Heavy cruiser Takao

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Japanese Heavy Cruiser Takao


takao cruiser

Takao, heavy cruiser of the Imperial Japanese Navy, on trial run at full speed off Tateyama, mouth of Tokyo Bay.


I like 1/700 series very much as well as strategy games. Here I will review the major features of the Japanese cruiser Takao. An illustration of the ship is providing using the art-box of waterline series at 1/700 scale. The Japanese cruiser Takao (高雄) was the lead vessel in the 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. Her sister ships were Atago, Maya and Chōkai. The Takao-class ships were approved under the 1927 to 1931 supplementary fiscal year budget, and like her sister ships, was named after a mountain. Mount Takao (高雄山) is located outside Kyoto and is not to be confused with the similar Mount Takao (高尾山) located outside Tokyo, or the city of Takao (高雄), in Taiwan.


cruiser Takao in the art-box of model kit 1/700 waterline series.

An illustration of the cruiser Takao in the art-box of model kit 1/700 waterline series.


Heavy Cruiser Takao construction and early operations

Heavy cruiser Takao was laid down at the Yokosuka Naval Arsenal on 28 April 1927, launched and named on 12 May 1930, and was commissioned into the Imperial Japanese Navy on 20 May 1932. Although the first ship in her class to be laid down, Atago was actually completed a day earlier.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. After rebuilding was completed, Takao and Atago patrolled off the coast of China in 1940 and early 1941.


Heavy cruiser Takao during Pacific War

She joined many operations during the pacific war. She was disabled during the battle of Gulf Leyte, 1944. Takao returned to Singapore in mid-July and conducted operations in the vicinity of Singapore and Brunei until mid-October. On 22 October, Takao was assigned to Admiral Kurita’s “Centre Force” for the Battle of Leyte Gulf. The following day, during the Battle of the Palawan Passage on 23 October, as Takao was passing Palawan Island, she was hit by two torpedoes from USS Darter, which shattered two shafts, broke her fantail and flooded three boiler rooms. Atago and Maya were both sunk in the same engagement. Takao limped back to Brunei, escorted by the destroyers Naganami and Asashimo, the torpedo boat Hiyodori and the transport Mitsu Maru, and on to Singapore by 12 November.

At Singapore, Takao was assessed as so badly damaged that it was considered impossible to send her back to Japan any time soon for full repairs. She was therefore moored next to the hulk of Myōkō, as a floating anti-aircraft battery for the defense of Seletar Naval Base.

Not knowing that neither Japanese heavy cruiser was seaworthy, the Royal Navy launched (Operation Struggle) on 31 July 1945 using the midget submarine HMS XE3, commanded by Lieutenant Ian Edward Fraser and Acting Leading Seaman James Joseph Magennis to try to sink both vessels. Magennis attached six limpet mines to Takao‍ ’​s hull using a piece of rope (the hull was covered with thick layer of seaweed, and the magnets of the limpet mines would not hold them on the hull); when the mines exploded, they blew a hole 20 m by 10 m. The blast disabled some gun turrets, destroyed her rangefinders and flooded a number of compartments, but did not sink the ship. Fraser and Magennis were awarded the Victoria Cross, but it was discovered after the end of the war that Takao was manned by a skeleton crew and had no ammunition aboard for her 8-inch main armament. Japanese forces surrendered Selatar Naval Base to the British on 21 September 1945. On 27 October, Takao was towed to the Straits of Malacca on 21 September and was sunk as a target ship for HMS Newfoundland on 19 October 1946 at 03°05′05″N 100°41′00″E Coordinates: 03°05′05″N 100°41′00″E.She was formally removed from the navy list on 3 May 1947. Note that she was removed in 1947, two years later the war ended officially.


Heavy cruiser Takao Technical specifications


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 between perpendiculars: 192.5 m (632 ft)
  • overall: 203.76 m (668.5 ft)
Beam: 19 m (62 ft) – 20.4 m (67 ft)
Draught: 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 knots (65.7 km/h) – 34.2 knots (63.3 km/h)
Range: 8,500 nautical miles (15,740 km) at 14 knots (26 km/h)
Complement: 773
  • 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: 10 × 20 cm/50 3rd Year Type naval guns (5×2)
  • 8 × Type 89 12.7 cm (5 in) dual purpose guns, (4×2)
  • 66 × Type 96 25 mm (1.0 in) AA guns (26×1, 12×2, 24×3)
  • 4 × Type 93 13.2 mm (0.5 in) AA machine guns
  • Type 93 torpedoes (4×4 + 8 reloads)
  • depth charges
  • 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: 3 floatplanes (1 Aichi E13A1 “Jake” & 2 F1M2 “Pete”)
Aviation facilities: 2 aircraft catapults

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