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Japan's Imperial Navy flag

Japan's Nagara class Cruisers

Photos

IJN Abukuma in 1941:
IJN Abukuma in 1941
Imperial Japanese Navy
IJN Isuzu near Yokohama in 1944:
IJN Isuzu near Yokohama in 1944
Imperial Japanese Navy
IJN Kinu in 1931 near Kyushu:
IJN Kinu in 1931 near Kyushu
Mikasa Memorial Museum
IJN Natori near Nagasaki in 1922:
IJN Natori near Nagasaki in 1922
Imperial Japanese Navy
IJN Yura:
IJN Yura
Unknown

Design

The Nagara class were authorized under the 8-8 Fleet Program of 1917 - 1920.2
As part of the 8-4 Plan / 8 - 6 Fleet Completion Program of 19185 the Isuzu, Nagara, and Natori were authorized under the 1919 - 1920 estimates.3,5 As part of the 8-8 Plan the Abukuma, Kiru, and Yura were authorized under the 1920 - 1921 estimates.3,5

The Nagara class cruisers were used as flagships of destroyer and submarine squadrons.1,2,3,6

Aircraft

The bridge was built well above the main deck to allow an aircraft to be stored under it.1,2,3,6

Initially there was a flying off platform but it was eventually replaced by an aft mounted catapult.1,3,4,5,6,7

Armament

In 1940 the torpedoes were upgraded from 21" to 24".1 The Nagara class were the first Japanese Navy ships to carry 24" / 61 cm 8th year Type torpedoes.2,3,6

In 1943 four more 24" torpedo mounts, of four tubes each, were added.1,2 Two of the 5.5" guns and the 3" gun were replaced by two 5" DP guns and two 13 mm guns (in 19402).1,2,4

Name Elevation Range
5.5" / 14 cm L/50 Type 35 25°5 17,500 m5

Ships

IJN Abukuma (river that starts in Fukushima Prefecture and empties into Pacific Ocean in Miyagi Prefecture5)

  • Original name: Minase.3,5
  • Manufacturer: Mitsubishi at Nagasaki6, Uraga1,2, Uraga Dock Company3,5,7
  • October 1, 1920: Name changed to Abukuma.3,5
  • December 8, 1921: Laid down.2,3,5,6,7
  • March 16, 1923: Launched.1,2,3,4,5,6,7
  • September 1923: Damaged in earthquake.2,3,7
  • May 26, 1925: Completed.2,3,5,6,7
  • 1927: Catapult installed.3 Mounted Type 90 Model 2 floatplane.3
  • 1930: Collided with IJN Kitakami during Fleet exercises.2,4
  • 1934 - 1935: Mainmast replaced by tripod mast.2 Derrick added for seaplane.2 Catapult installed in front of X Turret.2
  • 1940: 24" torpedo tubes installed.1,2
  • 19402, 19431: Refit.1,2 3" gun replaced by two 5" L/50 DP guns.1,2
  • December 1941: Flagship of 1st Destroyer Flotilla.3,6 Member of Pearl Harbor Attack Force.3
  • January 1942: Supported landings at Rabaul.3,6
  • Port Darwin raid.6
  • March 1942, April 19426: Indian Ocean raid.3,6
  • May 1942: Member of attack on Aleutians.3,6 Member of Adak-Attu Seizure Force.6
  • June 7, 1942: Invasion of Attu.6
  • 1943: Refit.1,2 Two 5.5" guns removed.1 22 25 mm guns2 and two 13 mm guns added.1,2 Four more 24" torpedo mounts of four tubes each were added.1,2
  • March 19436, March 26, 1943: Battle of Komandorski Islands.3,6 Fired 95 5.5" rounds and four torpedoes.6
  • July - August 1943: Evacuated troops off Aleutian islands.3,6 Carried 1,202 soldiers.6
  • October 1944: Battle of Leyte Gulf.3,6
  • October 25, 1944: Heavily damaged by PT 137 near Panaon Island.3,6
  • October 26, 1944: Sunk by B-24s6 / carrier aircraft from TG 77.4 southeast of Los Negros.1,2,3,4,6 250 were killed.6

IJN Isuzu

  • Manufacturer: Mitsubishi at Nagasaki6, Uraga1,2, Uraga Dock Company3,5,7
  • July 17, 1919: Given name Isuzu.5
  • August 10, 1920: Laid down.2,3,5,6,7
  • October 29, 1921: Launched.1,2,3,4,5,6,7
  • August 15, 1923: Completed.2,3,5,6,7
  • 1927: Catapult installed.3 Mounted Type 90 Model 2 floatplane.3
  • May 1932 - 19333, 1934 - 1935: Mainmast replaced by tripod mast.2,3 Derrick added for seaplane.2,3 Catapult installed in front of X Turret.2,3
  • 1940: 24" torpedo tubes installed.1
  • 19402, 19431: Refit.1,2 3" gun replaced by two 5" L/50 DP guns.1,2
  • December 1941: Patrolled off coast of China.6
  • April - September 1942: Dutch East Indies.6 Flagship of Destroyer Squadron 2.6
  • October 14, 1942: Escorted IJN Kongo and IJN Haruna when bombarded Guadalcanal.6
  • October 16, 1942: Escorted two cruisers in bombarding Guadalcanal.6
  • October 26, 1942: Battle of Santa Cruz.6
  • November 12, 1942, November 14, 19426: Damaged by two near misses from US Marine Corp dive bombers.3,6
  • January 1943: Returned to Japan for repairs.6
  • 1943: Refit.1,2 Two 5.5" guns removed.1 22 25 mm guns2 and two 13 mm guns added.1,2 Four more 24" torpedo mounts of four tubes each were added.1,2
  • June 1943: Damaged by mine off Kavieng, New Ireland that had been laid by USS Silversides.3
  • December 19436, December 4, 1943: Heavily damaged during carrier aircraft raid on Kwajalein.3,6 Sailed to Truk for repairs.3
  • December 5, 1943: Hit by three bombs and suffered additional damage by near misses.6 20 crewman killed.6
  • January 17 - 23, 1944: Sailed to Yokosuka to finish repairs.3
  • 19444, May - September 19443,6: Refit at Yokohama.1,2,3 Converted into anti-aircraft cruiser.2,3,4,6 Catapult removed.6
  • September 14, 1944: Designated anti-aircraft carrier.3 Member of anti-submarine Sentai 31.6
  • October 1944: Battle of Cape Engano.3
  • November 19, 1944: Damaged by carrier aircraft raid in Manila Bay.3
  • November 1944: Transport supplies to Brunei.6
  • November 25, 1944: Hit by torpedo from USS Hake near Corregidor.3,6 Repairs at Surabaja.6
  • April 7, 1945: Sunk by three torpedoes from the USS Charr and USS Gabilan north of Soembawa Island.1,2,3,4,6 190 crewman died.6

IJN Kinu (river that starts in Tochigi Prefecture and empties into Pacific Ocean in Ibaraki Prefecture5)

  • Original name: Otonase.3,5
  • Manufacturer: Kawasaki at Kobe1,2,3,5,6,7
  • October 1, 1920: Name changed to Kinu.3,58
  • January 17, 1921: Laid down.2,3,5,6,7
  • May 29, 1922: Launched.1,2,3,4,5,6,7
  • November 10, 1922: Completed.2,3,5,6,7
  • 1927: Catapult installed.3 Mounted Type 90 Model 2 floatplane.3
  • November 1933 - August 19343, 1934 - 1935: Mainmast replaced by tripod mast.2,3 Derrick added for seaplane.2,3 Catapult installed in front of X Turret.2,3
  • 1940: 24" torpedo tubes installed.1
  • 19402, 19431: Refit.1,2 3" gun replaced by two 5" L/50 DP guns.1,2
  • December 1941: Southwest Pacific.3 Flagship of Submarine Squadron 5.6 Dutch East Indies.6
  • March 1, 1942: Damaged by near misses from Australian and New Zealand aircraft.6
  • June 3, 1943: Damaged by B-24s.6
  • 1943, August 19436: Refit.1,2,6 Two 5.5" guns removed.1 22 25 mm guns2 and two 13 mm guns added.1,2 Four more 24" torpedo mounts of four tubes each were added.1,2
  • May - June 1944: Attempted to relieve garrison at Biak.3,6
  • June 3, 1944: Spotted by American aircraft and operation cancelled.6
  • June 13, 1944: Attempt to relieve Biak garrison cancelled.6
  • October 24, 1944: Attacked and slightly damaged by aircraft while sailing from Manila with troops.6 47 crewman were killed by the near misses.6
  • October 26, 1944: Sunk by aircraft from TG 77.4 southwest of Masbate.1,2,3,4,6

IJN Nagara

  • Manufacturer: Sasebo7, Sasebo Dock Yard3, Sasebo Navy Yard1,2,5,6
  • July 17, 1919: Given name Nagara.5
  • September 9, 1920: Laid down.2,3,5,6,7
  • April 25, 1921: Launched.1,2,3,4,5,6,7
  • April 21, 1922: Completed.2,3,5,6,7
  • 1927: Catapult installed.3 Mounted Type 90 Model 2 floatplane.3
  • October 1932 - September 19333, 1934 - 1935: Mainmast replaced by tripod mast.2,3 Derrick added for seaplane.2,3 Catapult installed in front of X Turret.2,3
  • 1940: 24" torpedo tubes installed.1
  • 19402, 19431: Refit.1,2 3" gun replaced by two 5" L/50 DP guns.1,2
  • December 1941 - February 1942, January - February 19426: Member of 16th Cruiser Squadron, Southern Force.3 Philippine Islands.3,6 Davao.3 Luzon.3 Celebes.3 Bali.3 Flagship of 10th Destroyer Flotilla.3 Dutch East Indies.6
  • April 1942: Flagship of 10th Destroyer Flotilla, First Fleet.6
  • May 1942: Midway.3
  • August 19426, August - December 1942: Guadalcanal.3 Battle of Eastern Solomons.6 Engaged US destroyers off Savo Island and sank USS Preston.3
  • October 26, 1942: Battle of Santa Cruz.6
  • November 1942: With six destroyers committed to reinforcing Guadalcanal.6
  • November 13, 1942: Escorted battleships that bombarded Guadalcanal.6 Fired 136 rounds.6
  • November 15, 1942: Escorted warships in bombardment of Guadalcanal.6 Sank destroyer USS Preston.6
  • November 1942: Flagship of Destroyer Squadron 4.6
  • 1943: Refit.1,2 Two 5.5" guns removed.1 22 25 mm guns2 and two 13 mm guns added.1,2 Four more 24" torpedo mounts of four tubes each were added.1,2
  • January 1943: Evacuation of Guadalcanal.6
  • July 1943: Flagship of Destroyer Squadron 2.6
  • Late 1943, November 19436: Marshall Islands.3,6 Reinforcing island troops.3,6
  • December 4, 1943: Damaged by carrier aircraft in raid on Kwajalein.3,6 Sailed to Truk for repairs.3
  • May 1944: Flagship Destroyer Squadron 11.6
  • June 1944: Became fast transport.6
  • August 7, 1944: Sunk by torpedoes from USS Croaker south of Nagasaki.1,2,3,4,6 348 crewman killed.6

IJN Natori

  • Manufacturer: Mitsubishi at Nagasaki1,2,3,5,6,7
  • July 17, 1919: Given name Natori.5
  • December 14, 1920: Laid down.2,3,5,6,7
  • February 16, 1922: Launched.1,2,3,4,5,6,7
  • September 15, 1922: Completed.2,3,5,6,7
  • 1927: Catapult installed.3 Mounted Type 90 Model 2 floatplane.3
  • July 1931 - September 19333, 1934 - 1935: Mainmast replaced by tripod mast.2,3 Derrick added for seaplane.2,3 Catapult installed in front of X Turret.2,3
  • 1940: 24" torpedo tubes installed.1
  • 19402, 19431: Refit.1,2 3" gun replaced by two 5" L/50 DP guns.1,2
  • December 1941: Flagship of 5th Destroyer Flotilla, Southern Force.3,6 Invasion of Philippines.3,6 Covered landings at Luzon and Lingayen Gulf.3
  • January 19426, February - March 1942: Supported invasion of Java.3,6 Defending transports when HMAS Perth and USS Houston attacked during Battle of Sunda Strait.3
  • December 1942, January 9, 19436: Badly damaged by two torpedoes from USS Tautog.3,6 Singapore for repairs.6
  • 1943, June 1943 - March 19446: Refit and repairs.1,2,6 Two 5.5" guns removed.1 22 25 mm guns2 and two 13 mm guns added.1,2 Four more 24" torpedo mounts of four tubes each were added.1,2
  • March 1944: Flagship of Destroyer Squadron 3.6
  • August 17, 19446, August 18, 1944: Sunk by two torpedoes from USS Hardhead northeast of Surigao.1,2,3,4,6 330 crewman died.6

IJN Yura (river in Kyoto Prefecture5)

  • Original name: Suzuka.3,5
  • Manufacturer: Sasebo7, Sasebo Dock Yard3, Sasebo Navy Yard1,2,5,6
  • March 26, 1920: Name changed to Yura.3,5
  • May 21, 1921: Laid down.2,3,5,6,7
  • February 15, 1922: Launched.1,2,3,4,5,6,7
  • March 20, 1923: Completed.2,3,5,6,7
  • 1927: Catapult installed.3 Mounted Type 90 Model 2 floatplane.3
  • 1934 - 1935, January - December 19363: Mainmast replaced by tripod mast.2,3 Derrick added for seaplane.2,3 Catapult installed in front of X Turret.2,3
  • 1940: 24" torpedo tubes installed.1
  • 1940: Refit.2 3" gun replaced by two 5" L/50 DP guns.2
  • December 1941: Flagship of 5th Submarine Flotilla in South China Sea.3,6
  • December 1941 - March 1942: Covered landings at Borneo, Malaya, and Java.3,6
  • April 1, 1942: Attacked Allied ships in Bay of Bengal.3,6
  • April 6, 1942: Sank three frieghters.6
  • June 1942: Member of Main Invasion Force in Midway operation.3 Flagship of Destroyer Squadron 4.6
  • August 1942: Battle of Eastern Solomons.6
  • September 25, 1942: Damaged by B-17s in the Shortland Islands.3,6
  • October 18, 1942: Hit by dud torpedo from USS Grampus.6
  • October 25, 1942: Hit by bombs from US Marine Corps dive bombers and set on fire.1,2,34,6 Scuttled by IJN Harusame and IJN Yudachi north-northeast of Savo.1,2,3,4,6

Specifications

  Nagara class
Crew 4381,2,3,7, 4505
Displacement 5,088 tons3, 5,170 tons1,2,5,7, 5,570 tons4
Displacement - Loaded 5,570 tons5, 5,832 tons3
Physical Characteristics  
Length 532'5, 534' 9"3, 535'1,2,7
162.15 m5, 162.99 m3, 163 m2
Length - Water Line 520'2,3
158.5 m2,3
Length - Between Perpendiculars 490'1, 500'2,3,5,7
152.4 m3,5, 152.5 m2
Beam 46' 6"1,2,5, 46' 9"7
14.17 m5, 14.2 m2
Draft / Height 15' 9"1,2, 15' 10.5"5,7
4.8 m2, 4.839 m5
Performance  
Speed 33 knots7, 36 knots1,2,3,5
Range at 10 knots 9,000 nautical miles2,3
Range at 14 knots 5,000 nautical miles5
Armament 5.5"1,3, 5.5" / 140 mm L/502,7, 14 cm L/50 Type 35: 71,2,3,5,7
Anti-Aircraft 3"1, 3.1"3, 3" / 13 pdr / 80 mm L/402,7, 8 cm L/40 Type 3 HA5: 21,2,3,5,7
6.5 mm Type 35: 25
Machine guns3,7: 27, 63
Saluting Guns 5 cm or 6 cm Yamauchi5: 25
Torpedo Tubes 21"7: 87
24"1,2,3, 61 cm2,3, 24" / 61 cm Type 85: 2 mounts 4 tubes each1,2,3,5
Mines No. 15: 485
Aircraft 11,3,5,7
Armor  
Belt - Main 2"1,2,7, 2.5"3
2.54 cm + 3.8 cm5
Control Tower 2"1,2,7
Deck 1.25"3, 1.5"2, 1.5" - 2"1
2.86 cm5
Engines  
Boilers Kanpon coal fired: 42,7
Kanpon oil fired: 82,7, 105
Kanpon mixed fired: 25
Kanpon: 123
Shafts 41,2,5,7
Turbines Geared1,7, Gihon geared2,3,5
HP 70,0007, 90,0001,2,3,5
Coal 300 tons2, 350 tons3,5,7
Oil 700 tons3, 1,150 tons2,7, 1,260 tons5
  Nagara class 1943
Crew  
Displacement  
Displacement - Loaded  
Physical Characteristics  
Length  
Length - Water Line  
Length - Between Perpendiculars  
Beam  
Draft / Height  
Performance  
Speed  
Range at 10 knots  
Armament 5.5"1,2,3: 51,2,3
5" DP1,2,3: 21,2,3
Anti-Aircraft 25 mm3: 223
13 mm1,2,3: 21,2,3
Torpedo Tubes 24"3: 4 mounts 4 tubes each3
Aircraft  
Armor  
Belt - Main  
Control Tower  
Deck  
Engines  
Boilers  
Shafts  
Turbines  
HP  
Oil  
  Nagara class June 1944
Crew  
Displacement 6,050 tons1,2,4
Displacement - Loaded  
Physical Characteristics  
Length  
Length - Water Line  
Length - Between Perpendiculars  
Beam  
Draft / Height  
Performance  
Speed 33.4 knots4
Range  
Armament  
Anti-Aircraft 25 mm2,3: 362,3,4
Torpedo Tubes  
Aircraft  
Armor  
Belt - Main  
Control Tower  
Deck  
Engines  
Boilers  
Shafts  
Turbines  
HP  
Oil  
  Isuzu September 1944
Crew  
Displacement  
Displacement - Loaded  
Physical Characteristics  
Length  
Length - Water Line  
Length - Between Perpendiculars  
Beam  
Draft / Height  
Performance  
Speed  
Range  
Armament 5" DP twin mounts3, 5" L/40 DP twin mounts4, 5" type 896: 33,4,6
Anti-Aircraft 25 mm triple mounts3: 113
25 mm3,4: 53, 384
Torpedo Tubes 24"3,6: 2 mounts 4 tubes each3,6
Aircraft  
Armor  
Belt - Main  
Control Tower  
Deck  
Engines  
Boilers  
Shafts  
Turbines  
HP  
Oil  
  Kinu
Crew  
Displacement  
Displacement - Loaded  
Physical Characteristics  
Length  
Length - Water Line  
Length - Between Perpendiculars  
Beam  
Draft / Height  
Performance  
Speed  
Range  
Armament  
Anti-Aircraft  
Torpedo Tubes  
Aircraft  
Armor  
Belt - Main  
Control Tower  
Deck  
Engines  
Boilers  
Shafts  
Turbines Curtis geared2,3,5
HP  
Oil 1,247 tons5

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
  7. Janes' Fighting Ships of World War II, 1989
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site