Imperial Japanese Navy Heavy Cruiser Haguro
The Cruiser Haguro received the name from Mount Haguro in Yamagata prefecture. She was one of the four ships constructed in the Myoko-class. The ship was finally sunk in combat with Royal Navy vessels, in one of the last battles of the Pacific War. Technically, the ship was excellent, very fast (36 knots) and armed with ten 203 mm guns in five turrets. When it was constructed, it was said she was the best armed cruiser in the world.
The first action she participated was in the Dutch East Indies, where she engaged the enemy off Makassar on 8 February 1942. She also played a key role in the Battle of the Java Sea on 27 February 1942, and was involved in the sinking of the cruisers HMS Exeter and the Dutch flagship HNLMS De Ruyter, the destroyer HNLMS Kortenaer and of the destroyer HMS Encounter in another action off south Borneo on 1 March 1942.
On 7 May 1942, she joined the Battle of the Coral Sea and took part in the Battle of the Eastern Solomons on 24 August 1942. Later, she was also involved in the evacuation from Guadalcanal at the end of January 1943. Haguro took light damage in the Battle of Empress Augusta Bay on 2 November 1943. On 19 June 1944, she survived the Battle of the Philippine Sea, and from 23–25 October 1944 she took light damage in the Battle of Leyte Gulf. As you can see, she participated in the most of the battles in the pacific war!
The Battle of Malacca Strait. In May 1945, Haguro was the target of the British “Operation Dukedom” and was ambushed. The 26th Destroyer Flotilla found her with the destroyer Kamikaze just after midnight on 16 May 1945, and began the attack. During the battle, Kamikaze was lightly damaged, but Haguro was hit by gunfire and three Mark IX torpedoes from the British destroyers. She soon began to slow down and took a 30-degrees list to port.
Fate. At 02:32, Haguro began to go down stern first in the Malacca Strait, 55 mi (48 nmi; 89 km) off Penang; Kamikaze rescued 320 survivors, but 900 men, including Vice Admiral Hashimoto and Rear Admiral Sugiura, perished with her.Rear Admiral Sugiura was later promoted to Vice Admiral posthumously on 16 May. Haguro was the last major Japanese warship to be sunk in battle during the war.Haguro was stricken from the navy list on 20 June 1945.
Modern days. The wreck was discovered in 2003, showing significant superstructure damage from her last and earlier battles.