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"Kongo (again)" Topic


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544 hits since 11 Dec 2012
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Comments or corrections?

Durrati11 Dec 2012 3:50 a.m. PST

A while ago there was a post about the possibility of the Kongo serving with the Grand fleet which included an interesting (for me) discussion about the politics behind the decision making process.

Is something that I am interested in looking at. Any pointers or advice on sources would be gratefully received. English language only mind as my Japanese is er, non existent.

CampyF13 Dec 2012 8:42 a.m. PST

The Kongo wasn't substantially different in design from the "Splendid Cats" (Lion, etc.). She would probably take her place alongside the other large battle cruisers. And possibly subject to the same sloppy ammo handling, even if Japanese crewed.

The Japanese largely followed the British Navy in doctrine. The Japanese had their share of ships blowing up in harbor during WWI. Other than the weakness in ammo handling, these were tough ships. Tiger withstood approximately 17 hits at Jutland without being put out of action.

coastal213 Dec 2012 5:28 p.m. PST

Not much to say about the RN's request to use the Kongo. They requested it through the Foreign Office with the provision that she'd be manned by an RN crew. Japan was reluctant to let her go since she was their first and at that time, only full fledged dreadnought. IIRC, the Japanese countered that they would consider the idea if she was manned by a Japanese crew under the Japanese flag. After that, nothing further came of the idea. Keep in mind, the Japanese did send a full DD flotilla to the Med and did yeoman duty in convoy escort.

warren bruhn18 Dec 2012 6:04 p.m. PST

I suspect that if Italy had joined the Central Powers, then Britain would have needed to ask for more support from Japan in the Med, perhaps including the full squadron of Kongo class battlecruisers. And perhaps Britain would not have been able to refuse the offer from Brazil to loan its two dreadnoughts, the Sao Paulo and the Minas Gerais.

Archeopteryx Inactive Member19 Dec 2012 7:20 a.m. PST

There is a very brief discussion in Evans and Peattie's Kaigun, which claims that the British asked for the loan of all 4 Kongos in 1915 , and that Japanese used the justification that the Japanese people, having paid for the ships, would not want them to leave territorial waters!

Halpern points out that the Jspanese had provided considerable assistance to the Biritsh during the pursuit of the German overseas cruiser squadrons in 1914, and the Battleship HMS Triumph (one of the two interesting 10" armed "light" pre-dreadnoughts purchased by Chile and taken over the Royal Navy, and – given the need to concentrate the dreadnoughts in the Grand Fleet – the Royal Navy's flagship at Singapore) and the destroyer Usk were attached to the Japanese 2nd fleet during the taking of Tsingtau (the only, yet significant, relic of German occupation being the excellent beer!).

Eventually in 1917 the Japanese did sent a destroyer flotilla to the Mediterranean (Malta) on ASW convoy escort duties, and the Royal Navy turned over two additional H class destroyers to Japanese crews. They did an excellent job by all accounts.

It's very probably that the Japanese wanted to maintain the balance of power in the Pacific through a standing fleet, given their ambitions towards China and the former German pacific territories, and rivalry with the US. Sneding destroyers to Europe was one thing, but the most powerful fleet units proved another one entirely.

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