Kongō (1912)

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Kongō (1912)
Builder: Vickers-Armstrongs
Ordered: 1911
Laid down: 1911
Launched: 18 May, 1912
Commissioned: 16 Aug, 1913
Sunk: 21 Nov, 1944

Kongō (金剛, "Vajra" or "Indestructible") was the Imperial Japanese Navy's first dreadnought battlecruiser, and the name-ship of her class. Kongō was the last major Japanese warship to be built in Great Britain. She was upgraded to a battleship rating in the 1930s following reconstruction and served in several major naval operations during the Second World War before being sunk by enemy action in 1944.

Design and Build

In 1908, the commissioning of the battlecruiser H.M.S. Invincible armed with eight 12-inch guns, into the Royal Navy rendered all of the Imperial Japanese Navy's warships obsolete, including those under design. In response, the Japanese Diet passed the 1911 Naval Emergency Expansion bill, funding the design and construction of one battleship and four armoured cruisers. The battleship was to be the Fusō and the first of the cruisers was the Kongō.

Kongō was the last major Japanese warship to be built abroad, being built by Vickers-Armstrongs in England. Kongō was the creation of Vickers' chief designer, Sir George Thurston. Freed from the Admiralty's tight design specifications, he came up with what was immediately recognized to be a fine and superbly-balanced warship, mounting eight 14-in main guns. The key feature of the Kongō-class was that it had its main gun turrets all either aft or fore, eliminating the amidships turret which had a poor firing arc.

Kongō was laid down on 17 January, 1911, launched on 18 May, 1912 and completed and sent to Japan on 16 August, 1913. Named after Mount Kongō, Kongō was the first battleship in the world to carry 14 in main armament.

Kongō arrived at Simonstown on 22 September 1913, and proceeded onward to Singapore after a visit of perhaps a week.[1]


Dates of appointment are provided when known.

See Also


  1. "Movements of Ships." The Times (London, England), Friday, October 3, 1913, Issue 40333, p.3.


  • Alan Payne, MRINA. Battlecruiser Kongo in Warship, Issue 19.
  • Hans Lengerer. The Battlecruisers of the Kongô Class in Warship 2012.

Kongō Class Battlecruiser
  Haruna Hiei Kirishima Kongō  
  Major Cruisers (JP)