Concept

Japanese cruiser Myōkō

Summary
Myōkō was the lead ship of the four-member of heavy cruisers of the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN), which were active in World War II. She was named after Mount Myōkō in Niigata Prefecture. The other ships of the class were , , and . Myōkō was approved under the 1922–1929 Fleet Modernization Program, as the first heavy cruiser to be built by Japan within the design constraints imposed by the Washington Naval Treaty, and was the first of the "10,000 ton" cruisers built by any nation. Naval architect Vice Admiral Yuzuru Hiraga was able to keep the design from becoming dangerously top-heavy in its early years by continually rejecting demands from the Imperial Japanese Navy General Staff for additional equipment to the upper decks. During modifications and rebuildings in the 1930s, though, the final displacement rose to 15,933 tons, well over the treaty limits. The Myōkō class displaced , with a hull design based on an enlarged version of the . Myōkō was long, with a beam of and draft of , and were capable of . Propulsion was by 12 Kampon boilers driving four sets of single-impulse, geared-turbine engines, with four shafts turning three-bladed propellers. The ship was armored with a side belt, and armored deck, but the bridge was not armored. Myōkō’s main battery was ten 20 cm/50 3rd Year Type naval guns, the heaviest armament of any heavy cruiser in the world at the time, mounted in five twin turrets. Her secondary armament included eight 12.7 cm/40 Type 89 naval guns in four twin mounts on each side, and 12 Type 93 Long Lance torpedoes in four triple launchers positioned below the aircraft deck. Myōkō was also equipped with an aircraft catapult and carried up to three floatplanes for scouting purposes. Myōkō was laid down at the Yokosuka Naval Arsenal on 25 October 1924 and launched and named on 16 April 1927 in a ceremony attended by Emperor Hirohito, and was commissioned into the Imperial Japanese Navy on 31 July 1929. Although the first ship in her class to be laid down, she was the third to be completed.
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