Ships in class* (2)
Disp: 41,932 tons full load
SHP: 112,000 (4 shafts)
Top Speed Trials: 30.5 knots
Main: 8 - 14"" in triple mounts
Sec: 18 - 3.9" in twin mounts
Light AAW: 42 - 25mm in triple mounts
The war for these two ships was spent bombarding shore targets and engaging in the few surface battles that
took place during the Pacific conflict. The most memorable battle the Fuso and Yamashiro
were engaged in was the Second Naval Battle of Guadalcanal (November 14th, 1942). During the First
Naval Battle of Guadalcanal (November 13th, 1942) the Japanese lost the battleship Kirishima
to a completely inferior USN force. The Japanese had moved the Fuso and Yamashiro into Rabaul half a day
too late to participate in the first battle, but they were there for the second. In the close quarters
combat of that night several ships were damaged and some sunk. The Japanese lost the Hiei and the
Yamashiro was seriously damaged, but the Americans got worse than they gave in this fight.
Out numbered again the Battleship South Dakota was sunk and the battleship Washington was damaged and left dead
in the water. More importantly, all the four destroyers were sunked, leaving the Washington completely
unprotected. As the IJN force withdrew the
heavy cruisers Tako and Atago were ordered to round Savo island to finish off the Washington with 24"
long lance torpedoes. The Washington was sunk. The complete destruction of the USN force still
caused the IJN to fail at their mission to bombard Henderson Field. The American sailors who lost
their lives that night had accomplished the job that was expected of them.
The Fuso and Yamashiro were both sunk in the Battle of Surigao Strait (October 24-25, 1944).
By 1938 the IJN began to realise that their four oldest battlewagons would not be fit to fight
a battle with the ships rolling out of the yards of the USN. The Fuso, Yamashiro,
Ise and Hyuga
were heavily gunned, but poorly protected for attack from enemy battleships and the new threat of
aircraft. It was decided to remove the two center turrets on all four ships (the turrets were
slated to be used for the
ships) and machinery, armor and additional AAW were to be installed.
When the ships emerged from their modernization they were more lightly armed (8 - 14" guns instead
of the designed 12 - 14" guns), but their deck and torpedo protection doubled around the ships
vitals, speed was increased from 24 knots on a good day to 31 knots and the AAW were augmented considerably.