A NEW ORIENTAL WAYAfter her victorious Russo-Japanese war, Japan immediately moved to a new class of naval powers, occupying one of leading places. After the commissioning of the trophies of the Russian fleet was owned by quite an honorable fourth place in the world. But the number greatly exceeded the quality. Especially noticeable is the discrepancy was in the class of cruisers. In 1907, the Navy of the Mikado consisted of 25 units of this class — the number of earned the respect. But they all were outdated. Suffice it to say that the largest and most modern light cruisers was a former “Varyag”, which received a new name — “Soya”. He and his colleagues were a bunch of various ships that were built in all major marine countries. Even played an important role in the battles of the last war armored cruisers in a couple of years moved into the category of “linear” units is not the second but rather the third line.

This state of the fleet could be considered potentially dangerous if it has survived for many years. However, at that time Japan was in an advantageous position. The main and most dangerous enemy — Russia — has fallen. The most powerful sea power — Britain — allies. The immediate threat of war with a strong enemy did not exist. You can begin the systematic construction of the fleet, slow and thoughtful.
Did the Japanese. Emergency program adopted in the beginning of the war, provided for the construction of a new light cruiser. However, his bookmark was postponed until the end of hostilities, and the project has made changes that are associated with combat experience. Also for several years delayed the construction of “armored” (in fact linear) cruisers — “Congo”, “Haruna”, “Kirishima” and “Hiei”, which, in the end, became the strongest in the world (at the time of planting).
The reasons are enough. Not economically powerful Japan during the war was in a serious financial hole. Not enough and the actual shipbuilding capacity. The main shipyard of the Navy in Kure and Kosuke has been loaded for several years the construction of the “main ships”, battleships and cruisers. Therefore, the second cruiser class “Tone” set on the seedy at that time the shipyard in Sasebo, before dealing with only destroyers. In the end, a small, in fact, the ship was built almost three years. As the basis for his project chose alswiki “Yoshino”, proven in the Sino-Japanese and Russo-Japanese wars. But since the development of the “Yoshino” was about 15 years, the period of the late XIX — early XX century, a time of extraordinarily rapid development of technology, just a giant. However, “Tone” has retained all the main characteristics of the prototype, in addition to appearance, which proved to be quite progressive. Old-fashioned ramming prow was replaced with a graceful curved clippersthe type; sometimes in the literature it is noted that the designers “assembled” it got “captured” Russian “volunteer” “Angara”. Anyway, but since this form of bow has become a kind of hallmark of Japanese ships, including cruisers. In the end, dashing prow and three inclined tubes gave, in General, obsolete ship is not only quite modern, but even a graceful look. However, the essence of ship combat performance remained more than modest speed, one of the main qualities of the cruiser, only slightly higher than on the test project node 23, and the weapons the same “Yoshino”. A pleasant exception was the replacement of the short six-inch to a more modern 45-caliber of its own production. Shortly after the entry into operation a few 120-millimetrovogo removed; instead of them subsequently established the same number of 76-mm anti-aircraft guns. The service of late appearing “Tone” on the term exactly matched the conditions of naval contracts: in April 1931 it was brought from the fleet, and two years later he was already the target went down under the bombs of the new favorites of war at sea — aircraft carrier aviation.
Simultaneously with “the Tone” was built a couple of very small ships that are classified as the messengers of the courts, or in the old version, memo: “Mogami” and “Jodo”. In fact, it was tiny (about 1,300 tons) armored cruiser, designed for a variety of services with a squadron of large ships. But immediately after commissioning them was not enough fighting qualities, especially speed, as “transmitters of orders,” and weapons to fight the destroyers. Finally, the point in career “kids” has put the development of radio communication. In 1912 they were demoted in rank to kolodok, and from the end of 1920-ies was sent to the reserve. It is interesting that the more progressive “Mogami” (which had a three-shaft turbine installation and 23 knots) in 1931 went to a breaker, while his conservative sister ship with a steam engine and to a node lower rate remained in reserve until 1940, and scrapped it went to the end of the war.
After the signing of peace with Russia at Portsmouth naval experts began to develop far-reaching plans, providing for the creation of a powerful modern fleet, capable of competing with any of the possible opponents, among which, besides Russia, was considered now and the United States and… France. In addition to battleships and battle cruisers in a large program, 1907 includes three light 4500-ton ship. But here haste was not noticed. Officially ordered them only at the end of 1908, and building began a year and a half.
Trio — “Chikuma”, “Hirado” and “Yahagi” — was markedly different from the apparent plagiarism — “the Tone”. The last shipbuilders have adopted is that the design of the case. New cruisers had obvious influence built by the time the British “town” made manifest even in the appearance of a return to the straight flue pipe in four pieces, as in England. They had a single 152-mm caliber artillery and turbine power plant, which allowed to develop a decent speed — 26 knots. It was often stated that these “Japanese” defended 88 — 50-mm belt at the waterline, but the drawings did not confirm this. In fact, the mentioned numbers refer to sections of the bevels on deck: “Chikuma” and his comrades remained armored. An important innovation was the widespread use in the body construction of high tensile steel (“Tone” is still completely built of ordinary ship steel).
Service of the Trinity was not particularly outstanding, since it fell mainly on the interwar period. In 1914, just straight from the tin “Chikuma” was involved in the hunt for the squadron of Admiral Spee. After the war they were subjected to sluggish modernisation, removing a pair of 76-mm anti-aircraft guns and replacing 457-mm torpedo tubes 533 more modern. But in a new fleet of such cruisers no longer fit. In 1931, the rest went “Chikuma”, and nine years later from the Navy withdrew the remaining pair. However, curiously, to be scrapped they went.
“Yahagi” the war served as a training ship at the naval Academy in Etajima, and “Hirado” stood at the factory wall. After Japan’s surrender they were sent for cutting and the scrap went to winners in the United States.
Very good ships “chikumo” (they have developed in the testing of about 27 knots), unlike their urban counterparts from Britain, did not repeat construction and not served as the starting point for the design of long series with various options and “bows”. Japanese admirals by that time have developed an original doctrine of the use of cruisers, markedly different from the European one. They are quietly preparing for war with the mighty United States, with particular importance attached to the torpedo forces. Destroyers was to equalize the advantage in battleships, in advance due to the unfortunate ratio of 5:5:3, imposed “the” C “student” of Japan, “senior comrades” — the United States and Britain, which had a high-five. Of course, the attacks of the destroyers had to be maintained, which required a special cruiser, especially very fast, have strong artillery against the same enemy ships, and a powerful torpedo armament: after extra vehicles when attacking “big pots” do not exist. In principle, the idea of leading flotillas of destroyers, cruisers also belonged to the “older brother” — to the British, but in Japan she got the final, you might say, extreme views.
Old in concept cruiser types “the Tone” and “Chikuma” to perform such tasks was not suitable because of its low speed; they are inferior to modern destroyers 6 — 8 knots. It was therefore decided to design and build a new high-speed light cruisers. So was born the “Tenryu” and “Tatsuta”, the designation in accordance with their small sizes: 3500-ton or “small” cruiser. They were called by the names of Japanese rivers system, which became henceforth the traditional light cruisers of the rising sun.
151. Light cruiser Kuma (Japan, 1921)
It was built by the company “Kawasaki” in Kobe. A displacement of 5500 tons, the maximum length 162,10 m, beam 14.20 m, draught 4,80 m Capacity chetyrehbalnoy turbine plant 90 000 HP, speed 36 knots. Reservations: belt 51 mm, deck 25 — 32 mm, combat tower 25 mm. Armament: seven 140/50 mm guns, two 76/40-mm anti-aircraft guns, four twin-tube 533-mm torpedo tubes. In 1921, constructed five units: “Kuma”, “Tama”, “Kitakami”, “OOI” and “Kiso”. Repeatedly modernized; “Kitakami” and “OOI” converted to torpedo cruisers with forty 609-mm torpedo tubes. All except the “Kitakami”, sunk in 1944; “Kitakami” scrapped in 1947
152. Light cruiser “Tone” (Japan, 1910)
Built at the shipyard of the Navy in Sasebo. A displacement of 4120 tons, the maximum length 113,80 m, width 14,41 m, draft of 5.10 m. Capacity twin-shaft steam triple expansion installation 15 000 HP, speed 23 knots. Booking: deck 38 mm, bevels up to 75 mm, combat tower 102 mm. Armament: two 152/ 45-mm and ten 120/45-mm guns, four 76/40-mm anti-aircraft guns, three 457-mm torpedo tubes. Excluded from the lists in 1931, and sunk as a target for naval aviation.
153. Light cruiser “Tenryu” (Japan, 1919)
Built at the shipyard of the Navy in Sasebo. The displacement of 3950 tons, the maximum length 142,90 m, width of 12.32 m, draught of 4.00 m. the thickness of a three-shaft steam turbine 51 000 HP, speed 33 knots. Reservations: belt 51 mm, 25 mm deck, combat tower 25 mm. Armament: four 140/50-mm guns, three 76/40-mm anti-aircraft guns, two three-pipe 533-mm torpedo tubes. In 1919, built two units: “Tatsuta” and “Tenryu”. Both sunk by American submarines in 1944 and 1942 respectively.

The task before the Japanese engineers had a difficult. They demanded from the design speed to 33 knots that when using imperfect boilers of the time automatically meant the clutter case bulk boiler room. To compensate I had to make every effort to facilitate the construction. The path to that time was known in Germany already during the war part of the casing and dial are made of high-strength steel. The Japanese did the same, daring to apply the above-mentioned steel for all the main elements of the design. The other way they did not have: high speed were forced to make ships very narrow, and the length they are at 9 m exceeded the larger and well-known for their high length to width ratio to the British “Arethusa”.
These ships, it was close to 11,3 — value, characteristic only for destroyers. Therefore, the case is not only made of very durable, in fact, close to steel armor, but still had very significant for such small ships thickness, for the most part 19 — 25 mm. in Addition to this “poloponies” protection mini cruiser and got the real belt and the armoured deck. Of course, completely to cover the entire length of them failed, but the engines and boilers received decent protection from projectiles destroyers.
One housing measures weight loss is not limited. From their “slave” — destroyers — they are the future leaders borrowed almost all the mechanisms, including high-speed turbines, which had to provide gear reducers. In the end, the Japanese managed to achieve considerable success. 3,500-ton displacement instead of 33-knots speed, four 140-mm quick-firing guns in the tower-like shields, two three-pipe torpedo tubes and a decent booking. In the end, “Tatsuta” and “Tenryu” became the first true modern light cruisers of the Imperial Navy.
And serve they had. In the 1920-ies and 1930-ies both appeared in the waters of China, showing where the power of the Japanese fleet and catching “offenders” who were trying to supply the Chinese. In 1938, the couple put on modernization, during which the coal boilers fully replaced the oil, as well as increased light anti-aircraft artillery. In the coming three years war with the United States, their share had many adventures. “Tenryu” was lucky enough to discharge all their torpedoes at American ships in the battle of Savo island and, quite possibly, to achieve results. Both cruisers took part in a long and bloody campaign near the island of Guadalcanal and shelled the American airfields. But in the end it was the same sad. He and the other fell victim to submarines, and sank quickly and with significant losses of crews.
Despite the undoubted engineering good luck with the “small cruisers” when they were in the building, it became clear that fully “kids” new torpedo doctrine is still not satisfied. It was assumed that the newest type of destroyer “Minimaze” will be able to reach the speed of 39 knots. To lead these ships — “Tenryu” and “Tatsuta” simply could not. By the time the Japanese became known characteristics of the American “scouts,” already familiar to us like “Omaha”. Despite some of the shortcomings of “Americans”, they were large and heavily armed to 3500-ton Japanese ships had a good chance in combat with them.
Therefore, the mini-cruiser, Japanese engineers decided not to repeat, and to develop a new project, improved and reinforced. He received the designation of the 5,500-ton. This time the designers got lucky. Their offspring spread in a large series, a programme of 1917, 1918 and 1920 ordered 18 units, 15 of them laid between 1920 and 1925, and 14 — completed. Officially they were called superior “Tenryu”, but actually from their predecessors adopted, except that the 140-mm artillery and some engineering solutions in design. The main highlight of the new type was speed; it was assumed that Japanese cruisers will be able to develop 36 knots! The speed is fantastic, as built in parallel, in England, of type “D” had seven knots less. And not just the destroyer of that time would be able to keep up with the Japanese guard. It is clear that this move ships created a huge bow wave, so the height had to be increased, compared with the short “kids”. Of course, that case is really long: they had to squeeze a huge machine for the time power, and upstairs, on the deck, have a 140-mm cannon in single installations. The result is a forced victim to become protective qualities. It should be noted that the planned speed record at the trials could not be reached: most of the units were able to develop not more than 35 35.5 node. However, and this is “stock” enough for 20 years, at the end of the Second world war, to about 33 knots and stay on par with new units.
5500-ton cruisers were divided into three types: “Kuma”, “Carbon” and “Sendai”, or, according to the official classification, series I, II and III. They all have the same hull, but somewhat differed in appearance. Five cruisers “Kuma” was designed and built first, followed by the six units of the type “Carbon” and three type “Sendai”. Of the six scheduled to be built ships of the last series finished with only three: “Sendai”, “Jintsu” and “Naka”. To complete the whole six prevented the established naval treaties limits, against which so fiercely objected to Japan. New cruisers, played in such a large number (the largest series of ships of this class in the Japanese Navy in its entire history), was intended, of course, is not only leading flotillas of destroyers (so many of them would be typed), but also for other cruising tasks the intelligence of the Navy and protect its own shipping. The result — the counterpart of the British “Aratus”, “C” and “D”, but with a distinct Japanese accent. If “English” is still quite decent were protected against shells “classmates”, while remaining clearly slow, “rivers” was limited to only a thin short zone in the area of the power plant at high speed. However, this book provided protection only from shells of caliber 102 mm main armament of destroyers of the United States, however, during the Second world war, the main gauge of U.S. destroyers began 127-mm guns, from semi-armour-piercing projectiles which the armor of the Japanese light cruisers had almost not been saved. What can we say about 152 mm guns of “real” cruisers that have appeared in the 1930-ies! In the day artillery battle, the chances are slim and almost “naked” Japanese with weapons to shields looked not even ghostly, and just hopeless.
But remained distinct emphasis on night torpedo attack. During the construction of the cruisers of the “godfather” received standard for that time 533-mm torpedo tubes, but when the service received a powerful new torpedo calibre 610 mm, they were immediately put on the 5500-ton-Nicky. The rest of the series had a new torpedo and apparatus since it was built. The Japanese tried hard to make them universal cruiser. So, in 1930-e years on the decks mounted aircraft catapult (during the war they were removed) and several times amplified light anti-aircraft armament, and with the advent of more or less reliable radar “godfathers” got them.
In General in the modernization of their ships, the Japanese did not skimp. No exception, and 5500-ton cruisers, which are not just “rearranged” in accordance with current doctrines or needs. Part of the guns of the main caliber during the war removed, to strengthen anti-aircraft armament at the expense of additional 25 mm anti-aircraft machine guns that are literally “stuck” in any suitable place. Some cruisers of this type have received 36, 38 and 41 even a gun.
The greatest alterations have been “OOI” and “Kitakami”, selected as “victims” of the new torpedo theory. In 1936 the Naval General staff developed a plan to combat the numerically superior American fleet. Under this plan, the enemy followed to weaken night attack with extensive use of the latest dalnoboy torpedoes, and in the afternoon with the already beaten troops were engaged in artillery combat ships of the line. Within this concept, two light cruisers was proposed to equip at least ten four torpedo tubes each. Two cruisers, firing 20 torpedoes at a time, could, in the opinion of the admirals, to cut a wide “road” in the combat formations of the U.S. Navy.
Respectively “OOI” and “Kitakami” in 1940 — 1941 was left with only four 140-mm guns located in the nose and in the middle of the hull placed ten four-pipe 610-mm devices. They don’t fit in the width of the hull, and had to increase the deck space due to the unique sponsons, extending to 60 m. early In the war the remaining 140-graph paper was removed and replaced by two twin 127-mm anti-aircraft guns, making the cruiser a truly pure torpedo. However, the tactics of massive night battle was not justified for one simple reason — Americans chose not to fight in the dark before the appearance of their ships enough advanced radars, especially in the part of huge compounds. So “open avenues” was just not in it. “Heavy torpedo cruiser” the Japanese came in handy, and in 1944, the survivors of the “Kitakami” was rebuilt in a carrier landing craft, removing eight of the ten huge four-pipe apparatus. Then four apparatus back into place, and finished his career as the long-suffering ex-cruiser as a base for human-torpedoes “Kaiten”. Damaged from the attack of the British submarine turbine division has deleted the content. Left arrangements with a capacity of 30 000 L. S. — third of the original, which allowed to develop for approximately 23.5 per node. From the weapons on Board were four 127-graph paper, 61 25-mm gun and eight human-torpedoes.
The events of the Second world war is already old by the time the Japanese light cruiser participated very actively, performing a variety of tasks, from laid them on the idea of torpedo attacks at the head of detachments of destroyers to escort the transports and bombardment of troops and airfields ashore. And paid for it badly on the bottom went all the 5500-ton cruisers, with the exception of “Kitakami”, which was used as a training ship and was captured by the Americans in August 1945 as a trophy in an Inland sea. The rest fell victim to submarines (“the godfather”, “Tama”, “Isuzu”, “Natori”, “OOI”, “Carbon”) or aircraft (“Jura” is the first light cruiser Japan, who died in the world war, “Kiso”, “Throw”, “abukuma river”, “Naka”, “Kitakami”). “Lucky” only “Sunday”, who fell in honorable battle with American cruisers in the Bay of the Princess Augusta on Bougainville island, and “Jinzo” that the same fate befell O. Kolombangara from fire the us-new Zealand detachment consisting of light cruisers “St. Louis” and “Honolulu” and “Linder”. In both battles the Japanese ships were unable to oppose a new and more powerful units the allies, moreover, equipped with advanced radars.

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