Heavy cruiser Maya


Heavy Cruiser Maya Imperial Japanese Navy

 

Maya cruiser

Maya at rest, Jun 1943 according US intelligence

 

The Japanese cruiser Maya (摩耶) was one of four Takao-class heavy cruisers, active in World War II with the Imperial Japanese Navy. These were the largest and more modern cruisers in the Japanese fleet, and were intended to form the backbone of a multipurpose long-range strike force. These ships were fast, powerful and heavily armed, with enough firepower to hold their own against any cruiser in any other navy in the world. Her sister ships were Takao, Atago and Chōkai. The Takao-class ships were approved under the 1927 to 1931 supplementary fiscal year budget, and were named after a mountain. Mount Maya is located outside Kobe.

 

Japanese cruiser maya in the art-box of model kit 1/700 waterline series

Japanese cruiser maya in the art-box of model kit 1/700 waterline series

With the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War, she led a fleet with the Imperial Japanese Army’s IJA 6th Division from Nagoya to China in August 1937. Takao and Atago were rebuilt at the Yokosuka Naval Arsenal between 1938 and 1939, resulting in an improved design: the size of the bridge was reduced, the main mast was relocated aft, and hull budges were added to improve stability. Maya and Chōkai were not modified as extensively, and can almost be considered a separate class.At the start of the Pacific War, Maya was based at Mako Guard District in the Pescadores Islands together with Atago and Takao. Atago and Takao sailed first to provide support for Japanese landings in the invasion of the northern Philippines. Maya remained at Mako in reserve until 8 December, when she sailed as part of Vice Admiral Ibō Takahashi’s IJN 3rd Fleet, together with Ashigara and Kuma to support Japanese landing at Vigan and at Lingayen Gulf. After participating in many major operations was sunk in the Battle of Leyte Gulf, 1944.

On 22 October, the Battle of Leyte Gulf, Maya was assigned to Sentai-5 with sister ships Atago, Takao and Chōkai together with the battleships Yamato, Musashi and Nagato. At 05:33 on 23 October, during Battle of the Palawan Passage, Maya‍ ’​s sister-ships Atago and Takao were torpedoed by the submarine USS Darter. Atago sank in approximately 18 minutes. Twenty minutes later, submarine USS Dace fired six torpedoes at Maya, mistaking it for aKongō-class battleship; Maya was struck by four torpedoes portside: one in the forward chain locker, another opposite No. 1 gun turret, a third in No. 7 boiler room and the last in the aft engine room. Powerful secondary explosions followed immediately, and by 06:00 Maya was dead in the water and listing heavily to port. She sank five minutes later, taking 336 officers and men to the bottom, including her captain (09°27′N 117°23′ECoordinates: 09°27′N 117°23′E).

Akishimo rescued 769 men, and transferred them to the battleship Musashi, which was sunk the following day; 143 of Maya‍ ’​s crewmen were lost with Musashi. Thus, from the final crew of 1,105 crewmen, 479 were lost. She was removed from the navy list on 20 December 1944

 

General characteristics
Class and type: Takao-class cruiser
Displacement: 9,850 t (9,690 long tons) (standard), 15,490 t (15,250 long tons) (full load)
Length:
  • Length between perpendiculars: 192.5 m (632 ft)
  • overall: 203.76 m (668.5 ft)
Beam: 19 m (62 ft) – 20.4 m (67 ft)
Draft: 6.11 m (20.0 ft) – 6.32 m (20.7 ft)
Propulsion: 4-shaft geared turbine, 12 Kampon boilers, 132,000 shp (98,000 kW)
Speed: 35.5 kn (65.7 km/h; 40.9 mph)
Range: 8,500 nautical miles (15,740 km) at 14 knots (26 km/h)
Complement: 921–996
Armament:
  • Original Layout: 10× 20 cm/50 3rd Year Type naval guns (5×2)
  • 4× 12 cm/45 10th Year Type naval guns (4×1)
  • 2× 40 mm (1.6 in) anti-aircraft guns (2×1)
  • Type 90 torpedoes (4×2 + 8 reloads)
  • Final Layout: 8 × 20 cm/50 3rd Year Type naval guns (4×2)
  • 12 × Type 89 12.7 cm (5 in) dual purpose guns, (6×2)
  • 66 × Type 96 25 mm (1.0 in) AA guns (13×3, 27×1)
  • 36 × Type 93 13.2 mm (0.5 in) AA machine guns
  • Type 93 torpedoes (4×4 + 8 reloads)
  • depth charges
Armour:
  • main belt: 38 to 127 mm
  • main deck: 37 mm (max)
  • upper deck: 12.7 to 25 mm
  • bulkheads: 76 to 100 mm
  • turrets: 25 mm
Aircraft carried: 3x floatplanes (1x Aichi E13A1 “Jake” & 2x F1M2 “Pete”)
Aviation facilities: 2 aircraft catapults

 

 


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