Thonburi-class coastal defence ship

Last updated
HTMS Thonburi in Yokohama.jpg
HTMS Thonburi
Class overview
Builders: Kawasaki
Operators:Naval Ensign of Thailand.svg  Royal Thai Navy
Preceded by: Ratanakosidra class
Built: 1936–1938
In commission: 1938-1951
Completed: 2
Lost: 2
General characteristics [1]
Type: Coastal defence ship
Displacement: 2,265 long tons (2,301  t)
Length: 76.50 m (251 ft 0 in)
Beam: 14.43 m (47 ft 4 in)
Draught: 4.17 m (13 ft 8 in)
Propulsion:
  • MAN diesels, 2 shafts
  • 3,900 kW (5,200 bhp)
Speed: 15.5  kn (17.8 mph; 28.7 km/h)
Complement: 155
Armament:
Armour:
  • Belt: 2 12 in (64 mm)
  • Turrets:4 in (100 mm)
  • Barbettes:4 in
  • Decks:1 12–1 in (38–25 mm)

The Thonburi class was a class of coastal defence ships of the Royal Thai Navy. It consisted of two ships built by Kawasaki and delivered in 1938, HTMS Thonburi and HTMS Sri Ayudhya.

Ship class group of ships of a similar design

A ship class is a group of ships of a similar design. This is distinct from a ship type, which might reflect a similarity of tonnage or intended use. For example, USS Carl Vinson is a nuclear aircraft carrier of the Nimitz class.

Coastal defence ship

Coastal defence ships were warships built for the purpose of coastal defence, mostly during the period from 1860 to 1920. They were small, often cruiser-sized warships that sacrificed speed and range for armour and armament. They were usually attractive to nations that either could not afford full-sized battleships or could be satisfied by specially designed shallow-draft vessels capable of littoral operations close to their own shores. The Nordic countries and Thailand found them particularly appropriate for their island-dotted coastal waters. Some vessels had limited blue-water capabilities; others operated in rivers.

Royal Thai Navy naval warfare branch of Thailands military

The Royal Thai Navy or RTN is the naval force of Thailand and part of the Royal Thai Armed Forces. It was established in the late-19th century. Similar to the organisational structure of the United States, the Royal Thai Navy includes the naval fleet and the Royal Thai Marine Corps. The Royal Thai Navy operates out of Sattahip Naval Base in Sattahip Bay. Thailand is the only Southeast Asian country that operates an aircraft carrier, though it is used as a pure helicopter carrier with the retirement of its Harrier fighter wing. Thailand was the second Asian nation to acquire submarines, following Japan, but has had no submarines since 1950.

Contents

Design

Thonburi and her sister ship, Sri Ayudhya, were designed following the incorporation of the earlier Rattanakosindra-class gunboats into the Siamese Navy in the 1920s. The Ratanakosindra class were British-built ships which featured six-inch guns in two turrets and light armor. Under Plaek Pibulsonggram's command, the Siamese Navy began a series of modernization efforts. Priorities for the navy consisted of protecting the extensive Thai coastline, and coastal gunboats were viewed as the best resource. Several foreign firms from European countries offered a variety of designs, but in the end the Japanese company Kawasaki won the tender.

HTMS <i>Thonburi</i>

HTMS Thonburi, also known as Dhonburi, was a coastal defence ship of the Royal Thai Navy.

Sister ship

A sister ship is a ship of the same class or of virtually identical design to another ship. Such vessels share a nearly identical hull and superstructure layout, similar size, and roughly comparable features and equipment. They often share a common naming theme, either being named after the same type of thing or with some kind of alliteration. Often, sisters become more differentiated during their service as their equipment are separately altered.

HTMS <i>Sri Ayudhya</i>

HTMS Sri Ayudhya was a coastal defence ship of the Royal Thai Navy. It was in service from 1938 to 1951, being active during the Franco-Thai war in which its sister ship HTMS Thonburi was heavily damaged in the Battle of Ko Chang. Sri Ayudhya later served as flagship of the navy until it was sunk as a result of fighting in the Manhattan Rebellion.

The new vessels were basically larger versions of the earlier Ratanakosindra ships. The ships were laid down at Kawasaki's facilities in 1936, and the first, Sri Ayuthia, was launched on 21 July 1937. The resulting "battleships," as they were referred to in Siam at the time, displaced 2,265 tons, featured increased armor protection (protecting machinery and gun turrets), and were powered by twin diesels produced by MAN of Germany.

MAN SE German mechanical engineering company

MAN SE, formerly MAN AG, is a German mechanical engineering company and parent company of the MAN Group. It is a subsidiary of automaker Volkswagen AG. MAN SE is based in Munich. Its primary output is for the automotive industry, particularly heavy trucks. Further activities include the production of diesel engines for various applications, like marine propulsion, and also turbomachinery.

Armament

Armament consisted of four 8-inch (203 mm)/50 calibre guns mounted in pairs in two turrets. The Japanese 8-inch rifles were of the same type as mounted in early Imperial Japanese Navy heavy cruisers and the aircraft carriers Akagi and Kaga. The main armament had a maximum range of 24,000 metres (26,000 yd) at 25 degrees of elevation. A tower above the bridge featured a gun director for aiming the main guns. Additional armament consisted of four 3-inch and four 40-mm guns.

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.

Japanese aircraft carrier <i>Akagi</i> aircraft carrier of the Imperial Japanese Navy

Akagi was an aircraft carrier built for the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN), named after Mount Akagi in present-day Gunma Prefecture. Though she was laid down as an Amagi-class battlecruiser, Akagi was converted to an aircraft carrier while still under construction to comply with the terms of the Washington Naval Treaty. The ship was rebuilt from 1935 to 1938 with her original three flight decks consolidated into a single enlarged flight deck and an island superstructure. The second Japanese aircraft carrier to enter service, and the first large or "fleet" carrier, Akagi and the related Kaga figured prominently in the development of the IJN's new carrier striking force doctrine that grouped carriers together, concentrating their air power. This doctrine enabled Japan to attain its strategic goals during the early stages of the Pacific War from December 1941 until mid-1942.

Japanese aircraft carrier <i>Kaga</i> Tosa-class battleship converted to an aircraft carrier

Kaga (加賀) was an aircraft carrier built for the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) and was named after the former Kaga Province in present-day Ishikawa Prefecture. Originally intended to be one of two Tosa-class battleships, Kaga was converted under the terms of the Washington Naval Treaty to an aircraft carrier as the replacement for the battlecruiser Amagi, which had been damaged during the 1923 Great Kantō earthquake. Kaga was rebuilt in 1933–35, increasing her top speed, improving her exhaust systems, and adapting her flight decks to more modern, heavier aircraft.

Public opinion

The new ships were enthusiastically received by the Siamese Navy. Purchasing further vessels of the type was considered by the government, but ultimately it was decided to purchase two Italian-built cruisers in 1938. Both ships were seized by Italy in 1941 before construction had finished, leaving Thonburi and her sister ship as the most powerful combatants in Siamese service.

History

Ships in class

Ship nameCommissionedDecommissionedStruckFate
Thonburi 31 January 193826 September 194119 June 1959Severly damaged in the Battle of Koh Chang, 17 January 1941; Refitted and became training ship until being struck.
Sri Ayudhya 19 July 1938n/a8 October 1959Sunk during the Manhattan Rebellion, 1 July 1951.

Related Research Articles

<i>Pennsylvania</i>-class cruiser armored cruiser class

The Pennsylvania class of six armored cruisers served in the United States Navy from 1905 to 1927. All six were renamed for cities 1912–1920, to make the state names available for the new Pennsylvania class battleships. All of them served during World War I, with California being the only ship of the class to be lost. The remaining five armored cruisers were scrapped between 1930 and 1931 in accordance with the London Naval Treaty.

Japanese battleship <i>Aki</i> Satsuma-class battleship

Aki (安芸) was a Satsuma-class semi-dreadnought battleship built for the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) during the first decade of the 20th century. She was the second battleship built domestically in Japan and the first to use steam turbines for propulsion. The ship was named for Aki Province, now a part of Hiroshima Prefecture. The ship saw no combat during World War I. Aki was disarmed in 1922 and sunk as a target in 1924 in accordance with the terms of the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922.

Torpedo gunboat

In late 19th-century naval terminology, torpedo gunboats were a form of gunboat armed with torpedoes and designed for hunting and destroying smaller torpedo boats. By the end of the 1890s torpedo gunboats were superseded by their more successful contemporaries, the torpedo boat destroyers.

<i>Tordenskjold</i>-class coastal defence ship

The Tordenskjold class of coastal defence ships was ordered by Norway as part as the general rearmament in the time leading up to the events in 1905 - when Norway broke out of the union with Sweden - the two ships in the class remained the backbone of the Royal Norwegian Navy until they were considered 'unfit for war' in the mid-1930s.

Battle of Ko Chang battle

The Battle of Ko Chang took place on 17 January 1941 during the Franco-Thai War in which a flotilla of French warships attacked a smaller force of Thai vessels, including a coastal defence ship. The battle resulted in a tactical victory by the French Navy over the Royal Thai Navy although the strategic result is disputed. The Japanese intervened diplomatically and mediated a ceasefire.

<i>Kasuga</i>-class cruiser class of Japanese armored cruisers

The Kasuga-class cruiser was a class of two armored cruisers of the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) based on the Giuseppe Garibaldi-class cruisers developed by Italy at the end of the 19th century.

Japanese cruiser <i>Tsukuba</i> ship

Tsukuba (筑波) was the lead ship of the two-ship Tsukuba class of armoured cruisers in the Imperial Japanese Navy. She was named after Mount Tsukuba located in Ibaraki prefecture north of Tokyo. On 28 August 1912, Tsukuba was re-classified as a battlecruiser.

Design B-65 cruiser

Design B-65 was a class of Super Type A cruisers planned by the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) before and during World War II. As envisioned by the IJN, the cruisers were to play a key role in the Night Battle Force portion of the "Decisive battle" strategy which Japan hoped, in the event of war, to employ against the United States Navy.

Chinese cruiser <i>Jingyuan</i> (1887) armored cruiser in the late Qing dynasty Beiyang Fleet

Jingyuan was an armored cruiser in the late Qing Dynasty Beiyang Fleet. Her sister ship was Laiyuan.

Chinese cruiser <i>Laiyuan</i>

Laiyuan, also known as Lai Yuen, was an armored cruiser in the late Qing Dynasty Beiyang Fleet. Its sister ship was Jingyuan.

<i>St. Louis</i>-class cruiser (1905) ship class

The St. Louis-class cruisers were a class of three cruisers that served in the United States Navy at the beginning of the 20th century. Authorized in fiscal year 1901 by an Act of Congress of 7 June 1900 as part of the naval buildup touched off by the Spanish–American War, the St. Louis-class cruiser initially began as an improved Olympia. However, during the design phase, decisions were made that increased the size of the vessel from 6,000 long tons (6,100 t) to 9,700 long tons (9,900 t), including adding protection that resulted in the designation "semi-armored cruiser". This led to a larger power plant, and other decisions were made to try to increase speed and range, such as using smaller 6-inch (152 mm) guns instead of 8-inch (203 mm) guns, and adding coal capacity. The completed ship at 9,700 long tons was the same displacement as a full armored cruiser without the same armor. One reference describes the class as "among the earliest well-documented examples of creeping growth in warship design".

ARA <i>San Martín</i>

ARA San Martín was one of four Giuseppe Garibaldi-class armored cruisers purchased by the Argentine Navy from Italy.

<i>Montgomery</i>-class cruiser

The Montgomery-class cruisers were three unprotected cruisers built for the United States Navy in the early 1890s. They had a thin water-tight protective deck, and also relied for protection upon their coal bunkers, cellulose packing, and numerous compartments. Roomy accommodations were provided for officers and crew, these cruisers being mainly intended for long cruises on distant stations.

Torpedo cruiser

A torpedo cruiser is a type of warship that is armed primarily with torpedoes. The major navies began building torpedo cruisers shortly after the invention of the locomotive Whitehead torpedo in the 1860s. The development of the torpedo gave rise to the Jeune École doctrine, which held that small warships armed with torpedoes could effectively and cheaply defeat much larger battleships. Torpedo cruisers fell out of favor in most of the great power navies in the 1890s, though many other navies continued to acquire them into the early 1900s.

EOC 8 inch 45 caliber

The EOC 8 inch 45 caliber were a family of related 8-inch (203 mm) 45 caliber naval guns designed by the Elswick Ordnance Company and manufactured by Armstrong for export customers before World War I. In addition to being produced in the United Kingdom licensed variants were produced in Italy and in Japan. Users of this family of gun included the navies of Argentina, Chile, China, Italy, Japan and Spain. This family of guns saw action in the Spanish–American War, Boxer Rebellion, Russo-Japanese War, Italo-Turkish War, World War I and World War II. In addition to its naval role it was later used as coastal artillery and siege artillery after the ships it served on were decommissioned.

120mm 45 caliber Pattern 1892

The 120mm 45 caliber Pattern 1892 was a Russian naval gun developed in the years before the Russo-Japanese War that armed a variety of warships of the Imperial Russian Navy during the Russo-Japanese War and World War I. Guns salvaged from scrapped ships found a second life on river gunboats of the Soviet Navy during the Russian Civil War and as coastal artillery and railway artillery during World War II. It was estimated that in 1941 there were 35 still in service.

203mm 45 caliber Pattern 1892

The 203mm 45 caliber Pattern 1892 was a Russian naval gun developed in the years before the Russo-Japanese War that armed a variety of warships of the Imperial Russian Navy during the Russo-Japanese War and World War I. Guns salvaged from scrapped ships found a second life as coastal artillery. It is believed none were in service during World War II.

References

Notes

  1. Gardiner and Chesneau 1980, p. 410.

References

International Standard Book Number Unique numeric book identifier

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric commercial book identifier which is intended to be unique. Publishers purchase ISBNs from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency.