Fuji class Battleships (1896)

Japan (1898) Shikishima, Hatsuse

The Fuji improved

The Shikishima and Hatsuse were built in two British shipyards on plans derived from the Majestic. They were more heavy versions of the previous Fuji and differed externally by their three funnels. The subsequent Asahi and Mikasa derived from it so closely that they are sometimes placed in one and the same class.

IJN Shikishima

Design differences

Like the Fuji class, the Japanese general staff based its requirements on reports from the First Sino-Japanese War. They were convinced of the weaknesses in the Jeune Ecole (Young school) naval philosophy, and embarked on an ambitious program of modernization and construction this time entirely modelled on the Royal Navy. When the Fuji-class battleships were ordered, Japan still lacked capabilities and skilled labor to built its own battleships. The new Shikishima class was a modified and improved version of the Majestic-class battleships, also ordered in UK. They had the same armament and similar machinery.

However similarities stopped there, as these ships also had an improved armor, and a double bottom with no less than 261 watertight compartments. Raw power was provided by two Humphrys Tennant vertical triple-expansion steam engines, rated at 14,500 indicated horsepower (10,800 kW), for 18 knots top speed. The four 12 in main gun, fired 850-pound (386 kg) projectiles at a muzzle velocity of 2,400 ft/s (730 m/s). The secondary 40-calibre Type 41 6-in QF guns mounted in casemates 100-pound (45 kg) shells at a muzzle velocity of 2,300 ft/s (700 m/s). The ships could fend off TBs attacks twenty QF 12-pounder 12 cwt ("Cwt" is the abbreviation for hundredweight) and four 2.5-pounder Hotchkiss guns.

The Shikishima class in service

When the Russo-Japanese War broke out, both battleships served with the 1st Division of the 1st Fleet. Both fought in the Battle of Port Arthur on 9 February 1904, under Admiral Tōgō Heihachirō. He chose to attack the Russian coastal defences with the main battery and engage simultaneously Russian ships with the secondary artillery. But it proved a bad move, inflicting little damage whereas the Russian ships were able to replicate with full force.

Hatsuse was hit twice, Shikishima once, with many men killed and wounded. They also participated in the action of 13 April, luring out two battleships of the Pacific Squadron, but while turning back for Port Arthur Petropavlovsk struck a minefield and sank while Tōgō resumed long-range bombardment missions while the Russian layed more minefields. So on 15 May 1904, both battleships and the Yashima, Kasagi, and Tatsuta encountered a new minefield whch proved fatal to Hatsuse. Shikishima went on during the war and also participated in the great war, in a less active way and was for long a training ship. She was disarmed indeed in 1923 and was not broken up until 1947...

Shikishima plans Brassey's annual Shikishima plans Brassey's annual

Shkishima class 12-in turret diagram
Shkishima class 12-in turret diagram

Japanese Postcard about the Shikishima
Japanese Postcard about the Shikishima

The Hatsuse in action

Hatsuse being ready to launch
Hatsuse being ready to launch

"Hatsuse" was a revered Hase-dera temple, famous in Japan for its maple trees. It was completed on 18 January 1901 and represented locally the Meiji Emperor at Queen Victoria's funeral. After sailing home and after years of exercizes and intensive training, she was committed in the Russo-Japanese War, under order of Captain Yu Nakao, part of the 1st Division, 1st Fleet. In the Battle of Port Arthur Hatsuse was hit twice during the battle, losing seven crewmen killed and 17 wounded. On 14 May 1904, under orders of Admiral Nashiba she sailed to relieve the Japanese blockading force off Port Arthur, but on the following morning, encountered a minefield laid by the Russian minelayer Amur. Hatsuse struck one mine, disabling her steering at 10:50 a.m. Yashima struck also a mine when trying to assist her. Two hour slater, Hatsuse drifting helplessely hit another mine under one of her magazines, immediately blowing the ship apart, and killing 496 in the process. The ship capsized and sank too fast to escape her. Her hulk can be still isited today at 38°37′N 121°20′E. While Tatsuta and Kasagi saved the Admiral, Captain Nakao and 334 other officers and enlisted men, but Yashima foundered about eight hours later, all her crew escaped safe.

Japanese Battleships Hatsuse in harbor
Japanese Battleships Hatsuse in harbor

The Shikishima in action

Shikishima launching at Blackwall, 1898
Shikishima launching at Blackwall, 1898

"Shikishima" is a poetical name for Japan. Part of the 10 Year Naval Expansion Programme she was completed on 26 January 1900, and sailed for Japan, spending months in exercises, before sailing in operations in the Russo-Japanese war, as part of the 1st division, 1st fleet under command of Captain Izō Teragaki. During the Battle of Port Arthur instead of funding the fleet disorganized and weakened after the destroyers night attack found the Russians ready and on high alert. When engaged with secondary calibers, these ships replicated heavily and Shikishima was hit by one six-inch shell, which wounded 17 crewmen. Later she participated in the action of 13 April which convinced the Russian to lay more minefield. And that was in one of them that Shiskishima just sailed, on 15 May 1904 under Rear Admiral Nashiba Tokioki orders apparetly hitting a mine, but surviving.

During the Battle of Tsushima in May 1905, she was hit nine times and the the most serious hit penetrated beneath a six-inch gun while one of her own 12-inch shells detonated in her forward guns. Mikasa and Shikishima however managed to destroy the Battleship Oslyabya which became the first modern battleship sunk entirely by gunfire. in total Shikishima fired 74 12-in shells, 1395 6-in and 1272 12-pdr shells during the battle and a torpedo, badly damaging the Russian armed merchant cruiser Ural. During World War I, Shikishima was based at Sasebo until 1915, then was assigned to the Second, then Fifth Squadrons due to her age for the remainder of the war. Due to the Washington Naval Treaty limitation she was reclassified as a first-class coast defence ship on 1 September 1921, training submarine crews, then as as a transport on 1 April 1923, disarmed, continued to be used as a training hulk for the Sasebo Naval Barracks. She suvived in this role until scrapped in January 1948, always at Sasebo.
IJN Shikishima blueprint
IJN Shikishima blueprint

Shikishima disarmed 1920
Shikishima disarmed in the 1920s, notice the high draught due to the removal of the artillery, magazines, and some armour. She survived until 1948.

Shikishima
Shikishima class battleships, author's illustration

Features (Fuji)

Displacement: 14,850–15,000 long tons (15,088–15,241 t) Fully Loaded
Dimensions: 133.5 x 23.0–23.4 x 8.2–8.3m (438 x 75.5–76.75 x 27–27.25 ft)
Propulsion: 2 shafts VTE, 14,500 ihp (10,800 kW) 25 Belleville boilers= 18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph)
Range: 5,000 nmi (9,300 km; 5,800 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph)
Armour: Belt: 14–18 in (356–457 mm), Deck: 102–229 mm (4–9 in), Barbettes: 64–102 mm (2.5–4 in), Gun turrets: 254 mm (10 in), Conning tower: 76–356 mm (3–14 in), Bulkheads: 152–356 mm (6–14 in)
Crew: 741/849
Armament: 4x 305 mm (12 in), 14 × 152 mm (6 in), 20 × 12-Pdr, 8 × 3-pdr, 4 × 2.5-pdr, 4 × 18-in TTs

IJN Asahi, the improved clone

This ship was built at John Brown shipyards in Britain. She was completed in 1900. She was virtually an improved copy of Shikishima. Trials quickly showed problems with the boilers, consuming coal at an abnormally high rate. This defect was rectified, and she participated in the Russo-Japanese war, blown up by a mine on October 26, 1904. But she survived thanks to the crew's effort, was towed out of harm and later repaired in time to take part in the battle of Tsushima, being hit several times during the duels. She was demoted to the reserve and training units in 1914 and was disarmed in 1923. However, she was converted in Kure as a submarine rescue ship and was still in service until 1938. She was later reactivated as a workshop ship, sent in Indochina, to be torpedoed and sunk by USS Salmon in 1942 off the coast, one of the oldest ship ever deployed by the IJN in these waters.

Specifications

-Displacement: 15 200 - 15 370t
-Dimensions: 129.6 x 23 x 8.3 m
-Propulsion: 2 propellers, 4 cylinders, 15,000 hp. and 18 knots.
-Protection: Deck 50mm, 356mm blockhouse, 229mm belt, barbettes 356mm
-Crew: 836
-Armament: 4 x 305 mm, 14 x 152 mm, 20 x 76 mm, 6 x 47 mm, 6 x 45 mm, 4 x 457mm TT sub broadsides.

Asahi
Battleship IJN Asahi, author's illustration

IJN WW1
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Sources/read more

http://navypedia.org/ships/japan/jap_bb_shikishima.htm
http://www.fr.naval-encyclopedia.com/1ere-guerre-mondiale/navires-japonais1914.php#cuirasses
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shikishima-class_battleship
Conway's all the world's battleships 1860-1905

Full hull colored illustration by Sergey balakin
Japanese WW1 battleships HD colorized by Hirootko jr.

Naval History

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WW1

☉ Entente Fleets

British ww1 Royal Navy
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Europe
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WW2

✪ Allied ww2 Fleets

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Lake class
Northland class
Treasury class
Owasco class
Wind class
Algonquin class
Thetis class
Active class

US Amphibious ships & crafts
US Amphibious Operations
Doyen class AT
Harris class AT
Dickman class AT
Bayfield class AT
Windsor class AT
Ormsby class AT
Funston class AT
Sumter class AT
Haskell class AT
Andromeda class AT
Gilliam class AT
APD-1 class LT
APD-37 class LT
LSV class LS
LSD class LS
Landing Ship Tank
LSM class LS
LSM(R) class SS
LCI(L) LC
LCT(6) LC
LCV class LC
LCVP class LC
LCM(3) class LC
LCP(L) class LC
LCP(R) class SC
LCL(L)(3) class FSC
LCS(S) class FSC
British ww2 Royal Navy

WW2 British Battleships
Queen Elisabeth class (1913)
Revenge class (1915)
Nelson class (1925)
King Georges V class (1939)
Lion class (Started)
HMS Vanguard (1944)
Renown class (1916)
HMS Hood (1920)

WW2 British Cruisers
British C class cruisers (1914-1922)
Hawkins class cruisers (1917)
British D class cruisers (1918)
Enterprise class cruisers (1919)
HMS Adventure (1924)
County class cruisers (1926)
York class cruisers (1929)
Surrey class cruisers (project)
Leander class cruisers (1931)
Arethusa class cruisers (1934)
Perth class cruisers (1934)
Town class cruisers (1936)
Dido class cruisers (1939)
Abdiel class cruisers (1939)
Fiji class cruisers (1941)
Bellona class cruisers (1942)
Swiftsure class cruisers (1943)
Tiger class cruisers (1944)

WW2 British Aircraft Carriers
Courageous class aircraft carriers (1928)
HMS Ark Royal (1937)
HMS Eagle (1918)
HMS Furious (1917)
HMS Hermes (1919)
Illustrious class (1939)
HMS Indomitable (1940)
Implacable class (1942)
Malta class (project)
HMS Unicorn (1941)
Colossus class (1943)
Majestic class (1944)
Centaur class (started 1944)

HMS Archer (1939)
HMS Argus (1917)
Avenger class (1940)
Attacker class (1941)
HMS Audacity (1941)
HMS Activity (1941)
HMS Pretoria Castle (1941)
Ameer class (1942)
Merchant Aircraft Carriers (1942)
Vindex class (1943)

WW2 British Destroyers
Shakespeare class (1917)
Scott class (1818)
V class (1917)
S class (1918)
W class (1918)
A/B class (1926)
C/D class (1931)
G/H/I class (1935)
Tribal class (1937)
J/K/N class (1938)
Hunt class DE (1939)
L/M class (1940)
O/P class (1942)
Q/R class (1942)
S/T/U//V/W class (1942)
Z/ca class (1943)
Ch/Co/Cr class (1944)
Battle class (1945)
Weapon class (1945)

WW2 British submarines
L9 class (1918)
HMS X1 (1923)
Oberon class (1926)
Parthian class (1929)
Rainbow class (1930)
Thames class (1932)
Swordfish class (1932)
HMS Porpoise (1932)
Grampus class (1935)
Shark class (1934)
Triton class (1937)
Undine class (1937)
U class (1940)
S class (1941)
T class (1941)
X-Craft midget (1942)
A class (1944)

WW2 British Amphibious Ships and Landing Crafts
LSI(L) class
LSI(M/S) class
LSI(H) class
LSS class
LSG class
LSC class
Boxer class LST

LST(2) class
LST(3) class
LSH(L) class
LSF classes (all)
LCI(S) class
LCS(L2) class
LCT(I) class
LCT(2) class
LCT(R) class
LCT(3) class
LCT(4) class
LCT(8) class
LCT(4) class
LCG(L)(4) class
LCG(M)(1) class

British ww2 Landing Crafts
LCA
LCP
LCM

WW2 British MTB/gunboats.
WW2 British MTBs
MTB-1 class (1936)
MTB-24 class (1939)
MTB-41 class (1940)
MTB-424 class (1944)
MTB-601 class (1942)
MA/SB class (1938)
MTB-412 class (1942)
MGB 6 class (1939)
MGB-47 class (1940)
MGB 321 (1941)
MGB 501 class (1942)
MGB 511 class (1944)
MGB 601 class (1942)
MGB 2001 class (1943)

WW2 British Gunboats

Denny class (1941)
Fairmile A (1940)
Fairmile B (1940)
HDML class (1940)

WW2 British Sloops
Bridgewater class (2090)
Hastings class (1930)
Shoreham class (1930)
Grimsby class (1934)
Bittern class (1937)
Egret class (1938)
Black Swan class (1939)

WW2 British Frigates
River class (1943)
Loch class (1944)
Bay class (1944)

WW2 British Corvettes
Kingfisher class (1935)
Shearwater class (1939)
Flower class (1940)
Mod. Flower class (1942)
Castle class (1943)

WW2 British Misc.
WW2 British Monitors
Roberts class monitors (1941)
Halcyon class minesweepers (1933)
Bangor class minesweepers (1940)
Bathurst class minesweepers (1940)
Algerine class minesweepers (1941)
Motor Minesweepers (1937)
ww2 British ASW trawlers
Basset class trawlers (1935)
Tree class trawlers (1939)
HMS Albatross seaplane carrier
WW2 British river gunboats

HMS Guardian netlayer
HMS Protector netlayer
HMS Plover coastal mines.
Medway class sub depot ships
HMS Resource fleet repair
HMS Woolwhich DD depot ship
HMS Tyne DD depot ship
Maidstone class sub depot ships
HmS Adamant sub depot ship

Athene class aircraft transport
British ww2 AMCs
British ww2 OBVs
British ww2 ABVs
British ww2 Convoy Escorts
British ww2 APVs
British ww2 SSVs
British ww2 SGAVs
British ww2 Auxiliary Mines.
British ww2 CAAAVs
British ww2 Paddle Mines.
British ww2 MDVs
British ww2 Auxiliary Minelayers
British ww2 armed yachts

✙ Axis ww2 Fleets

Japan ww2 Imperial Japanese Navy
WW2 Japanese Battleships
Kongō class Fast Battleships (1912)
Fuso class battleships (1915)
Ise class battleships (1917)
Nagato class Battleships (1919)
Yamato class Battleships (1941)
B41 class Battleships (project)

WW2 Japanese cruisers
Tenryū class cruisers (1918)
Kuma class cruisers (1919)
Nagara class (1920)
Sendai class Cruisers (1923)
IJN Yūbari (1923)
Furutaka class Cruisers (1925)
Aoba class heavy cruisers (1926)
Nachi class Cruisers (1927)
Takao class cruisers (1930)
Mogami class cruisers (1932)
Tone class cruisers (1937)
Katori class cruisers (1939)
Agano class cruisers (1941)
Oyodo (1943)

Seaplane & Aircraft Carriers
Hōshō (1921)
IJN Akagi (1925)
IJN Kaga (1927)
IJN Ryujo (1931)
IJN Soryu (1935)
IJN Hiryu (1937)
Shokaku class (1937)
Zuiho class (1936) comp.40
Ruyho (1933) comp.42
Junyo class (1941)
IJN Taiho (1943)
Chitose class (comp. 1943)
IJN Shinano (1944)
Unryu class (1944)
IJN Ibuki (1942)

Taiyo class (1940)
IJN Kaiyo (1938)
IJN Shinyo (1934)

Notoro (1920)
Kamoi (1922)
Chitose class (1936)
Mizuho (1938)
Nisshin (1939)

IJN Aux. Seaplane tenders
Akistushima (1941)
Shimane Maru class (1944)
Yamashiro Maru class (1944)

Imperial Japanese Navy Aviation

WW2 Japanese Destroyers
Mutsuki class (1925)
Fubuki class (1927)
Akatsuki class (1932)
Hatsuharu class (1932)
Shiratsuyu class (1935)
Asashio class (1936)
Kagero class (1938)
Yugumo class (1941)
Akitsuki class (1941)
IJN Shimakaze (1942)

WW2 Japanese Submarines
KD1 class (1921)
Koryu class
Kaiten class
Kairyu class
IJN Midget subs

WW2 Japanese Amphibious ships/Crafts
Shinshu Maru class (1935)
Akistu Maru class (1941)
Kumano Maru class (1944)
SS class LS (1942)
T1 class LS (1944)
T101 class LS (1944)
T103 class LS (1944)
Shohatsu class LC (1941)
Chuhatsu class LC (1942)
Moku Daihatsu class (1942)
Toku Daihatsu class (1944)

WW2 Japanese minelayers
IJN Armed Merchant Cruisers
WW2 Japanese Escorts
Tomozuru class (1933)
Otori class (1935)
Matsu class (1944)
Tachibana class (1944)

WW2 Japanese Sub-chasers
WW2 Japanese MLs
Shinyo class SB
⚑ Neutral

Armada de Argentina Argentinian Navy

Rivadavia class Battleships
Cruiser La Argentina
Veinticinco de Mayo class cruisers
Argentinian Destroyers
Santa Fe class sub. Bouchard class minesweepers King class patrol vessels

Marinha do Brasil Brazilian Navy

Minas Gerais class Battleships (1912)
Cruiser Bahia
Brazilian Destroyers
Humaita class sub.
Tupi class sub.

Armada de Chile Armada de Chile

Almirante Latorre class battleships
Cruiser Esmeralda (1896)
Cruiser Chacabuco (1911)
Chilean DDs
Fresia class subs
Capitan O’Brien class subs

Søværnet Danish Navy

Niels Juel
Danish ww2 Torpedo-Boats Danish ww2 submarines Danish ww2 minelayer/sweepers

Merivoimat Finnish Navy

Coastal BB Ilmarinen
Finnish ww2 submarines
Finnish ww2 minelayers

Nautiko Hellenon Hellenic Navy

Greek ww2 Destroyers
Greek ww2 submarines
Greek ww2 minelayers

Marynarka Vojenna Polish Navy

Polish ww2 Destroyers
Polish ww2 cruisers
Polish ww2 minelayer/sweepers

Portuguese navy ww2 Portuguese Navy

Douro class DDs
Delfim class sub
Velho class gb
Albuquerque class gb
Nunes class sloops

Romanian Navy Romanian Navy

Romanian ww2 Destroyers
Romanian ww2 Submarines

Royal Norwegian Navy Sjøforsvaret

Norwegian ww2 Torpedo-Boats

Spanish Armada Spanish Armada

España class Battleships
Blas de Lezo class cruisers
Canarias class cruisers
Cervera class cruisers
Cruiser Navarra
Spanish Destroyers
Spanish Submarines
Dedalo seaplane tender
Spanish Gunboats
Spanish Minelayers

Svenska Marinen Svenska Marinen

Gustav V class BBs (1918)
Interwar swedish BB projects

Tre Kronor class (1943)
Gotland (1933)
Fylgia (1905)

Ehrernskjold class DDs (1926)
Psilander class DDs (1926)
Klas Horn class DDs (1931)
Romulus class DDs (1934)
Göteborg class DDs (1935)
Mode class DDs (1942)
Visby class DDs (1942)
Öland class DDs (1945)

Swedish ww2 TBs
Swedish ww2 Submarines
Swedish ww2 Minelayers
Swedish ww2 MTBs
Swedish ww2 Patrol Vessels
Swedish ww2 Minesweepers

Türk Donanmasi Turkish Navy

Turkish ww2 Destroyers
Turkish ww2 submarines

Royal Yugoslav Navy Royal Yugoslav Navy

Dubrovnik class DDs
Beograd class DDs
Hrabi class subs

Royal Thai Navy Royal Thai Navy

Taksin class
Ratanakosindra class
Sri Ayuthia class
Puket class
Tachin class
Sinsamudar class sub

minor navies Minor Navies


The Cold War

Royal Navy Royal Navy
Sovietskaya Flota Sovietskiy flot
US Navy USN (1990)


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