IJN Natori (CL-1941/1942)


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The huge investment in the Yamato class had beggared the Navy and the next few classes of ship were smaller to reflect the near empty coffers. A new light cruiser class, based on the Furutaka type, with the same 6.1" weapon system was planned. Superstructures and hull dimensions were similar to the previous Mogami class and overall the three classes made up a substantial amount of the cruisers that were used to escort the Main Fleet. The first two of the class were brand new and had only just finished their acceptance trials when they were off with the fleet to Pearl Harbour.

Originally to have the standard 8x5" AA mountings, this was replaced while building with a new 76mm (3") AA gun in twin mountings. Six twin 76mm mountings were able to be fitted for the same weight allocation. The four triple torpedo tubes of the 24" Long Lance weapons gave the ships a much better torpedo armament than their contemporaries.

Displacement 9,000 tons std, 11,550 tons full load
Length 572 ft
Breadth 64 ft
Draught 19 ft
Machinery 4 shaft Steam turbines, 110,000shp
Speed 32 knots
Range 8,500 miles at 18 knots
Armour 3" side, 2" deck, 2" turrets.
Armament 9 x 6.1" (3x3)

12 x 76mm (6x2)

24 x 25mm (8x3)

Aircraft 2
Torpedoes 12 x 24" (4x3)
Complement 660
Notes IJN Natori

IJN Chikuma

IJN Hirado

I designed the Natori class using the Agano light cruiser hull as the starting point. Moving superstructure and torpedo mountings around gave me space for the triple 6.1" to replace the twins on the originals. Adding 30% more breadth to the hull (from 50 feet to 64 feet) allowed for the triple turrets and a lot more besides. Looking at the British 6" cruiser of the same period from my Royal Commonwealth Navy in comparison is illuminating.

Both efficient ships with good armament and minor weaponry, aircraft and torpedoes.


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