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Japan's Imperial Navy flag

Japan's Furutaka class cruiser

Photos

IJN Furutaka near Ukuru Island:
IJN Furutaka near Ukuru Island
Imperial War Museum, MH-6199

Design

The Furutaka class was developed by Captain Hiraga Yuzuru / Vice-Admiral Y. Hiraga and Lieutenant Commander Fujimoto Kiuo using techniques that were used in the construction of the Yubari. The Furutaka class was to mount 8" guns and be 7,000 tons and would meet the limitations set in the Washington Treaty.

Under the 1923 New Reinforcement Program the ships were ordered.

Aircraft

As the Furutaka class cruisers were to be used in scouting an aircraft was to be mounted. Initially there was a flying off platform on Turret No. 4.

Armament

Initially the main guns were to be single mounts.

Initially the torpedo tubes were fixed but by 1938 they had been replaced by rotating mounts.

Name Elevation Weight of Shell Maximum Height Range
8" / 20 cm L/50 Nendo Shiki Type 3
20 cm L/50 Type 3
25° 242.5 lb
110 kg
  24,700 yards
4.7" / 12 cm Nendo Shiki Type 10   45 lb 32,800'  
3.14" / 8 cm Nendo Shiki Type 3 HA
8 cm L/40 Type 3 HA
  5.99 kg 29,950'  

Engines

To help with streamlining of the Furutaka class the exhaust from the engines would be trunked above the main deck to reduce the total number of funnels needed.

There were seven boiler rooms.

Ships

IJN Furutaka (mountain near Hiroshima)

  • Manufacturer: Mitsubishi at Nagasaki
  • June 20, 1922: Ordered.
  • August 11, 1922: Named Furutaka.
  • February 5, 1922, December 5, 1922: Laid down.
  • February 25, 1925: Launched.
  • March 31, 1926: Completed.
  • 1926: Member of 5th Cruiser Squadron.
  • 1926 - 1927: Funnel height increased.
  • 1930: Flying of platform removed.
  • December 1, 1931: Put into reserves.
  • February - April 1932: While in drydock at Kure discovered that over 3,000 hull rivets were loose.
  • 1932 - 1933: Refit at Kure. 3.14" guns replaced by four 4.7" / 12 cm Type 10 Nendo Shiki / 4.7" L45 guns. Eight 13.2 mm guns added. Catapult for E4N2 floatplane added next to hanger.
  • November 15, 1933: Member of 6th Cruiser Squadron.
  • 1937 - 1938, April 1, 1937 - April 30, 1939, April 1937 - April 1939: Refit at Kure. 7.9" single mounts replaced by 8" twin mounts. Torpedo mounts updated to be rotating. 3" guns replaced by 4.7" guns. One / two E7K2 aircraft added. Four 25 mm twin mounts and two 13 mm twin mounts added. Ten oil filed boilers installed. Beam increased to 55' 7".
  • December 1941: Member of 6th Cruiser Squadron.
  • December 1941, December 10, 1941: Attack on Guam.
  • December 20 - 22, 1941, December 23, 1941: 2nd attack on Wake Island.
  • January 10, 1942: Arrived in Truk.
  • January 23, 1942: Supported Rabaul and Kavieng invasion.
  • February 10, 1942: Refit at Truk.
  • March 1942: Supported invasion of Lae and Salamaua.
  • April 10, 1942: Arrived in Truk.
  • April 30, 1942: Escorted Shoho from Truk.
  • May 1942, May 1 - 10, 1942: Coral Sea.
  • May 31 - June 5, 1942: Sailed to Kure.
  • July 4, 1942: Arrived in Truk.
  • August 7, 1942: Sailed from Rabaul to Guadalcanal.
  • August 9, 1942: Battle of Savo Island.
  • August 24, 1942: Battle of Eastern Solomons.
  • October 1942, October 11 - 12, 1942: Battle of Cape Esperance. Hit by 90 rounds and possibly a torpedo.
  • October 11, 1942, October 12, 1942: Heavily damaged by USS Salt Lake City and USS Boise (TF64) near Savo. Sunk by torpedo from USS Duncan. 33 crewman killed and 115 taken prisoner.

IJN Kako (river in Hyogo Prefecture)

  • Manufacturer: Kawasaki at Kobe
  • June 20, 1922: Ordered.
  • October 9, 1922: Named Kako.
  • November 17, 1922: Laid down.
  • April 10, 1925: Launched.
  • July 20, 1926: Completed.
  • 1926: Member of 5th Cruiser Squadron.
  • 1926 - 1927: Funnel height increased.
  • 1930: Flying of platform removed.
  • 1931 - 1932: Refit. 3.14" guns replaced by four 4.7" / 12 cm Type 10 Nendo Shiki / 4.7" L/45 guns. Eight 13.2 mm guns added. Catapult for E4N2 floatplane added next to hanger.
  • May 20, 1933: Member of 6th Cruiser Squadron.
  • November 15, 1933: Put into reserves.
  • July 4, 1936 - December 27, 1937, July 1936 - December 1937, 1937 - 1938: Refit at Sasebo. 7.9" single mounts replaced by 8" twin mounts. Torpedo mounts updated to be rotating. 3" guns replaced by 4.7" guns. One / two E7K2 aircraft added. Four 25 mm twin mounts and two 13 mm twin mounts added. Ten oil filed boilers installed. Beam increased to 55' 7".
  • December 1941: Member of 6th Cruiser Squadron.
  • December 1941, December 10, 1941: Attack on Guam.
  • December 20 - 22, 1941, December 23, 1941: 2nd attack on Wake Island.
  • January 10, 1942: Arrived in Truk.
  • January 23, 1942: Supported Rabaul and Kavieng invasion.
  • February 10, 1942: Refit at Truk.
  • March 1942: Supported invasion of Lae and Salamaua.
  • April 10, 1942: Arrived in Truk.
  • April 30, 1942: Escorted Shoho from Truk.
  • May 1942, May 1 - 10, 1942: Coral Sea.
  • May 31 - June 5, 1942: Sailed to Kure.
  • June 23, 1942: Arrived in Truk.
  • August 7, 1942: Sailed from Rabaul to Guadalcanal.
  • August 9, 1942: Battle of Savo Island.
  • August 10, 1942: Sunk by three torpedoes from USS S44 near Kavieng. Kako sank within five minutes.

Specifications

  Furutaka class
Crew 625
Displacement 7,100 tons, 8,100 tons, 8,586 tons, 9,150 tons
Displacement - Loaded 8,450 tons, 9,502 tons, 9,540 tons
Physical Characteristics  
Length 602', 602' 2", 607' 6"
183.5 m, 185.53 m, 185.16 m, 185.166 m
Length - Water Line 595', 607' 6"
181.35 m, 181.356 m, 185.17 m
Length - Between Perpendiculars 580', 582' 6"
176.75 m, 176.78 m, 176.784 m
Beam 51' 9", 54' 2", 55' 6"
15.75 m, 15.77 m, 16.5 m
Draft / Height 14' 9", 18' 3", 18' 6"
4.49 m, 4.496 m, 5.5 m, 5.56 m
Performance  
Speed 33 knots, 34.5 knots
Range at 14 knots 6,000 nautical miles, 7,000 nautical miles
Armament 8" L/50, 8" / 20 cm L/50 Type 3 Nendo Shiki, 20 cm L/50 Type 3: 6
7.9", 7.9" twin turrets, 7.9" / 20 cm L/50, 7.9" L/50 Type 3: 3, 6
Anti-Aircraft 4.7": 4
3", 3" / 76 mm L/40, 3.1": 4
3.14" / 8 cm Nendo Shiki Type 3 HA, 8 cm L/40 Type 3 HA: 4
25 mm twin mounts: 4
13 mm: 4
7.7 mm Lewis machine guns, 7.7 mm Vickers machine guns: 2
Machine guns: 2
Torpedo Tubes 24", 24" / 61 cm Type 12 : 2 mounts 4 tubes each, 2 mounts 6 tubes each, 6
Aircraft 1, 2
Armor  
Belt - Main 3"
7.6 cm
Deck 1.375", 1.4", 1.5", 2"
3.5 cm
Deck - Armored 1.37"
Deck - Middle 1.9"
Gun Shield 1"
2.5 cm
Gun Houses 1", 2"
Magazines 2"
Turrets 5"
Engines  
Boilers 12
Kanpon: 12
Kanpon mixed fired: 2
Kanpon oil fired: 10
Shafts 2, 4
Turbines Geared, Parsons geared
HP 102,000, 103,340
Coal 400 tons, 450 tons
Oil 1,200 tons, 1,400 tons
  Furutaka class after 1936 - 1939 Refits
Crew 639
Displacement 8,700 tons, 11,273 tons
Displacement - Loaded 10,341 tons, 11,660 tons
Physical Characteristics  
Length 607' 6"
Length - Water Line  
Length - Between Perpendiculars  
Beam 55' 6", 55' 7"
16.93 m
Draft / Height 18' 5", 33'
5.61 m
Performance  
Speed 33 knots
Range at 14 knots 7,900 nautical miles
Armament 8" L/50 twin turrets: 3
Anti-Aircraft 4.7" L/45: 4
25 mm: 8
13.2 mm: 4
Torpedo Tubes 24": 2 mounts 4 tubes each
Aircraft 2
Armor  
Belt - Main  
Deck  
Gun Shield  
Gun Houses  
Magazines  
Turrets  
Engines  
Boilers  
Shafts  
Turbines  
HP  
Coal  
Oil  
  Kako
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 Curtis geared
HP  
Coal  
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. Cruisers of World War Two An International Encyclopedia, M. J. Whitley, 1995
  4. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1922-1946, Robert Gardiner, 1987
  5. Japanese Cruisers of the Pacific War, Eric Lacroix, Linton Wells II, 1997
  6. The Imperial Japanese Navy in the Pacific War, Mark E. Stille, 2013
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site