Japanese Battleship Ise
Ise (whose name comes from an ancient Japanese province on Honshu, now part of Mie Prefecture) was the lead ship of the two-vessel Ise-class battleships of the Imperial Japanese Navy, which saw combat service during the Pacific War.
Ise was laid down as battleship 5 at the Kawasaki Heavy Industries shipyard in Kobe on 10 May 1915, launched on 12 November 1916, completed on 15 December 1917, and assigned to the Kure Naval District.
Completed too late for service in World War I, Ise patrolled off the Siberian coast and in northern waters in support of Japan's Siberian Intervention against the Bolshevik Red Army.
From the mid-1920s through the late 1930s, Ise patrolled mostly off of the China coast.
On 12 April 1922, she hosted a delegation which included Prince of Wales, the future King Edward VIII of the United Kingdom, and the future Lord Mountbatten.
Ise-class battleships were fascinating ships and their story began in 1906 with the completion of HMS Dreanought. The appearance of the all-big-gun turbine-powered Dreadnought rendered all existing battleships obsolete overnight, and in response the rest of the world's navies initiated massive construction programs. The world's major navies had gained an insurmountable lead in the number of dreadnoughts in service or under construction. Recognizing the futility of trying to compete in sheer numbers, the Japanese Navy adopted a quality before quantity approach, building fewer ships each of much greater capability than foreign designs. In 1911 the Japanese government passed the Emergency Naval Expansion bill which authorized the building of four battlecruisers and one battleship. The battleship was to be designed and built in Japan; this ship became the Fuso.
There were a number of foreign designs to take into consideration when it came time to decide the main armament for the new ships. Britain Royal Navy's Orion class was armed with the 13.5 in. gun; the US Wyoming class with 12-12 in. guns; and the succeeding New York class with 10-14 in. weapons. Japan decided to leap over the competition and fit the new ships with the 14 in. gun so Fuso-class would carry 12-14 in. weapons.
Armament was not the only area where the Japanese battleship was intended to be superior to foreign designs: it was also to be at least 2 knots faster. Fuso was laid down on 11 March 1912 and she was the first battleship built in Japan using Japanese manufactured materials and weapons. Three sister ships were authorized, one of them laid down in November 1913, but financial difficulties prevented the laying down of the next two ships until 1915, which allowed time for some design improvements. The forecastle deck was shortened, the amidships turrets were grouped together and placed aft of the second funnel and the hull length was increased by 10 ft. to give more machinery space. The changes resulted in the two ships becoming known as the "Improved Fuso” or Ise class.
Series: Super Drawings in 3D (Book 16054)
Paperback: 80 pages
Publisher: Kagero (January 23, 2018)