:: MOGAMI (1934) ::

Mogami heavy cruiser (1934) High resolution picture

The Mogami was a Japanese cruiser launched in 1934, leading ship of the homonym four-ship class. Initially conceived as light cruisers armed with 155-millimeter cannons, they were later rearmed with 200-millimeter cannons and reclassified as heavy cruisers. The ships of the Mogami class had a powerful antiaircraft battery, two catapults with three aircraft and four 610-millimeter torpedo triple launchers with reloads. They could as well achieve the very high speed of 37 knots, however at expenses of operational range.

Despite the zeal put into saving weight, by means of using welding extensively, the displacement largely exceded the limit of 10160 tonnes imposed by the Washington Naval Treaty. But the worst was that this constructive method was the source of structural weaknesses that arose during the artillery tests. The two first ships of the class, Mogami and Mikuma, were sent to Kure to be rebuilt whereas the other two, Kumano and Suzuya, were modified while they were still being built. These works were used as well to improve other aspects of the ships. Stability could be improved by increasing the beam with additional bulging and the antiaircraft armament was increased.

In 1939 the triple 155-millimeter turrets were replaced by twin 200-millimeter turrets and additional armor was installed outside the bulges, which further increased the beam to up to 20.2 meters. Four of the 155-millimeter turrets suppressed were destined to the battleships Yamato and Musashi. In the end, the Mogami class was integrated by excellent ships, powerfully armed and able to withstand a great amount of damage, fast and with a good operational range, but the quality could have been better if the project had not been based on a too limited displacement.

The Mogami resulted severely damaged during the Battle of Midway and remained in reparation until April 1943. But during the reparations the original cruiser was transformed in a seaplane carrier, being the aft turrets replaced by a clean deck to manage the aircraft. The illustration shows the key differences between the original cruiser of 1939 and the reconstruction, which included as well a very enhanced antiaircraft battery and revised electronics with the addition of an exploration radar in the top of the mast. The Mogami resulted severely damaged and disabled during the fatidic "Night of Surigao" and she was finally sunk by the Japanese destroyer Akebono.

Class: Mogami (4 units - Kumano, Mikuma, Mogami, Suzuya)

Type: Heavy cruiser

Length: 201.6 meters as built; 201.5 meters in 1939

Beam: 18 meters as built; 20.2 meters in 1939

Draught: 5.4 meters as built; 5.8 meters in 1939

Displacement (standard): 8500 tonnes as built; 12598 tonnes in 1939

Propulsion: 4 x shaft, 4 x steam turbine, 10 x boiler Kampon, 152000 horsepower

Speed: 37 knots (68.5 kilometers/hour) as built; 35.5 knots (65.7 kilometers/hour) in 1939

Range: 6726 nautical miles (12456 kilometers) at 14 knots as built

Complement: 850 as built

Armament (as built): 15 x 155-millimeter 55-caliber cannon, 8 x 127-millimeter 40-caliber cannon, 4 x 40-millimeter cannon, 12 x 610-millimeter torpedo tube, 3 x aircraft

Armament (in 1939): 10 x 200-millimeter 50-caliber cannon, 8 x 127-millimeter 40-caliber cannon, 8 x 25-millimeter cannon, 4 x 13-millimeter machine gun, 12 x 610-millimeter torpedo tube, 3 x aircraft

Armament (in 1943): 6 x 200-millimeter 50-caliber cannon, 8 x 127-millimeter 40-caliber cannon, 30 x 25-millimeter cannon, 12 x 610-millimeter torpedo tube, 11 x aircraft

Armor: 100-125 millimeters in belt, 127 millimeters in magazines, 35-60 millimeters in deck, 25 millimeters in main turrets

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