Heavy Cruisers Furutaka-class
Heavy Cruiser Furutaka 古鷹 重巡洋艦 Furutaka jūjun’yōkan
Heavy Cruiser Kako 加古 重巡洋艦 Kako jūjun’yōkan
The Japanese Heavy cruiser Furutaka-class consisted on two vessels: Kako and Furutaka. In the records of the Imperial Japanese Navy (Nihon Kaigun) they are shown as the first heavy cruisers to be refereed as “A class“. The designer of the class was the Constructor Hiraga, Yuzuru, which was also assisted by the Lt. Cmd. Kikuo, Fujimoto.
The design of this class of ships was aimed to obtain superiority against the U.S. Omaha class and the British Hawkins-class cruisers. This superiority was based on a larger torpedo battery, an aspect that the Imperil Japanese Navy focused since early the past century.
The roots of this torpedo-based strategy was the fact the U.S. Navy had numerical superiority against the Japanese. Therefore, it was thought that by training and arming heavy cruisers with torpedo in night attacks, this superiority could be neutralised.
However, more ingredients were necessary to revert the balance. In particular, because the London Naval Treaty made it difficult to the Imperial Japanese Navy construct many ships. The Naval General Staff, however, allowed the constructors for an extensive modernization of the “Furutaka A-class” cruisers by adding new communication and weapons systems. These improvements also affected the AA defense systems since both ships had their 4 original anti-aircraft guns replaced by improved 12 cm high-angle electro-hydraulically operated guns, with directors and range finders for them. In addition, the platform for taking-off the airplanes was replaced with a catapult for a reconnaissance seaplanes.