Saturday, 27 May 2017

Japanese heavy cruiser Aoba 1924-1947


Part of the Aoba-class consisting of the Aoba and Kinugasa, which originally were to be part of the Furutaka-class heavy cruisers, but both ships were of a modified design although with stability problems. Built under the 1923 Fiscal Year, laid down by Mitsubishi shipyards, Nagasaki, Japan on 23 January 1934, launched on 25 September 1926, commissioned on 20 September 1927, modernized by Sasebo Navy Yard between 1938-1940 included rebuilding bridge and adding bulges to improve her stability, heavily damaged by the American submarine USS Bream and American air attack on Cavite Navy Yard, Philippines on 23 respectively 29 October 1944, after 12 December 1944 unworthy to be repaired, sunk in the harbour during an American air attack at Kure, superstructure still above the water and now used as an-aircraft battery, heavily damaged during following American air attacks, stricken on 20 November 1945 and broken up between 1946-1947.

Displacement 8.300 (standard)-9.000 (at last) tons and as dimensions 185,17 x 15.83 (original)-17,56 (at last) x 5,71 (original)-5,66 (at last) metres or 607.6 x 51.11-57.7 x 18.9 x 18.7 feet. The machinery consisted of 4-shaft Brown Curtis geared turbines and 12 Kampong boilers supplying 102.000 shp allowing a speed of 33,43 knots and a range with a speed of 14 knots of 7.000 (original)-8.223 (at last) nautical miles. Crew numbered 643-657 men. The armour consisted of 7,6cm/3” thick belt, 3,5cm/1.4“ thick decks, 4,8cm/1.9“ thick upper decks, magazine protected by 5,1cm/2“ thick armour and the gun turrets by 2,54cm/1“ thick armour. The conning tower was not protected! The original armament consisted of 3x2-20cm/7.9” 50 cal guns, 4x1-12cm/4.7” 45 cal guns, 6x2-61cm/24” torpedo tubes. Final armament consisted after 1940 3x2-20,3cm/8” 50 cal guns, 4x1-12cm/4.7” 45 cal guns, 2x4-61cm/24” torpedo tubes and 50-2,5cm/1” anti aircraft guns. Could carry 1 (original)-2 (after 1940t) floatplanes with her and was in a later stadium fitted out with  a catapult.