IJN Fuji Class Battleships
The Fuji class battleships were the first modern battleships built specifically for the Imperial Navy. Designed by the British shipbuilders G.C. Macrow, the Fuji class was modified form of the HMS Royal Sovereign. The class was comprised of two battleships, the Fuji and the Yashima. They were equipped with small, but powerful guns. The weight saved from the size of the armaments was then applied to increasing armor on turrets.
The Yashima was powered by fourteen cylindrical single ended boilers, while the Fuji was outfitted with ten. At a steady pace of 10 knots, the ships were capable of a 4,000 mile range. While the ships were ordered to counter the presence of modern foreign built battleships in the Chinese Navy, they were not completed until the late summer of 1897. In 1901 they were refitted with more powerful guns and participated in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904. The Fuji had the honor of firing the last round in the Battle of Tsushima on 25 May 1905, which sank the Borodino.
While the Fuji survived the war, her sister ship did not. The Yashima hit a mine outside of Port Arthur and later capsized as a result. Rather than war, it was peace which brought an end to the Fuji. Despite receiving an upgrade in armaments and new boilers in 1910, she was cataloged as a coastal defense vessel. After the Washington Naval Treaty in 1922, she was disarmed and put to use as a training ship. Remarkably, she persisted until 1948 when she was finally scrapped fifty-one years after her completion.
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