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Kongo class

25/02/2021: Kongo class battlecruisers (1912)

Weekly Update : From Battlecruisers to fast battleships, the four IJN apocalypse riders.
British Yards exported no battlecruisers, but just one: IJN Kongo. She was the lead ship of an amazing class, a good choice to close the chapter of IJN capital ships during WW2. IJN Kongo was indeed ordered by Japan as part of her plans to built a navy of battleships and battlecruisers, and this ship’s construction was in itself quite a story. She was inspired by the second generation of British battlecruisers, part of the “splendid cats”, but Kongo’s design was innovative enough for the British admiralty to modify the fourth battlecruiser of this class along this new design, creating HMS Tiger. An important delegation of Japanese officers and engineers were also present at the yard during the construction, in order to assist Japanese shipyards to built three sister-ships -one in an arsenal, two in private yards- which became the first battlecruiser and first dreadnoughts at the same time in Japan. During the interwar they were considerably modified, undergoing two major reconstruction as authorized by the Washington treaty, the last making them authentic “fast battleships” able to escort the Kido Butai, the main fleet carrier force of the IJN. From Pearl Harbor to 1945 they were on all fronts, in all major battles of the pacific. One was the first IJN capital ships sank in WW2, another one was the last, and in between, two at Guadalcanal, including one in the only true duel between battleships in the Pacific. These were the Kongo, Haruna, Hiei and Kirishima.
This is a complete rewrite of the 2017 article.

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Naval Encyclopedia is the first online warship museum. Dedicated to the history of all ships of the industrial era, roughly since 1820 to this day. Although the main scope is about the XXth century through four main eras (WW1 and second world war, cold war and modern-day fleets), the website also covers (and will cover) civilian liners, first steamers, ships from the age of sail from the ancient ships of classical antiquity to medieval ships and renaissance vessels up to the enlightenment era ships which ambition also to cover most main types of ships of the time and famous examples.

Naval History is indeed quite old and warships has been a constant evolution, just as tactics which adapted to existing sources of power. The wind and human power (rows) and from the XIXth century, steam power and the rule of fossil fuels, up to the dominance of nuclear energy for the most valuable assets. There has been path of divergence and convergence also between civilian ships and their navy counterparts, like the famous Galleons of the XVI-XVIIth century that blended the role of cargo and warship. This survived well into the twentieth on civilian ships, first as a precaution (like fake ports) then as a tradition on mixed and tall ships.

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Naval Encyclopedia was born in 2010, by the same creator as tanks encyclopedia. For long, it has been a dependency of navistory.com, dedicated to the age of sail, as its industrial era expansion. Now traduced in English, with navistory’s contents ported too, it is mirroring tanks encyclopedia for everything related to warships…

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