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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 from 37 to 35.9 knots. Also, changes were made to their anti-aircraft armaments. These modifications were deemed successful, and 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.
SUZUYA was commissioned into the 7th Cruiser Division in October, 1937, where she served with her three sister ships. Upon the beginning of hostilities in 1941, SUZUYA took part in many operations. In early June, 1942, CruDiv 7 was present at the Battle of Midway but SUZUYA saw no significant action. .In early April, 1943, SUZUYA was drydocked at Kure. Her 13mm AA guns were removed and replaced by six 25mm AA guns in triple mounts, bringing their total to 20 barrels. A Type 21 air search radar was fitted at the same time. On 15 April, SUZUYA returned to service. In early June, 1944, SUZUYA was at Kure for a refit; eight more 25mm AA guns (in single mounts) were added, as well as a Type 22 surface search radar and a Type 13 air search radar. She returned to service in early July, 1944. In October, 1944, SUZUYA took part in the Battle of the Leyte Gulf in "Operation Sho-Go" ("Victory"). At the Battle off Samar on 25 October 1944, SUZUYA suffered a near-miss from an American aircraft's bomb; her right propeller fell off, and her speed was reduced to 20 knots. A second attack by 30 more aircraft less than three hours later scored a near-miss by a bomb -- but that near-miss caused one of her "Long Lance" torpedoes to explode. Within ten minutes, the fire caused by the first explosions began causing other torpedoes and ammunition to explode, quickly turning SUZUYA into a flaming wreck. Seeing as his ship's fate had been decided, Captain Teroaka Masao ordered "abandon ship", and SUZUYA rolled to her starboard side and sank, just a little under four hours from the first explosion. 403 of her crew, including her captain, were rescued.
(Note: Many thanks to Combined Fleet for most of SUZUYA's operational history!!)