Nagato-class battleship, Nagato (1945) The Last Guardian of Japanese Empire

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Nagato-class battleship, Nagato (1945) b67bbff96a4c71bfb2e3b16400aeb047-3.jpg
Japanese battleships in Brunei, October 1944. From right to left ships: IJN Nagato, cruiser, IJN Yamato and IJN Musashi


Sub Category: 戦艦 / Battleship

Class: 長門型 / Nagato class

History :

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“Nagato” 長門型

The battleship Nagato was laid down on 28 August 1917 at the Kure naval arsenal shipyard as the lead ship of its class. During construction, the ship was designated “Senkan 5”. “Nagato” was launched on November 9, 1919, the Naval Minister of Japan, Vice Admiral Kato Tomosaburo and a member of the imperial family, Vice Admiral Prince Fushimi Hiroyasu, personally took part in the launching ceremony of the battleship. The new battleship is assigned to the Yokosuka naval base. During the tests, the command of the ship as the chief specialist was entrusted to the captain of the 1st rank Iida Nobutaro (Japanese) Russian., A participant in the Tsushima battle, who had commanded the battleship “Sikishima” before this appointment. On October 6, 1920, during sea trials in Sukumo Bay, the ship breaks the world speed record for battleships, showing a speed of 26.443 knots (48.9 km / h), and on November 23, breaks its own record setting a speed limit of 26.7 knots (49 , 45 km / h). After the end of the test firing, the battleship was entered into the Japanese fleet on November 25, 1920, and Captain Iida officially took over as the ship’s commanding officer. On December 1, 1920, the Nagato entered the 1st Battleship Division as the flagship of Rear Admiral Totinai Soujiro. At that time, this is the first ship in the world equipped with 16.1 inch (410 mm) guns. On February 13, 1921, the ship was visited by the heir to the throne, Prince Hirohito. On December 1, 1921, Captain Iida was elevated to the rank of Rear Admiral and transferred to work in the General Staff, and as the commander of the Nagato he was replaced by Captain I Rank Kabayama Kanari (Japanese) Russian. For the first four years, the battleship conducted combat training and participated in the exercises of the fleet. On September 7, 1924, during firing practice, he sank the target ship Satsuma.


“Nagato” during sea trials, 1920

From December 1, 1924, he was withdrawn to the reserve. For a year, modernization work was carried out on the battleship, after which the ship returned to the active fleet.

Since the fall of 1931, work was underway on the battleship to strengthen anti-aircraft weapons. Having entered the fleet, the battleship underwent combat training. Participated in the exercises as part of the formation.


Battleship “Nagato” before modernization

On April 1, 1934, a deep modernization of the ship began at the Kura Naval Shipyard, which lasted until November 5, 1935. The main areas of work were - replacing anti-aircraft weapons, strengthening the reservation,

installing a new fire control system.

On August 20, 1937, the battleship transported 2,000 soldiers to China. Nagato took part in the Shanghai battles. Upon returning to Japanese waters, he took part in large exercises of the Imperial Navy.

On September 1, 1939, the battleship Nagato was appointed flagship of the Joint Japanese Fleet. The entire next 1940 year, large-scale maneuvers and exercises of the Japanese fleet took place. Combat training and firing practice were carried out. The battleship took part in a grandiose naval parade held in Yokohama Bay.


IJN Nagato firing her guns in 1936

In the fall of 1941, the mobilization of all the forces of the Japanese fleet was announced, which was completed by October 9. On November 17-18, 1941 “Nagato” made the transition to Saeki to join the aircraft carrier “Akagi”. On board the aircraft carrier, Admiral Yamamoto clarified the latest details of the attack on Pearl Harbor, after which the battleship returned to base. The Japanese aircraft carriers, joining up, sailed towards Pearl Harbor.

On December 7, 1941, Japanese carrier-based aircraft defeated the US Navy line forces at the Pearl Harbor naval base. From 8 to 13 December, the battleship Nagato, at the head of the compound, provided cover for the aircraft carriers of Vice Admiral Tuichi Nagumo.


“Nagato” in the sea in 1941

On February 12, 1942, Nagato ceded the flagship role to the newest battleship Yamato. In the spring of 1942, the shipyard in Kure “Nagato” underwent maintenance. Combat training and firing continued in May. On May 29, after replenishing ammunition, the battleship went on a military campaign. The battleship did not participate in the battle on June 4. After the battle on June 6, took the crew from the aircraft carrier “Kaga”. On June 14, the unit returned to Japan. On July 12, 1942, the battleship Nagato entered the 2nd battleship division of the Imperial Japanese Navy. Until the end of 1942, the battleship served as a training ship, engaged in combat training.

From January 25 to February 2, 1943, boilers were repaired at the Nagato. From May 31 to June 6, it underwent modernization, during which four 25-mm anti-aircraft guns and a type-21 radar were installed. On June 8 he returned to his base.

From June 25 to June 27, exercises were held to tow the battleship. On August 23, the battleship as part of the formation arrived in the Solomon Islands region on Truk Island. On October 19, the battleship was transferred to Brown Island. October 23 “Nagato” in the Japanese fleet went to intercept the US aircraft carrier TF-14, but the enemy was not found. On October 26, the ships returned to Truk.

After a US air raid on February 1, 1944, the battleship, as part of the formation, made the transition to Palau, and on February 17 went to Singapore. On March 30, the Nagato dock in Singapore underwent maintenance. The battleship took part in major exercises and combat training.

From 11 to 15 May, the battleship moved to the Borneo region at the Tavi-Tavi military base.

On June 11, the battleship as part of the “B” formation went to the Philippines. On June 19, the First Battle in the Philippine Sea began with an unsuccessful raid by Japanese carrier-based aircraft on Guam. During a raid by US carrier-based aircraft, “Nagato” shot down two attacking enemy aircraft. In Operation A-GO, the Japanese lost 3 aircraft carriers, 2 tankers, and several warships were badly damaged. After being defeated in battle, the unit moved to Okinawa. On June 24, the battleship returned to Japan.

From June 27 to July 7, the ship was re-equipped: 98 25-mm machine guns and 4 radars were installed.


“Nagato” 1945

On July 9, Nagato arrived in Okinawa in Group B, carrying an infantry regiment. Arrived in Manila on July 14th. Until October 10, the battleship cruised between Lynga and Singapore, carrying personnel and various cargo. On October 20, Nagato arrived in Brunei to resupply. On October 22, T. Kurita’s compound, which included the “Nagato”, went to the Philippines to participate in the “Se” (Victory) operation.
On October 24, during a raid by US carrier-based aircraft, 2 bombs hit the battleship.

The first bomb damaged the air ducts, causing the ship’s speed to drop to 24 knots. The second bomb destroyed the radio room. On “Nagato” 54 people died, 106 were injured. The ships passed the San Bernardino Strait and attacked the American carrier formation. “Nagato” with its fire seriously damaged the aircraft carrier “Saint Lo” (CVE-63), which was soon finished off by a kamikaze. During another raid, 2 bombs hit “Nagato”. On October 28, the battleship returned to Brunei. On November 16, the Nagato and other ships in the port of Brunei were attacked by American aircraft.

From November 17, the battleship compound made the transition to Japanese waters, arriving in Yokosuku on November 24 (25).

Until February 10, 1944, Nagato underwent repairs and replacement of weapons, after which it was used for coastal defense. On April 20, the ship was put into reserve.
From June 1, 1945, the battleship was part of the coastal defense fleet.

During a raid by US carrier-based aircraft on July 18, the battleship was hit by 3 bombs. The ship received numerous damage, killing 33 sailors and the ship’s commander Rear Admiral Otsuka Miki.
The Emperor of Japan announced surrender on August 15, 1945. On August 29, American warships entered the territorial waters of Japan.
On September 15, 1945, the battleship Nagato was withdrawn from the fleet.

Tests on Atoll Bikini

After Japan’s surrender, Nagato went to the United States. It was decided to use the ship in nuclear weapons tests.

From March 18 to April 4, 1946, the battleship made the transition to Enewetok Atoll. Arriving at Bikini Atoll, “Nagato” participated in the tests “Able” and “Baker”. The ship suffered the first atmospheric explosion without significant damage. On July 25, an underwater explosion was made, the battleship, located 650 meters from the explosion site, was seriously damaged. The underwater part of the hull was torn apart, and water began to flow through the holes.


Battleship “Nagato” in 1946

Due to the lack of a crew on board, the battle for the survivability of the ship was not fought. On July 29, 1946, the battleship sank. Due to the fact that according to the test plan, close to combat, it was required to use the ships in a state of combat readiness, they were in the affected area with a supply of fuel and ammunition. In 2019, a study was conducted of the consequences of the test, during which it was found that fuel remains from the Nagato and other ships continued to flow into the sea, spreading for many miles in a circle.


The Baker explosion on July 25, 1946

More historical photos






Foremast of the battleship “Nagato”



  • Main armor belt: 305 mm
  • Armor belt height: 2.7 meters
  • Armor traverse: 330 mm
  • Reservation in the area of the stems: 203-102 mm
  • Upper armor belt: 229 mm
  • Armor traverse of the upper armored belt: 254 mm
  • Mine artillery casemate: 25 mm
  • Main Armor Deck: 127mm
  • Upper deck above the citadel: 70 mm
  • Deck above casemate: 25-38 mm
  • Main turret armor:
  • Front plate: 457mm

  • Side walls: 280 mm

  • Roof: 250-228 mm

  • Armor of the main battery barbets: 429 mm
  • Reservation of the bow conning tower: 356-305 mm

Internal layout and armor


Thanks to the book - 図解 日本帝国海军全舰船1868-1945 戦舰・巡洋戦舰
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Schematic of the battleship Nagato 1941

Technical component:

  • Crew - 1480
  • Standard displacement: 39120 t
  • Full-load displacement: 46356 t
  • Max length: 224,94 m
  • Max width: 34,59 m
  • Average draft at trial state: 9,5 m
  • Main boiler: 21 Kanpon RO boilers
  • Main engine: 4 Gihon turbines
  • Power: 82 300
  • Speed: 27 knots
  • Aircraft: 3 seaplanes
  • Radar station “Type 22”
  • On the mainmast of the antenna of two radars “Type 13”


  • 4х2 - 410mm 41 cm/45 (16.1") 3rd Year Type
  • 16x1 - 140mm 14 cm/50 (5.5") 3rd Year Type
  • 4x2 - 127mm 12.7 cm/40 (5") Type 88
  • 16x3 - 25 mm/60 (1") Type 96
  • 10x2 - 25 mm/60 (1") Type 96
  • 30x1 - 25 mm/60 (1") Type 96

APC Type 91: 32.8 lbs. (14.89 kg)
Common Type 0 HE: 97.7 lbs. (44.3 kg)

Rate Of Fire - 2.5 rounds per minute

Range of APC projectiles - 38,725 m



Weapon layout of the battleship Nagato 1945

All resources:

Imperial Japanese Navy Battleships 1941–5 by Mark Stille, Tony Bryan

Imperial Japanese Navy BB Nagato Battleship by Collective

Warship Pictorial 38 IJN Nagato Class Battleships - by Steve Wiper

図解 日本帝国海军全舰船1868-1945 戦舰・巡洋戦舰


Definitely would love to see this beast eventually +1

Suggestion passed to the developers for consideration.