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IJN Mikasa Class Battleship

The Mikasa is best well known as the flagship of the Japanese fleet at the Battle of Tsushima during the Russo-Japanese War. She was part of the same spending program that brought about the Shikishima class and the Asahi. Overall, her design was very similar to the previous ships. She was built by Armstrong Shipbuilders at Elswick, UK. Mikasa was laid down 24 January 1899 and completed 1 March 1902. She was equipped with twelve inch guns capable of firing three rounds per two minutes and the magazine to fire them non-stop up to forty minutes. She had added protection for her smaller guns, while her larger guns were improvements which allowed for loading regardless of the elevation.

Admiral Togo Heihachiro selected Mikasa as his flagship during the war. She survived the war only to sink at her pilings when her magazine exploded killing more than a hundred of her crew. She was raised soon after, repaired, and put back into service. Prior to the First World War, she was outfitted with more advanced twelve and six inch guns.

She was disarmed after Japan signed the Washington Naval Treaty, but remained in existence until the end of the Pacific War. Despite Soviet attempts to see her scrapped, American influence preserved her albeit stripped of her weaponry. Fifteen years later, the Mikasa was fully restored and remains a war memorial and museum ship to the present day in Yokosuka, Japan.

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Page last modified: 11-07-2011 03:24:24 ZULU