Heavy Cruiser Myoko
The IJN cruiser Myoko was the lead vessel of the Myoko-class, composed of four units. The name of the ship corresponds to the Mount Myoko in Niigata prefecture. It is one of the most well-sold vessels in model waterline kits collections at 1/700 scale.
The principal battery was ten 20 cm/50 3rd Year Type naval guns, the heaviest armament of any heavy cruiser in the world at the time, mounted in five twin turrets and 12 Type 93 Long Lance torpedoes in three quadruple launchers positioned below the aircraft deck. The cruiser was also equipped with an aircraft catapult and carried up to three floatplanes for searching purposes. The vessel was laid down at the yokosuka Naval Arsenal in 1924 and the Emperor Hirohito in person attended the ceremony.
Pre-war activities. During the First Shanghai Incident of February 1932, the cruisers escorted the transports conveying elements of the Imperial Japanese Army to the continent.
During the Second Sino-Japanese War Myōkō participated in the Amoy Operation from 10–12 May 1938 as flagship of Sentai-9 of the IJN 5th Fleet along with the Hainan Island Operation in February 1939.
Philippines campaign. At the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Myōkō and Nachi formed Sentai-5 of the IJN 3rd Fleet. Sentai-5 was commanded by Rear Admiral Takeo Takagi, and deployed from Palau cover for the landings of Japanese forces under “Operation M” — the invasion of the southern Philippine Islands.
The great victory at the Battle of the Java Sea. on 1 March 1942 Myōkō, Nachi and Haguro participated in the destruction of the last remaining Allied fleet units in the Netherlands East Indies. At 11:50, Myōkō, Ashigara and destroyers Akebono and Inazuma opened fire on the damaged British heavy cruiser Exeter and her escort of two destroyers. The 8-inch guns of Myōkō helped to sink Exeter and cripple the destroyer HMS Encounter which had to be scuttled
Coral sea Battle. On May, Myōkō was part of the escort for the Tulagi invasion force in the Battle of the Coral Sea, under the command of Rear Admiral Chūichi Hara. This force consisted of the aircraft carriers Shōkaku and Zuikaku, the heavy cruisers Myōkō and Haguro, and five destroyers.
Battle of Midway. In June, Myōkō was part of Vice Admiral Nobutake Kondō’s Support Force in the Battle of Midway, which included the battleships Kongō and Hiei, the heavy cruisers Haguro, Atago and Chōkai, the light cruiser Yura, the light aircraft carrier Zuihō and seven destroyers.
Battle of the Phipippine sea. In June 1944, Myōkō participated in the Battle of the Philippine Sea. The Japanese fleet sailed from its anchorage at Tawi Tawi in response to the American invasion of the Marianas Islands. The Japanese high command was aware that American heavy bombers, based in the Marianas, could reach factories and shipyards in the Japanese home islands.
The Battle of Leyte Gulf. Myoko was assigned as part of Vice Admiral Kurita’s First Mobile Striking Force (Center Force) consisting of four battleships and ten cruisers. As the Center Force tried to force a passage through the Sibuyan Sea it was spotted and attacked by US Task Force 38. In the battle, Myōkō was hit by a torpedo aft on the starboard side, which damaged her starboard screws.
After temporary repairs she departed for Japan with a stop at Cam Ranh Bay. En route to Cam Ranh Bay Myōkōwas hit by one torpedo from a spread of six, fired by the submarine USS Bergall at 17:35 on 13 December 1944 on her aft port side, blowing away her stern, and leaving her unable to steer.She went dead in the water. Despite the extensive damage aft one port screw remained operable and she could make 6 knots (11 km/h; 6.9 mph). Unable to steer, she was towed by destroyer Ushio (which assisted in damaging Bergall, which survived and returned to Fremantle) and several other ships to Singapore harbor for repairs; however, there were insufficient materials in Singapore to complete the repairs for both Myōkō and Takao, which was also in harbor for repairs.
In February 1945, the harbor commander reported that Myōkō was irreparable at Singapore without more materials, and impossible to tow to Japan. He recommended that Myōkō be kept in Singapore as a floating anti-aircraft battery. This suggestion was approved and, although both Myōkō and Takao were targeted by British midget submarine attacks on 26 July, Myōkō survived the war. Myōkō formally surrendered to Royal Navy units on 21 September, and was subsequently towed to the Strait of Malacca and scuttled off at Coordinates: Port Swettenham, Malaya (near present-day Port Klang, Malaysia) near submarines I-501 and I-502.
Class & type: Myōkō-class cruiser
Displacement: 13,500 t (13,300 long tons)
Length: 201.7 m (661 ft 9 in)
Beam: 20.73 m (68 ft 0 in)
Draft: 6.32 m (20 ft 9 in)
4-shaft geared turbines
12 Kampon boilers
Speed: 36 knots (41 mph; 67 km/h)
Range: 8,000 nmi (15,000 km) at 14 kn (16 mph; 26 km/h)
10 × 203 mm (8.0 in) guns (5×2)
6 × 12 cm/45 10th Year Type naval gun guns (to 1934) or 8 × 12.7 cm/40 Type 89 naval guns (from 1935)
2 × 13 mm (0.51 in) machine guns
12 × 610 mm (24 in) torpedo tubes
Main belt: 100 mm (3.9 in)
Main deck: 37 mm (1.5 in)
Turrets: 25 mm (0.98 in)
Barbettes: 75 mm (3.0 in)
Aircraft carried: 3
Aviation facilities: 2 aircraft catapults