stille, 2013
  4. Cruisers of World War Two An International Encyclopedia, M. J. Whitley, 1995
  5. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1922-1946, Robert Gardiner, 1987
  6. Japanese Cruisers of the Pacific War, Eric Lacroix, Linton Wells II, 1997
  7. Janes' Fighting Ships of World War II, 1989
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site