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Japan's Imperial Navy flag

Japan's Tenryu class Light Cruisers

Design

The Tenryu class of light cruisers were authorized to be built under the 1916 Program / New Naval Construction Program of 1916. Both were to cost a total of ¥9.1 million.

Their intended purpose were to be flagships for destroyer squadrons.

There were plans to convert the Tenryu class ships into anti-aircraft cruisers in 1937 - 1938 but there were other priorities for construction and it didn't happen.

Armament

As the four guns were placed on the same level, their was only forward and aft gun that could fire those directions. The other two guns had limited arcs due to their placement.

The Tenryu class were the first Japanese ships to use triple tube mounts for the torpedoes.

There were two rails that carried 24 mines each.

Name Elevation Rate of Fire Range
5.5" L/50 Type 3
14 cm L/50 Type 3
     
3.15" L/40 Type 3
3.15" / 8 cm L/40 Type 3 HA
75° 13 5.775 yards

Engines

There was one small space and two larger spaces where the boilers were located. The forward small space had two small boilers, the middle room had four large boilers, and the aft boiler room had two oil burning and two mixed burning boilers.

The outside shafts were propelled by the forward turbine room and the center shaft by the aft turbine room.

Ships

IJN Tatsuta (a stream in central Hoshu) , IJN Tatuta

  • Cost: ¥4,550,000
  • Manufacturer: Sasebo, Sasebo Dock Yard, Sasebo Navy Yard
  • July 24, 1917: Laid down.
  • May 29, 1918: Launched.
  • March 13, 1919: Completed.
  • 1927, 1930 - 1931, 1931: Refit. Tripod foremast installed.
  • 1939: Two 13 mm / 13.2 mm machine guns added.
  • November 1940: The 3.15" gun and two 13 mm guns removed. Two 25 mm Type 96 twin mounts added. Mixed boiler replaced by oil firing.
  • December 1941: Member of 18th Cruiser Squadron / Sentai 18, 4th Fleet.
  • December 1941: Wake Island.
  • January 1942: Kavieng and Rabaulinvasion.
  • February 23 - 27, 1942: Refit at Truk. Two 25 mm twin mounts added.
  • March 8, 1942: Support for Lae and Salamaua landings.
  • April 8, 1942: Support for Bougainville, Shortland, and Manus Island landings.
  • May 1942: Support for Port Moresby and Tulagi invasions.
  • May 1942: Overhaul in Japan.
  • June 1942: Member of 18th Cruiser Squadron, 8th Fleet.
  • June 23, 1942: Arrived in Truk.
  • July 1942: Landed troops at Buna, New Guinea.
  • July 6, 1942: Landed construction troops on Guadalcanal.
  • September 1942, September 5 - 6, 1942: Evacuated troops from Milne Bay.
  • October 9, 1942: Dropped off 17th Army commander on Guadalcanal.
  • January 1943: Returned to Japan to repair rudder.
  • August - September 1943: Refit. One 25 mm twin mount added.
  • October 1943: Sailed to Truk.
  • February 1944: Sailed towards Saipan.
  • March 12, 1944, March 13, 1944: Sunk by torpedo from USS Sand Lance / Sandlance near Yokosuka.

IJN Tenryu (a river in central Hoshu)

  • Cost: ¥4,550,000
  • Manufacturer: Yokosuka, Yokosuka Dock Yard, Yokosuka Navy Yard
  • May 17, 1917: Laid down.
  • March 11, 1918: Launched.
  • November 20, 1919: Completed.
  • 1927, March 1927 - March 1930, 1930 - 1931: Refit. Tripod foremast installed.
  • 1939: Two 13 mm / 13.2 mm machine guns added.
  • November 1940: The 3.15" gun and two 13 mm guns removed. Two 25 mm Type 96 twin mounts added. Mixed boiler replaced by oil firing.
  • December 1941: Member of 18th Cruiser Squadron / Sentai 18, 4th Fleet.
  • December 1941: Wake Island.
  • January 1942: Kavieng and Rabaul invasion.
  • February 23 - 27, 1942: Refit at Truk. Two 25 mm twin mounts added.
  • March 8, 1942: Support for Lae and Salamaua landings.
  • April 8, 1942: Support for Bougainville, Shortland, and Manus Island landings.
  • May 1942: Support for Port Moresby and Tulagi invasions.
  • May 1942: Overhaul in Japan.
  • June 1942: Member of 18th Cruiser Squadron, 8th Fleet.
  • June 23, 1942: Arrived in Truk.
  • July 1942: Landed troops at Buna, New Guinea.
  • July 6, 1942: Landed construction troops on Guadalcanal.
  • August 9, 1942: Battle of Savo Island. Two torpedoes hit USS Quincy. Hit one American destroyer. Hit by a 5" shell from USS Chicago. Two crewman wounded.
  • August 25, 1942: Landing troops at Milne Bay.
  • September 1942, September 5 - 6, 1942: Evacuated troops from Milne Bay. Sank an Allied transport.
  • October 2, 1942: Damaged by B-17 attack at Rabaul. 23 crewman killed. Repaired in Rabaul.
  • December 1942: Flagship of Madang Attack Force.
  • December 18, 1942: Sunk by torpedo from USS Albacore near Madang. 23 crewman killed and 21 wounded.

Specifications

  Tenryu class
Crew 332, 337
Displacement 3,230 tons, 3,948 tons
Displacement - Loaded 3,495 tons, 3,948 tons
Physical Characteristics  
Length 468', 468' 11"
142.5 m, 142.6 m, 142.9 m
Length - Water Line 456' 11", 457' 10", 458'
139.27 m, 139.5 m, 139.54 m
Length - Between Perpendiculars 440'
134 m, 134.1 m
Beam 40' 6", 40' 9"
12.34 m
Draft / Height 13'
3.96 m
Performance  
Speed 31 knots, 33 knots
Range at 10 knots 6,000 nautical miles
Range at 14 knots 5,000 nautical miles
Armament 5.5" / 14 cm 3rd Year Type, 5.5", 5.5" L/50 Type 3, 14 cm L/50 Type 3, 5.5" / 14 cm L/50: 4
Anti-Aircraft 3", 3.1", 3.15" L/40 Type 3, 3.15" / 8 cm L/40 Type 3, 3" / 13 pdr. / 8 cm L/40: 1
13 mm machine guns: 2
6.5 mm machine guns, 6.5 mm Type 3: 2
Machine guns: 2
Saluting Guns 4.7 cm Mk I: 2
Mines 48
Torpedo Tubes 21" / 533 mm, 21" Type 6, 53 cm Type 6: 2 mounts 3 tubes each
Armor  
Belt - Main 1", 1.5" - 2", 2"
2.54 cm, 5 cm
Control Tower 2"
5 cm
Deck 1.5", 2"
0.9 mm - 1.4 mm, 2.54 cm, 3.8 cm
Engines  
Boilers 10
Kampon: 10
Shafts 3
Turbines Brown-Curtis, Curtis geared, Curtis and Parsons, Geared
HP 51,000
Coal 150 tons
Coal and Oil 900 tons
Oil 920 tons

Sources:

  1. Cruisers of World War Two An International Encyclopedia, M. J. Whitley, 1995
  2. Japanese Warships of World War II, A. J. Watts, 1966
  3. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1922-1946, Robert Gardiner, 1987
  4. The Imperial Japanese Navy in the Pacific War, Mark E. Stille, 2013
  5. Japanese Cruisers of the Pacific War, Eric Lacroix, Linton Wells II, 1997
  6. Janes' Fighting Ships of World War II, 1989
  7. The Imperial Japanese Navy, A. J. Watts and B. G. Gordon, 1971
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site