Agano class light cruiser, IJN Sakawa - The last light cruiser of the IJN

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Agano class light cruiser, IJN Sakawa - The last light cruiser of the IJN



IJN Sakawa was the fourth and final ship of the Agano class light cruisers that entered service during the Second World War, she was commissioned in 1944 however despite her being put into service still during the war her career was unique yet without anything eventful, this is because of the fact that by the time she entered service in 1944 the situation had changed from when she was laid down in 1942 as with the US nearing closer to Japan and supplies were dwindling, as a result Sakawa would fall victim to the fuel storages but this is not to say she never set sail, in fact she operated only within Japanese waters but despite the situation she would find herself in she would turn out to actually be the lone survivor of the class by the end of the war.


Like her sisters her main armament consisted of 6 15 cm/50 (6") 41st Year Type naval guns in 3 twin mounts, the secondary battery also remained the same with the ship having 4 8 cm/60 (3") Type 98 dual purpose guns in 2 twin mounts, the AA armament she would complete with would consist of 48 25 mm/60 (1") Type 96 anti aircraft guns in 10 triple mountings and 18 single mountings, she also had the standard torpedo armament of 8 24 inch (410mm) torpedo tubes in 2 quad mounts along with the additional reloads being included as was standard on Japanese cruisers. She also had various radar systems as she had the largest amount of radar systems to feature on the class, she also had the same float planes like her sisters with her using 2 Aichi E13A float planes however in service it seems she never carried them.



Sakawa was laid down on November 21st, 1942, she was launched on April 9th, 1944 and was commissioned on November 30th of the same year, entering service so late into the war she was immediately assigned to the combined fleet, her career itself would be short during the war. On January 15th, 1945 she was put as leader of Destroyer Squadron 11 and would take part in training with destroyers within the inland sea including testing new anti submarine coating by trying to detecting Japanese subs with her radar. Her first active deployment would have been Operation Ten-Go however due to a lack of fuel Destroyer squadron 11 could not participate. In late May Sakawa would end up hitting some rocks in the Kanmon Straits between Kyushu and Honshu however she only slightly damaged her propeller, she would later be transferred to the Maizuru Naval District and it would be here when she would have her single encounter with the enemy as after arriving on July 19th she would come under attack by aircraft from USS Yorktown (CV-10) on the 25th however she was not damaged and by wars end she was still based at Maizuru. Despite the war being over her history would not end yet as she was used to help bring Japanese troops home after the war after being demilitarized. Once this was completed she was taken by the US as a war prize and along with the sole remaining Japanese battleship afloat, Nagato she was to be taken Eniwetok as she was to be used in the upcoming Bikini atoll testing.


The salvage crews would find her in a poor state as likely due to the the lack of resources she was poorly maintained as her hull was leaky, infested with rats, and most of her systems were non-functional however on March 18th she set sail from Yokosuka to Eniwetok along side Nagato with the ship having a crew of mostly Americans with a few Japanese former crew members to assist but during the journey Sakawa would break down and the crew aboard Nagato tried to take the cruiser under tow however Nagato herself had a boiler break down and ran out of fuel and so a oiler was sent out to refuel the ships, only for the oiler to run aground and as such both Japanese vessels were taken in tow to their final destination. Once at Eniwetok 5 US sailors were angry over the working conditions on the ship and as such they attempted to sabotage her remaining systems to get off the ship including damaging the fuel system, poured sand into the oil and water pumps, smashed gauges, tachometers, and cut high-pressure steam lines however the damage caused was fixed in 4 days and all the sailors in question were charge for the sabotage, and Sakawa would arrive in Bikini atoll the following month.


During test Able she was located 450 meters away from ground zero with many cages counting animals on board to test the effects of radiation, she would not fair well as part of the bridge superstructure was crushed and she began to flood and it was attempted to beach her with a tug after the list worsen overnight but she sank too quickly to be saved, during test Baker her remains were about 500 meters away from ground zero and this detonation destroying most of the remaining superstructure with only the forward turrets really being intact.




6,652 t (6,547 long tons) (standard)

8,534 t (8,399 long tons) (full load)

Length: 174.1 m (571 ft 2 in) (over all)

Beam: 15.2 m (49 ft 10 in)

Draft: 5.63 m (18 ft 6 in)

Installed power:

6 water-tube boilers

100,000 shp (75,000 kW)

Propulsion: 4 shafts; 4 geared steam turbine sets

Speed: 35 knots (65 km/h; 40 mph)

Range: 6,300 nmi (11,700 km; 7,200 mi) at 18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph)

Complement: 805; 824 when serving as a flagship

Sensors and processing systems:

1 x Type 13 early-warning radar

1 x Type 21 General Purpose Radar

2 x Type 22 General Purpose Radars

Type 93 Model 2 hydrophone

Type 3 Model 1 sonar


Main Armament:

6 × 15 cm/50 (6") 41st Year Type guns

(3 x 2 mounts)

Secondary Armament:

4 × 8 cm/60 (3") Type 98 dual purpose guns

(2 x 2 mounts)

AA armament:
48 x 25 mm/60 (1") Type 96 anti aircraft guns

(10 x 3 and 18 x 1 mounts)

Torpedo tubes:

8 × 61 cm (24 in) torpedo tubes (8 torpedos + 1 full reload)

(2 x 4 mounts)

Other weapons:

2 × depth charge racks, 18 depth charges

3 × mines


(Same as Agano in-game)

(Not including aviation facilities as no images show any float planes as well as anti aircraft guns being shown where floatplanes would be kept though the catapult is present)



Japanese cruiser Sakawa - Wikipedia

Agano-class cruiser - Wikipedia

Imperial Cruisers

Japan 15 cm/50 (6") 41st Year Type - NavWeaps

Japan 8 cm/60 (3") Type 98 - NavWeaps

Image Sources


Category:Sakawa (ship, 1944) - Wikimedia Commons



While not the best CLs i believe this one has more AA so i would like to see it +1

Would love to see her in game.