|Ship Class||Fuso-class Battleship|
|Builder||Kure Naval Arsenal|
|Laid Down||11 Mar 1912|
|Launched||28 Mar 1914|
|Commissioned||18 Nov 1915|
|Sunk||25 Oct 1944|
|Displacement||34700 tons standard; 39154 tons full|
|Machinery||6 Kampon boilers, Kampon turbines, 4 shafts|
|Power Output||75000 SHP|
|Armament||2x3x356mm guns, 2x2x356mm guns, 4x2x127mm Type 89 dual purpose guns, 17x1x25mm AA guns, 16x2x25mm AA guns, 8x3x25mm AA guns, 10x13.2mm machine guns|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseWhen battleship Fuso was completed in 1914, she was the largest and the most powerfully armed battleship in the world. She did not participate in any major action during WW1. During the inter-war years, between Apr 1930 and May 1933, she was modernized; her armor was increased to a total of 12,199 tons (or 42% of total displacement), her boilers were replaced with new Kampon boilers, and her torpedo tubes were removed. During the remainder of the 1930s, she served largely in the Inland Sea in Japan as a training ship.
ww2dbaseIn Apr 1942, Fuso entered front line service as she was ordered to search, unsuccessfully, for the American task force that launched the Doolittle Raiders under the command of Captain Mitsuo Kinoshita. During the Battle of the Aleurian Islands, she was a part of the screening force. Between 5 Dec 1942 and 1 Jun 1943, she was under the command of Captain Keizo Komura. During this time, considerations were given to convert Fuso into a battleship-carrier hybrid as a response to the losses at the Battle of Midway, but the plans were canceled before the scheduled construction date of Jun 1943. Between 1 Jun 1943 and 23 Feb 1944, Fuso was under the command of Captain, later Rear Admiral, Nobumichi Tsuruoka. In Jul 1943, she received 21 additional anti-aircraft guns and a Type 21 radar. On 23 Feb 1944, Captain, later Rear Admiral, Masami Ban took command of her. In Aug 1944, she received further anti-aircraft weapons, two Type 13 and two Type 22 radars.
ww2dbaseIn Oct 1944, Fuso sailed as part of Admiral Shoji Nishimura's Southern Force which engaged in the Battle of Surigao Strait. En route, she was attacked by carrier aircraft and sustained a bomb hit in the Sulu Sea, damaging her catapult and aircraft. At 0309 on 25 Oct, she was hit by one or two torpedoes fired by the American destroyer Melvin. At 0338, fires spread to the magazines of her C and Q turrets. At 0345, one or both of the magazine exploded, breaking Fuso into two separate sections and nearly killing every man aboard. The bow section sank as the result of gunfire from American cruiser Louisville, and the stern section sank off Kanihaan Island. Those few who survived refused to be rescued by Americans.
ww2dbaseSources: Imperial Japanese Navy Battleships 1941-45, Wikipedia.
Battleship Fuso Interactive Map
Fuso Operational Timeline
|18 Nov 1915||Fuso was commissioned into service.|
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Winston Churchill, 1935