Takao-class Heavy Cruiser



This article refers to the entire Takao-class; it is not about an individual vessel.

ww2dbaseThe Takao-class heavy cruisers were launched in the early 1930s as some of the heaviest-armed cruisers in the world, having more barrels than her contemporaries elsewhere in the world while also uniquely equipped with torpedo tubes for additional punch. Their superstructures were also rather distinct, appearing more like those of battleships than cruisers. All four Takao-class ships served in the Pacific War; they were all lost or disabled at the Philippine Islands in late 1944 during the Leyte Gulf campaign.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Apr 2009

Takao-class Heavy Cruiser Interactive Map

Takao-class Heavy Cruiser Operational Timeline

30 Mar 1932 Atago was commissioned into service.
31 May 1932 Takao was commissioned into service.
1 Jun 1932 Chokai was commissioned into service.
30 Jun 1932 Maya was commissioned into service.
10 Dec 1941 Japanese submarine I-58 spotted British battleship HMS Prince of Wales and battlecruiser HMS Repulse off British Malaya, launched five torpedoes, but all of them missed; beginning at 1117 hours, Japanese aircraft began to attack. Overwhelmed, HMS Repulse was sunk at 1233 hours (513 killed), followed by HMS Prince of Wales at 1318 hours (327 killed); destroyers HMS Electra, HMS Express, and HMS Vampire rescued 1,862 survivors. On land, the British commanders dispatched the 1st Battalion of the 14th Punjab Regiment and the 2nd Battalion of the 1st Gurkha Rifles regiment to Changlun and Asun in northern British Malaya to counter the Japanese advance; contact was made at Changlun at 2100 hours, where two Japanese tanks were destroyed before the Punjabi troops fell back toward Asun.
2 Mar 1942 Japanese cruiser Maya, destroyer Arashi, and destroyer Nowaki sank British destroyer HMS Stronghold in the Indian Ocean at 1900 hours, killing 75.
2 Mar 1942 Japanese cruisers Takao and Atago sank US destroyer USS Pillsbury 500 miles south of Java, Dutch East Indies at 2100 hours, all 173 aboard were killed.
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.
5 Nov 1943 During the US raid on Rabaul, New Britain, Takao was hit on the main deck near No. 2 turret, killing 23.
5 Nov 1943 During the US raid on Rabaul, New Britain, Atago was damaged by three near misses, killing 22, including commanding officer Captain Nobuki Nakaoka.
5 Nov 1943 During the US raid on Rabaul, New Britain, Maya was damaged by a hit on the port side scout plane deck, resulting in a fire that would raise the total death toll to 70 when all battle damage came under control.
6 Nov 1943 Takao departed Rabaul, New Britain for Truk, Caroline Islands to receive temporary repairs.
6 Nov 1943 Atago departed Rabaul, New Britain for Truk, Caroline Islands to receive temporary repairs.
31 Jul 1945 Operation Struggle: British midget submarine XE3, crewed by Lieutenant Ian Fraser, Acting Leading Seaman James Magennis, Sub-Lieutenant William James Lanyon Smith, (of New Zealand), and Engine Room Artificer Third Class Charles Alfred Reed, attacked Japanese shipping at Singapore, sinking heavy cruiser Takao. Fraser and Magennis would later be awarded the Victoria Cross for this sinking, while Smith would receive the Distinguished Service Order and Reed the Conspicuous Gallantry Medal.


Atago, date unknownChokai underway at seaJapanese heavy cruiser Atago, early 1930sJapanese heavy cruiser Chokai, early 1930s
See all 25 photographs of Takao-class Heavy Cruiser

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Ships of this Class:
» Atago
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» Maya
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Takao-class Heavy Cruiser Photo Gallery
Atago, date unknown
See all 25 photographs of Takao-class Heavy Cruiser

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