Japanese battleship Hatsuse

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Japanese battleship Hatsuse.jpg
Hatsuse at anchor
History
Naval Ensign of Japan.svg Japan
Name:Hatsuse
Ordered: 1897
Builder: Armstrong Whitworth, Elswick
Yard number: 680
Laid down: 10 January 1898
Launched: 27 June 1899
Completed: 18 January 1901
Fate: Sank 15 May 1904 after striking a mine
General characteristics
Class and type: Shikishima-class pre-dreadnought battleship
Displacement: 14,850 long tons (15,090 t) (normal)
Length: 438 ft (133.5 m)
Beam: 76 ft 9 in (23.4 m)
Draught: 27 ft (8.2 m)
Installed power:
Propulsion: 2 shafts, 2 triple-expansion steam engines
Speed: 18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph)
Range: 5,000  nmi (9,300 km; 5,800 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph)
Complement: 849 (as flagship)
Armament:
Armour:

Hatsuse(初瀬,Hatsuse) was a Shikishima-class pre-dreadnought battleship built for the Imperial Japanese Navy by the British firm of Armstrong Whitworth in the late 1890s. The ship participated in the early stages of the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–1905, including the Battle of Port Arthur on the second day of the war. She was involved in the subsequent operations until she struck two mines off Port Arthur in May 1904. The second mine detonated one of her magazines and Hatsuse sank almost immediately afterwards with the loss of over half her crew.

<i>Shikishima</i>-class battleship battleship class

The Shikishima class was a two-ship class of pre-dreadnought battleships built for the Imperial Japanese Navy in the late 1890s. As Japan lacked the industrial capacity to build such warships herself, they were designed and built in the UK. The ships participated in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–1905, including the Battle of Port Arthur on the second day of the war. Hatsuse sank after striking two mines off Port Arthur in May 1904. Shikishima fought in the Battles of the Yellow Sea and Tsushima and was lightly damaged in the latter action, although shells prematurely exploded in the barrels of her main guns in each battle. The ship was reclassified as a coast defence ship in 1921 and served as a training ship for the rest of her career. She was disarmed and hulked in 1923 and finally broken up for scrap in 1948.

Battleship large armored warship with a main battery consisting of heavy caliber guns

A battleship is a large armored warship with a main battery consisting of large caliber guns. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries the battleship was the most powerful type of warship, and a fleet of battleships was considered vital for any nation that desired to maintain command of the sea.

Imperial Japanese Navy Naval branch of the Empire of Japan

The Imperial Japanese Navy was the navy of the Empire of Japan from 1868 until 1945, when it was dissolved following Japan's surrender in World War II. The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) was formed after the dissolution of the IJN.

Contents

Description

Hatsuse was 438 feet (133.5 m) long overall and had a beam of 76 feet 9 inches (23.4 m). She had a full-load draught of 27 feet (8.2 m) and normally displaced 14,850 long ton s (15,090 t) and had a crew of 849 officers and enlisted men when serving as a flagship. The ship was powered by two Humphrys Tennant vertical triple-expansion steam engines using steam generated by 25 Belleville boilers. The engines were rated at 14,500 indicated horsepower (10,800 kW), using forced draught, and were designed to reach a top speed of around 18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph). Hatsuse, however, reached a top speed of 19.11 knots (35.39 km/h; 21.99 mph) from 16,117 indicated horsepower (12,018 kW) on her sea trials. She carried a maximum of 1,643 long tons (1,669 t) of coal [1] which allowed her to steam for 4,000 nautical mile s (7,400 km; 4,600 mi) at a speed of 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph). [2]

Length overall maximum length of a vessels hull measured parallel to the waterline

Length overall is the maximum length of a vessel's hull measured parallel to the waterline. This length is important while docking the ship. It is the most commonly used way of expressing the size of a ship, and is also used for calculating the cost of a marina berth.

Beam (nautical) width of a ship at its widest point measured at its nominal waterline

The beam of a ship is its width at the widest point as measured at the ship's nominal waterline. The beam is a bearing projected at right-angles from the fore and aft line, outwards from the widest part of ship. Beam may also be used to define the maximum width of a ship's hull, or maximum width including superstructure overhangs.

Draft (hull) the vertical distance between the waterline and the bottom of the hull (keel)

The draft or draught of a ship's hull is the vertical distance between the waterline and the bottom of the hull (keel), with the thickness of the hull included; in the case of not being included the draft outline would be obtained. Draft determines the minimum depth of water a ship or boat can safely navigate. The draft can also be used to determine the weight of the cargo on board by calculating the total displacement of water and then using Archimedes' principle. A table made by the shipyard shows the water displacement for each draft. The density of the water and the content of the ship's bunkers has to be taken into account. The closely related term "trim" is defined as the difference between the forward and aft drafts.

The ship's main battery consisted of four 12-inch (305 mm) guns mounted in two twin gun turrets, one forward and one aft. The secondary battery consisted of fourteen 6-inch (152 mm) quick-firing guns, mounted in casemates on the sides of the hull and in the superstructure. [3] A number of smaller guns were carried for defence against torpedo boats. These included 20 QF 12-pounder 12 cwt [Note 1] guns, eight 47-millimetre (1.9 in) 3-pounder guns and ten 37-millimetre (1.5 in) 2.5-pounder Hotchkiss guns. She was also armed with four submerged 18-inch torpedo tubes. Hatsuse's waterline armour belt consisted of Harvey armour and was 4–9 inches (102–229 mm) thick. The armour of her gun turrets had a maximum thickness of 10 in (254 mm) and her deck ranged from 2.5 to 4 inches (64 to 102 mm) in thickness. [1]

Main battery

A main battery is the primary weapon or group of weapons around which a warship is designed. As such, a main battery was historically a gun or group of guns, as in the broadsides of cannon on a ship of the line. Later, this came to be turreted groups of similar large-caliber naval rifles. With the evolution of technology the term has come to encompass guided missiles as a vessel's principal offensive weapon, deployed both on surface ships and submarines.

Gun turret protective weapon mount or firing position

A gun turret is a location from which weapons can be fired that affords protection, visibility, and some cone of fire. A modern gun turret is generally a weapon mount that houses the crew or mechanism of a projectile-firing weapon and at the same time lets the weapon be aimed and fired in some degree of azimuth and elevation.

A quick-firing gun is an artillery piece, typically a gun or howitzer, which has several characteristics which taken together mean the weapon can fire at a fast rate. Quick-firing was introduced worldwide in the 1880s and 1890s and had a marked impact on war both on land and at sea.

Construction and career

Hatsuse's hull under construction three months after her keel was laid Hatsuse hull under construction 1901.JPG
Hatsuse's hull under construction three months after her keel was laid
Hatsuse ready to be launched Hatsuse ready to launch.JPG
Hatsuse ready to be launched

Hatsuse, named after the Hase-dera temple, which was famous for its maple trees, [4] was ordered as part of the 10 Year Naval Expansion Programme and paid for from the £30,000,000 indemnity paid by China after losing the Sino-Japanese War of 1894–1895. The ship was laid down by Armstrong Whitworth at their Elswick shipyard on 10 January 1898. She was launched on 27 June 1899 [5] and completed on 18 January 1901. [6] Before sailing to Japan, she represented the Meiji Emperor at Queen Victoria's funeral. [7]

Hase-dera Buddhist temple in Nara Prefecture, Japan

Hase-dera (長谷寺) is the main temple of the Buzan sect of Shingon Buddhism. The temple is located in Sakurai, Nara Prefecture, Japan. The Main Hall is a National Treasure of Japan.

Indemnity Expenses that are made to compensate for disadvantages suffered or restrictions

Indemnity is a contractual obligation of one party (indemnifier) to compensate the loss occurred to the other party due to the act of the indemnitor or any other party. The duty to indemnify is usually, but not always, coextensive with the contractual duty to "hold harmless" or "save harmless". In contrast, a guarantee is an obligation of one party assuring the other party that guarantor will perform the promise of the third party if it defaults.

Keel Lower centreline structural element of a ship or boat hull

On boats and ships, the keel is either of two parts: a structural element that sometimes resembles a fin and protrudes below a boat along the central line, or a hydrodynamic element. These parts overlap. As the laying down of the keel is the initial step in the construction of a ship, in British and American shipbuilding traditions the construction is dated from this event. Only the ship's launching is considered more significant in its creation.

At the start of the Russo-Japanese War, Hatsuse, commanded by Captain Yu Nakao, was assigned to the 1st Division of the 1st Fleet. She participated in the Battle of Port Arthur on 9 February 1904 when Admiral Tōgō Heihachirō led the 1st Fleet in an attack on the Russian ships of the Pacific Squadron anchored just outside Port Arthur. Tōgō had expected his surprise night attack on the Russians by his destroyers to be much more successful than it actually was and anticipated that they would be badly disorganized and weakened, but the Russians had recovered from their surprise and were ready for his attack. The Japanese ships were spotted by the cruiser Boyarin which was patrolling offshore and alerted the Russian defences. Tōgō chose to attack the Russian coastal defences with his main armament and engage the Russian ships with his secondary guns. Splitting his fire proved to be a bad idea as the Japanese 8-inch (203 mm) and six-inch guns inflicted little damage of significance on the Russian ships who concentrated all their fire on the Japanese ships with some effect. Although a large number of ships on both sides were hit, Russian casualties numbered only 17 while the Japanese suffered 60 killed and wounded before Tōgō disengaged. Hatsuse was hit twice during the battle, losing seven crewmen killed and seventeen wounded. [8]

Captain (naval) Naval military rank

Captain is the name most often given in English-speaking navies to the rank corresponding to command of the largest ships. The rank is equal to the army rank of colonel.

The IJN 1st Fleet was the main battleship fleet of the Imperial Japanese Navy.

Tōgō Heihachirō Japanese admiral

Marshal-Admiral The Marquis Tōgō Heihachirō, OM, GCVO, was a gensui or admiral of the fleet in the Imperial Japanese Navy and one of Japan's greatest naval heroes. As Commander-in-Chief of the Combined Fleet during the Russo-Japanese War he successfully confined the Russian Pacific Fleet to Port Arthur before winning a decisive victory over a relieving fleet at Tsushima. Tōgō was termed by Western journalists as "the Nelson of the East".

Hatsuse participated in the action of 13 April when Tōgō successfully lured out a portion of the Pacific Squadron, including Vice Admiral Stepan Makarov's flagship, the battleship Petropavlovsk. When Makarov spotted the five battleships of the 1st Division, he turned back for Port Arthur and Petropavlovsk struck a minefield laid by the Japanese the previous night. The Russian battleship sank in less than two minutes after one of her magazines exploded, Makarov one of the 677 killed. Emboldened by his success, Tōgō resumed long-range bombardment missions, which prompted the Russians to lay more minefields. [9]

Stepan Makarov Russian admiral

Stepan Osipovich Makarov was a Russian vice-admiral, a highly accomplished and decorated commander of the Imperial Russian Navy, an oceanographer, awarded by the Russian Academy of Sciences, and author of several books. Makarov also designed a small number of ships. The town of Shiritoru on Sakhalin island was renamed Makarov in 1946 in his honor.

Flagship vessel used by the commanding officer of a group of naval ships

A flagship is a vessel used by the commanding officer of a group of naval ships, characteristically a flag officer entitled by custom to fly a distinguishing flag. Used more loosely, it is the lead ship in a fleet of vessels, typically the first, largest, fastest, most heavily armed, or best known.

Magazine (artillery) Place of storage for ammunition or other explosive material

Magazine is the name for an item or place within which ammunition or other explosive material is stored. It is taken originally from the Arabic word "makhāzin" (مخازن), meaning storehouses, via Italian and Middle French.

On 14 May 1904, Admiral Nashiba put to sea with the battleships Hatsuse (flag), Shikishima, and Yashima, the protected cruiser Kasagi, and the dispatch boat Tatsuta to relieve the Japanese blockading force off Port Arthur. [10] On the following morning, the squadron encountered a minefield laid by the Russian minelayer Amur. Hatsuse struck one mine that disabled her steering at 10:50 a.m. and Yashima struck another when moving to assist Hatsuse. At 12:33 pm, Hatsuse drifted onto another mine that detonated one of her magazines, [11] killing 496 of her crew, [12] and sinking the ship at 38°37′N121°20′E / 38.617°N 121.333°E / 38.617; 121.333 Coordinates: 38°37′N121°20′E / 38.617°N 121.333°E / 38.617; 121.333 . [6] Tatsuta and Kasagi managed to save the Admiral and Captain Nakao with 334 other officers and enlisted men. Yashima's flooding could not be controlled and she foundered about eight hours later, after her crew had abandoned ship. [13]

Notes

  1. "Cwt" is the abbreviation for hundredweight, 20 cwt referring to the weight of the gun.

Footnotes

  1. 1 2 Brook 1999, p. 125
  2. Jentschura, Jung & Mickel, p. 17
  3. Chesneau & Kolesnik, p. 221
  4. Jane, p. 399
  5. Brook 1985, p. 274
  6. 1 2 Jentschura, Jung & Mickel, p. 18
  7. Brook 1999, p. 127
  8. Forczyk, pp. 41–44
  9. Forczyk, pp. 45–46
  10. Warner & Warner, p. 279
  11. Brook 1999, p. 124
  12. Forczyk, p. 46
  13. Forczyk, pp. 46–47

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References