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Japan's Imperial Navy flag

Japan's Mogami class cruiser

Photos

IJN Kumano being sunk at the Battle of Leyte Gulf on October 26, 1944:
IJN Kumano being sunk at the Battle of Leyte Gulf on October 26, 1944
US Navy National Museum, 488-054-019
IJN Kumano:
IJN Kumano
US Naval Intelligence
IJN Kumano:
IJN Kumano
US Naval Intelligence
IJN Mikuma in Sukumo Bay in April 1939:
IJN Mikuma in Sukumo Bay in April 1939
US Naval History and Heritage Command, NH-73032
IJN Mikuma at Midway on June 2, 1942:
IJN Mikuma at Midway on June 2, 1942
US Navy, 80-G-414422
IJN Mogami during trials in the Bungo Straits in 1935:
IJN Mogami during trials in the Bungo Straits in 1935
US Navy, 80-G-414422
IJN Suzuya:
IJN Suzuya
US Naval Intelligence

Design

The Mogami class fell under the London Naval Treaty of 1930 / Washington Naval Treaty. Construction was approved under the 1931 Supplementary Program. They were designed to carry the largest guns (6.1" allowed) and yet still fall under the treaty restrictions. Electric welding and light alloys were used to get them under treaty restrictions. It was planned to upgrade to 8" guns when the treaty restrictions expired.

During trials it was found that the electric welding was faulty and the ships proved to not be a stable platform for firing. In a 1936 refit the weak welds were strengthened.

Aircraft

There were two catapults for the aircraft.

Armament

Name Elevation Range Weight of Shell
6.1" / 15.5 cm L/55 Model 1932
6.1" / 15.5 cm L/50 Type 3 Nendo Shiki
55° 30,000 yards 123 lb

The 6.1" turrets that were removed were later used in the Yamato class battleships.

Engines

The engine rooms exhaust were trunked into a single funnel.

Modifications

In 1937 they had their hulls bulged as it was found that they were rather vulnerable due to their slimness.

In 1939 the 6.1" turrets were replaced by 8" turrets.

Ships

No. 301

  • Cancelled. Demolished on slip shortly after construction started.

IJN Ibuki

IJN Kumano (river in Honshu)

  • Manufacturer: Kawasaki at Kobe
  • End of 1933: Ordered.
  • March 10, 1934: Named Kumano.
  • April 5, 1934: Laid down.
  • October 15, 1936, 1936: Launched.
  • October 31, 1937: Completed.
  • 1937: 7th Cruiser Squadron. China.
  • May 20, 1939: Put into reserve.
  • May 29, 1939 - October 20, 1939, September 1939 - April 1940, 1939 - December 30, 1939, 1939 - 1940: Refit at Kure Navy Yard. The five 6.1" triple turrets were replaced by five 8" twin turrets. Another bulge added for stability.
  • January 1941: Indochina.
  • December 1941: 7th Cruiser Division / Sentai 7.
  • December 1941: Flagship of Admiral Kurita. Invasion of Malaya.
  • December 16, 1941: Invasion of Borneo.
  • January - March 1942: Southwest Pacific. Invasion of Java.
  • April 1942: Indian Ocean.
  • May 29, 1942: Sailed from Guam to Midway.
  • June 4, 1942: Midway. Close Support Group.
  • August 24, 1942: Battle of Eastern Solomons.
  • October 26, 1942: Battle of Santa Cruz Islands.
  • November 13 - 14, 1942: Guadalcanal.
  • July 1942: 3rd Fleet. Bay of Bengal.
  • July 20, 1942: Near Vella Gulf (Kolombangara) hit by 1 ton bomb. Flooded. To Japan for repairs.
  • August 1942: Guadalcanal.
  • October 1942: Battle of Santa Cruz Island.
  • 1943, February 1943:
    20 25 mm guns total.
    Four 25 mm triple mounts and four 25 mm twin mounts in total. 13 mm guns removed.
  • July 20, 1943: Damaged by bomb dropped by United States Marine aircraft near Kolombangara.
  • October 1943: Repairs completed in Kure.
  • Early 1944, January 1944:
    30 25 mm guns in total.
    Four 25 mm triple mounts, four 25 mm twin mounts, and eight 25 mm guns in total.
  • March - April 1944: Eight 25 mm guns added.
  • June 1944: Eight 25 mm triple mounts, four 25 mm twin mounts, and eighteen 25 mm guns in total.
  • July 1944: 50 25 mm guns in total.
  • October 1944: Eight 25 mm triple mounts, four 25 mm twin mounts, and 24 25 mm guns in total.
  • October 22, 1944: Battle of Leyte Gulf. Center Force. Hit by torpedo and bow blown off.
  • October 25, 1944: Hit by torpedo from USS Johnston while trying to attack escort carriers in the San Bernardino Straits. Speed reduced to 12 knots.
  • October 26, 1944: Damaged by bombs. 6 knots maximum speed. Sailed to Manila.
  • October 28, 1944: Arrived in Manila for temporary reparis.
  • November 4, 1944: Left Manila to sail to Japan.
  • November 6, 1944: Hit by 8 torpedoes from USS Ray off Philippines. Towed to Santa Cruz, Luzon. Temporary bow blown off.
  • November 25, 1944: Sunk. In Dasol Bay / Colon Bay by American aircraft from TG38.3.

IJN Mikuma (river in Kyushu)

  • Manufacturer: Kure Dock Yard, Mitsubishi of Nagasaki
  • Fall 1931: Ordered.
  • December 24, 1931: Laid down.
  • August 1, 1932: Named Mikuma.
  • May 31, 1934, 1934: Launched.
  • August 29, 1935: Completed.
  • 1935: 7th Cruiser Squadron, 4th Fleet.
  • 1936 - October 1937, 1936 - 1938, April 1, 1936 - October 31, 1937, autumn 1936: Refit at Kure Navy Yard. Bulges added. Hull members strengthened.
  • May 20, 1939 - June 1939, September 1939 - April 1940, 1939 - December 30, 1939, 1939 - 1940: Refit at Kure Navy Yard / Yokosuka Navy Yard. The five 6.1" triple turrets were replaced by five 8" twin turrets. Another bulge added for stability.
  • January 1941: Indochina.
  • December 1941: 7th Cruiser Division / Sentai 7.
  • December 1941: Invasion of Malaya.
  • January - February 1942: Southwest Pacific.
  • February 28, 1942: Battle of Java Sea.
  • February 28 - March 1, 1942: Battle of Sunda Strait. Helped sink USS Houston and HMAS Perth.
  • April 1942: Indian Ocean.
  • May 29, 1942: Sailed from Guam to Midway.
  • June 1942: Midway. Close Support Group.
  • June 5, 1942: Rammed by Mogami.
  • June 6, 1942: Sunk. Hit by aircraft from USS Enterprise and USS Hornet.
  • June 7, 1942: Hit by five bombs. On board torpedoes exploded. 700 crewman were killed.

IJN Mogami (stream in Yamagata Prefecture)

  • Manufacturer: Kure Dock Yard, Kure Navy Yard
  • Fall 1931: Ordered.
  • October 27, 1931: Laid down.
  • August 1, 1932: Named Mogami.
  • March 14, 1934, 1934: Launched.
  • July 28, 1935: Completed.
  • 1935: 7th Cruiser Squadron, 4th Fleet.
  • 1936 - October 1937, 1936 - 1938, April 1, 1936 - February 15, 1938, autumn 1936: Refit at Kure Navy Yard. Bulges added. Hull members strengthened.
  • December 15, 1938 - January 31, 1939, September 1939 - April 1940, 1939 - December 30, 1939, 1939 - 1940: Refit at Kure Navy Yard. The five 6.1" triple turrets were replaced by five 8" twin turrets. Another bulge added for stability.
  • January 1941: Indochina.
  • December 1941: 7th Cruiser Division / Sentai 7.
  • December 1941: Invasion of Malaya.
  • January - February 1942: Southwest Pacific.
  • February 28, 1942: Battle of Java Sea.
  • February 28 - March 1, 1942: Battle of Sunda Strait. Helped sink USS Houston and HMAS Perth. Some of the torpedoes that missed sank four Japanese army transports and a minesweeper.
  • April 1942: Indian Ocean.
  • May 29, 1942: Sailed from Guam to Midway.
  • June 1942, June 5 - 6, 1942: Midway. Covering group. Close Support Group.
  • June 5, 1942: Collided with Mikuma. Reduced to 21 knots / 16 knots.
  • June 6, 1942, June 7, 1942: Heavily damaged by five bombs. 92 / 300 crewman died.
  • June 14, 1942: Arrived in Truk.
  • August 11, 1942: Arrived in Sasebo.
  • 1942 - 1943, June 1942 - 1943, September 1942 - April 1943: Repairs at Kure / Sasebo. Converted into hybrid carrier. X and Y turrets removed. Platform installed for eleven E16A1 "Paul" floatplanes. 13 mm guns removed. 25 mm twin mounts removed.
    Four 25 mm triple and two 25 mm twin mounts added.
    Ten 25 mm triple mounts added.
  • November 1943, November 5, 1943: Hit by carrier aircraft in Rabaul Harbor / Truk. Badly damaged.
  • February 1944: Repairs completed at Kure. Eight 25 mm guns added.
  • Early 1944: Ten 25 mm triple mounts and eight 25 mm guns total.
  • June 1944: Four 25 mm triple mounts and ten 25 mm guns added.
    Fourteen 25 mm triple mounts and 18 25 mm guns in total.
  • June 19, 1944: 2nd Cruiser Division. Battle of Philippine Sea.
  • October 1944: Fourteen 25 mm triple mounts and 18 25 mm guns in total.
  • October 20 - 25, 1944, October 25, 1944: Sunk. Battle of Leyte Gulf. Badly damaged by United States battleships / cruisers while in Surigao Strait. Collided with Nachi. Hit by aircraft from TG77 / TG77.4. Scuttled by torpedo from Akebono. 192 crewman killed.

IJN Suzuya (stream in Sakhalin)

  • Manufacturer: Yokosuka Dock Yard, Yokosuka Navy Yard
  • August 1933: Ordered.
  • August 1, 1933: Named Suzuya.
  • December 11, 1933: Laid down.
  • November 20, 1934, 1934: Launched.
  • October 31, 1937: Completed.
  • 1937: 7th Cruiser Squadron. China.
  • December 15, 1938: Put into Reserve.
  • January 31, 1939 - September 30, 1939, September 1939 - April 1940, 1939 - December 30, 1939, 1939 - 1940: Refit at Kure Navy Yard / Yokosuka Navy Yard. The five 6.1" triple turrets were replaced by five 8" twin turrets. Another bulge added for stability.
  • January 1941: Indochina.
  • December 1941: 7th Cruiser Division / Sentai 7.
  • December 1941: Invasion of Malaya.
  • December 16, 1941: Invasion of Borneo.
  • January - March 1942: Southwest Pacific. Invasion of Java.
  • April 1942: Indian Ocean.
  • May 29, 1942: Sailed from Guam to Midway.
  • June 4, 1942: Midway. Close Support Group.
  • July 1942: 3rd Fleet. Bay of Bengal.
  • August 1942: Guadalcanal.
  • August 24, 1942: Battle of Eastern Solomons.
  • October 26, 1942: Battle of Santa Cruz Islands.
  • November 12, 1942: Battle of Guadalcanal. Support Group.
  • November 13 - 14, 1942, November 14, 1942: Flagship of Admiral Nimishura during bombardment of Henderson Field. Fired 504 rounds.
  • 1943, February 1943:
    20 25 mm guns total.
    Four 25 mm triple mounts and four 25 mm twin mounts in total. 13 mm guns removed.
  • November 5, 1943: In Rabaul during carrier aircraft attack.
  • November 6, 1943: Sailed from Rabaul.
  • Early 1944, January 1944:
    30 25 mm guns in total.
    Four 25 mm triple mounts, four 25 mm twin mounts, and eight 25 mm guns in total.
  • March - April 1944: Eight 25 mm guns added.
  • June 1944: Eight 25 mm triple mounts, four 25 mm twin mounts, and 18 25 mm guns in total.
  • July 1944: 50 25 mm guns in total.
  • October 1944: Eight 25 mm triple mounts, four 25 mm twin mounts, and 18 25 mm guns in total.
  • October 22, 1944: Battle of Leyte Gulf. Main Force. Heavily damaged by air attack.
  • October 25, 1944: Sunk. Battle of Leyte Gulf. Hit by torpedoes from TG77.4.2 while attacking escort carriers in San Bernardino Straits.
  • October 27, 1944: Sunk. Scuttled northeast of Samar by Okinami.

Specifications

  Mogami and Mikuma 1935 / Mogami class
Crew 850, 860
Physical Characteristics  
Displacement 8,500 tons
Displacement - Loaded 11,169 tons
Length 661' 1", 661' 6"
200.6 m, 201.5 m, 201.6 m
Length - Water Line 646' 4", 649'
197 m, 197.8 m, 198.31 m
Length - Between Perpendiculars 620', 620' 1"
189 m
Beam 59', 59' 1"
18 m
Draft / Height 18', 18' 1"
5.4 m, 5.5 m
Performance  
Speed 37 knots
Range at 14 knots 8,000 nautical miles, 8,150 nautical miles
Armament 6.1" triple turrets, 6.1" L/60 triple turrets, 6.1" / 15.5 cm L/55 Model 1932 triple turrets, 6.1" / 15.5 cm L/50 Type 3 Nendo Shiki triple turrets, 15.5 cm L/60 Type 3 twin turrets: 5
Anti-Aircraft 5" twin mounts, 5" DP twin mounts, 5" / 12.7 cm L/40 DP twin mounts, 12.7 cm L/40 Type 89 HA twin mounts: 4
40 mm / 2 pdr: 4
25 mm twin mounts, 25 mm Type 96 twin mounts: 4
13 mm machine guns, 13 mm Type 93 twin mounts, 13.2 mm machine guns: 2, 4
Torpedo Tubes 24" / 61 cm: 4 mounts 3 tubes each, 4 Type 90 Model 1 mounts 3 tubes each
Aircraft 3
Armor  
Barbettes 3" - 4"
7.5 cm - 10 cm
Belt - Machinery 3.9"
Belt - Main 4", 5.5"
2.5 cm - 10 cm, 10 cm
Deck 1.4" - 2.4", 1.5"
3.5 cm, 3.5 cm - 6 cm
Machinery 1" - 4"
Magazines 1.375" - 2.375", 4.9", 5"
12.7 cm
Turrets 1"
2.5 cm
Engines  
Boilers 10
Kanpon: 10
Shafts 4
Turbines Geared, Kanpon geared
HP 152,000
Oil 2,163 tons, 2,280 tons
  Mogami class 1937
Physical Characteristics  
Displacement 11,200 tons
Displacement - Loaded 13,980 tons, 14,849 tons
Length 661' 6"
200.6 m, 201.5 m
Length - Water Line 646' 6", 649' 10"
197 m, 198.06 m, 198.3 m
Length - Between Perpendiculars 616', 616' 2"
187.7 m, 187.8 m
Beam 63'
19.2 m
Draft / Height 19' 3", 19' 4"
5.8 m, 5.9 m, 6.04 m
Performance  
Speed 35 knots, 35.9 knots
Armament  
Anti-Aircraft 25 mm twin mounts: 4
25 mm: 8
13 mm, 13.2 mm: 4
  Mogami class 1940
Crew 850
Physical Characteristics  
Displacement 12,400 tons
Length 669', 669' 3"
203.9 m
Length - Water Line 646' 6", 649' 7"
198 m
Length - Between Perpendiculars 620'
Beam 66' 3"
20.2 m
Draft / Height 19', 19' 5", 19' 6"
5.8 m, 5.9 m
Performance  
Speed 34.75 knots, 34.9 knots
Armament 8" / 20.3 cm: 10
8" twin turrets: 5
Anti-Aircraft 5" / 12.7 cm DP: 8
5" DP twin mounts: 4
25 mm: 8
25 mm twin mounts: 4
Torpedo Tubes 24", 24" / 6.1 cm: 4 mounts 3 tubes each, 12
Aircraft 3
Armor  
Belt 3.9"
10 cm
Deck 1.5"
3.5 cm
Magazine 5"
Turrets 1"
2.5 cm
Engines  
Shafts 4
Turbines Geared
HP 150,000, 152,000
  Kumano and Suzuya 1940
Physical Characteristics  
Length - Water Line 649' 9"
Length - Between Perpendiculars 616'
Engines  
Boilers 8, Kanpon: 8
  Mogami 1943
Physical Characteristics  
Displacement 12.206 tons
Draft / Height 19' 4"
5.89 m
Performance  
Speed 35 knots
Armament  
Anti-Aircraft 25 mm triple mounts: 6
25 mm twin mounts: 6
25 mm: 30

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. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site