IJN Nachi Heavy Cruiser
The IJN Cruiser Nachi was one of the four vessels from the Myōkō class constructed under the 1922 -1929 Fleet Modernization Program. The heavy cruiser Nachi was laid down at Kure Naval Arsenal on 26 November 1924, launched on 15 June 1927, and commissioned on 26 November 1928. The heavy cruiser Nachi and Emperor Hirohito participated in the Coronation Naval Review on 4 December.
The cruiser Nachi contributed during the First Shanghai Incident of February 1932 to escorted the transports conveying elements of the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) to the continent. During the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1937, Nachi transported the headquarters elements of the Imperial Japanese Army’s IJA 3rd Division and IJA 6th Infantry Regiment from Nagoya to China on 20 August. At that time, the cruiser participated as a large combat force consisting of six cruisers and eight destroyers.
In late 1941, Nachi was based at Mako Guard District in the Pescadores Islands and at the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor. She was deployed from Palau cover for the landings of Japanese forces under “Operation M“, which was the invasion of the southern Philippine Islands.
Battle of Java. In January 1942, Nachi and Haguro covered the landings of Japanese troops in the invasion of the Celebes in the Netherlands East Indies, followed by the invasion of Ambon. In the Battle of the Java Sea Nachi, Haguro and Jintsū participated in the destruction of the last remaining Allied fleet units in the Netherlands East Indies.
Attu Naval Battle. While escorting another convoy towards Attu on 26 March, Nachi spotted an American force consisting of the cruisers USS Richmond and Salt Lake City and destroyers Bailey, Dale, Monaghan and Coghlan. Several problems occured with catapult and seaplanes. Finally, Nachi launched her Type 93 “Long Lance” torpedoes at the American task force, but failed to hit. In a four-hour gun battle, the Japanese fleet damaged Salt Lake City and Bailey, but five shells hit Nachi, killed fourteen crewmen, and Maya suffered damage to her No.1 gun turret. The reinforment of Attu island was a failure and Hosogaya was relieved of command. Later, after repairs, she was hit by a submarine torpedo on 6 October.
Operations in the Philippines. Her anti-aircraft weapons were upgraded significantly. In October 1944, she was sent to the Philippines as part of a cruiser force. During the Battle of Leyte Gulf from 24 October, Nachi and Ashigara were part of Vice Admiral Shoji Nishimura’s force, which included the battleships Yamashiro, Fuso and the cruiser Mogami. On 25 October, after the Battle of Surigao Strait Nachi and Mogami collided, resulting in severe damage to both vessels. While under repair at Manila on 29 October, Nachi and Kumano were attacked by aircraft from USN Task Force 38. Nachi was hit on 29 October and later on 5 November. She escaped the first wave undamaged, but was hit by five bombs and two or three torpedoes in the second wave. During the third wave, Nachi was hit by five torpedoes in her port side, which severed her bow and stern, and by an additional twenty bombs and 16 rockets. Nachi’s flag commander, Vice Admiral Kiyohide Shima was ashore for a conference at the time of the attack, but arrived at dockside in time to watch in horror as his flagship was blown apart. The central portion of the vessel sank in approximately 12 feet (3.7 m) of water at (14°31′N 120°44′E Coordinates: 14°31′N 120°44′E), 12 nautical miles (22 km) northeast of Corregidor. Of the crew, 807 were lost, including the captain, while 220 survived and were rescued by the destroyers Kasumi and Akebono.
Cruiser Nachi Secret Code Books. In April and May 1945, divers from USS Chanticleer made 296 dives on the wreck, salvaging radar equipment, code books, maps of Japanese fortifications on Luzon and other documents. John Prados, in his book, Combined Fleet Decoded, writes that this was a major intelligence coup. This is also verified by US Navy Master Diver Joseph S. Karneke, who served as the master diver aboard Chanticleer while diving on the wreck of Nachi, in his book, Navy Diver.
Class & type: Myōkō-class cruiser
Displacement: 13,300 long tons (13,500 t)
Length: 201.7 m (661 ft 9 in)
Beam: 20.73 m (68 ft 0 in)
Draft: 6.32 m (20 ft 9 in)
Installed power: 130,000 shp (97,000 kW)
4 × geared steam turbines
12 × boilers
4 × shafts
Speed: 36 kn (67 km/h; 41 mph)
Range: 8,000 nmi (15,000 km; 9,200 mi) at 14 kn (26 km/h; 16 mph)
10 × 203 mm (8.0 in) guns (5×2)
6 × 120 mm (4.7 in) guns (to 1934) or 8 × 127 mm (5.0 in) 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: 2 × floatplanes
Part of: Empire of Japan Imperial Japanese Navy
Battle of the Java Sea (1942)
Second Battle of the Java Sea (1942)
Battle of the Komandorski Islands (1943)
Battle of Surigao Strait (1944)