After the Japanese turned their 155-mm pseudologia “Mogami” in a normal heavy cruiser, armed with jasminewebcam, the fleet of the Country of the rising sun was in a curious position. Japan was the only major Maritime powers, not having to the beginning of the Second world war, no one modern light cruiser. All units of this class belonged to the older types 20 years; no restructuring and modernization could not make them full-fledged rivals to modern British, French and especially American ships of the same class.

Of course, the presence of an extensive “Park” excellent heavy cruisers seems to be doing such a problem is irrelevant. However, these powerful military units, by definition, was too expensive and therefore scarce. And in any fleet at any time and there are tasks for which where as is more preferable to use a much less ambitious ships.
Among one of these tasks in time of peace belonged to the training of young sailors. Growing by leaps and bounds in the 1930-ies the fleet required all new personnel. While Japanese admirals did not want to sacrifice the already formed compounds, releasing their composition of well-prepared vehicles to run purely educational tasks. In “lad camp” was used by the old cruiser back to the Russo-Japanese war, which technique is completely outdated.
Therefore, in an additional shipbuilding programme 1937 sailors without any problems managed to squeeze two very interesting ship – school cruiser. The main idea of the project was the low cost: at quite an impressive displacement (under 6000 standard tons) they got really wimpy power plant, consisting of a pair of low-power turbine units and two additional diesel engines. The latter provided a significant range of stroke and additional fuel savings and money in the long hikes. However, the maximum speed has also remained modest 18 knots in the late 30’s looked doubtful for any vehicle, claiming to be a cruiser, even educational. Devoid of claims looked, and the “main artillery”, which consisted of two tower systems with a pair of 140-mm guns (also, incidentally, learned from the old days of 20 years ago) each. However, as is always practiced on the training ships, the armament was very mixed: it was assumed that each sailor can practice on his future military installation. In addition to the 140-millimetrovogo, “Kashima” and “Katori” bore standard 127-mm anti-aircraft spark and equally paired standard 25-mm machine guns. In addition, they had torpedo tubes (for the purposes of the same saving 533 mm), and even a seaplane with catapult. Each type of weapon had its own control, albeit somewhat simplified compared to large cruisers and less powerful rangefinders, but similar in design. Thus, good practice provided any experts on arms destined for “real” cruising units.
Of course, in a small ship, besides a vast number of areas for “students”, almost no place for protection. Thin leaves were covered only gun “tower” (an almost exact replica of installations for postwar firstborn of the Japanese cruiser fleet – “Yubari”), deck over the mechanics and cellars and combat positions in the cockpit. But the “training wagon” was able to accommodate 275 students, almost as much as the sailors were part of the crew, and the cruising range is positive range of stroke and additional fuel savings and money in the long hikes. However, the maximum speed has also remained modest 18 knots in the late 30’s looked doubtful for any vehicle, claiming to be a cruiser, even educational. Devoid of claims looked, and the “main artillery”, which consisted of two
was 10 000 miles – no worse than the large cruisers and battleships. In addition, they were, as they say, hard cut: the share of housing accounted for almost 45% of the displacement. And no wonder, because this seems to be “second-rate” ships had a lot to swim.
The idea and its implementation were highly appreciated by the leadership of the United fleet and the Naval staff, and 2 years later was followed by an order for another two of the same ship. “Cassia” was able not only to float but also to put into operation just a day before the attack on pearl Harbor, but the fourth in the series, “Kashiwara”, no luck. Founded in the late summer of 1941, he went “under the knife” with the onset of war, and even before launching. Were in the embryonic stage of mounting the casing is dismantled for the metal. Originally intended for inclusion in the programme of 1942, four more similar units, but as is quite clear, the idea remained stillborn. After midway the Japanese had to think about a few other problems, rather than on further expanding its training fleet in accordance with the pre-war plans.
The country has already started experiencing the first delights of a protracted war. However, some of the ships on the stocks, I decided to finish it. To their number belonged to a real, not educational, light cruiser, launched the construction program for 1939. The project of new units has been brewing for a long time and not just. Understanding that outdated “godfathers” is not entirely suitable for reconnaissance and leading of their destroyers, the Japanese experts for a long time combined trying to create a ship at the same time small, fast and most heavily armed. Of course, the contradicting demands didn’t get along with each other. So, try to use as main artillery remained treboradice 155-mm tower, taken from the “Mogami” and the company failed because of too narrow and fragile body, which would in this case significantly increase and weight. So I decided to develop a new two-gun towers by placing them in an old 152-mm guns available, as 140-graph paper for “textbooks” in sufficient quantity in warehouses and has good performance.
The original towers had to be four, which made the cruiser more or less worthy competitors, for example, the British “Leander contains”, but the proverbial desire to “fit all” turned the destruction of one tower to the stern. The reason was to shift the focus to new role – leaders, torpedo forces. In connection with this vast “living space” on the deck took two 610-mm four torpedo tubes, mounted on a diametral plane as in the destroyers. In General, the design and appearance, including a flush-deck hull, did the “Agano” and its counterparts like a very large destroyers. Did not disappoint and the speed of one hundred “horses” had to disperse the cruiser over 35 knots. However, there was a place and the armor, though not thick, except that protects from bombs of medium caliber. 660 tons of steel went mostly on 60-mm waist, covering the boilers and turbines, as well as his 55-mm continued in the form of a narrower strip in the area of cellars, and covering the top of the whole structure of the thin 20-mm deck. In the end, its characteristics are “Japanese” resembled the Italian “condotieri” first series, at the time, a lot of hard criticalities for their “cosmetic” protection. What can you do, the size and speed did not leave any hope for a different outcome.
The arms also were a result of compromise, but given all the same small size, admittedly, pretty good. 152-mm gun had an elevation angle of 55 degrees, which allowed to fire at aircraft (except dive bombers). By the time the Japanese had already fully evaluated the threat from the air, and a set of antiaircraft guns looked very impressive. In it consisted of the latest 76 mm gun with high initial velocity, not installed no more on the same ship, and gentlemanly set of numerous 25-mm guns in triple, twin and single installations. Later entry into service enabled all to gain, in addition to the rangefinder with good optics, and modern equipment, including radars and sonars. Towards the end of the war, the number of guns light anti-aircraft guns increased to six dozen! That, as we will see, not much help.
“Agano” with the company was not the only exception in the rather short line ustroivshis and completed during the war major warships. On the same program, 1939, was issued an order for two cruisers even more of the original project. This time the command of the combined fleet ordered a couple of special ships, designed as a flagship for connections intelligence forces, primarily submarines. It was assumed that these ships will be able to carry on Board numerous staff, while maintaining the ability to independently conduct reconnaissance seaplane deck, and if necessary also to fight with the surface forces of the enemy. And all this at high speed. Such a strange combination of qualities has led to the appearance of a very special ship, what is the “Oedo”.
229. Light cruiser “Oedo” (Japan, 1943)
Built at the shipyard of the Navy 8 Kure. Displacement standard, t 8540 full 11 430 tons, maximum length 192 m, width 16.6 m, draught 6,12 m. the thickness chetyrehbalnoy steam turbine 110 000 HP, speed 35 knots. Reservations: belt 40 — 75 mm, deck 50 – 28 mm, turrets 25 mm, flow 50 – 25 mm. Armament: six 155/60 mm guns, four 100/65 mm anti-aircraft guns, eight 25 mm guns, 6 seaplanes. In 1944 upgraded as the flagship of the fleet: forty-seven 25-mm machine guns, two seaplane. Sank in the shallows as a result of air attacks in July 1945, dismantled in 1947.
230. Training light cruiser “Katori” (Japan, 1940)
It was built by the firm “Mitsubishi” in Yokohama. The standard displacement of 5900 tons, full 6500 tons, waterline length 129,77 m, width: 19,95 m, draught of 5.75 m. Capacity twin-shaft steam turbine 4000 HP, two diesel engines of 3,000 HP, maximum speed of 18 knots. Booking: deck 10 mm, 10 mm. turret Armament: four 140/50 mm guns, two 127/40-mm anti-aircraft guns, four 25 mm anti-aircraft machine gun, two twin 533-mm torpedo tubes, 1 seaplane. In 1940 – 1944 built
3 units: “Kashima”, “Katori” and “Her”. Fourth, “Kashiwara”, dismantled on the slipway. During the war repeatedly modernized armament for anti-aircraft artillery. In 1943, the number of 127-mm guns increased to six (three twin units), 25-mm machine guns, up to twenty; torpedo tubes removed. In 1944 removed a catapult, and the number of guns increased to thirty, plus eight 13.2-mm machine guns. Also set the release gear 100 depth charges. “Katori” sunk in February, 1944, “Cássia”, in January 1945 “Qasim” after the war, scrapped.
231. Light cruiser “Agano” (Japan, 1942)
Built at the shipyard of the Navy in Sasebo. The standard displacement of 6650 tons, full 8530, MT, maximum length estimated at 174.1 m, beam 15.2 m, draft of 5.63 m. the thickness chetyrehbalnoy steam turbine 100 000 HP, speed 35 knots. Booking: waist 60 – 55 mm, deck 20 mm, turret 20 mm, flow 50 — 25 mm. Armament: six 152/50 mm guns, four 76/65 mm anti-aircraft guns, thirty-two 25-mm machine gun, two four-pipe 610-mm torpedo tubes, two release gear, 2 seaplane. In 1942 – 1944 built 4 units: “Agano”, “Noshiro”, “Yahagi” and “Sakawa”. Upgraded shortly after entry into service, mainly due to the increase in the number of anti-aircraft guns to forty-six by the beginning of 1944, to fifty-two in March 1944 (only survivor at the time “Noshiro” and “Yahagi”) and up to sixty-one in July 1944, “Agano” was killed in February, 1944, “Noshiro” in October of the same year with the landing of the Americans in the Philippines “Yahagi” — along with the battleship Yamato in April 1945, “Sakawa” sank during the atomic bomb tests at Bikini Atoll in July 1946

Originally it was planned to build a pair of flagships, and two years later to lay another five Grand! However, the war naturally prevented the appearance of such a strange family. The only advanced construction before the war firstborn”, aedo” after several rewrites of the project was commissioned in early 1943. At this time, budget makers managed to use the “leftovers” from re – “Mogami”. Two treboradice tower took the bow of the beautiful flush-deck hull, created on the basis of predecessors – “agano”. In the middle of it was a vast superstructure with staff premises and hangars, and in the stern – a long 45-meter catapult. The basic idea was to use the cruiser new seaplane scouts “in Kawanishi” Е15К1 had high speed flight. It was expected that such aircraft would conduct reconnaissance even if the air of enemy fighters. On Board was supposed to take 10 -12 a miracle aircraft, produced with a super-catapult every 4-5 minutes. In reality, however, the aircraft failed to achieve the planned characteristics, and aircraft manufacturers – to run E15 in a large series at the right time. “Oedo” got only six, but their life was short-lived: they were all shot down in the first missions, when a cruiser immediately after the entry into operation has become the flagship of the 3rd fleet.
After this affront, the command of the combined fleet was urgently priisalu his “curve” beginner different role. Very honorable: he was now become the flagship of the entire fleet. In 1944, “Oedo” was modernized, during which he lost his nail – long catapult (it was replaced by the standard cruising). Accordingly, the number of planes was reduced to two modest, but has grown in size rebuilt rear add-on, where staff of the premises, and which put light anti-aircraft gun. From air attack “command cruiser” now covered forty-seven 25-mm guns (in the end of the year they added a dozen more).
Landing Americans on the Philippines were made for the Japanese, not the bell and the pipe: in the battle you have to throw all their strength! In the biggest naval battle in the Leyte Gulf “, aedo” became part of the “connection of death” -a carrier battle group Admiral Ozawa, who served as bait for the Americans. The cruiser was lucky he suffered only minor injuries and returned home safely, only managed to get a few of his colleagues on the force. Need forced to use “stanica” even to the shelling of the beach! Here he received a couple of bombs and went to Japan. 1945, passed to “lucky” in more sad colours. In own base in Kure, he was struck by another American bomb. The ship beached on the shoal, was renovated and again hit. In the end, repeatedly attacked and beaten “, aedo” went on Board and went to the Americans after the surrender. It is clear that this curious ship one to restore is not going to, and it was dismantled for the metal.
Even less lucky for his “fighting” brothers in class “Agano” with the company. I must say, a small light cruiser in the war has shown very good survivability, but do nothing particularly useful to do so and failed. Parent “Agano” did not have time to visit either one battle with surface ships. In November 1943 he was attacked in Rabaul by American carrier aircraft. Caught in a cruiser the torpedo off the stern, but “kid” was able to go to Truk, and the commander believed that the ship is in combat-ready condition! Submarine “Scamp” healed Japanese from errors: the second torpedo flooded the engine compartment and “Agano” is completely lost in the course. Helped companions: escort towed the helpless wounded animal at the base. Repair capabilities on the Dialled was severely limited; the cruiser is a bit patched up, pumped out the water and sent to Japan. But there, he never arrived: two torpedoes from another submarine, “Skate”, struck barely a living ship. Even then, the team continued to fight for his salvation; the Japanese believed that if not for the strong fire, perhaps, “Agano” managed to keep afloat! However, received in three servings of four torpedoes mutilated skeleton had to leave. Valiant team moved on to the accompanying destroyer to a few hours later to go to the bottom at full strength with their saviors.
No less had to endure, and “Noshiro”. In the same month near the same ill-fated Rabaul he got hit by an aircraft torpedo, which, fortunately, did not explode. But caught in January in the bow of the bomb sent the cruiser for a long time to repair. He just had time to come back to the famous battle of Leyte Gulf, where it is 152-mm shells made up the escort of the USS “white plains”. The answer was devastating: the torpedo and the bomb flooded boiler and engine room, leaving the vehicle running. Americans without problems to put in a helpless target of another torpedo, then “Noshiro” finally sank.
However, a real record for the number of trapped torpedoes became “Yahagi”. In the last hopeless campaign Yamato to Okinawa he served as flagship of the escort. Carrier-based aircraft have focused their efforts on the giant, and then, when the fate of the “Yamato” was solved, it was the turn of the unfortunate cruiser. According to the American pilots and the Japanese sailors, he received no less than seven torpedoes, plus twelve 500-pound (227 kg) bombs. This dose would be enough for a couple of heavy cruisers! It is clear that “Yahagi” quickly sank, though the number saved with it surprisingly turned out great, more than any of his previously departed brethren.
Sad was the fate of the training cruisers. During the war they became part of the existing fleet. Extensive facilities were perfectly suited to host the headquarters, so all of them successfully played the role of flagships. However, not combat units of the first line (for this they just did not have enough speed), and compounds submarines as “Ka-tori”, or escort forces as “Kasia”. As you approach the front to the coast of Japan to cover the convoys had already used all three of them; to this end, they converted, by setting a wide release gear aft with a large supply of depth charges. (“Cássia”, their number reached three hundred.) From submarines they fought back, but the aircraft failed. In February 1944, the “Katori” came under air attack from American aircraft carriers near the Dialled, received a torpedo hit, but remained afloat. But not for long: the American connection of surface ships found the wounded animal, and two heavy cruisers and as many destroyers brought down on him the full power of their artillery – with quick and clear outcome. “Kasia” died in January of the following year, also as a result of the attacks of carrier-based aircraft. Its share got a torpedo and two bombs; besides detonated its “rich supply” of depth charges. Cruiser-escortin quickly sank, taking with them almost the entire crew, had grown by that time to six hundred people. Survived the war only “Kashima”, which the winners found another use associated with extensive areas of: transportation of surrender of Japanese garrisons from outlying territories to the Motherland.
It should be noted that the acute shortage of light cruisers and escorts during the war forced the Japanese admirals “scratched on susekam”. And there was something. It “something” because it is difficult to clearly classify got as booty in the war with China, “Ninh-Hai and ping Hai”. Created these polylaser-polustanochki the Japanese in the early 30-ies, when relations between the two countries passed from the category of “tense” in a clearly hostile. Small (just over 2,000 tons) warships had cruising armament of six 140-mm guns (the Japanese), old fashioned (but cheap) steam engine, its speed is 22 knots and easy booking. The armament and the Japanese “textbooks”, I was even torpedo tubes and seaplanes. However, the latter was so closely in tiny anarchic that the second unit of the series refused them. However, with grief in half (“ping Hai” was built five years) the Chinese have acquired what still could be called “cruisers for the very poor.” However, the “advisers” quickly away with them on the Yangtze river near Nanjing in September 1937, once again practice on the path to far more then pearl Harbor and put in each several almost educational light bombs.
After the capture of the boats picked up, patched up and in the following year was sent to Japan. There they were “in the suck” until that moment, when the lesion has already crept up to their new owners. Badly rusted trophies had thoroughly rebuilt, removing the heavy gun towers and an extensive add-in Chinese. The result is not a cruiser: armament reduced to a pair of 120-millimetrovogo enough except that in order to deal with the submarine. This mainly ships now meant becoming the “escort cruisers” and acquiring quite decent by Japanese standard equipment, including radio and sonar equipment. However, the service is urgently called under the Japanese banner of “Chinese” was short-lived. “Josema” not sailed three months, as hit by torpedoes from the American submarine. Three pieces for the little “freak” enough. “Assima” lasted a couple of months longer, having to visit the flag ship of a Transport connection combined fleet. However, in November 1944 bomb the American aircraft carrier battle set point on his fate.
So because of the forced pre-war focus on the most powerful ships in the war against light cruisers Japan was not in the best position. In the end, she had to be put into operation only very curves unit used primarily as staff. But the brunt of the war at sea had to take on other classes of warships.

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