IJN KONGO Class Battleships
By Steve Wiper
Publisher: Classic Warhips Publishing 2001 74 Pages
PDF 31 MB
The first "Dreadnought" type battleship class built in Japan were the two ships of the Kawachi class, constructed from 1909 to 1912. The Japanese still had to obtain the main armament from Great Britain. This marked a change in Japanese shipbuilding. Previously all Japanese capital warships were built in England until just after the turn of the century. Japan was able to expand their ship building capabilities and the size of their shipyards. While these two ships were under construction. Japans first dreadnought style battlecruis-ers were laid down.
As originally conceived, they were to be equivalent to the British Invincible class baltlecruiscrs. mounting 12in. main guns. The then new British Lion class, with their 13.5in. main guns caused the Japanese to want a more advanced design. Since this new design did not have any of the political restrictions of the Royal Navy, the creator. Sir George Thurston, was free to devise a layout that proved to be better than all previous British designs.