Thursday, October 7, 2010
today we have pictures of the IJN Satsuma and IJN Aki Japan's first all big gun battleships. Satsuma would have beat HMS Dreadnought to launch except for holdups in her construction. these two vessels are considered to be sister ships although there are significant differences between the two. both are equipped with 9" main armour belts, they are armed the same with 12" and 10" main batteries. however, Satsuma is powered with vertical triple expansion steam engines while Aki uses Curtis steam turbines. Aki is also about 10ft. longer at 460ft. and displaces somewhat more tonnage. the turbines allow Aki a top speed of 20kts. compared to Satsuma's 18.5. these ships were called semi-dreadnoughts. because of a shortage of 12" rifles they also used 10". their main batteries consisted of four 12" and twelve 10" naval rifles. very powerful ships for the time in any case. neither vessel ever saw battle but were used in WW1 for patrol purposes. Satsuma was sunk as a naval target in 1924 by gunfire from IJN Kongo and IJN Hyuga. Aki met the same fate at the hands of IJN Nagato and IJN Mutsu in 1927. first picture is IJN Aki at flank speed, perhaps on trials before acceptance into the navy. second is a picture of Aki being overflown by an early biplane. third picture is Satsuma at anchor shown on an old postcard. as you can see the main visual difference is the third funnel forward on Aki, Satsuma only has two. this was no doubt due to the differences in their power plants.
Posted by eber c. buckman at 10:29 AM