Nagara class cruiser


Nagara class cruiser
Nagara.jpg
Japanese Navy Ensign
Japanese light cruiser Nagara
Class overview
Name: Nagara
Preceded by: Kuma-class cruiser
Succeeded by: Sendai-class cruiser
Completed: 6 ordered,
6 laid down,
6 commissioned
Lost: 6
General characteristics
Type: Light cruiser
Displacement: 5,570 tons (standard)
Length: 534 ft 9 in (162.99 m)
Beam: 48 ft 5 in (14.76 m)
Draught: 16 ft (4.9 m)
Propulsion: 4-shaft geared turbine,
12 boilers (oil-burning 10, mixed 2), 90,000 shp
Speed: 36 knots (67 km/h)
Range: 6,000 nmi (11,000 km) at 14 kn (26 km/h)
Armament: (as built) 7 × 5.5 in (140 mm) guns,
2×13 pdr (76mm, 3") guns
8 × 610 mm torpedo tubes (12 Type 91 torpedoes) (4x2)
48 mines
Armour: 62 mm (belt)
30 mm (deck)
Aircraft carried: 1 x floatplane, 1 catapult

The six Nagara class cruisers (長良型軽巡洋艦 Nagaragata keijun'yōkan?) were light cruisers operated by the Imperial Japanese Navy. They participated in numerous actions during World War II.

They were followed by the very similar Sendai class.

Contents

Background

The Nagara-class was the second class of light cruisers in the Imperial Japanese Navy based a standardized 5,500 ton displacement. In terms of dimensions and performance, it almost identical to the previous Kuma-class cruisers; however, it was the first class of cruisers to be equipped with the new 610 mm Type 93 Long Lance Torpedoes.

Design

The layout of the Nagara-class was similar to contemporary Royal Navy cruisers, including a fixed floatplane catapult towards the bow of the ship over the No.1 and No.2 guns. However, by the 1930s, these catapults had been removed in favor of a rotating platform aft.

The entire class underwent numerous refits and upgrading of armaments through the course of the Pacific War.

Armament

The main armament for the Nagara-class was seven 5.5-inch (140mm) guns, each mounted in an enclosed single-mount turret: two on the centerline forward, three on the centerline aft of the bridge, and one on each abeam next to the superstructure. However, only six of the seven could be fired as a broadside. Secondary armament was provided by two 3-inch (76 mm) guns.

After the Battle of Midway, the Japanese naval high command became increasingly aware of the fleet's vulnerability to American aircraft and submarines, and steps were taken to increase the anti-aircraft and anti-submarine armament of surface ships. The 140mm main armament of the Nagara-class cruisers was useless against aircraft because the turret traverse was slow (hand-cranked) and because the guns could not elevate higher than 45 degrees.

As each of the vessels in the Nagara-class was recalled to Japan for refit and modernization, its No. 5 140mm gun turret (immediately aft of the three smokestacks) was removed and the quad 13 mm machine gun mount in front of the bridge was replaced by a twin 13mm machine gun mount. With the weight saved, two triple-mount Type 96 25mm anti-aircraft guns were installed, and a Type 21 air search radar system was installed.

Likewise, the final No.7 gun turret furthest aft was replaced by an unshielded twin-mount Type 89 5-inch (127mm) 40-caliber dual purpose gun mount. A triple-mount Type 96 25 mm AA gun and four single-mount 25mm AA guns were also added. With the removal of the floatplane catapult, a Type 22 surface search radar was installed; ten single-mount 25mm guns were added (bringing the total to 30); and five more single-mount 13mm machine guns were also added. In addition, depth charge racks replaced the mines originally carried, and hydrophones were installed.

These modifications resulted in a final displacement in excess of 7000 tons, which reduced the final speed to under 32 kn (59 km/h).

Ships in class

A total of six vessels were built, none of which survived the war.

Nagara (長良)

Built by the Sasebo Navy Yard and commissioned on 22 April 1922, Nagara served in the initial battles of the Second Sino-Japanese War, including the Battle of Shanghai and the Invasion of French Indochina. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Nagara covered the landings of Japanese troops in Malaya and the Dutch East Indies. It accompanied Admiral Nagumo's Carrier Striking Force during the Battle of Midway. Afterwards, it was in the Battle of the Eastern Solomons, Battle of Santa Cruz and the First Battle of Guadalcanal. It was finally torpedoed by USS Croaker en route between Kagoshima and Sasebo on 7 August 1944.

Isuzu (五十鈴)

Built by the Uraga Dock Company, and commissioned on 15 August 1923, Isuzu covered the landings of Japanese troops in China, French Indochina, Malaya and the Dutch East Indies in early World War II. During the Solomon Islands campaign it was active at the Battle of Santa Cruz and Naval Battle of Guadalcanal and the Battle of Leyte Gulf. It was sunk by a "wolfpack" of US submarines off of Sumbawa on 7 April 1945.

Yura (由良)

Commissioned at Sasebo Navy Yard on 20 March 1923, Yura was involved in the sinking of Prince of Wales and Repulse, and covered the landings of Japanese troops in Malaya and Sarawak. Afterwards, it participated in the Indian Ocean raid, the Battle of Midway, and the Battle of the Eastern Solomons. It was sunk by USN and USAAF aircraft in the Solomon Islands on 25 October 1942.

Natori (名取)

Completed by Mitsubishi Nagasaki on 15 September 1922, Natori covered the landings of Japanese troops in the Philippines and the Dutch East Indies. It was torpedoed off Samar by a US submarine, USS Hardhead on 19 August 1944.

Kinu (鬼怒)

Completed at Kawasaki in Kobe on 10 November 1922, Kinu was involved in the sinking of Prince of Wales and Repulse, and covered the landings of Japanese troops in Malaya and the Dutch East Indies. It was involved in various operations in the Solomon Islands and the Philippines, and was sunk by USN aircraft in the Visayan Sea on 26 October 1944.

Abukuma (阿武隈)

Completed by the Uraga Dock Company on 26 May 1925, Abukuma took part in the attack on Pearl Harbor. It was later involved in the Battle of the Komandorski Islands, but was sunk at the Battle of Surigao Strait on 26 October 1944.

See also

Media related to Nagara class cruiser at Wikimedia Commons

References

Books

  • Brown, David (1990). Warship Losses of World War Two. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-914-X. 
  • D'Albas, Andrieu (1965). Death of a Navy: Japanese Naval Action in World War II. Devin-Adair Pub. ISBN 0-8159-5302-X. 
  • Dull, Paul S. (1978). A Battle History of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1941-1945. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-097-1. 
  • Evans, David (1979). Kaigun : Strategy, Tactics, and Technology in the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1887-1941. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-192-7. 
  • Howarth, Stephen (1983). The Fighting Ships of the Rising Sun: The drama of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1895-1945. Atheneum. ISBN 0-689-11402-8. 
  • Jentsura, Hansgeorg (1976). Warships of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1869-1945. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-893-X. 
  • Lacroix, Eric; Linton Wells (1997). Japanese Cruisers of the Pacific War. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-311-3. 

External links


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