Furutaka class Cruisers (1925)

Japanese Navy Japan, 1925. Heavy Cruisers Furutaka, Kako

The first Japanese “washington” cruisers

The two heavy cruisers of the Furutaka class were the first built by the Japanese Navy after the Washington Treaty. Their main feature was the presence of a continuous deck with two successive recesses, a measure to save weight to optimize speed, but also the choice of an artillery in six simple turrets.

This singular configuration did not proved advantageous and the two ships were rebuilt in 1936-39. Significant changes included the more rational choice of double turrets, reconstructed superstructures and bridge, and lateral torpedo tubes. 12 tubes, 6 twin banks two on each side replaced by two quadruple banks.

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A catapult was also fitted, as well as the installation of anti-torpedo ballasts, the reinforcement of the overall protection and the AAA, with a tonnage passing from 7,100-8,450 tons to 8,700-10,340 tons. Originally, this AA artillery consisted of only four 100 mm pieces and two heavy machine guns. In 1932 these were replaced by QF 120 mm fully shielded in half turrets, while 25 mm guns and other heavy 12.7mm machine guns were added to this range.


By the new standard they imposed, the Furutaka led to the Aoba, barely larger, but improved. They participated very actively in the Japanese operations, particularly in the Solomon Islands, and were both sunk, the Furutaka off the island of Savo, Guadalcanal, during the battle of Cape Hope the night of October 11 to 12, 1942, being part of the “Tokyo Night Express”, by the American cruisers of Admiral Scott. The Kako was torpedoed and sunk near Kiaveng (New Britain) by the old American submarine S44, August 10, 1942. She participated shortly before the great victory at Savo Island.

Furutaka 1927


Displacement 8 700 t. standard -10 340 t. Pleine Charge
Dimensions 183,53 m long, 19,93 m large, 5,61 m de tirant d’eau
Propulsion 4 propellers, 4 turbines, 12 boilers, 102 000 hp, 33 knots
Armor: 25 to 76 mm
Armament: 6 x 152 (3×2), 4 x 120, 8 x 25 AA, 4 x 13.2 mm HMG AA, 8 x 610 mm TTs (2×4), 2 seaplanes
Crew: 730

HD illustration of the Furutaka in 1941 by the author, 1/200

Sources/Read More
Conway’s all the worlds fighting ships 1921-1946

Aoba class heavy cruisers (1926)
Sendai class Cruisers (1923)

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