:: CHOKAI (1932) ::

Chokai heavy cruiser (1932) High resolution picture

The Chokai was a Japanese heavy cruiser launched in 1932, belonging to the successful Takao class. These ships were built with the streamlined profile that would be characteristic of the Japanese cruisers built in the years previous to the Second World War, and their armament of ten 200-millimeter cannons, emplaced in the centerline in five twin turrets, allowed a notable concentration of fire. The antiaircraft armament, initially of normal power, was later enhanced and in 1944 it comprised four 120-millimeter cannons and sixty-six 25-millimeter cannons. An acceptable armor, good speed and large operational range rendered the Chokai as an unreservedly good unit.

In Guadalcanal, in the night of the 7-8 August 1942 the cruiser squadron led by Admiral Gunichi Kurita fell upon the American cruiser squadron like a sea monster. Shooting frantically, the Japanese ships passed between the American ships sinking four cruisers and damaging a fifth one after ten minutes of combat. The Chokai set ablaze the cruiser USS Astoria with the first salvo fired against her but in return, before ceasing fire, this one managed to hit once the Japanese cruiser causing damages that would be irreparable during operations.

The main war actions on which the Chokai took part were the failed invasion of Midway, along with the heavy cruiser group of the main squadron led by Admiral Kondo, the series of battles of Guadalcanal, where she was the flagship of the squadron led by Kurita, and finally the series of battles of Leyte Gulf, where, after having resulted unscathed on the battles of Sibuyan and Surigao, she was finally sunk by aircraft from an American aircraft carrier in the Battle of Samar, in the morning of the 25th October 1944.

Class: Takao (4 units - Atago, Chokai, Maya, Takao)

Type: Heavy cruiser

Length: 203.76 meters

Beam: 18.69 meters

Draught: 6.10 meters

Displacement (standard): 9850 tonnes

Propulsion: 4 x shaft, 4 x steam turbine, 12 x boiler Kampon, 132000 horsepower

Speed: 35.5 knots (65.7 kilometers/hour)

Range: 8500 nautical miles (15700 kilometers) at 14 knots

Complement: 773

Armament (as built): 10 x 200-millimeter 50-caliber cannon, 4 x 120-millimeter 50-caliber cannon, 12 x 25-millimeter cannon, 8 x 610-millimeter torpedo tube, 2 x aircraft

Armament (in 1944): 10 x 200-millimeter 50-caliber cannon, 4 x 120-millimeter 50-caliber cannon, 66 x 25-millimeter cannon, 8 x 610-millimeter torpedo tube, 2 x aircraft

Armor: 102 millimeters in waterline, 76 millimeters in deck (102 millimeters above magazines), 76 millimeters in main turrets



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