Kuma-class Light Cruiser



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

ww2dbaseThe Kuma-class light cruisers were initially designed as fast-sailing torpedo-attack cruisers. To this effect, Kitakami and Oi were equipped with 32 and 40 torpedo tubes, respectively. However, the evolution of naval aviation and simply the lack of such an opportunity meant that they never served in that role in the Pacific War. Nevertheless, their versatility led them to serve in a number of different roles through the war despite of their age.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Apr 2009

Kuma-class Light Cruiser Interactive Map

Kuma-class Light Cruiser Operational Timeline

31 Aug 1920 Kuma was commissioned into service.
29 Jan 1921 Tama was commissioned into service.
29 Jan 1921 Kiso was commissioned into service.
15 Apr 1921 Kitakami was commissioned into service.
10 Oct 1921 Oi was commissioned into service.
1 Apr 1931 Masaichi Niimi was named the commanding officer of cruiser Oi.
2 Feb 1938 Troops of Japanese No. 1 Yokosuka Special Naval Landing Force, 284 men, landed at Yantai, Shandong Province, China, supported by light cruiser Kuma (flagship of the operation). No. 5 Sasebo Special Naval Landing Force and No. 6 Sasebo Special Naval Landing Force would soon arrive to reinforce No. 1 Yokosuka Special Naval Landing Force, which met unexpected resistance.
9 Apr 1942 Before dawn, Kuma was attacked by US motor torpedo boats PT-34 and PT-41 in the Cebu Strait between Cebu and Bohol in the Philippine Islands but sustained no damage; the only torpedo that hit Kuma failed to detonate. PT-34 would be found and destroyed by aircraft after daybreak, killing 2.
26 Mar 1943 During the Battle of the Komandorski Islands, Japanese cruisers Nachi, Maya, Tama, and Abukuma with destroyers Wakaba, Hatsushimo, Ikazuchi, Inazuma, and Usugumo plus three transport ships engaged United States Navy cruisers Salt Lake City and Richmond escorted by destroyers Coghlan, Bailey, Dale, and Monaghan in one of the very few pure naval surface battles of World War II involving long-range guns. Nachi was forced to push one of her floatplanes overboard (concussion damage from her own guns), fired several Type 93 "Long Lance" torpedoes at the US forces (none of which hit), and received five hits (killing 14). Salt Lake City sustained moderate damage and was dead in the water for a short time. Bailey, Coghlan, and Monaghan made a bold torpedo attack that became known as the Charge of the Irish Destroyers.
30 Nov 1945 Kitakami was decommissioned from service.

Did you enjoy this article or find this article helpful? If so, please consider supporting us on Patreon. Even $1 per month will go a long way! Thank you.

Share this article with your friends:


Stay updated with WW2DB:

 RSS Feeds

Posting Your Comments on this Topic

Your Name
Your Email
 Your email will not be published
Comment Type
Your Comments


1. We hope that visitor conversations at WW2DB will be constructive and thought-provoking. Please refrain from using strong language. HTML tags are not allowed. Your IP address will be tracked even if you remain anonymous. WW2DB site administrators reserve the right to moderate, censor, and/or remove any comment. All comment submissions will become the property of WW2DB.

2. For inquiries about military records for members of the World War II armed forces, please see our FAQ.

Search WW2DB & Partner Sites
More on Kuma-class Light Cruiser
Ships of this Class:
» Kiso
» Kitakami
» Kuma
» Oi
» Tama

Famous WW2 Quote
"Goddam it, you'll never get the Purple Heart hiding in a foxhole! Follow me!"

Captain Henry P. Jim Crowe, Guadalcanal, 13 Jan 1943

Support Us

Please consider supporting us on Patreon. Even $1 a month will go a long way. Thank you!

Or, please support us by purchasing some WW2DB merchandise at TeeSpring, Thank you!