for Fun Miscellaneous
Tanks Trains Contact Me
(laid down as SUZUKA, OTONASE and MINASE, respectively; renamed in November, 1921)
Notes: The NAGARA class were a development of the preceding KUMA class, and were the first Japanese cruisers to carry the 24" torpedo. They were designed and built with flying-off platforms over the #1 and #2 gun mounts, forward of the bridge. Hangars were built into the bridgework, giving them tall, slab-sided forward superstructures. However, it appears that these were never used. NAGARA was fitted with a revolving catapult and a seaplane during a refit in October, 1932 - September, 1933; her flying-off platform was removed, and a quad 13mm AA mount was installed in its place. She also received a tripod mainmast at that time. Her 3.1" guns were replaced by four 25mm AA guns in two twin mounts in 1938. During World War II, NAGARA had two of her 5.5" guns removed and replaced by two 5" AA guns in a twin mount; her light AA guns were augmented with 16 - 25mm guns (in four triple and two twin mounts) and a quad 13mm mount. Her torpedo battery was also increased to 16 - 24" TT in four quadruple mounts.
In late November, 1941, NAGARA became the flagship of Rear Admiral Kubo Kyuji's 4th Surprise Attack Squadron, and was subsequently involved in the invasion of the Philippines. On 11 January 1942, NAGARA and JINTSU covered landings in the Celebes. On 25 January 1942, she was rammed by the destroyer HATSUHARU. While not seriously damaged, she had to return to Davao for repairs. These were completed within a week, and NAGARA returned to action with the invasion forces at Makassar. On 8 February 1942, she was attacked by the American submarine SCULPIN, who fired two torpedoes at her, but one exploded prematurely and the other one missed. Then on 28 March 1942, NAGARA (along with NATORI and NAKA and two destroyers) landed troops on Christmas Island, 190 south of Java. On 1 April, NAGARA was once again the target of a submarine attack; the USS SEAWOLF fired three torpedoes at her but all missed. (In the same attack, NAKA was hit by a torpedo in her No. 1 boiler room, but survived to fight another day.) NAGARA returned to Japan and on 10 April 1942, was named flagship of the newly-formed DesRon 10, with Rear Admiral Kimura Susumu commanding. They were assigned to screen the carriers of Vice Admiral Nagumo Chuichi's First Air Fleet. On 27 May 1942, they departed Japan for the invasion of Midway. On 4 June 1942, NAGARA dropped depth charges against the USS NAUTILUS, but without success. Later that day, Nagumo transferred his flag to NAGARA after his ship, the carrier AKAGI, was bombed and severely damaged by American planes. Following the battle, they returned to Japan. NAGARA then took part in training exercises through the middle of August, 1942. Her next assignment was "Operation KA", the planned recapture of Guadalcanal. She was present at the Battle of the Eastern Solomons on 25 August 1942, and at the Battle of Santa Cruz on 25-26 October 1942. On 9 November 1942, NAGARA's DesRon 10 was assigned to screen Rear Admiral Abe's Bombardment Force in the continuing Battle of Guadalcanal. On 13 November, NAGARA took part in the First Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, and was hit by one 5" shell from the American heavy cruiser SAN FRANCISCO; six of her crew were killed, but her fighting capabilities were undiminished. On 15 November 1942, NAGARA took part in the Second Naval Battle of Guadalcanal. The Japanese forces, including NAGARA, launched 30 "Long Lance" torpedoes at the American forces; the destroyers PRESTON and WALKE were hit and sunk, and the GWIN was also hit but did not sink (however, she was so badly damaged that she was scuttled the next day). NAGARA retuned to Truk, and on 20 November 1942 was named the flagship of DesRon 4, replacing the YURA (which had been sunk on 25 October; in her place, the newly-commissioned AGANO became the flagship of DesRon 10). On 31 January 1943, NAGARA assisted in the evacuation of Guadalcanal; 11,700 Japanese troops were retrieved in this operation. On 15 July 1943, NAGARA was damaged by a mine at Kavieng, but once again, her fighting capabilities were not affected. On 20 July 1943, DesRon 4 was deactivated, and NAGARA was named flagship of DesRon 2 (replacing JINTSU, which had been sunk on 12 July). On 20 August 1943, she was replaced as flagship of DesRon 2 by the newly-commissioned NOSHIRO, and NAGARA went into drydock at Maizuru, where she received a Type 21 air search radar and her AA battery was augmented. Upon her return to Truk on 1 November, 1943, NAGARA became the flagship of Vice Admiral Kobayashi Masami's Fourth Fleet, replacing the KASHIMA. On 14 November 1943, NAGARA and the destroyer URAKAZE took the light cruiser AGANO (damaged by torpedoes) in tow, and returned to Truk. On November 22 1943, NAGARA departed from Truk in company of three heavy cruisers and five destroyers, to oppose the American landings at Tarawa and Makin. On 5 December, NAGARA was damaged by near-misses from American bombers; she was sent back to Japan for repairs, towing the destroyer NAGANAMI. They successfully arrived on 12 December. NAGARA was refitted at Maizuru in January - April 1944; her twin torpedo mounts were replaced by quadruples, and a twin 5" AA mount replaced one of her 5.5" guns. Her 25mm AA guns were once again augmented, and she emerged from this refit with 22 - 25mm guns (2x3, 6x2 and 4x1). On 15 May 1944, NAGARA became the flagship of DesRon 11, replacing TATSUTA, which was sunk on 14 March. She spent the next month training with new destroyers in the Inland Sea. During the first week of July, 1944, NAGARA received ten more 25mm AA guns in single mounts. While sailing for Sasebo on 7 August 1944, NAGARA was torpedoed and sunk by the American submarine CROAKER; 349 of her crew were killed.
(Note: Many thanks to Combined Fleet for most of NAGARA's operational history!!)