Imperial Japanese Navy - MYOKO class Heavy Cruiser
Myôkô was the name-ship of the four-member Myôkô class of heavy cruisers of the Imperial Japanese Navy — the other ships of the class
being the Nachi, Ashigara, and Haguro.
Myôkô was laid down at the Yokosuka Naval Arsenal on October 25, 1924, launched and named on April 16, 1927, and was commissioned
into the Imperial Japanese Navy on July 31, 1929. She was named after a mountain in Niigata Prefecture.
The ships of this class displaced 13,300 tons, were 204 metres long, and were capable of 36 knots (67 km/h). They carried two floatplanes and
their main armament was ten 8-inch (203mm) guns in five twin turrets. At the time they were built, this was the heaviest armament of any cruiser class in the world.
The Myoko class heavy cruisers were approved as part of the Japanese naval programme for 1922 to 1929 and were the first designed after the
signing of the Washington Naval Treaty. As a result, these cruisers were the first built under the limitations imposed by the treaty. In all, four
cruisers were laid down, the Myoko, Nachi, Haguro, and the Ashigara. The cruisers sported a triple hull and an arched longitudinal bulkhead for
underwater protection and had thicker armor than their predecessors, the Aoba class.
Like many ships of the Imperial Navy, the Myoko class underwent several major modifications. The most extreme occurred in the mid 1930's,
when their small 4.7in guns were replaced with 5 inchers. More armaments were added, such as AA guns and rotating TT mounts. A second
modification occurred in the year before Pearl Harbor with the AA guns being increased and the ship's bridge and structure modified to provide
None of the four cruisers escaped unscathed from the war. The Myoko was severely damaged at the Battle of Leyte Gulf by torpedo fire and
later was scuttled after the war. The Nachi was sunk in Manila Bay after being attacked by American aircraft. The Ashigara was sunk by the HM Trenchant near the Banka Strait.
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