After 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 But they all were outdated.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.