The Japanese Battleship Hyūga

The Japanese Battleship Hyūga

The Hyuga battleship project was based on the design of the Fuso battleship. Some changes were made to it. The hull was extended by 3 meters, and the armor of the ship's magazines and the central command post were changed.

The layout of guns 1 and 2 was changed, which allowed placing the boiler room closer to the bow and fitting the funnels closer to each other. It also allowed putting artillery guns 3 and 4 behind the boiler room. It was not a good choice, because it was necessary to carry the steam ducts to the engine room through the ship's magazines. A better solution was to install the wires under the ship's magazines and over the double bottom.

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The propulsion consisted of 4 Parsons turbine assemblies connected directly to the drive shafts. Steam was supplied by 24 Miyabara coal-fired boilers with a maximum constant pressure of 19.4 kg/sqm. at a temperature of 270°C. They were later replaced with eight smaller and more efficient oil-fired Kampon boilers. The horse power was 45,000HP (33,555.5kW), which allowed for speeds up to 23 knots.

The outer armor consisted of several belts. The lower belt armor with a thickness of 229 mm, a height of 3.17 m, and a length of 136 m stretched from the barbette of gun 2 to the barbette of gun 5. The second armor belt with a thickness of 199 mm and a height of 2.87 m – covered from the barbette of gun 2 to the barbette of gun 5, and the upper belt (149 mm thick) – from gun 1 to gun 3. From gun 1, an armor belt (76 mm thick) was installed towards the bow, a duplicate piece of armor spanned from gun 6 towards the stern. The armored casemate stretched from the barbette of gun 1 to the barbette of gun 6 reaching a height of 3.8 m. The thickness of the side walls was 305 mm, the front and rear bulkheads – 199 mm. The upper deck was 149 mm thick, and the middle deck was 32 mm thick. Armor of the ship's magazines: side walls – 32-76 mm, roof – 25-51 mm. The primary naval guns had a 305 mm frontal armor, while the side and rear walls had a thickness of 229 mm. The roof of the guns had a thickness of 76 mm, and the barbettes armor was 305 mm thick. The command post had armored plating ranging from 152 to 305 mm. The roof of the post was 76 mm thick.

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The 356mm caliber guns were designed and built by the VICKERS company in 1908. They were intended for the ships built in England for the Japanese fleet. The weapons made in Japan were marked 14in/45 41 Year Type (mod 1908). In 1917 the Japanese measurement system was changed to metric, and the new designation was 36cm/45 41Year Type (mod 1908). In Japan, the guns were produced at the Kure Naval Arsenal and the plant in Muroran, owned by Japan Steel Works LTD. In total, 100 guns were produced. In 1924, a patent from a French company SCHNEIDER was bought. It consisted in wrapping the barrel tightly with wire all along its length to reduce the problem of steel cracking. The barrel consisted of several layers of steel. The sections have a Welin interrupted screw with a 3-stage Elswick mechanism.


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Timeline of the Hyuga battleship

The Japanese Navy ordered two new battleships in 1912. They were an improved version of Fuso type battleships. Their construction was included in the equipment plan 8-4 of the fleet (8 battleships and 4 heavy cruisers), which was approved by the government and parliament. The amount of money allocated totaled 80 million yen. Design work began in 1913 and all funds for the start of word were collected by July 1914.
On May 6, 1915, at the Mitsubishi group shipyard in Nagasaki, a keel for the new battleship was laid.
On January 27, 1917, the ship was launched receiving the name Hyuga (after the name of the province). On November 1, 1917, Commander Eitaro Shimodairo became the first captain of the battleship.
On December 1, 1917, commander Shigeushi Nakawa became the new captain.


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On April 30, 1918, the ship was put into service and entered on the fleet list. Hyuga was assigned to the Sasebo Maritime District. It was part of the 1st Division of the 1st Battleship Squadron.
On November 10, the ship received a new captain, commander Kinzaburo Mimura. In 1919, during the artillery exercises near the island of Nojima, gun no 3 exploded, killing 11 sailors and injuring 25 (October 24). For renovation, Hyuga sailed to the Yokosuka naval yard.
On November 20, 1919, the captain was changed, commander Genjiro Katsuki (formerly of the battleship Kirishima) became the new captain.
On July 21, 1920, the battleship collided with the Hiromiya Maru schooner in the Bungo Channel. The latter sank and two crewmen died.
On August 28, 1920, the ship set sail to Tateyama, Japan, to patrol the Russian coast during the Russian civil war.
On November 20, 1920, the commander Hidesaburo Ishikawa became the next captain.
On November 21, 1921, commander Genji Ide became the newest captain of the ship.
In 1922 the primary naval guns were modernized by raising their elevation from 20 degrees to 30 degrees. It increased the engagement range from 20km to 27.8km.
On April 1, 1922, Hyuga became part of the 6th Division of the 3rd Battleship Squadron.
On May 24 it set sail to Maizuru, Japan, to patrol the Russian coast again.
On November 20, 1922, commander Reizo Miyamura (formerly of the cruiser Kuma) became the new captain.
On August 25, 1923, the battleship set sail to Yomosuka to patrol the Chinese coast. On September 1, 1923, after an earthquake, Hyuga and Ise came from the Changsen Archipelago to the Uchinoura Bay with medical and food supplies for the injured. The earthquake ruined Tokyo and Yokohama completely, killing approximately 105,000 people. On September 4, the ship arrived at Ariake Bay.
On December 1923, commander Yukichi Shima (formerly of Yahagi) became the newest captain of the ship.
On December 1, 1924, commander Shinjiro Imamura became the new captain.

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On October 1925, commander Chikateru Takasaki (formerly of Jingei) took the role of captain. On December 1, 1926, commander Satoru Onomoto (formerly of the Chogei) became the new captain.
On December 1, 1927, the ship was moved to the 2nd reserve together with the captain, commander Giichi Suzuki. The bow superstructure was rebuilt modeling the battleship Haruna by adding new platforms and fire control stations. The front funnel was equipped with a cover and 3 E4N2 flying boats.
On October 10, commander Hiroschi Ono (formerly of Hiei) became a new captain.
On November 30, commander Jiro Ban took the role of captain (formerly of Naka).
On December 1, 1930, commander Soemu Toyoda (formerly of Naka) became a new captain.
Since December 1, 1931, commander Masaharu Hibino was introduced as new captain.
On March 27, 1932, after the Shanghai incident Hyuga together with the battleships Kongo, Kirishima and Ise patrolled the Chinese coast.

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