Takao class cruisers (1930)

Japanese Navy Heavy Cruisers Takao, Atago, Maya, Chokai.

The most formidable IJN heavy cruisers

The Takao heavy cruiser class (started 1927, launched 1930, completed 1932) included the Takao, Atago, Maya and Chokai. They were were among the very best and most active Japanese cruisers of the Second World War, really outshining all the others. Like the other IJN cruisers of the time, they were extensively rebuilt before 1941 operations, but less extensively than their older counterparts, the Nachi. The most striking aspect was their bulkier appearance, that some argued played in their favor for exceptional resilience. The excellence of their ASW protection was also shown by the amazing survival of IJN Takao after a triple torpedo hit.

In operations, these four apocalypse riders became the spearhead of the Imperial Japanese Navy: They participating in most major engagements of the war in the pacific as part of Admiral Kurita's shock squadron, on Toyoda's orders: They survived the early phase of the war and all four participated in the epic Battle of Leyte in October 1944. But on October 21st their squadron was spotted by American submarines laid in ambush. They were attacked on the evening of the 23rd by USS Darter and Dace, and IJN Atago and Maya were sunk that day. IJN Chokai was blasted by USN aviation and finished off by USN destroyers. IJN Takao survived, barely reaching Brunei and Singapore drydock for complete repairs. Takao was ultimately sunk by British Navy commandos using XE3 mini-subs in July 1945. And so was gone the last of these splendid vessel, named after mountains, like the previous Nachi class.


IJn Takao before the war colorized by Irootoko jr.

Design

Development

The Takao program was approved in 1927, as essentially improved Nachis. They shared the same hull, although significantly larger for stability and with a deeper draft. The powerplant was the same, as the hull lined and superstructures, funnels (with an upright aft one), masts, and even armament. However they were immediately recognisable to their bulky bridge superstructure, roomier, which encompassed the sdes. They were also signalled by a better protection overall, re-introducing an armored brigde (since the 1919 Tenryu) and including quadruple torpedo tubes banks (instead of triple). Despite of all this, by the way they were constructed, they achieved a lighter standard displacement than the Nachi (9,850 tons standard instead of 10,000) which was nothing short of exceptional given their capabilities. As usual, the brain behind their conception was Yuzuru Hiraga.

Like the class, they were still intended to remain within the Washington Naval Treaty tonnage limits for cruisers and their initial design even plan for 9,850 long tons standard, less than the Nachi (Myōkō), but of course they ended up overweight, in reality around 11,350 long tons. This meant that they were marked by a low freeboard, ploughing heavily in bad weather, and had notorious stability issues, aggravated by the massive, almost battleship-like tower bridge. It seems the reasons for this was in part the gross miscalculation of some components that ended much heavier than expected. We will never know for sure.

Launch of IJN Maya in 1930
Launch of IJN Maya in 1930

Hull and Protection

ONI detailed plate (USN intel) about IJN Atago during ww2.
ONI detailed plate (USN intel) about IJN Atago during ww2.

Essentially a repeat of the previous class, the hull had the same fine line, yet with more sloped flank to keep the same thin waterline beam, while being wider at deck level by no less than 69 cm (21 inches), allowing notably to fit quadruple TTs while keeping most of the internal arrangement of the previous vessels. Their profile was identical to the Nachi (Myōkō class) with a long sloping forward deck to the bow, a typically downward curved "ice breaker" bow, a long central flat section and another downwards curve running up to the stern, starting at the "Y" barbette. This flush deck hull, a trademark of Hiraga's designs, saved weight. The hull measured 192.5 m (632 ft) between perpendicular and 203.76 m (668.5 ft) overall, for a beam of 19 m (62 ft) at the waterline and 20.4 m (67 ft) at deck level, and a variable draft, from 6.11 m (20.0 ft) to 6.32 m (20.7 ft).



HD construction details of the cruisers. The first two shows Takao's bridge as completed, and in 1939

Part of the protection relied on Hiraga's original design of integrating armor plates and structural framing to obtain a better rigidity. In a nutshell it was very comparable to the previous Nachi class: Same belt thickness 102mm at machinery level, but 127 mm (5 in) tapered down to 38 mm (1.5 in) fore and aft over the magazines. The main armored deck was thicker at 37 mm (1.45 in) versus 35 mm, and there was an upper belt ranging from 12.7 to 25 mm (0.5 - 0.98 in). Longitudinal and transverse Bulkheads were 76 to 100 mm thick, main barbettes 76 mm (3 inches) above the deck, but the turrets were essentially the same, protected by a thin 25 mm plating (0.98 in).

ASW protection included a three-layered defense. For once, the waist of the ship meant there was a downwards slope affecting high angle shells where the belt was 102 mm thick (4 in). Behind it were located two compartment separated by 25 mm longitudinal bulkheads, filled with oil. Below was located a bulge splitted in two sections separated by a longitudinal bulkhead, and another 58 mm thick separating it from the machinery room. The external section of the bulge ranged between 12.7 and 14 mm (0.5-0.6 in). Below this was created a double hull running for about 80% of the ship's length, which bottom plates were 25.4 mm thick. The double hull was separated into compartments filed either by water (inward) or oil (outward).

Powerplant

It was very much the same as the previous Nachi class: Four shafts connected to geared turbine fed by 12 Kampon boilers, for a total output of 132,000 shp (98,000 kW). This was just a 2,000 shp improvement over the Nachi due to improvements in boiler pressure. Top speed was 34.2–35.5 knots (63.3–65.7 km/h; 39.4–40.9 mph) as shown on trials, comparable to the Nachi, and a range of 8,500 nautical miles (15,700 km; 9,800 mi) at 14 knots (26 km/h; 16 mph), the same as the previous cruisers. Performances would drop due to the partial reconstruction and addition of armaments made in the late 1930s and WW2.

Takao class - ONI
Takao class - ONI

Armament

IJN Takao forward main turrets
IJN Takao forward main turrets

Main armament:

Their main battery was the same as previous cruisers, ten 20.3 cm (8 in) guns, in five twin mounts. Three were placed forward (A, B, C), including one (C) facing the massive bridge and only usable in broadsides. The other two (X, Y) were placed aft of the main mast and aircraft facilities. Performances of these 20 cm/50 3rd Year Type No.2 naval guns were the same as for the Nachi. However the Japanese Intel having knowledge of the County-class cruiser's new high elevation mounts chooses to give their own main gun mounts extra elevation, for some anti-aircraft ability: it was 70 degrees in the Takao, Atago, and Chōkai, and 55 degrees in the Maya. Also the elevation gear was much improved, allowing a 12°/second rate. These guns were naturally given corresponding AA shells.

ONI, front view of IJN Maya
ONI, front view of IJN Maya

However in service, this proved impractical. On one side, the elevating gear was difficult to use and unreliable (prone to jamming), especially in high elevation. It was decided on the Maya and other vessels to artificially stop it at 55°, as on subsequent IJN cruisers designs. Also Switching to anti-aircraft fire control proved a longer procedure than expected, ill-adapted for fast moving targets. In fact, the guns could have only met some success against dense bomber formations flying high and detected soon enough. The other issue was related to shell lifts, as their arrangements proved inadequate. Reloading was in any case only performed at 5° elevation, significantly reducing the rate of fire. Also traverse rate was still 5° degrees per second. Last problem for the crew, the turret machinery was extremely noisy, forbidding efficient communication inside it.

Secondary armament

Like the previous Nachi, these cruisers were given the same Type 10 12 cm/45 "high-angle" anti-aircraft guns, but only four single instead of six. The missing ones were spared weight to allow the fitting of supplementary torpedo tubes. They were replaced in 1942, on the Takao and Atago, with four twin Type 89 12.7 cm/40 guns. On Maya, these were twelve (six twin) Type 89 12.7 cm/40 guns in 1943-1944 refit. IJN Chōkai kept her original, weak AA artillery until she was sunk. The Light anti-aircraft armament was weak also, limited to two Vickers "HI" Type 40 mm/62 guns and two "HI" Type 7.7mm machine guns. In 1930, given the aviation threat of the time, this was judged sufficient. Of course during refits, this armament was supplemented by Type 93 13 mm and Type 96 25 mm AA guns in large quantities.

Torpedo armament

Maya_after_damage_1943
IJN Maya amidship section and TTs after battle damage in 1943

This was the cruiser's trump card and main improvement on armament: Each cruisers carried no less than eight 24 in (61 cm) torpedo tubes, arranged in four Type 89 twin mounts. Although this was less than the Nachi (twelve), at least these could be trained on the target, contrary to the previous cruiser's fixed ones. On addition, there were no easy reloads for the previous cruisers tubes while a rapid-reload installation was provided: There were four twin racks, one per launcher mount. In all, sixteen reload torpedoes were held in reserve, the grand total reaching twenty-four. In addition, the famous Type 91 "long lance" had no equivalent at the time in terms of speed and range. But this was just an appetizer (see the refit).

Onboard aviation

Nakajima-F1m_pete
Nakajima F1M2 "Pete"
For observation, artillery spotting and reconnaissance, all four cruisers were provided with three seaplanes and two catapults on the broadside, and a hangar plus shed/workshop behind the aft funnel. They were lifted from the sea by a boom crane mated on the aft mainmast. Provision of models varied over time. At completion, they carried two E4N2, and one E7K1. During WW2, the best combination proved to be a single Aichi E13A1 "Jake" seaplane and two F1M2 "Pete" seaplanes.

Specifications (as completed)

Displacement 13,400 t. standard -14 600 t. Full Load
Dimensions 203.76 m long, 20.73 m wide, 6.11 m draft
Propulsion 4 propellers, 4 turbines, 12 boilers, 130,000 hp
Top speed 34.2 knots
Armor from 130 (magazines) to 25 mm
Armament 10 x 203 mm (5 × 2), 8 x 127mm (4 × 2), 8 x 25 mm AA, 6 x 13.2 mm AA, 8-16 TT 610 mm (2/4 × 4), 3 aircraft
Crew 773

1938-1939 and WW2 refits

IJN Takao after reconstruction in 1939
IJN Takao after reconstruction in 1939

In 1938, both IJN Takao and Atago received sixteen 24 in (61 cm) torpedo tubes, using 92 quadruple mounts, doubling its torpedo firepower. In addition, two quadruple rapid-reload racks were fitted on port and starboard. These also were modified to launch in the future the 93 torpedoes, ready and provided by 1940. IJN Chōkai and Maya had no changed made to their TTs but they were modified to launch the Type 93 torpedo as well, as provided with oxygen equipment in 1941. They also received received side ballasts bulges, while their secondary artillery was doubled for two of them and this included the addition of eight 25mm AA guns. The Chokai and Maya compensated their lack of secondary or torpedoes by seeing their AA artillery increase considerably. On the eve of the battle of Leyte, they had respectively sixty and sixty-six 25 mm AA guns.

IJN Maya received another TT refit from December 1943, obtaining sixteen 610 mm torpedo tubes, in four quadruple Type 92 mounts without reloads. She received four depht-charge racks, 2-shiki 2-go radars, new bulges for a breadth increased to 20.7 m, ASW protection down to 4.2m while her max draught rose to 6.30m. Her standard displacement went to 13,350t, top speed fell to 34.3kts, fuel stowage was decreased to 2,370t and her complement rose to 996, mostly to operate the extra AA guns. IJN Maya at first kept her 13 mm mounts for a total of sixty-six Type 96 25 mm in thirteen triple and twenty-seven single mounts and thirty-six Type 93 13.2 mm AA guns in single mounts. In July 1944 she would receive 18 supplementary 25mm/60 AA guns 96-shiki, and a 3-shiki 1-go radar.

evolution IJN Takao
Evolution of the class, IJN Takao

ijn maya aa cruiser
IJN Maya was however partly rebuilt as an AA cruiser, sacrificing her third turret and hangar for the installation of a powerful AA combination, and quadruple TT upgrade, late 1943.

The first two (Takao, Chokai) had less AA (in twin and single mounts) and Type 93 13 mm guns instead due to their prewar refit. But later in WW2, both had sixty Type 96 25 mm (1.0 in) AA guns in thirty singe, six twin and six triple mounts. In July 1944, IJN Atago and Takao received four triple 25mm/60 AA guns, and twenty-two 25mm/60 96-shiki in single mounts, plus a new 3-shiki 1-go radar. At the same time, IJN Chokai received 12 more 25mm/60 96-shiki in single mounts and 2-shiki 2-go, 3-shiki 1-go radars.


IJN Chokai in 1938

Src/Read More & resources

Sites

//www.combinedfleet.com/takao_t.htm
//www.combinedfleet.com/atago_t.htm
//www.combinedfleet.com/maya_t.htm
//www.combinedfleet.com/chokai_t.htm
//www.navypedia.org/ships/japan/jap_cr_takao.htm
//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Takao-class_cruiser
//admiral31.world.coocan.jp/e/stc0332.htm
//warfare.gq/dutcheastindies/kondo.html

Colorizations by Irootoko Jr


IJN Takao's bridge in 1939

The fourth squadron in 1933
The fourth squadron in 1933

IJN Chokai, front view
IJN Chokai, front view

IJN Chokai in 1938 in target practice, full broadside
IJN Chokai in 1938 in target practice, full broadside

IJN Maya in 1944, Tawi Tawi atoll
IJN Maya in 1944, Tawi Tawi atoll

IJN Atago during her 1932 sea trials
IJN Atago during her 1932 sea trials

IJN Takao during her 1939 post-refit trials
IJN Takao during her 1939 post-refit trials

IJN Takao aft view, 1937
IJN Takao off China, aft view, 1937

IJN Chokai bridge
IJN Chokai's bridge

Books:

D'Albas, Andrieu (1965). Death of a Navy: Japanese Naval Action in World War II.
Dull, Paul S. (1978). A Battle History of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1941-1945. Naval Institute Press.
Gores, Joseph (1972). Marine Salvage. David & Charles.
Howarth, Stephen (1983). The Fighting Ships of the Rising Sun: The drama of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1895-1945. Atheneum.
Jentsura, Hansgeorg (1976). Warships of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1869-1945. Naval Institute Press.
Lacroix, Eric; Linton Wells (1997). Japanese Cruisers of the Pacific War. Naval Institute Press.
Patton, Wayne (2006). Japanese Heavy Cruisers in World War II. Squadron Signal Publications.
Skulski, Janusz (2004). The Heavy Cruiser Takao. Conway Maritime Press.
Watts, Anthony J. (1967). Japanese Warships of World War II. Doubleday & Company.
Whitley, M.J. (1995). Cruisers of World War Two: An International Encyclopedia. Naval Institute Press.
L, Klemen (2000). "Forgotten Campaign: The Dutch East Indies Campaign 1941–1942".
Lundstrom, John B. (2005). First Team And the Guadalcanal Campaign: Naval Fighter Combat from August to November 1942. Naval Institute Press.
Nishida, Hiroshi. "Materials of IJN". Imperial Japanese Navy. Archived from the original on 23 November 2016.
Parshall, Jon; Hackett, Bob; Kingsepp, Sander; Nevitt, Allyn. "HIJMS ATAGO: Tabular Record of Movement". Combinedfleet.com.
Patton, Wayne (2006). Japanese Heavy Cruisers in World War II. Squadron Signal Publications.

The 1940 Imperial fleet review
The 1940 Imperial fleet review

Model Kits

nichimo model kit chokai
Nichimo's rare old 1/500 kit

All has been covered by Tamiya, Hasegawa, Fujimi at least on 1:700, Marusan, Minicraft, pit-road edited a full set, Skywave (too), Aoshima 1:350, Tamiya 1:400, Nichimo 1:500, Bandai & IMAI 1:550, Eduard, Fukuya 1:350 foto-etched.

The Takao, Maya, Chokai and Atago in action


IJN Takao during her sea trials in 1932 - Colorized by Irootoko Jr. (base for the image background)

IJN Takao

Takao on sea trials
Takao on sea trials IJN Takao was built at Yokosuka Naval Arsenal from 28 April 1927 to her launch on 12 May 1930, commissioned on 31 May 1932, two months after Atago. Yet as she was the first laid down, most historians gave the class her name. ONI plates however referred it as the "atago class". Soon joined by her sister ships, IJN Takao was assigned to the Yokosuka Naval District. The four cruisers there formed the Sentai-4, 2nd Fleet. Under command of captain Chūichi Nagumo she trained extensively in 1933–1934 before Captain Eiji Gotō took command until 1935, followed by Captain Takeo Takagi until 1937 andTadashige Daigo until 1938 and her long refit and overhaul. Stability and seaworthiness issues were soon detected in service as she was top-heavy and both Takao and Atago were rebuilt at the Yokosuka Naval Arsenal in 1938-1939. Their bridge was lightened, the main mast relocated aft, and bulges added. Maya and Chōkai on their part only received minor modifications and stayed pretty much "in their juice" during WW2. Takao and Atago like most IJN vessels of the time patrolled off the coast of China, in 1940-1941.

Takao was not part of the escort dedicated to the attack on Pearl Harbor. Instead, under command of Captain Asakura Bunji, she was in Vice Admiral Nobutake Kondō's Sentai-4 (all four cruisers), providing gunfire support for the landings at Lingayen Gulf (Luzon). This was the start of the Philippines campaign. In February 1942, she was off Palau, when ordered to intercept shipping escaping from the Netherlands East Indies. The hunt was good: She sank the Dutch freighter Toradja, the British minesweeper HMS Scott Harley and captured the freighter Bintoehan, on 1 March 1942. One of her floatplanes located and strafed, bombed the Dutch freighter Enggano as well. A night attack followed, during which Takao and Atago sunk the destroyer USS Pillsbury.

On 4 March, Takao, Atago, Maya escorted by the destroyers Arashi and Nowaki attacked a convoy near Tjilatjap. They sank the HMAS Yarra, defending the convoy. The latter heroically made one hour and a half stand before the onslaught. The Japanese cruisers then proceeded to sink all three ships in the convoy (tanker Francol, depot ship Anking, the Minesweeper HMS 51) and captured the Dutch freighters Duymaer van Twist and Tjisaroea. The three cruisers then went back to Yokosuka for a refit, notably anti-aircraft guns. They arrived there on 18 March.

Takao seen from her sister ship, en route to the Solomons islands, 1942
Takao seen from her sister ship, en route to the Solomons islands, 1942

In April 1942, IJN Takao was back at sea, participating in the unsuccessful pursuit of the Doolittle raid task force. On 2 May 1942, she assisted the sinking seaplane carrier IJN Mizuho, torpedoed by the USS Drum, off Omaezaki. She rescued 471 crew. In June 1942, Takao and Maya went north and brought their gunfire support during the invasion of the Aleutian Islands, and later protected the convoy bound for Kiska and the landings on Attu. On 3 June 1942, their floatplanes, deployed to detect possible threatss were attacked by USAAF Curtiss P-40 fighters from Umnak, loosing two. On 5 June IJN Takao shot down a passing by B-17 Flying Fortress and returned to Ōminato on 24 June.

In August 1942, Takao participated in "Operation Ka": The first large reinforcement mission to Guadalcanal. She departed Hashirajima in Japan with IJN Atago and Maya, on 11 August, and headed for Truk. She was, like her sisters, involved in the Battle of the Eastern Solomons, on 24 August, but were too far to intervene. They had their chance at the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands on 26 October however. Like her sisters and Myōkō and Haguro she took part in a legendary night combat resulting in numerous USN losses, including the aicraft carrier USS Hornet.

IJN_Heavy_Cruiser_Takao

From there, another mission followed, bombarding Henderson Field. This led to the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, on the morning of 15 November 1942. IJN Kirishima flanked by Takao and Atago, engaged USS Washington and South Dakota. This was the first naval duel between capital ships in this theater. South Dakota was taken as target by all three ships, including IJN Takao, at some point lossing all power, radar and fire controls. Takao and Atago then closed and fired their Long Lance torpedoes at USS Washington, but missed. IJN Kirishima was disabled however by a precise fire from her, and later sank. While IJN Atago was damaged, IJN Takao escaped unscaved, to Truk. From there, she departed for Kure, for repairs and a drydock overhaul in December 1942.

By early 1943, IJN Takao escorted troopships from Guadalcanal, which was evacuated. The fleet she escorted also comprised the IJN Zuikaku, Zuihō and Jun'yō, IJN Kongō and Haruna, her sister ship Atago and Myōkō, Haguro, plus the light cruisers Nagara, Agano, framed by 11 destroyers. The mission was a success, 11,700 troops were evacuated. Under her new captain Inoguchi Toshihira, IJN Takao was based in Truk, the best spot to operate in the central Pacific. She made a run to Yokosuka Naval Arsenal on 26 July for more anti-aircraft guns and was back on 23 August. She made a trip to Rabaul on 27 August to carry troops and supplies.

As the US CV fleet was spotted off the Gilbert Islands, IJN Takao departed with Vice Admiral Jisaburō Ozawa's fleet (Shōkaku, Zuikaku, Zuihō, Yamato, Nagato, Myōkō, Haguro, Tone, Chikuma, Mogami, Atago, Takao, Chōkai, Maya, Agano, and fifteen destroyers). They failed to make contact, despite their observation planes launched around, and went back to Truk. She stayed in truk mostly inactive for months, in station, or making supply runs to Rabaul in between and training. However Takao was refuelling at Rabaul when the base was attacked by air on 5 November 1943. SBD Dauntless dive bombers from USS Saratoga soon attacked her. She took several near-misses, and a hit aft, killing 23 and damaging her steering. Forced to return to Yokosuka for repairs, she received yet again additional AA guns and the new Type 21 radar. This went on until 18 January 1944.

IJN Takao was assigned to Vice Admiral Jisaburō Ozawa’s First Mobile Fleet, in Palau, on 1st March 1944. She sailed to Davao, southern Philippines one moth later on 1st April 1944 and while en route, she was ambushed by USS Dace on 6 April, but the latter missed. On 13 June she took part in the Battle of the Philippine Sea. She was was part of Vice Admiral Takeo Kurita’s Mobile Force Vanguard, operating from Tawi Tawi. This was a bait for the 5th Fleet off Saipan. The "Great Marianas Turkey Shoot" followed, giving the occasion to Takao to target with her AA some USN planes passing by. But she was unscaved and in late June was back to Kure Naval Arsenal. There she received more AA guns and a Type 13 air-search radar.

En route to Leyte Gulf IJN Takao was back to Singapore in mid-July. There, she operated off Singapore and Brunei until mid-October 1944, and on 22 October, she sailed from Brunei to join Admiral Kurita's Center Force, soon to be thrown into the Battle of Leyte Gulf. Before dawn on 23 October, the fleet was ambushed by USS Darter and Dace in the Palawan Passage. IJN Takao received two torpedoes from USS Darter. The damage was immediate: Two shafts shattered and left their logding, she lost her fantail and three boiler rooms became completely flooded. IJN Atago and Maya were also sunk. IJN Chōkai was lost at Samar later, so IJN Takao became the unfortunate, sole survivor of her class.

Despite these two torpedo hits, the crew manage to mitigate the damage and she was able to limp back to Brunei, escorted by IJN Naganami, Asashimo, Hiyodori and the transport Mitsu Maru. She arrived in Singapore by 12 November. Damage assessment made it clear she could not be repaired at Singapore. It was also too dangerous to tow her to Japan. So she was permanenlty moored as a floating anti-aircraft battery, essigned to the defence of Seletar Naval Base. In this new static role she was soon joined by IJN Myōkō previously crippled at the Battle of the Sibuyan Sea and a later torpedo hit.

The Singapore attack Both cruisers were spotted by the allies which were unsure of their conditions. The HQ planned an operation to definitely eliminate them to prevent them to interfere in their own operations. This was Operation Struggle, on 31 July 1945. Two midget submarines, HMS XE3 (Ian Edward Fraser) and HMS XE1 (J. E. Smart) were assigned to attack both cruisers separately, the first targeting Takao. After penetrating the harbor defenses, XE3 went as planned under Takao, its diver exiting to attach six limpet mines under her hull, and they had to make due with an improvised piece of rope to attach them. Indeed, by that stage, both cruisers were covered with a thick layer of seaweed and the magnetic limpet mines could not hold.

The limpet mines exploded as planned, blewing a gash 20 by 10 metres (66 by 33 ft), flooding several compartments below the lower deck, comprising the two ammunition magazines. The main gun plotting room and lower communications room also went underwater. For this feat, both Fraser and Magennis were awarded the Victoria Cross. Needless to say, Takao became inoperative and was later evacuated, only keeping a selekton guard crew, as discovered when she surrendered after end of the war. She also had no ammunition aboard and remaining personal surrendered at the Seletar Naval Base to the British, on 21 September 1945. On 27 October 1946 the heavy cruiser was towed to the Strait of Malacca to be used as a target ship. She was pummelled until sinking by HMS Newfoundland on 29 October 1946, and removed from the list on 3 May 1947.

Takao surrendering to British Forces in 1945
Takao surrendering to British Forces in 1945

IJN Atago

Sea trials, 1932
Sea trials, 1932

IJN Atago was laid down at Kure in April 1927, launched on 16 June 1930, commissioned on 30 March 1932 and attached to the Yokosuka Naval District, Sentai-4, 2nd Fleet. All four "mountains" trained together for years. On 14 May 1932, Prime Minister Inukai Tsuyoshi was a guest onboard Atago. He was assassinated a day after. On 26-28 May, Atago also hosted Emperor Hirohito, for a short cruise from Kobe to Etajima and back before standing at the naval review in Kobe. By that time her first captain was Ibō Takahashi (December 1932-November 1933) followed by Seiichi Itō from April (until 1 December 1936) and Aritomo Gotō until 12 July 1937.

Like her sister ship she shown acute stability issues and mediocre seaworthiness. Atago was rebuilt from 1938 like her sister ship? Afterwards she patrolled off the coast of China in 1940-1941, with Captain Tomiji Koyanagi in command until July 1941 and later Matsuji Ijuin. On 29 November she became the flagship of Vice Admiral Nobutake Kondō's Sentai-4, ready for operations in the Pacific.

Post-refit trials, 1939
Post-refit trials, 1939

Early Operations
On 7 December, she was off Mako Guard District, Pescadores Islands, supporting the invasion of Malaya and of thr Philippines. Until March 1942 she was based out of Palau, and participated in the Netherlands East Indies camoaign, taking part in the Battle of the Java Sea. On 2 March she sank USS Pillsbury and later attacked a Dutch convoy from Tjilatjap, bound for Fremantle, duelling with HMAS Yarra, sinking freighters and capturing the 1030 ton Dutch vessel Duymaer van Twist and the 7089 ton freighter Tjisaroea, later pressed into Japanese service. She returned for a maintenance at Yokosuka Naval District on 17 April 1942, and later rushed to catch it but without success, Admiral Halsey's TG 16.2 after the Doolittle Raid. Her second modernization took place at Yokosuka between 22 April and 21 May 1942. Her AA artillery was modified and radar installed. She departed for the Battle of Midway, but used to escort transports ferrying invasion troops., which will never took place.

Guadalcanal campaign
On 11 August 1942, Atago departed Hashirajima with her unit, Sentai-4, still her flagship and the 2nd Fleet for Truk. "Operation Ka" was planned, a major reinforcement of Guadalcanal. She took part in Battle of the Eastern Solomons, and two of her Aichi E13A1 "Jake" floatplanes were short down by USS Wasp's aviation. She only saw from afar the Battle of Santa Cruz Islands on 26–27 October 1942. She however took part in the second Naval Battle of Guadalcanal on 15 November, duelling with USS South Dakota and Washington, and launched eight Type 93 "Long Lance" torpedoes at USS Washington, missing. Damaged slightly she returned to Kure for repairs. On 25 January 1943, Atago was back in Truk but only to cover the evacuation of Guadalcanal. She remained in Truk until July 1943, back to Yokosuka for maintenance, modernization and refit, receiving new triple 25 mm (0.98 in) AA guns.

Japanese_Heavy_Cruiser_Atago

On 23 August 1943 she was back to Truk, escorting troopships to Rabaul and other sorties in the the Solomon Islands until November 1943. Following the Gilbert Islands raid, IJN Atago as part of Ozawa's fleet made an unsuccessful sortie, missing the US Force entirely. After the Allied landings on Bougainville (1 November 1943), she headed for Rabaul to prepare the attack, but the base was raided on 5 November, by 97 planes from USS Saratoga and Princeton. Atago saw three near-misses, killin 22 as well as Captain Nakaoka because of bomb splinter. On 15 November, she returned to Yokosuka for repairs, while a Type 22 surface-search radar set and more AA were fitted. In January 1944, she was back to Truk and on 10 February, while underwya she was ambushed by USS Permit at night, missing. Back to Sentai-4 (Palau, Ozawa's First Mobile Fleet) from 1st March, and then Davao (southern Philippines), 1 April, she made anoyther sortie, once again targeted, this time by USS Dace on 6 April.

On 13 June, she took part in the Battle of the Philippine Sea in Kurita's Mobile Force Vanguard from Tawi Tawi, trying to lure out US Forces off Saipan. The "Great Marianas Turkey Shoot" followed and Kurita atacked Task Force 58 off of Saipan with success. Atago was back at Hashirajima on 24 June a new maintenance, also receiving a Type 13 air-search radar and more Type 96 AA guns. This was her last trip back to Japan.

Battle of Leyte Gulf
In July-October 1944, IJn Atago took back her position as flagship of Vice Admiral Kurita's First Mobile Striking Force, by then concentrating all what remained of the IJN surface battle fleet. it was at Lingga Roads near Singapore, close to fuel depots. Kurita sortied on 22 October to Leyte Gulf, Atago as flagship of the "Center Force", Sentai-4. While underway she was ambushed by USS Darter and Dace in the Palawan Passage. Atago took four torpedo hits. Crippled, ablaze, she capsized at 05:53 and went under 1,800 m (5,900 ft) of water, with 529 survivors, including Vice Admiral Kurita, Rear Admiral Tomiji Koyanagi and Rear Admiral Araki. The rest of the crew, and her captain went down. She was stricken on 20 December 1944.



WoW's hazardous renditions of the IJN Atago

IJN Maya


IJN Maya in 1932 sea trials, smoking generously

IJn Maya was laid down at the Kawasaki Shipyards (Kobe) on 4 December 1928, launched 8 November 1930, commissioned on 30 June 1932, assigned to the Yokosuka Naval District, Sentai-4, 2nd Fleet, training intensively. Her first captain was Masaichi Niimi (15 November 1932), then Jisaburō Ozawa (until 28 October 1935) reporting her stability, seaworthiness issues, but she was not overhauled. Instead she covered the IJA's 6th Division in China in August 1937. At the start of the Pacific War, her unit was in the Pescadores Islands. The followed the northern Philippines campaign, Lingayen gulf (part of Vice Admiral Ibō Takahashi’s 3rd Fleet with Ashigara and Kuma) escort for the third Malaya Convoy, Natuna islands landngs, Palau patroled and southern Philippines campaign. From February 1942 she covered the Darwin raid. Based in Staring-baai in the Celebes she took part in the hunt for the escaping Dutch East Indies forces to Australia. On 2 March her floatplanes spotted HMS Stronghold later sank by others. She also sank USS Pillsbury and later the gunboat Asheville south of Java. On 4 March she attacked the convoy from Tjilatjap; She was drydocked at Yokosuka Naval Arsenal (more AA guns installed, abreast the forward funnel).

In April 1942, she missed Halsey's TF 16.2 after the Doolittle Raid. In June 1942, with Takao she took part in the Aleutian Islands campaign. In August 1942 she participated “Operation Ka”. On 15 October she shelled Henderson Field (Guadalcanal) and later participated in the the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands's night combat. On 3 November she was sent with Chikuma (8th Fleet) at Shortland Island for another run on Henderson Field. She was albushed on her way back by USS Flying Fish but missed. VB-10 (USS Enterprise dropped) Dauntless later attacked her, and she took a near miss 500-pound (227 kg) astern. Her mainmast was damaged as the downed SBD crashed into her port side, putting her 4.7-inch shells ablaza, killing 37. She was back to Yokosuka for repairs and refit in January 1943.



She then took part in the evacuation of the Kurile Islands and on 26 March (Vice Admiral Hosogaya's IJN Fifth Fleet), the Battle of the Komandorski Islands (Kamchatka) with USS Richmond and Salt Lake City, Rear Admiral Charles H. McMorris' TG 16.6. Maya launched Type 93 "Long Lance" torpedoes but missed. She was lightly damaged by gunfire. Repaired in Yokosuka, she was back there late April, and became flagship of the IJN Fifth Fleet, evacuating Kiska in August. After another refit in Yokosuka, she joined Chōkai to Truk, ferrying troops afterwards between Truk and Rabaul. On 5 November, she was attacked by SBD Dauntless from USS Saratoga in Rabaul. She took a bomb hit on her deck portside, above the No. 3 engine room. The fire raged and she lost 70 crewmen. Summarily repaired at Rabaul, she was back at Yokosuka, repaired and refitted as an anti-aircraft cruiser. Her No.3 turret and aircraft hangar were removed, and thirteen triple mount, nine single mount Type 96 AA guns, six twin-mount 127-mm guns, 36 Type 93 machine guns installed, quadruple TTs installed, Type 22 surface-search radar also. This was over 9 April.

From April to June 1944, IJN Maya took part in the defense of the Philippines, and the Battle of the Philippine Sea, damaged by near-misses. Her planes spotted Task Force 58 at 300 miles and she went into a ring formation with Kongō, Haruna, and the escort to protect IJN Chiyoda, later attacked by over 50 TBF Avenger torpedo bombers from USS Bunker Hill, Monterey, and Cabot. On 20 June, she was back in Yokosuka and embarked more Type 96 single-mount AA guns. On 14 July, she carried the 28th Division to Miyako-jima and hered for Singapore, then Brunei on 20 October. Two days later she was in the Battle of Leyte Gulf (Sentai-5 with her sister ships) and on 23 October, were ambushed in the Palawan Passage. Atago received four torpedo hits from Darter and sank in around 18 minutes, with 336 officers and men, while 769 were rescued.

IJN Chōkai

IJN Chokai, ONI
IJN Chokai, ONI

IJN Chokai was started on 26 March 1928 at Mistubishi shipyards, launched on 5 April 1931, and commissioned on 30 June 1932. Like Maya, she was in Sentai 4, 2nd fleet, training intensively with her other two sister ships. Her stability problems were detected but like Maya she was not rebuilt. Instead she covered operations in China in 1937-1941, alternativing with patrol cruusers and training. At the start of the Pacific War, she took part in the invasion of Malaya and tracked Force Z. In January-February 1942, she took part in the Dutch East Indies and Borneo campaigns. However she strucke a reef off Cape St. Jacques on 22 February 1942 and went to Singapore for repairs. Afterwards she covered the landings at Iri, Sumatra, and Andaman Islands, Port Blair, then Mergui, in Burma. On 1 April 1942, this was Operation C targeting the merchant shipping in the Indian Ocean. She sank the US freighter Bienville, and British Ganges on 6 April, then back to Yokosuka on 22 April 1942.

Chokai 1942, Chuuk islands
Chokai 1942, Chuuk islands The Guadalcanal campaign
By mid-July 1942, Chōkai became flagship of Vice Admiral Mikawa Gunichi, 8 Fleet, in Rabaul. On 7 August 1942, she took part in the battle of Savo Island (Mikawa's squadron) helping sinking four allied cruisers, and badly damaging other ships. She was however hit by Quincy and Astoria. Her "A" turret was destroyed (34 KiA) and she was repaired back in Rabaul, later participating in night battles, only taking light damage in action. She was detached from the 8th Fleet as a flagship after the evacuation of Guadalcanal, and was repaired an dmodernized at Yokosuka on 20 February 1943. She was relatively inactiove until the first half of 1944, when she became the flagship of the Cruiser Division Four with her sister ships on 3 August 1944. She took part in the battle of Philippine Sea, but left undamaged. chokai

Leyte Gulf
At the Battle of Leyte Gulf Chōkai took part in the various engagements until the sub attack of 23 October 1944. Maya and Atago when down, Takao was crippled, but Chōkai escaped. Her division no longer existed. She joined Cruiser Division Five, and survived an air attack on 24 October 1944, (IJN Musashi was sunk that day). She was the only cruiser of her class to participate in the epic battle off Samar, on 25 October, engaging Taffy 3 in an apparently hopeless fight. But instead she was hit several times on the port side amidships by main destroyer caliber guns, one apparently setting on fire her deck-mounted Japanese Type 93 "Long Lance" torpedoes, although RV Petrel's expedition in 2019 proved it otherwise. In any case she suffered a terrble explosion while soon after a TBM Avenger (from Kitkun Bay) lodged a 500 lb (230 kg) bomb in her forward machinery room. Dead in the water she was evacuated and scuttled later by IJN Fujinami, which later sank with most rescued crew from Chokai.




Wow's renditions of IJN Chokai

Video: IJN Chōkai's wreck explored by M/V Petrel

Past comments:

Renan Lima Rodrigues, from Brazil 23 June 2020
"Chokai was crippled after receiving 18 to 20 bombs from the bombers of the carrier Kitkun Bay, remained afloat but lost direction and strength as seen. Seen from the crew of the heavy cruiser Tone, shortly after the battle, Captain Tatsuji Matsuzaki aboard the destroyer Fujinami, was responsible for the scuttle at 10 am, ironically, he said that Chokai was scuttled at 10:40 pm.

It is worth remembering that Chokai was highly effective in sinking the heavy cruisers Canberra, Viscennes, Astoria and Quincy and damaging Ralph Talbot, Patterson and Chicago during the battle of Savo Island. Their crew was considered an Elite before they became fatigued and discouraged after the Marianas Turkey Shoot.

The armament of the Takao class was considered very good by the Japanese, the dispersion discrepancies were caused by the powder bag much more energetic than that of other nations, in the overall the accuracy was better than the 8″/55 Mark 9 USN weapon that had a dispersion of 1830 meters over a distance of 19,300 meters, remembering that the Japanese 20.3cm / 50 had a tighter spread, from 330 to 483 meters at a distance of 19,300 and 22,000 meters.

After improvements in 1938, they now have a dispersion of 280 meters over a distance of 22,000 meters. The impact power compared to other nations’ weapons was also superb, the Type 91 shell according to USN had excellent penetration characteristics, in the same test they were identical with the shell of the German gun of 20.3cm/60 of 122kg.

An interesting point about the Takao class that unfortunately nobody says, is that by far they had superior stability compared to the Mogami class, as well as the hull using longitudinal rivets that increased the resistance more, Chokai was considered superb, because it was made by Mitsubishi, its internal part was more powerful and luxurious.

In general, the Takao class and the New Orleans class had a very similar defect, the weight of the superstructure, although the Takao metacentric height was 1.50m and New Orleans 1.52m, Wichita 1.40m, Kent 1,37m.

Chokai, Maya as well as Wichita were quite heavy, but in their entire career this did not put them at risk."

Naval History

⚑ 1870 Fleets
Spanish Navy 1870 Armada Espanola Austro-Hungarian Navy 1870 K.u.K. Kriegsmarine
Danish Navy 1870 Dansk Marine
Hellenic Navy 1870 Nautoko Hellenon
Haitian Navy 1914Haiti Koninklije Marine 1870 Koninklije Marine
Dutch Screw Frigates & corvettes
De Ruyter Bd Ironclad (1863)
Prins H. der Neth. Turret ship (1866)
Buffel class turret rams (1868)
Skorpioen class turret rams (1868)
Heiligerlee class Monitors (1868)
Bloedhond class Monitors (1869)
Adder class Monitors (1870)
A.H.Van Nassau Frigate (1861)
A.Paulowna Frigate (1867)
Djambi class corvettes (1860)
Amstel class Gunboats (1860)

Marine Française 1870 Marine Nationale
Screw 3-deckers (1850-58)
Screw 2-deckers (1852-59)
Screw Frigates (1849-59)
Screw Corvettes (1846-59)
Screw Fl. Batteries (1855)
Paddle Frigates
Paddle Corvettes
screw sloops
screw gunboats
Sailing ships of the line
Sailing frigates
Sailing corvettes
Sailing bricks

Gloire class Bd. Ironclads (1859)
Couronne Bd. Ironclad (1861)
Magenta class Bd. Ironclads (1861)
Palestro class Flt. Batteries (1862)
Arrogante class Flt. Batteries (1864)
Provence class Bd. Ironclads (1864) Embuscade class Flt. Batteries (1865)
Taureau arm. ram (1865)
Belliqueuse Bd. Ironclad (1865)
Alma Cent. Bat. Ironclads (1867)
Ocean class CT Battery ship (1868)
French converted sailing frigates (1860)
Cosmao class cruisers (1861)
Talisman cruisers (1862)
Resolue cruisers (1863)
Venus class cruisers (1864)
Decres cruiser (1866)
Desaix cruiser (1866)
Limier class cruisers (1867)
Linois cruiser (1867)
Chateaurenault cruiser (1868)
Infernet class Cruisers (1869)
Bourayne class Cruisers (1869)
Cruiser Hirondelle (1869)

Curieux class sloops (1860)
Adonis class sloops (1863)
Guichen class sloops (1865)
Sloop Renard (1866)
Bruix class sloops (1867)
Pique class gunboats (1862)
Hache class gunboats (1862)
Arbalete class gunboats (1866)
Etendard class gunboats (1868)
Revolver class gunboats (1869)

Marinha do Brasil 1870 Marinha do Brasil
Barrozo class (1864)
Brasil (1864)
Tamandare (1865)
Lima Barros (1865)
Rio de Janeiro (1865)
Silvado (1866)
Mariz E Barros class (1866)
Carbal class (1866)

Turkish Ottoman navy 1870 Osmanlı Donanması
Osmanieh class Bd.Ironclads (1864) Assari Tewfik (1868) Assari Shevket class Ct. Ironclads (1868)
Lufti Djelil class CDS (1868)
Avni Illah class cas.ironclads (1869)
Fethi Bulend class cas.ironclads (1870)
Barbette ironclad Idjalleh (1870)
Messudieh class Ct.Bat.ships (1874)
Hamidieh Ct.Bat.Ironclads (1885)
Abdul Kadir Batleships (project)

Ertrogul Frigate (1863)
Selimieh (1865)
Rehberi Tewkik (1875)
Mehmet Selim (1876)
Sloops & despatch vessels

Marina do Peru Marina Do Peru
Monitor Atahualpa (1865)
CT. Bat Independencia (1865)
Turret ship Huascar (1865)
Frigate Apurimac (1855)
Corvette America (1865)
Corvette Union (1865)

Regia Marina 1870 Regia Marina 1870 Imperial Japanese navy 1870 Nihhon Kaigun Prussian Navy 1870 Preußische Marine Russian mperial Navy 1870 Russkiy Flot Swedish Navy 1870 Svenska marinen
Norwegian Navy 1870 Søværnet
⚑ 1898 Fleets
Argentinian Navy 1898 Armada de Argentina
Parana class Gunboats (1873)
La Plata class Coast Battleships (1875)
Pilcomayo class Gunboats (1875)
Ferre class Gunboats (1880)

Austro-Hungarian Navy 1898 K.u.K. Kriegsmarine

Chinese Imperial Navy 1898 Imperial Chinese Navy
Danish Navy 1898 Dansk Marine

Hellenic Navy 1898 Nautiko Hellenon
Haitian Navy 1914Marine Haitienne
Koninklije Marine 1898 Koninklije Marine
Konigin der Netherland (1874)
Draak, monitor (1877)
Matador, monitor (1878)
R. Claeszen, monitor (1891)
Evertsen class CDS (1894)
Atjeh class cruisers (1876)
Cruiser Sumatra (1890)
Cruiser K.W. Der. Neth (1892)
Banda class Gunboats (1872)
Pontania class Gunboats (1873)
Gunboat Aruba (1873)
Hydra Gunboat class (1873)
Batavia class Gunboats (1877)
Wodan Gunboat class (1877)
Ceram class Gunboats (1887)
Combok class Gunboats (1891)
Borneo Gunboat (1892)
Nias class Gunboats (1895)
Koetei class Gunboats (1898)
Dutch sloops (1864-85)

Marine Française 1898 Marine Nationale
Friedland CT Battery ship (1873)
Richelieu CT Battery ship (1873)
Colbert class CT Battery ships (1875)
Redoutable CT Battery ship (1876)
Courbet class CT Battery ships (1879)
Amiral Duperre barbette ship (1879)
Terrible class barbette ships (1883)
Amiral Baudin class barbette ships (1883)
Barbette ship Hoche (1886)
Marceau class barbette ships (1888)
Cerbere class arm. rams (1870)
Tonnerre class Br. Monitors (1875)
Tempete class Br. Monitors (1876)
Tonnant Barbette ship (1880)
Furieux Barbette ship (1883)
Fusee class Arm. Gunboats (1885)
Acheron class Arm. Gunboats (1885)
Jemmapes class C.Defense ships (1890)

La Galissonière Cent. Bat. Ironclads (1872)
Bayard class barbette ships (1879)
Vauban class barbette ships (1882)
Prot. Cruiser Sfax (1884)
Prot. Cruiser Tage (1886)
Prot. Cruiser Amiral Cécille (1888)
Prot. Cruiser Davout (1889)
Forbin class Cruisers (1888)
Troude class Cruisers (1888)
Alger class Cruisers (1891)
Friant class Cruisers (1893)
Prot. Cruiser Suchet (1893)
Descartes class Cruisers (1893)
Linois class Cruisers (1896)
D'Assas class Cruisers (1896)
Catinat class Cruisers (1896)

R. de Genouilly class Cruisers (1876)
Cruiser Duquesne (1876)
Cruiser Tourville (1876)
Cruiser Duguay-Trouin (1877)
Laperouse class Cruisers (1877)
Villars class Cruisers (1879)
Cruiser Iphigenie (1881)
Cruiser Naiade (1881)
Cruiser Arethuse (1882)
Cruiser Dubourdieu (1884)
Cruiser Milan (1884)

Parseval class sloops (1876)
Bisson class sloops (1874)
Epee class gunboats (1873)
Crocodile class gunboats (1874)
Tromblon class gunboats (1875)
Condor class Torpedo Cruisers (1885)
G. Charmes class gunboats (1886)
Inconstant class sloops (1887)
Bombe class Torpedo Cruisers (1887)
Wattignies class Torpedo Cruisers (1891)
Levrier class Torpedo Cruisers (1891)

Marinha do Brasil 1898 Marinha do Brasil
Siete de Setembro class (1874)
Riachuleo class (1883)
Aquidaban class (1885)

Marina de Mexico 1898 Mexico
GB Indipendencia (1874)
GB Democrata (1875)

Turkish Ottoman navy 1898 Osmanlı Donanması
Cruiser Heibtnuma (1890)
Cruiser Lufti Humayun (1892)
Cruiser Hadevendighar (1892)
Shadieh class cruisers (1893)
Turkish TBs (1885-94)

Regia Marina 1898 Regia Marina Pr. Amadeo class (1871)
Caio Duilio class (1879)
Italia class (1885)
Ruggero di Lauria class (1884)
Carracciolo (1869)
Vettor Pisani (1869)
Cristoforo Colombo (1875)
Flavio Goia (1881)
Amerigo Vespucci (1882)
C. Colombo (ii) (1892)
Pietro Micca (1876)
Tripoli (1886)
Goito class (1887)
Folgore class (1887)
Partenope class (1889)
Giovanni Bausan (1883)
Etna class (1885)
Dogali (1885)
Piemonte (1888)
Staffeta (1876)
Rapido (1876)
Barbarigo class (1879)
Messagero (1885)
Archimede class (1887)
Guardiano class GB (1874)
Scilla class GB (1874)
Provana class GB (1884)
Curtatone class GB (1887)
Castore class GB (1888)

Imperial Japanese navy 1898 Nihhon Kaigun German Navy 1898 Kaiserliches Marine
Russian Imperial Navy 1898 Russkiy Flot
Marina do Peru Marina Do Peru

Swedish Navy 1898 Svenska Marinen Norwegian Navy 1898 Søværnet
Royal Navy 1898 Royal Navy
HMS Hotspur (1870)
HMS Glatton (1871)
Devastation classs (1871)
Cyclops class (1871)
HMS Rupert (1874)
Neptune class (1874)
HMS Dreadnought (1875)
HMS Inflexible (1876)
Agamemnon class (1879)
Conqueror class (1881)
Colossus class (1882)
Admiral class (1882)
Trafalgar class (1887)
Victoria class (1890)
Royal Sovereign class (1891)
Centurion class (1892)
HMS Renown (1895)

HMS Shannon (1875)
Nelson class (1876)
Iris class (1877)
Leander class (1882)
Imperieuse class (1883)
Mersey class (1885)
Surprise class (1885)
Scout class (1885)
Archer class (1885)
Orlando class (1886)
Medea class (1888)
Barracouta class (1889)
Barham class (1889)
Pearl class (1889)

Spanish Navy 1898 Armada 1898
Ironclad Pelayo (1887)

Infanta Maria Teresa class (1890)
Emperador Carlos V (1895)
Cristobal Colon (1897)
Princesa de Asturias (1896)
Aragon class (1879)
Velasco class (1881)
Isla de Luzon (1886)
Alfonso XII class (1887)
Reina Regentes class (1887)

Destructor class (1886)
Temerario class (1891)
TGunboat Filipinas (1892)
De Molina class (1896)
Furor class (1896)
Audaz class (1897)
Spanish TBs (1878-87)
Fernando class gunboats (1875)
Concha class gunboats (1883)

US Navy 1898 1898 US Navy
USS Maine (1889)
USS Texas (1892)
Indiana class (1893)
USS Iowa (1896)

Amphitrite class (1876)
USS Puritan (1882)
USS Monterey (1891)

Atlanta class (1884)
USS Chicago (1885)
USS Charleston (1888)
USS Baltimore (1888)
USS Philadelphia (1889)
USS San Francisco (1889)
USS Newark (1890)
USS New York (1891)
USS Olympia (1892)
Cincinatti class (1892)
Montgomery class (1893)
Columbia class (1893)
USS Brooklyn (1895)

USS Vesuvius (1888)
USS Katahdin (1893)
USN Torpedo Boats (1886-1901)
GB USS Dolphin (1884)
Yorktown class GB (1888)
GB USS Petrel (1888)
GB USS Bancroft (1892)
Machias class GB (1891)
GB USS Nashville (1895)
Wilmington class GB (1895)
Annapolis class GB (1896)
Wheeling class GB (1897)
Small gunboats (1886-95)
St Louis class AMC (1894)
Harvard class AMC (1888)
USN Armoured Merchant Cruisers
USN Armed Yachts

WW1

☉ Entente Fleets

British ww1 Royal Navy
WW1 British Battleships
Majestic class (1894)
Canopus class (1897)
Formidable class (1898)
London class (1899)
Duncan class (1901)
King Edward VII class (1903)
Swiftsure class (1903)
Lord Nelson class (1906)
HMS Dreadnought (1906)
Bellorophon class (1907)
St Vincent class (1908)
HMS Neptune (1909)
Colossus class (1910)
Orion class (1911)
King George V class (1911)
Iron Duke class (1912)
Queen Elizabeth class (1913)
HMS Canada (1913)
HMS Agincourt (1913)
HMS Erin (1915)
Revenge class (1915)
B3 class (1918)

WW1 British Battlecruisers
Invincible class (1907)
Indefatigable class (1909)
Lion class (1910)
HMS Tiger (1913)
Renown class (1916)
Courageous class (1916)
G3 class (1918)

ww1 British cruisers
Blake class (1889)
Edgar class (1890)
Powerful class (1895)
Diadem class (1896)
Cressy class (1900)
Drake class (1901)
Monmouth class (1901)
Devonshire class (1903)
Duke of Edinburgh class (1904)
Warrior class (1905)
Minotaur class (1906)
Hawkins class (1917)

Apollo class (1890)
Astraea class (1893)
Eclipse class (1894)
Arrogant class (1896)
Pelorus class (1896)
Highflyer class (1898)
Gem class (1903)
Adventure class (1904)
Forward class (1904)
Pathfinder class (1904)
Sentinel class (1904)
Boadicea class (1908)
Blonde class (1910)
Active class (1911)
'Town' class (1909-1913)
Arethusa class (1913)
'C' class series (1914-1922)
'D' class (1918)
'E' class (1918)

WW1 British Seaplane Carriers
HMS Ark Royal (1914)
HMS Campania (1893)
HMS Argus (1917)
HMS Furious (1917)
HMS Vindictive (1918)
HMS Hermes (1919)

WW1 British Destroyers
River class (1903)
Cricket class (1906)
Tribal class (1907)
HMS Swift (1907)
Beagle class (1909)
Acorn class (1910)
Acheron class (1911)
Acasta class (1912)
Laforey class (1913)
M/repeat M class (1914)
Faulknor class FL (1914)
T class (1915)
Parker class FL (1916)
R/mod R class (1916)
V class (1917)
V class FL (1917)
Shakespeare class FL (1917)
Scott class FL (1917)
W/mod W class (1917)
S class (1918)

WW1 British Torpedo Boats
125ft series (1885)
140ft series (1892)
160ft series (1901)
27-knotters (1894)
30-knotters (1896)
33-knotters (1896)

WW1 British Submarines
Nordenfelt Submarines (1885)
Flower class sloops
British Gunboats of WWI
British P-Boats (1915)
Kil class (1917)
British ww1 Minesweepers
Z-Whaler class patrol crafts
British ww1 CMB
British ww1 Auxiliaries

✠ Central Empires

⚑ Neutral Countries

Europe
Bulgarian Navy Bulgaria
Danish Navy 1914 Denmark
Greek Royal Navy Greece

Dutch Empire Navy 1914 Netherlands
Norwegian Navy 1914 Norway

Portuguese navy 1914 Portugal

Romanian Navy 1914 Romania
Spanish Armada Spain Swedish Navy 1914 Sweden


WW2

✪ Allied ww2 Fleets

US ww2 US Navy
WW2 American Battleships
Wyoming class (1911)
New York class (1912)
Nevada class (1914)
Pennsylvania class (1915)
New Mexico class (1917)
Tennessee Class (1919)
Colorado class (1921)
North Carolina class (1940)
South Dakota class (1941)
Iowa class (1942)
Montana class (cancelled)

WW2 American Cruisers
Omaha class cruisers (1920)
Northampton class heavy cruisers (1929)
Pensacola class heavy Cruisers (1928)
Portland class heavy cruisers (1931)
New Orleans class cruisers (1933)
Brooklyn class cruisers (1936)
USS Wichita (1937)
Atlanta class light cruisers (1941)
Cleveland class light Cruisers (1942)
Baltimore class heavy cruisers (1942)
Alaska class heavy cruisers (1944)

WW2 USN Aircraft Carriers
USS Langley (1920)
Lexington class CVs (1927)
USS Ranger (CV-4)
USS Wasp (CV-7)
Yorktown class aircraft carriers (1936)
Long Island class (1940)
Independence class CVs (1942)
Essex class CVs (1942)
Bogue class CVEs (1942)
Sangamon class CVEs (1942)
Casablanca class CVEs (1943)
Commencement Bay class CVEs (1944)
Midway class CVs (1945)
Saipan class CVs (1945)

WW2 American destroyers
Wickes class (1918)
Clemson class (1920)
Farragut class (1934)
Porter class (1935)
Mahan class (1935)
Gridley class (1936)
Bagley class (1936)
Somers class (1937)
Benham class (1938)
Sims class (1938)
Benson class (1939)
Fletcher class (1942)
Sumner class (1943)
Gearing class (1945)

GMT Evarts class (1942)
TE Buckley class (1943)
TEV/WGT Rudderow classs (1943)
DET/FMR Cannon class
Asheville/Tacoma class

WW2 American Submarines
Barracuda class
USS Argonaut
Narwhal class
USS Dolphin
Cachalot class
Porpoise class
Shark class
Perch class
Salmon class
Sargo class
Tambor class
Mackerel class
Gato Class

USS Terror (1941)
Raven class Mnsp (1940)
Admirable class Mnsp (1942)
Eagle class sub chasers (1918)
PC class sub chasers
SC class sub chasers
PCS class sub chasers
YMS class Mot. Mnsp
PT-Boats
ww2 US gunboats
ww2 US seaplane tenders
USS Curtiss ST (1940)
Currituck class ST
Tangier class ST
Barnegat class ST

US Coat Guardships
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)
Ioshima 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

naval aviation Naval Aviation
Latest entries

USN aviation
Consolidated PBY Catalina
Brewster F2A Buffalo
Curtiss SOC seagull
Douglas SBD Dauntless
Douglas TBD Devastator
Grumman J2F Duck
Grumman F3F
Vought SB2U Vindicator
Vought Kingfisher
Curtiss VE-7 (1918)
Vought FU (1927)
Vought O2U Corsair (1928)
Berliner-Joyce OJ (1931)

Japanese WW2 naval aviation
Mitsubishi 1MF
Nakajima A1N
Nakajima A2N
Mitsubishi A5M
Nakajima A4N
Mitsubishi A6M "zeke"

Mitsubishi B1M
Aichi D3A Navy Type 99 "Val" (1940)
Aichi B7A Ryusei "Grace" (1942)
Mitsubishi B5M (1937)
Nakajima B5N Navy Type 97 "Kate" (1937)
Nakajima B6N Tenzan "Jill" (1941)
Yokosuka B4Y Navy Type 96 "Jean" (1935)
Yokosuka D4Y Suisei "Judy" (1942)
Yokosuka MXY-7 Ohka "Baka" (1944)
Mitsubishi G3M Navy Type 96 "Nell" (1935)
Mitsubishi G4M Navy Type 1 "Betty" (1941)
Mitsubishi Ki-67 Hiryu Type 4 "Peggy" (1942)
Yokosuka P1Y1 Ginga "Frances" (1943)

Aichi M6A1-K Nanzan (1943)
Kyushu K10W1 Type 2 "Oak" (1941)
Kyushu K11W1 Shiragiku (1942)
Kyushu Q1W1-K Tokai-Ren "Lorna" (1943)
Mitsubishi K3M Navy Type 90 "Pine" (1930)
Yokosuka K5Y1 "Willow" (1933)
Yokosuka MXY-7 Ohka Model 43 K-1 "Kai" (1944)
Yokosuka MXY-8 Akigusa

Yokosho Rogou Kougata
Aichi Type 15-Ko Mi-go
Aichi H9A
Aichi E13A "pete"
Aichi E16A "Zuiun"
Aichi E13A "pete"
Aichi M6A1 Seiran
Aichi E11A "Laura"
Hiro H4H
Nakajima E2N
Nakajima E3A
Nakajima E4N
Nakajima E14Y
Nakajima E8N "Dave"
Mitsubishi F1M "pete"
Kawanishi E7K
Kawanishi H6K
Kawanishi E11K
Kawanishi K6K
Kawanishi K8K
Kawanishi E15K Shiun
Kawanishi H8K "Emily"
Kawanishi N1K1 Kyofu "Rex"
Watanabe E9W
Watanabe K8W
Yokosuka K1Y
Yokosuka E1Y
Yokosuka K4Y
Yokosuka H5Y

Italian WW2 air arm CANT 6
CANT 18
CANT 25
CANT 25
CANT Z.501 Gabbiano
CANT Z.506 Airone
CANT Z.515
CANT Z.511
CANT Z.515
Caproni Ca.316
Fiat CR.20 Idro
Fiat RS.14
IMAM Ro.43
IMAM Ro.44
Macchi M3
Macchi M5
Macchi M18
Macchi M24
Macchi M41
Macchi M53
Macchi M71
Piaggio P6
Piaggio P8
Savoia-Marchetti S.55
Savoia-Marchetti S.56
Savoia-Marchetti S.57
Savoia-Marchetti S.59
Savoia-Marchetti SM.62
SIAI S.13
SIAI S.16
SIAI S.67

British Fleet Air Arm
Fairey Swordfish
Fairey III

The Cold War

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


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