The Japanese cruiser Izumo (Izumo battleship)


The Izumo Battleship

izumo battleship

colored picture of the Izumo battleship at Shanghai in 1932.

The Japanese cruiser Izumo, written in Japanese as 出雲, sometimes transliterated Idzumo) was the first of her class, an armored cruiser class built for the by the Britain for the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) by the middle of 1890. These two vessels contributed to the “Six-Six Fleet” expansion program. This program was initiated after the defeat of China during the First Sino-Japanese War of 1894–95. The ships at least joined to three of the four main naval battles of the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–05—the Battle of Port Arthur, the Battle off Ulsan and the Battle of Tsushima. However, they did not play a significant role during the Japanese role in the First World War from 1914 to 1918.

The names of the ships were Iwate and Izumo. The cruiser Iwate was basically used as a training ship in 1916. However, it was not a temporally role because it was extended for the rest of her career. In contrast, the other battleship, the Izumo, had a longer activity and was used as training during the twenties decade. In spite of this training or supportive role, it had the honor to become the flagship of the Imperial Japanese Navy task force in China in 1932. Because of this role and activity, the Izumo saw action in the Shanghai Incident that year. Moreover, during the Second Sino-Japanese War that began five years later she also participated. Surprisingly, the ship was even used in the early stages of the Philippines Campaign during the Pacific War. The activity continued until she struck a mine at the end of 1941. After reparations, the Izumo joined her sister as a training ship in home waters in 1943. By the end of the WWII, the massive american bombing hit both of them at Kure in July, 1945. After their wrecks were found and extracted from the bed of the sea, they were finally scrapped after the war.

 

As explained above, the Izumo had a long list of actions. Perhaps the most historically important task, besides being the flagship during the Sino-Japanese war, was her contribution to the battle of Tsushima. During some moment of the battle and after Nebogatov’s surrender, the Russian ship Admiral Ushakov was spotted well south of Nebogatov’s ships. Then, the cruiser Iwate and the armored cruiser Yakumo were requested to pursue her. After several Japanese requests for surrender the ship, which were refused, some attempts to fire each other were done. However, the faster speed of the Japanese cruisers made impossible for the russian ship to close the range to make use her batteries effectively. After almost half hour of receiving hits from the Japanese vessels, the Admiral Ushakov had been heavily damaged her commander ordered his crew to abandon ship. Although both Iwate and Izumo were struck few times during the battle, they did not suffer severe damage or casualities.

 

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