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Japan's Imperial Navy flag

Japan's Myôkô class cruiser

Photos

  • IJN Ashigara
  • IJN Ashigara at Kure
  • IJN Myoko

Design

The Myôkô class was the first of the 10,000 ton cruisers designed by Vice Admiral Y. Hiraga. They were a part of the 1923 - 1929 Program. These cruisers were still limited by the Washington Treaty, though in the end they exceeded the limits. The design for the Myôkô class was approved in August 1923. His design had no fixed torpedo mounts, but when Hiraga sent overseas the Naval General Staff had his replacement added the fixed mounts back into the design.

The four ships of the Myôkô class were ordered in the 1923 New Reinforcement Program.

Aircraft

There's one catapult for the two aircraft carried.

Initially the E2N1 floatplane was carried. This was later changed to E8N1 and E7K1 floatplanes. Just before the war started this was updated to one E13A1 "Jake" and two F1M2 "Petes".

Armament

  Elevation
7.9" / 20 cm L/50 Type 3 Nendo Shiki 1Gô 40°

Armor

There was an arched bulkhead inside the main belt to help with protection against torpedoes.

Engines

There were eight / nine boiler rooms for the twelve Kanpon boilers.

Ships

IJN Ashigara

  • Manufacturer: Kawasaki at Kobe
  • Fall 1924: Ordered.
  • February 16, 1925: Named Ashigara.
  • April 11, 1925: Laid down.
  • April 22, 1928, 1928: Launched.
  • August 20, 1929: Completed.
  • 1929: Member of 4th Cruiser Squadron, 2nd Fleet.
  • 1930: Forward funnel raised by 6' 6".
  • 1931 - 1934: 7.9" guns upgraded to 8".
  • December 1, 1932: Put into reserves.
  • 1934 - 1936, 1934 - March 1936, November 25, 1934 - June 15, 1936, November 1934 - June 1935, November 14, 1934 1936: Refit at Mitsubishi in Nagasaki and Sasebo.
    4.7" guns replaced by 5" twin mounts.
    Six 4.7" guns replaced by five 5" L/40 DP twin mounts.
    Six 4.7" guns replaced by four 5" L/40 DP twin mounts.
    Two 13 mm quad mounts added.
    Four 13.2 mm machine guns added.
    The fixed four torpedo mounts were replaced by two mounts that had four tubes each and could rotate. Bulges added that increased beam to 68'. The catapult was replaced by two that were mounted near the edge of the deck. Two catapults for three aircraft were installed.
  • May 20, 1937: Attended Spithead Review for the Coronation of King George VI.
  • June 1938 - 1939, 1939 - 1941, June 1939 - June 1940, June 1939 - June 30, 1940, 1940, 1940 - 1941: Refit at Yokosuka. 7.9" guns replaced by 8" guns. Bridge updated. Two torpedo mounts added. Four 25 mm twin mounts and two 13 mm twin mounts added. Catapult improved. Two 13 mm twin mounts and 7.7" machine guns removed.
  • December 6, 1941: Member of 5th Cruiser Division, Sentai 4. Flagship of Vice Admiral Takahashi. Philippine Invasion force. Pescadores.
  • January - February 1942: Philippine Islands. Dutch East Indies.
  • February 1942: Java invasion.
  • February 28, 1942, March 1, 1942: Battled with HMS Exeter, HMS Pope, and HMS Encounter. Help sink HMS Exeter and a destroyer. USS Pillsbury was sunk.
  • March - June 1942: Refit in Japan.
  • 1943, April - July 1943: Refit in Japan. Four 25 mm twin mounts added. Two 13 mm twin mounts removed.
  • March 1943: 21st Cruiser Squadron, NE Area Fleet. Singapore.
  • November 1943 - January 1944, November 1943 - March 1944: Refit. Eight 25 mm guns added.
  • April 1944: Member of 5th Fleet.
  • May 1944:
    Total of four 25 mm triple mounts and six 25 mm twin mounts.
    Total of eight 25 mm twin mounts and eight 25 mm guns.
  • June - September 1944, July 1944: Total of four 25 mm triple mounts, eight 25 mm twin mounts, and 24 25 mm guns. Two torpedo mounts removed.
    Two 25 mm twin mounts and 20 25 mm guns added.
  • October 1944: Battle of Leyte Gulf.
  • October 14, 1944: Inland Sea.
  • October 25 - 27, 1944: 21st Cruiser Division. Battle of Leyte Gulf. Only member of Second Striking Force to not be sunk.
  • December 26, 1944: Bombarded San José beachhead on Mindoro Island. Hit by 500 lb bomb.
  • January 1, 1945: Singapore.
  • February 1945: Member of Tenth Area Fleet. Transported men and supplies in Dutch East Indies.
  • June 7, 1945, June 8, 1945: Sunk by torpedoes from the HMS Trenchant in Banka / Bangka Straight. Heavy losses sustained by the crew and 1,600 soldiers.

IJN Haguro

  • Manufacturer: Mitsubishi at Nagasaki
  • Fall 1924: Ordered.
  • February 16, 1925: Named Haguro.
  • March 16, 1925: Laid down.
  • March 24, 1928, 1928: Launched.
  • April 25, 1929: Completed.
  • 1929: Member of 4th Cruiser Squadron, 2nd Fleet.
  • 1930: Forward funnel raised by 6' 6".
  • 1931 - 1934: 7.9" guns upgraded to 8".
  • December 1, 1932: Put into reserves.
  • 1934 - 1936, 1934 - March 1936, February 1934, November 1934 - June 1935, February 5, 1935 - June 29, 1936, 1936: Refit at Mitsubishi in Nagasaki and Sasebo.
    Six 4.7" guns replaced by five 5" twin mounts.
    4.7" guns replaced by four 5" L/40 DP twin mounts.
    4.7" guns replaced by 5" twin mounts.
    Two 13 mm quad mounts added.
    Four 13.2 mm machine guns added.
    The fixed four torpedo mounts were replaced by two mounts that had four tubes each and could rotate. Bulges added that increased beam to 68'. The catapult was replaced by two that were mounted near the edge of the deck.
  • June 1938 - 1939, 1939 - 1941, January 1939 - December 28, 1939, January 10, 1939 - December 28, 1939, 1940, 1940 - 1941: Refit at Mitsubishi. 7.9" guns replaced by 8" guns. Bridge updated. Two torpedo mounts added. Four 25 mm twin mounts and two 13 mm twin mounts added. Catapult improved. Two 13 mm twin mounts and 7.7" machine guns removed.
  • December 6, 1941: Member of Cruiser Division 5, Sentai 4. Philippine invasion force. Palau Islands.
  • December 1941 - February 1942: Philippine Islands. Dutch East Indies.
  • January - March 1942: Java invasion.
  • February 27, 1942, February 27 - 28, 1942: Battle of Java Sea. Sank a Dutch destroyer with a torpedo. Torpedoes help sink De Ruyter and Java. Fired 20 torpedoes.
  • February 28, 1942, March 1, 1942: Battled with HMS Exeter, HMS Pope, and HMS Encounter. Help sink HMS Exeter and a destroyer.
  • March - April 1942: Refit in Japan.
  • May 1942, May 7, 1942: Battle of Coral Sea.
  • June 1942, June 4, 1942: Invasion Covering Group, Midway Operation.
  • June 12, 1942, mid-July: Aleutians.
  • August 1942: Guadalcanal.
  • August 24, 1942: Battle of Eastern Solomons.
  • Autumn 1942: Refit in Japan.
  • May - June 1943: Aleutians.
  • 1943, April - July 1943: Refit in Japan. Four 25 mm twin mounts added. Two 13 mm twin mounts removed.
  • August 1943: Truk. Solomon Islands.
  • November 1, 1943: Sailed from Rabaul.
  • November 1 - 2, 1943, November 2, 1943: Battle of Empress Augusta Bay. Side plating opened from bomb hits.
  • November 1943 - January 1944, November 1943 - March 1944: Refit. Eight 25 mm guns added.
  • May 1944:
    Total of four 25 mm triple mounts and six 25 mm twin mounts.
    Total of eight 25 mm twin mounts and eight 25 mm guns.
  • June 1944, June 19 - 20, 1944: Battle of Philippine Sea. Battle of Leyte Gulf, Center Force. Bombs damaged No. 2 turret.
  • July 12, 1944: Singapore.
  • June - September 1944, July 1944, autumn 1944: Two torpedo mounts removed.
    Total of four 25 mm triple mounts, eight 25 mm twin mounts, and 24 25 mm guns.
    Four 25 mm triple and 16 25 mm guns added.
  • October 1944: Battle of Leyte Gulf. Hit in No. 2 turret.
  • January 1945: Singapore.
  • February 1945: Member of Tenth Area Fleet. Transported men and supplies in Dutch East Indies.
  • May 15, 1945: Damaged sustained from aircraft from HMS Shah.
  • May 16, 1945, May 1945: Sunk by gunfire from the destroyers HMS Saumarez, HMS Venus, HMS Verulam, HMS Vigilant, and HMS Virago west-southwest of Penang going through the Malacca Strait. The British ships fired 37 torpedoes.

IJN Myôkô

  • Manufacturer: Yokosuka Dock Yard, Yokosuka Navy Yard
  • Spring 1923: Ordered.
  • December 10, 1923: Named Myôkô.
  • October 25, 1924: Laid down.
  • April 16, 1927, 1927: Launched.
  • July 31, 1929: Completed.
  • 1929: Member of 4th Cruiser Squadron, 2nd Fleet.
  • 1930: Forward funnel raised by 6' 6".
  • 1931 - 1934: 7.9" guns upgraded to 8".
  • December 1, 1932: Put into reserves.
  • May 1933: Member of 5th Cruiser Squadron.
  • 1934 - 1936, 1934 - March 1936, November 20, 1934 - June 29, 1936, November 1934 - June 1935, November 15, 1934, 1936: Refit at Sasebo.
    Six 4.7" guns replaced by five 5" twin mounts.
    4.7" guns replaced by four 5" L/40 DP guns
    4.7" guns replaced by 5" twin mounts.
    Add four 25 mm triple mounts.
    Two 13 mm quad mounts added.
    Four 13.2 mm machine guns added.
    The fixed four torpedo mounts were replaced by two mounts that had four tubes each and could rotate. Bulges added that increased beam to 68'. The catapult was replaced by two that were mounted near the edge of the deck.
  • June 1938 - 1939, 1939 - 1941, March 19, 1940 - April 28, 1941, June 1940 - April 30, 1941, 1940, 1940 - 1941: Refit at Kure. 7.9" guns replaced by 8" guns. Bridge updated. Two torpedo mounts added. Four 25 mm twin mounts and two 13 mm twin mounts added. Two 13 mm twin mounts and 7.7" machine guns removed. Catapult improved.
  • December 6, 1941: 5th Cruiser Division, Sentai 4. Philippine invasion. Palau Islands.
  • December 1941 - February 1942: Philippine Islands. Dutch East Indies.
  • January - March 1942: Java invasion.
  • January 4, 1942: Hit by bomb from B-17 attacking Malalag Harbor / Davao Gulf. Returned to Japan for repairs. 35 crewmen were killed.
  • January - February 20, 1942: Repairs.
  • February 27, 1942: Battle of Java Sea.
  • February 28, 1942, March 1, 1942: Battled with HMS Exeter, HMS Pope, and HMS Encounter. Help sink HMS Exeter and a destroyer.
  • March - April 1942: Refit in Japan.
  • May 1942, May 1 - 11, 1942: Port Moresby invasion force. Battle of Coral Sea.
  • June 1942, June 4, 1942, mid-July: Battle of Midway. Aleutians.
  • August 1942: Guadalcanal.
  • August 24, 1942: Battle of Eastern Solomons.
  • Autumn 1942: Refit in Japan.
  • October 15, 1942, October 15 - 16, 1942: Bombarded Henderson Field.
  • October 26, 1942: Battle of Santa Cruz Islands.
  • 1943, April - July 1943: Refit in Japan. Four 25 mm twin mounts added. Two 13 mm twin mounts removed.
  • May - June 1943: Aleutians.
  • August 1943: Truk. Solomon Islands.
  • November 1, 1943: Sailed from Rabaul.
  • November 1 - 2, 1943, November 2, 1943: Battle of Empress Augusta Bay. Flagship of Rear Admiral Omori. Sustained slight damage.
  • November 1943 - January 1944, November 1943 - March 1944: Refit. Eight 25 mm guns added.
  • May 1944:
    Total of four 25 mm triple mounts and six 25 mm twin mounts.
    Total of eight 25 mm twin mounts and eight 25 mm guns.
  • June 1944, June 19 - 20, 1944: Battle of Philippine Sea.
  • June - September 1944, July 1944, autumn 1944: Two torpedo mounts removed.
    Total of four 25 mm triple mounts, eight 25 mm twin mounts, and 24 25 mm guns.
    Four 25 mm triple mounts and 16 25 mm guns added.
  • July 12, 1944: Singapore.
  • October 1944: Battle of Leyte Gulf.
  • October 24, 1944, October 25, 1944October 1944: Battle of Leyte Gulf. : Battle of Sibuyan Sea. Two shafts damaged from torpedoes from USS Bergall / aircraft from USS Intrepid. Towed / sailed to Singapore.
  • December 12, 1944: Sailed to Japan. Hit by torpedo from USS Bergall. Part of stern broke off. Towed to Singapore.
  • December 13, 1944: Construction total loss.
  • December 25, 1944: Arrived in Singapore.
  • July 20, 1945: Damaged by British midget submarine XE.3.

IJN Nachi

  • Manufacturer: Kure Dock Yard, Kure Navy Yard
  • Spring 1923: Ordered.
  • December 10, 1923: Named Nachi.
  • November 26, 1924: Laid down.
  • June 15, 1927, 1927: Launched.
  • November 26, 1928: Completed.
  • 1928: Member of 4th Cruiser Squadron, 2nd Fleet.
  • 1930: Forward funnel raised by 6' 6".
  • 1931 - 1934: 7.9" guns upgraded to 8".
  • December 1, 1932: Put into reserves.
  • 1934 - 1936, 1934 - July 1936, February 1934, November 1934 - June 1935, February 1935 - June 29, 1936, 1936: Refit at Sasebo.
    Six 4.7" guns replaced by five 5" twin mounts.
    4.7" guns replaced by 5" twin mounts.
    4.7" guns replaced by four 5" L/40 DP twin mounts.
    Two 13 mm quad mounts added.
    Four 13.2 mm machine guns added.
    The fixed four torpedo mounts were replaced by two mounts that had four tubes each and could rotate. Bulges added that increased beam to 68'. The catapult was replaced by two that were mounted near the edge of the deck.
  • June 1938 - 1939, July 1938 - March 1940, 1939 - 1941, January 15, 1939 - March 31, 1940, 1940, 1940 - 1941: Refit at Sasebo. 7.9" guns replaced by 8" guns. Bridge updated. Two torpedo mounts added. Four 25 mm twin mounts and two 13 mm twin mounts added. Two 13 mm twin mounts and 7.7" machine guns removed. Catapult improved.
  • December 6, 1941: Member of Cruiser Division 5, Sentai 4. Philippine invasion. Palau Islands.
  • December 1941 - February 1942: Philippine Islands. Dutch East Indies.
  • January - March 1942: Java invasion.
  • January 4, 1942: Hit by bomb from B-17 attacking Malalag Harbor. Returned to Japan for repairs.
  • February 27, 1942, February 27 - 28, 1942: Battle of Java Sea. Torpedoes help sink De Ruyter and Java. Fired 16 torpedoes.
  • February 28, 1942, March 1, 1942: Battled with HMS Exeter, HMS Pope, and HMS Encounter. Help sink HMS Exeter and a destroyer.
  • March - April 1942: Refit in Japan.
  • 1943, April - July 1943: Refit in Japan. Four 25 mm twin mounts added. Two 13 mm twin mounts removed. Fitted out as a flagship.
  • June 1942: Flagship of Northern Area Force, Aleutians.
  • June 25, 1942 - April 1943: Flagship of Admiral Hosogaya's 5th Fleet / No. 2 South Expeditionary Force. Battle of Komondorski Island with Maya. Fought USS Salt Lake City and USS Richmond. Damage repaired at Sasebo. Fourteen crewman were killed.
  • March 27, 1943: Battle of Komandorski Islands. Damaged.
  • April 1943: Refit at Sasebo.
  • July 1943: Evacuation from Aleutians.
  • August 1, 1943: 21st Cruiser Division, Northern Force.
  • September 6, 1943: Hit by torpedo from USS Pompano.
  • November 1943 - January 1944, November 1943 - March 1944: Refit. Eight 25 mm guns added.
  • April 1944: Member of 5th Fleet.
  • May 1944:
    Total of four 25 mm triple mounts and six 25 mm twin mounts.
    Total of eight 25 mm twin mounts and eight 25 mm guns.
  • June - September 1944, July 1944: Total of four 25 mm triple mounts, eight 25 mm twin mounts, and 24 25 mm guns. Two torpedo mounts removed.
    Two 25 mm twin mounts and 20 25 mm guns added.
  • October 1944: Battle of Leyte Gulf.
  • October 14, 1944: Inland Sea.
  • October 25, 1944: 21st Cruiser Division. Battle of Leyte Gulf. Collided with Mogami. Went to Manila Bay.
  • November 5, 1944: Sunk in Manila Bay by carrier aircraft from USS Lexington. Received nine hits from torpedoes, 20 bombs, and many rockets.

Specifications

  Myôkô class
Crew 773, 792
Physical Characteristics  
Displacement 10,000 tons, 10,940 tons
Displacement - Loaded 11,663 tons
Length 668' 6"
203.76 m
Length - Water Line 661', 661' 1"
201.74 m, 201.5 m
Length - Between Perpendiculars 630', 631', 631' 2"
192.39 m, 192.4 m
Beam 56' 9", 56' 11", 62' 4"
17.3 m, 17.34 m
Draft / Height 19' 4"
5.9 m, 6 m
Performance  
Speed 35.5 knots
Range 7,000 nautical miles
Range at 14 knots 7,000 nautical miles, 8,000 nautical miles, 14,000 nautical miles
Armament 7.9" twin turrets, 7.9" / 20 cm L/50 twin turrets, 7.9" / 20 cm L/50 Type 3 Nendo Shiki 1Gô twin turrets, 20 cm L/50 Type 3 twin turrets: 5
8" L/50 twin turrets: 5
Anti-Aircraft 4.7" HA, 4.7" / 12 cm L/45, 4.7" L/45 HA, 12 cm L/45 Type 10 HA: 4, 6
7.7 mm machine guns, 7.7 mm Lewis machine guns: 2
Machine guns: 2
Torpedo Tubes 24" / 61 cm: 4 mounts 3 tubes each, 12
Aircraft 2
Armor  
Barbettes 3"
Belt - Main 3.9", 4"
10.2 cm
Bulkheads 3" - 4"
Deck 1.4", 2.5" - 5"
6.3 cm - 12.7 cm
Deck - Main 1.375"
Deck - Middle 1.3" - 1.4"
3.5 cm
Deck - Upper 0.5" - 1", 0.6"
Turrets 1", 1.5"
3.7 cm
Turrets - Base 3"
Engines  
Boilers 12
Kanpon: 12
Shafts 4
Turbines Geared, Kanpon
HP 130,000
Oil 2,000 tons, 2,470 tons
  Myôkô class 1940
Crew 773, 780, 891, 920 - 970
Physical Characteristics  
Displacement 13,000 tons, 13,380 tons, 14,502 tons
Displacement - Loaded 15,933 tons
Length 661' 9"
201.7 m, 203.76 m
Length - Water Line 661' 9"
201.7 m, 201.74 m
Length - Between Perpendiculars 631'
192.02 m, 192.3 m
Beam 68'
19.51 m, 20.7 m, 20.72 m, 20.73 m
Draft / Height 20' 9"
6.3 m, 6.23 m, 6.35 m
Performance  
Speed 33.3 knots, 33.5 knots, 33.75 knots, 33.8 knots
Range at 14 knots 7,463 nautical miles, 8,500 nautical miles
Range at 18 knots 5,000 nautical miles
Armament 8" / 20.3 cm: 10
20 cm L/50 Type 3 twin turrets: 5
8" twin turrets, 8" / 20.3 cm L/50 twin turrets: 5
Anti-Aircraft 5" / 12.7 cm DP: 8
5" twin mounts, 5" / 12.7 cm L/40 twin mounts, 12.7 cm L/40 Type 89 HA twin mounts: 4, 5
25 mm twin mounts, 25 mm Type 96 twin moutns: 4
25 mm: 8
13.2 mm machine guns: 4
13 mm twin mounts, 13 mm Type 93 twin mounts: 2
7.7 mm Lewis machine gun: 2
Torpedo Tubes 24" / 61 cm: 4 mounts 4 tubes each, 16
Aircraft 3
Armor  
Belt - Main 3.9", 4"
10 cm
Deck 2.5" - 5"
6.5 cm - 12.5 cm
Turrets 1.5", 3"
4 cm
Engines  
Boilers Kanpon: 12
Shafts 4
Turbines Geared, Kanpon: 8
HP 130,000, 130,250
Oil 2,214 tons

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