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Japan's Imperial Navy flag

Japan's Tone class cruiser

Design

The Tone class was to improve upon the Mogami class of cruisers. The Tone class were ordered under the 2nd 1932 Supplementary Program / 2nd Reinforcement Program of 1934.

The Tone class were intended to be used as scouting cruisers so they were designed to have a large area aft that could be used to handle the aircraft they were intended to carry.

There was more electric welding used to try and keep the weight down in the Tone. However, because of strength problems found during typhoons, the Chikuma used more riveting to help strengthen the hull.

Aircraft

With the main guns forward that left the quarterdeck to be used for aircraft. This allowed for all guns to be fired while launching aircraft without possibly damaging the aircraft.

There were two gunpowder propelled catapults to launch aircraft.

The Tone class was designed to carry four E7K2 "Alf" and four E8N1 "Dave" floatplanes but only five were ever carried. As World War II went on E13A1 "Jakes" and F1M2 "Pete" replaced them.

Armament

As the Japanese had cancelled the naval treaties on December 31, 1936, the Tone class were upgraded to have 8" guns during construction. All of the turrets were mounted forward of the bridge.

The torpedo launchers were located near the catapults.

Name Elevation
8" , 20 cm L/50 Type 3 55°

Ships

IJN Chikuma (stream in Nagano Prefecture)

  • Manufacturer: Mitsubishi at Nagasaki
  • December 28, 1935: Named Chikuma.
  • October 1, 1935: Laid down.
  • March 19, 1938: Launched.
  • May 20, 1939: Completed.
  • 1939: 8th Cruiser Squadron.
  • December 1941: 1st Air Fleet, Admiral Nagumo.
  • December 6, 1941: 8th Cruiser Division / Sentai 8. Pearl Harbor Support Force.
  • December 15, 1941: Wake.
  • January - March 1942: Dutch East Indies. Darwin. Carrier Striking Force.
  • January 1942: Java. Rabaul. Kavieng. Lae. Salamaua.
  • January 17, 1942: Carrier Division 5.
  • January 20, 1942: Rabaul.
  • January 21, 1942: Kavieng. New Guinea.
  • February 1942: Port Darwin.
  • February - March 1942: Java.
  • March 1942: With Hiei and Kirishima during the sinking of USS Edsall.
  • March 1942, April 1942: Indian Ocean. Carrier Striking Force. Ceylon.
  • May - June 1942, June 1942, June 4, 1942: Midway. Carrier Striking Force. Sentai 8, Kido Butai. Aleutians.
  • Summer 1942: Guadalcanal.
  • August 1942, August 24, 1942: Battle of Eastern Solomons.
  • October 1942, October 26, 1942: Battle of Santa Cruz Islands. Minor damage from USS Hornet's dive bombers that hit with five bombs. 151 crewman dead, 165 wounded.
  • 1943: 20 25 mm guns in total.
  • February 1943: Repairs finished.
  • February 1943: Two 25 mm twin mounts added.
  • November 1943, November 5, 1943: Sustained damage from USS Saratoga aircraft attack while in Rabaul.
  • November 6, 1943: Arrived in Truk.
  • December 1943 - January 1944: Four 25 mm twin mounts replaced by four 25 mm triple mounts. Four 25 mm guns added.
  • 1944: 7th Cruiser Squadron.
  • February 1944, March 2, 1944: Indian Ocean raid with Aoba and Tone.
  • June 1944: 56 / 57 25 mm guns in total. Four 25 mm triple mounts added.
    Eight 25 mm triple mounts, six 25 mm twin mounts, and 18 25 mm guns in total.
  • October 1944, October 24 - 25, 1944: Cruiser Division 4. Sentai 7. Admiral Kurita's Center Force. First Diversionary Attack Force. Battle of Leyte Gulf.
  • October 25, 1944: Sunk. Battle of Leyte Gulf. Hit by torpedoes from aircraft of TF77.4 / TG77.4.2. Ship forced to stop. Scuttled by Nowake northeast of Samar.

IJN Tone (river on the Kanto Plain)

  • Manufacturer: Mitsubishi at Nagasaki
  • December 1, 1934: Named Tone.
  • December 1, 1934: Laid down.
  • November 21, 1937: Launched.
  • November 20, 1938: Completed.
  • 1938: 8th Cruiser Squadron.
  • December 1941: 1st Air Fleet, Admiral Nagumo.
  • December 6, 1941: 8th Cruiser Division / Sentai 8. Pearl Harbor Support Force.
  • December 15, 1941: Wake.
  • January - March 1942: Dutch East Indies. Darwin. Carrier Striking Force.
  • January 1942: Java. Rabaul. Kavieng. Lae. Salamaua.
  • February 1942: Port Darwin.
  • February - March 1942: Java.
  • March 1942: With Hiei and Kirishima during the sinking of USS Edsall.
  • March 1942, April 1942: Indian Ocean. Carrier Striking Force. Ceylon.
  • May - June 1942, June 1942, June 4, 1942: Midway. Carrier Striking Force. Sentai 8, Kido Butai. Aleutians.
  • Summer 1942: Guadalcanal.
  • August 1942, August 24, 1942: Battle of Eastern Solomons. Damaged by aircraft from the USS Saratoga.
  • October 26, 1942: Battle of Santa Cruz Islands.
  • November 12 - 15, 1942: Battle of Guadalcanal. Carrier Striking Force.
  • 1943: 20 25 mm guns in total.
  • February 1943: Two 25 mm twin mounts added.
  • November 5, 1943: Damaged while in Rabaul from air raid from USS Saratoga.
  • December 1943 - January 1944: Four 25 mm twin mounts replaced by four 25 mm triple mounts. Four 25 mm guns added.
  • 1944: 7th Cruiser Squadron.
  • February 1944, March 1944, March 2, 1944: Indian Ocean raid. With Aoba and Chikuma. Captured 108 crew and passengers from British merchant vessel. Committed atrocity by beheading 72.
  • June 1944: 56 / 57 25 mm guns in total. Four 25 mm triple mounts added.
    Eight 25 mm triple mounts, six 25 mm twin mounts, and 18 25 mm guns in total.
  • October 1944, October 22, 1944: Cruiser Division 7 / Sentai 7. Admiral Kurita's Center Force. First Diversionary Attack Force. Battle of Leyte Gulf.
  • October 24, 1944: Damaged by three bombs while in the Sibuyan Sea. Hit by aircraft from USS Kitkun Bay.
  • October 25, 1944: Sustained damage from bomb.
  • February 1945: Seven 25 mm guns removed. Four 25 mm triple mounts added.
  • March 1945, March 19, 1945: Sustained damage while at Kure.
  • July 24, 1945: Sunk. Sunk in Kure harbor by American aircraft from TF38. Three hits and seven near misses by bombs. Settled in the stern.
  • August 5, 1945: Abandoned.

Specifications

  Tone class
Crew 850, 864, 874
Displacement 11,215 tons
Displacement - Loaded 15,200 tons, 15,239 tons
Physical Characteristics  
Length 661' 1", 661' 4", 661' 6"
201.5 m, 201.6 m
Length - Water Line 649' 6", 649' 7"
198 m, 198.75 m
Length - Between Perpendiculars 620' 5", 620' 6", 624' 6"
189.1 m, 190.3 m
Beam 60' 6", 60' 8", 63' 6", 63' 8"
18.4 m, 18.5 m
Draft / Height 19.4 m, 20' 6", 21' 3", 21' 4", 35' 9"
6.1 m, 6.47 m
Performance  
Speed 35 knots
Range at 14 knots 12,000 nautical miles
Range at 18 knots 8,000 nautical miles, 9,000 nautical miles, 10,000 nautical miles
Armament 8" twin turrets, 8" / 20.3 cm L/50 twin turrets, 20 cm L/50 Type 3 twin turrets: 4
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
25 mm twin mounts, 25 mm Type 96 twin mounts: 4, 6
25 mm: 12
13 mm: 4
Torpedo Tubes 24" / 61 cm: 4 mounts 3 tubes each
Aircraft 5, 6
Armor  
Belt - Machinery 3.9", 4"
1.8 cm - 10 cm
Belt - Main 5"
10 cm
Control Tower 7 cm - 13 cm
Deck 1.2" - 2.5", 1.375" - 2.5", 2.5"
3.1 cm - 6.5 cm, 6.3 cm
Magazines 4.9", 5", 5.7" - 6.1"
12.5 cm
Turrets 1", 3"
8 cm
Engines  
Boilers 8
Kanpon: 8
Shafts 4
Turbines Geared, Kanpon geared
HP 152,000, 152,200
Oil 2,163 tons 2,690 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
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site