The Japanese Cruiser Maya

Following the defeat in the Guadalcanal campaign, at the beginning of 1943, the Navy Technical Department and The High Command of the Imperial Japanese Navy strived to increase the defensive potential of all their warships.

Apart from standard refits of the majority of the Imperial Japanese Navy units, a plan was adopted, which called for reconstruction of two “Takao” class heavy cruisers into anti-aircraft units. Through a coincidence only the Maya underwent such conversion. This publication shows the cruiser in her anti-aircraft configuration and briefly describes her career.
In March 1927, the Japanese government appropriated the budget of 261.31 million yen (in 1928, the rate of exchange was $1=2.3 yen) for the five-year New Warship-Building Replenishment Program, which called for construction of 27 warships. Within the allocated funds, the amount of 113.48 million yen would be spent on construction of four heavy cruisers of a new class (A-class). These ships would be built in compliance with the limitations of the Washington Treaty signed in 1922. The units, with displacement of 10.000 t (long ton=Imperial ton=1016.05 kg), were an improved version of the previous “Myōkō” class design. They were assigned provisional designations from No.9 to No.12. However, according to plan, the construction of the first two vessels would begin in 1927, with the other pair to follow the next year. On September 11, 1928, vessel No.11 was given the name Maya after the mountain located in the vicinity of the city where her construction would commence. The keel was finally laid down on December 11, 1928, in a private shipyard of the Kawasaki Dockyard Company Ltd. in Kobe. It was eight months behind  schedule due to the bankruptcy of the company. The construction began with the endorsement and protection of the Navy. The ceremonial launching took place on November 8, 1930, and was attended by a crowd of 30 thousand spectators. The fitting-out work followed. On April 4, 1932, during a speed trial in the Kii Strait (separating the islands of Honshu and Shikoku), the ship attained the maximum speed of 35 knots, with the displacement of 12.175 t.

3d58 maya 1

Operational history
Period before the outbreak of World War II