Japanese battleship Ise

Japanese battleship Ise

nihongo|"Ise"|伊勢 (戦艦)|Ise (senkan), was the lead ship of the two-vessel "Ise" class battleship of the Imperial Japanese Navy, which saw combat service during the Pacific War. "Ise" was named after Ise Province, one of the traditional provinces of Japan, now part of Mie Prefecture.

Operational History

Early history

Originally planned to be the third "Fusō"-class battleship, experience gained in the construction of the "Fusō"-class revealed a number of design issues, including weak armament and protection, which forced a redesign and new classification.

"Ise" was laid down at the Kawasaki Heavy Industries shipyard in Kobe on 1915-05-05, launched on 1916-11-12, and completed on 1917-12-01 and assigned to the Kure Naval District.

Completed too late for service in World War I, in the early 1920s, "Ise" participated in numerous patrols off the Siberia coast and in northern waters in support of Japan's Siberian Intervention against the Bolshevik Red Army.

On 1922-04-12, while at Yokohama, "Ise" hosted a delegation which included the Prince of Wales (future King Edward VIII), who was accompanied by his second cousin, the future Lord Mountbatten. From the mid-1920s through the late 1930s, "Ise" patrolled mostly off of the China coast.

From 1928-1929, "Ise" was rebuilt at the Kure Naval Arsenal, with its foremast increased in height in the distinctive "pagoda" style similar to "Haruna". The fore funnel was fitted with a curved smoke cap, and a flying off platform for Yokosuka E1Y2 Type 14 floatplanes was fitted atop No. 5 main turret. Later, from 1930-1931, additional searchlights and a derrick was installed at the stern for handling floatplanes.

However, a more complete upgrade occurred from 1931-11-20 to 1932-02-10 at Kure Naval Arsenal, which involved shortening the mainmast top section, replacing all the 3-in/40 AA guns with eight Type 89 127-mm/40 AA guns (4 x 2), and adding four Vickers Type 40 mm AT/AA Guns (2 x 2). The shielded 140-mm/50 secondary guns from the forecastle deck were removed and a catapult and aircraft handling crane were fitted to the fantail. On 1933-05-14, a second catapult and three Type 90 seaplanes were added.

From 1935-08-01, "Ise" was drydocked at Kure Naval Arsenal and underwent an extensive reconstruction and modernization. The 24 mixed-fired boilers were replaced by eight new Kampon oil-fired boilers and new Kampon geared turbines were fitted. Maximum speed increased to 25.4 knots (25.21 knots was reached during trials). The fore funnel was removed and stern lengthened by 25 feet. Anti-torpedo bulges were added and her six submerged torpedo tubes were removed. The elevation of Ise's main battery (with the exception of the aftermost turret No. 6) was increased to 43 degrees. Two forward 5.5-in casemate guns were removed. The elevation of secondary guns was increased from 20 degrees to 30 degrees and range increased to 19,100 meters (from 15,800 meters). Four 40mm Vickers AA guns were replaced by ten Type 96 twin 25 mm AA guns. The aircraft catapult was replaced by a Kure Type No. 2 Mod. 5 catapult and the aircraft handling deck was extended. Reconstruction was completed by 1937-03-27.

tart of the Pacific War

Despite these efforts at modernization and upgrading, "Ise" was still considered obsolete by the start of the Pacific War due to her relatively slow speed, large crew, and high fuel consumption, and never saw combat as a battleship. "Ise" participated in the attack on Pearl Harbor (albeit on a sortie from Hashirajima as far as the Bonin Islands and pursued but did not catch the American carrier force that had launched the Doolittle Raid on 1942-04-18.

In May, "Ise" had an accident which flooded her No.2 engine room. During repair work, "Ise" was fitting with one of the first experimental model Type 21 radar sets in the Japanese navy.


To partially compensate for the loss of carrier strength at the Battle of Midway, Navy Aircraft Department began plans to convert the "Ise"-class battleships to full-sized aircraft carriers each carrying 54 planes. This concept was abandoned due to lack of time and resources and a hybrid battleship/carrier concept was adopted. "Ise" was dry-docked, and her aft No.5 and No.6 main turrets were removed and replaced by a hangar surmounted by a 70 meter long flight deck and a "T"-shaped aircraft elevator. This was long enough to permit the launch of aircraft, but not their recovery. Plans called for the new hangar to carry nine planes inside, with 11 on deck and two on each catapult; however it was later realized that a single faulty aircraft engine could ruin the whole concept. To prevent jams, the deck was fitted with two rails, 12 turntables, trolleys and tie-downs. Two 25-meter Model 11 catapults were installed on tall supports on the port and starboard sides forward of the flight deck. A collapsible derrick crane was fitted port abaft. The new deck was covered with 200-mm of concrete to compensate for the unbalanced condition created after removal of the aft armament. A one-meter thick layer of concrete was also poured around the main steering and reserve steering rooms and a 150-mm horizontal armor cover was added.Anti-aircraft weapons were improved to better fight off aerial attack. The eight single 127-mm DP guns were replaced with eight twin-mounts. The Type 96 25-mm AA guns were increased from twenty to 57 (including 19 triple-mounts). Type 21 air-search radar and two Type 22 surface search radars were also installed.As modified, "Ise" could carry 22 aircraft. The operational concept envisioned "Ise" accompanying the Carrier Strike Force, and launching its 11 Yokosuka D4Y2 "Suisei" ("Judy") dive-bombers and 11 Aichi E16A "Zuiun" ("Paul") seaplanes that are capable of diving attacks to add another 44 bombers to the Strike Force. The "Suisei" had to land either on a conventional carrier or on land bases whereas the E16A could be hoisted back on board after landing near the ship by using a crane. "Ise"'s final aircraft allowance called for 14 E16A and eight D4Y2.The rebuild was officially completed on 1943-10-08; however, as training with the new pilots was not completed by autumn 1944, "Ise" was never used in its new configuration in an operational mission. It aircraft were offloaded to land bases, and "Ise" continued to be used as a pure battleship in the cover force.

"Ise" made a sortie to Truk in October 1943, conveying a detachment of the IJA 52 Division and supplies.

In a refit in Kure in May 1944, 47 additional Type 96 25 mm AA guns (12 triple, 11 single mount) were added, bringing the total to 104 barrels. Two Type 2 IFF units were also installed. In July, two Type 13 air search radar and an E27 Radar detector were installed. From the end of September 1944, six racks of 30-tube, 127-mm anti-aircraft rocket launchers were added. The rockets had multiple incendiary shrapnel charges and a timed fuse.

Battle of Leyte Gulf and afterwards

"Ise" was slightly damaged in the Battle off Cape Engaño, during which "Ise's" gunners shot down five of the ten attacking dive bombers, suffering from one small hit on the No.2 turret. "Ise's" anti-aircraft cover was ineffectual, and by the end of the battle, USN aircraft had sunk the Japanese aircraft carriers "Zuikaku", "Zuiho", and "Chitose" and the destroyer "Akizuki". Towards the end of the battle, in the fourth attack, "Ise" was attacked by 85 dive bombers. After 34 near misses, "Ise's" hull plates near the waterline ruptured and port boiler rooms were damaged; a bomb damaged the port catapult, and some five crewmen were killed, with 71 wounded.

After returning to Japan, from 29 October, the aft catapults were removed to improve the firing arcs of the No.3 and No.4 turrets.

"Ise" was dispatched south to Lingga and Singapore in early 1945 for Operation Kita. On the approach to Singapore, "Ise" was slightly damaged by a naval mine. In Operation Kita, "Ise", her sister ship "Hyuga", and cruiser "Oyodo" were loaded with critically needed strategic war supplies (oil, rubber, tin, zinc, and mercury) and evacuate 1150 oil field personnel back to Japan. "Ise" arrived back safely in Moji on 1945-02-19, having evaded or escaped pursuit by 23 Allied submarines along the way.

Final role

From 1945-02-25 until the surrender of Japan, "Ise" remained docked at Kure, without fuel or aircraft, and repainted in a camouflage olive green with splotches. The camouflage was not effective against USN Task Force 58 carrier-based aircraft on 1945-03-19, when more than 240 aircraft attacked Kure and "Ise" was hit by two bombs. Re-designated as a 4th class reserve ship on 20 April, "Ise" was towed to Ondo Seto (between Kure and Kurahashijima) to serve as a floating anti-aircraft battery. She was attacked again on 24 July by 60 aircraft from the USS "Ranger", whose bombs hit the starboard bow flight deck, main deck, No.3 turret and bridge, killing Captain Mutaguchi, other bridge officers and around 50 crewmen. On 28 July, in another attack "Ise" was struck by five 1000-lbs bombed dropped by F4U Corsairs from the USS "Hancock", and eleven more bombs dropped by other aircraft from TF-58. "Ise" listed starboard and sank in shallow water at coord|34|15|N|132|31|E. She was removed from the Navy list on 1945-11-20.

"Ise's" underwater hulk section was for some time left where it was and she was scrapped without being raised by the Kure Dockyard of the Harima Zosen Yard at 1946-10-09 - 1947-07-04.


Commanding Officers

* Chief Equipping Officer - Capt. Saburo Hyakutake - 1 September 1916 - 1 December 1916
* Chief Equipping Officer - Capt. Yoshima Akizawa - 1 December 1916 - 15 December 1917
* Capt. Yoshima Akizawa - 15 December 1917 - 1 December 1918
* Capt. Shozo Kuwashima - 1 December 1918 - 20 November 1919
* Capt. Hiroshi Furukawa - 20 November 1919 - 20 November 1920
* Capt. Hisashi Yokoo - 20 November 1920 - 1 December 1921
* Capt. Naotaro Nagasawa - 1 December 1921 - 1 December 1922
* Capt. Norikazu Kanna - 1 December 1922 - 1 December 1923
* Capt. Heizaburo Fukuyo - 1 December 1923 - 1 December 1924
* Capt. Kenikichi Wada - 1 December 1924 - 22 August 1925
* Capt. Sueki Yonemura - 22 August 1925 - 1 December 1925
* Capt. Katsutaro Taoka - 1 December 1925 - 1 December 1926
* Capt. Togo Kawano - 1 December 1926 - 1 December 1927
* Capt. Michijiro Nambu - 1 December 1927 - 10 December 1928
* Capt. Kanekoto Iwamura - 10 December 1928 - 5 October 1929
* Capt. Keitaro Hara - 5 October 1929 - 1 December 1930
* Capt. Rokuro Hani - 1 December 1930 - 1 December 1931
* Capt. Mineichi Koga - 1 December 1931 - 1 December 1932
* Capt. Hiroyoshi Tabata - 1 December 1932 - 15 November 1933
* Capt. Koki Yamamoto - 15 November 1933 - 1 November 1934
* Capt. Mitsumi Shimizu - 1 November 1934 - 31 October 1935
* Capt. Gunpei Sekine - 31 October 1935 - 16 November 1936
* Capt. Sanjiro Takasu - 16 November 1936 - 1 December 1937
* Capt. Tamon Yamaguchi - 1 December 1937 - 15 November 1938
* Capt. Gisaburo Yamaguchi - 15 November 1938 - 15 November 1939
* Capt. Sentaro Omori - 15 November 1939 - 15 October 1940
* Capt. Gihachi Takayanagi - 15 October 1940 - 25 September 1941
* Capt. Isamu Takeda - 25 September 1941 - 25 April 1943
* Capt. / RADM Shinzaburo Hase - 25 April 1943 - 25 December 1943(Promoted to Rear Admiral on 1 November 1943.)
* Capt. / RADM Noboro Nakase - 25 December 1943 - 25 February 1945(Promoted to Rear Admiral on 15 October 1944.)
* Capt. / RADM* Kakuro Mutaguchi - 25 February 1945 - 24 July 1945 (KIA)(Posthumously promoted to Rear Admiral on 24 July 1945)
* No CO Assigned - 24 July 1945 - 28 July 1945


*cite book
last = Evans
first = David
year = 1979
title = Kaigun: Strategy, Tactics, and Technology in the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1887-1941
publisher = US Naval Institute Press
location =
id = ISBN 0870211927

*cite book
last = Howarth
first = Stephen
year = 1983
title = The Fighting Ships of the Rising Sun: The Drama of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1895-1945
publisher = Atheneum
location =
id = ISBN 0689114028

*cite book
last = Jentsura
first = Hansgeorg
year = 1976
title = Warships of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1869-1945
publisher = Naval Institute Press
location =
id = ISBN 087021893X

*cite book
last = Toland
first = John
authorlink =
year = 1970
title = The Rising Sun: The Decline and Fall of the Japanese Empire 1936-1945
publisher = Random House
location =
id = ISBN 0812968581

External links

* [http://www.maritimequest.com/warship_directory/japan/battleships/ise_page_1.htm Maritimequest.com: "Ise" photo gallery]
* [http://www.combinedfleet.com/Ise.htm Tabular record of movement]

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