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Notes: The MOGAMI class were a part of the 1931 Supplementary Program, designed as light cruisers (although they were larger than most foreign heavy cruisers). During trials, both MOGAMI and MIKUMA showed welding defects in their hulls, questionable stability, and distortions which prevented the turrets from being trained properly. Both were taken in for refits in 1936-1938. Additional strengthening of the hull and armor brought their displacement to 11,200 tons, but reduced their top speed to 35.9 knots. The 40mm AA guns were removed, and replaced with eight-25mm and 4-13mm AA guns. KUMANO and SUZUYA were completed to these specifications. In 1939-40, the class was "converted" to "true" heavy cruisers at Kure Navy Yard with twin 8" turrets replacing the triple 6.1" turrets, and more armor added, bringing their displacement to 12,400 tons and slightly reducing their top speed.
MIKUMA was commissioned into the 7th Cruiser Division in July, 1935, where she served with her three sister ships. Upon the beginning of hostilities in 1941, MIKUMA took part in many operations. CruDiv 7 was present at the Battle of the Sunda Strait on 28 February 1942. During this battle, the American heavy cruiser HOUSTON and the Australian light cruiser PERTH were sunk. HOUSTON scored several hits on MIKUMA, temporarily knocking out her electrical power, but it was quickly restored. Six of her crew were killed and eleven more were wounded.
In early June, 1942, CruDiv 7 was present at the Battle of Midway. On 5 June, while avoiding torpedoes fired by the American submarine TAMBOR, MIKUMA steered into the path of MOGAMI and the two ships collided, MOGAMI hitting MIKUMA on her port side just abaft the bridge. MOGAMI's bow was caved in, while MIKUMA had some oil tanks ruptured. The destroyers ARASHIO and ASASHIO were assigned to escort the damaged heavy cruisers, and they set course for Wake Island. On 6 June, the group was spotted and attacked by dive bombers from the American carriers ENTERPRISE and HORNET. In this attack, MIKUMA was hit by five bombs in the forecastle, bridge area and amidships and was set afire. The hit on the forecastle put the forward guns out of commission. The hit near the bridge area set off some ready service AA shells and caused considerable damage to the bridge and personnel. The hit amidships set off several torpedoes and the resultant explosions destroyed the ship. MIKUMA turned on her portside and sank; 650 crewmen were killed.
(Note: Many thanks to Combined Fleet for most of MIKUMA's operational history!!)