Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Japanese auxiliary cruiser Hokoku Maru (1938) 1941-1942

Aikoku Maru and Hokoku Maru

Dutch tanker Ondina

Laid down by the Tama Shipyards on 18 August 1938, launched on 5 July 1939, completed on 15 June 1940, enlisted by the Japanese navy on 20 September 1941, classified as an auxiliary cruiser on 20 September 1941, added to the 24th Raider Division and sunk in a battle with the Royal Indian corvette HMIS Bengal and the Dutch oil tanker Ondina in the Indian Ocean on 11 November 1942.

Part of the Hokoku Maru-class ocean liners ordered by the Osaka Mercantile Steamships Company Limited or Osaka Shosen Kaisha (O.S.K. Lines) on 17 May 1937 to be used of the Japan-Africa line, consisting of the Hokoku Maru, Aikoku Maru and Kokoky Maru (later renamed in Gokoku Maru).

Common technical class specifications. With a displacement of 7.520 tons and as dimensions 160,8 (over all) x 20,1 x 12,5 metres or 527.7 x 65.11 x 31.0 feet. The machinery consisted of 2 Mitsui-B&W Model 12-62 VF-115 diesels supplying 13.000 (cruising)-19.427 (maximum) bhp. Speed 21,1 knots. Their crew numbered 1500 men with accommodation for 400 passengers and 12.000 cubic metres cargo hold capacity.
Armament consisted of 8-15cm/5.9” L/40 naval guns, 2-7,62cm/3” L/40 anti aircraft guns and 4-53,3cm/21,0” torpedo tubes. Carried 2 Kawanashi E7K aircraft in 1941, replaced in 1942 by Aichi E13A.