Chokai file photo [1214]


Ship ClassTakao-class Heavy Cruiser
Launched5 Apr 1931
Commissioned1 Jun 1932
Sunk25 Oct 1944
Displacement9,850 tons standard; 15,490 tons full
Length661 feet
Beam68 feet
Draft20 feet
Speed34 knots


ww2dbaseChokai, built at Nagasaki, Japan, was commissioned in June 1932. After several months of training, she was assigned to the 4th Sentai (Squadron) in December 1932. During the rest of the decade she regularly took part in fleet exercises and operations, frequently off the China coast. In 1939-40, she was flagship the Second China Expeditionary Fleet, conducting combat activities off southern China, and during 1941 took part in further operations in that area and in an intensified war readiness program in Japanese home waters.

ww2dbaseWhen Japan began the Pacific War in December 1941, Chokai supported the campaign to capture Malaya. In January and February 1942, she participated in operations to seize Borneo and the Dutch East Indies. Damaged by grounding on 22 February, she was next in action during the early April 1942 Indian Ocean raid, during which she sank three American and British merchant ships. In June 1942, she was part of the Covering Group during the Battle of Midway and in July was sent to the southern Pacific to become flagship of the Eighth Fleet. In that role, Chokai led the Japanese squadron during the victorious Battle of Savo Island on 9 August 1942, receiving shellfire damage that was repaired locally. For the next six months, she participated in the unsuccessful Japanese attempts to retake Guadalcanal. On 14 November, she joined in on a bombardment of Guadalcanal's Henderson Field, and was somewhat damaged by air attacks while withdrawing.

ww2dbaseChokai continued her role as as Eighth Fleet flagship until just after Guadalcanal was evacuated in early February 1943. Thereafter, she operated from Truk and Rabaul, supporting Japanese attempts to protect their Solomons and New Guinea area bases from the Allied offensive. The cruiser was also briefly refitted in Japan in February-March and more extensively in August and September 1943. To avoid the threat of U.S. carrier aircraft attacks, her base was shifted westward from Truk to the Palaus in February 1944 and in late March to the East Indies area. In June Chokai participated in the Battle of the Philippine Sea. When U.S. forces assaulted Leyte in October 1944, Chokai joined the rest of the First Mobile Fleet in the counter-move that produced the great Battle of Leyte Gulf. After surviving submarine attack on 23 October and carrier air strikes in the Sibuyan Sea the next day, on 25 October 1944 she was critically damaged by aircraft bombs during the Battle off Samar. Rendered immobile, Chokai's crew was removed and she was sunk by Japanese destroyer torpedoes.

ww2dbaseSource: Naval Historical Center

Last Major Revision: Jan 2005

Heavy Cruiser Chokai Interactive Map


Chokai underway at seaJapanese heavy cruiser Chokai, early 1930sChokai firing her 8-inch guns, 1933Japanese heavy cruiser Chokai as seen in US Division of Naval Intelligence publication A503 FM30-50 for ship identification, date unknown
See all 8 photographs of Heavy Cruiser Chokai

Chokai Operational Timeline

1 Jun 1932 Chokai was commissioned into service.
9 Mar 1942 Japanese cruisers Kumano, Chokai, and cruiser division 7 depart Singapore to cover Operation T - The Invasion of Northern Sumatra
12 Mar 1942 Japanese cruisers Kumano, Chokai, and cruiser division 7 cover the landings at Sabang in Operation T - The Invasion of Northern Sumatra
20 Mar 1942 Japanese cruisers Kumano, Chokai, and cruiser division 7 depart Singapore to support the seizure of Andaman Islands.
1 Apr 1942 Vice Admiral Jisaburo Ozawa's Malaya Force, Second Expeditionary Fleet, departs Mergui, Burma and steams into the Bay of Bengal in the Indian Ocean Raids to attack merchant shipping. The force includes light carrier Ryujo and cruisers Chokai, Suzuya, Kumano, Mikuma, Mogami, and Yura.
5 Apr 1942 Following Admiral Jisaburo Ozawa’s force’s attack on the British naval base at Colombo, Ceylon, the force is split creating a Northern Group commanded by Rear Admiral Takeo Kurita consisting of cruisers Kumano and Suzuya; the Center Group consisting of the carrier Ryujo and cruisers Chokai and Yura under Ozawa; and the Southern Group comprised of cruisers Mogami, and Mikuma under Captain Shakao Sakiyama for the purposes of smaller raids against merchant shipping.
11 Apr 1942 Ozawa's Force arrived at Singapore to conclude a successful sortie into the Indian Ocean.
8 Aug 1942 In the pre-dawn morning, 7 Japanese cruisers and 1 destroyer under Gunichi Mikawa departed Kavieng, New Ireland and Rabaul, New Britain, sailing south without being detected; after sundown, the force caught Allied warships by surprise off Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands; in the Battle of Savo Island, Japanese cruisers Chōkai, Aoba, Kako, Kinugasa, and Furutaka used Type 93 torpedoes and gunfire to sink US cruisers USS Quincy, Vincennes, and Astoria and Australian cruiser HMAS Canberra; 1,077 US personnel were killed in this battle (Canberra was badly damaged and was ultimately scuttled by a US destroyer).
4 Nov 1943 Chokai departed Rabaul, New Britain.

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Giovanni García says:
12 Feb 2006 10:32:06 AM

I want to make a 3D model of Chokai cruiser with AutoCAD 2004 and need information about the cruiser.
Do you know a grafic book? please can you help me
2. Giovanni García says:
29 Aug 2007 07:16:10 AM

I have this in a pdf file, is just to need...please write me my e mail.
This is an wondelful warship, I wanted to drawing.....but you need all information about it if you like a perfect work
Lima- Perú
3. Renan Lima Rodrigues says:
24 Jul 2019 11:59:55 PM

One of the first ships I like best, no doubt is the HIJMS Chokai, the story of this heavy cruiser pleases me, including the design with that huge pyramidal bridge. My favorite ship!


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More on Chokai
» Mikawa, Gunichi

Event(s) Participated:
» Dutch East Indies Campaign, Sumatra
» Fall of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands
» Battle of Midway and the Aleutian Islands
» Guadalcanal Campaign
» Mariana Islands Campaign and the Great Turkey Shoot
» Philippines Campaign, Phase 1, the Leyte Campaign

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Heavy Cruiser Chokai Photo Gallery
Chokai underway at sea
See all 8 photographs of Heavy Cruiser Chokai

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