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IJN Ibuki

Armored Cruiser / Battlecruiser Warship

Naval Warfare / Ships

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Image from the Public Domain.

IJN Ibuki became the first Imperial Japanese Navy ship to be built with turbine engines - it served until 1923.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 3/30/2020 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com
IJN Ibuki was a three-funneled, turbine-driven armored cruiser / battlecruiser of the pre-World War 1 period serving the nation of Japan. As the nation joined the industrial revolution much later than its Western counterparts, there was a concerted effort to catch up to the latest in naval weaponry amidst a backdrop of growing national ambition. Hence much attention was paid to development and acquisition of powerful warships to make the Empire of Japan one of the best fighting forces on the high seas at the beginning of the last century, a status the country would hold until its collapse at the end of World War 2 in 1945.

Indeed its naval prowess was proven in the 1905 naval victory over the Russian Empire during the Battle of Tsushima - a decisive victory by Japan during the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905).

Ordered in 1904, IJN Ibuki was named after Mount Ibuki and assigned to the Kure Naval Shipyard where her keel was laid down on May 22nd, 1907. Launched on October 21st, 1907, the vessel was formally commissioned into service on November 11th, 1907. IJN Ibuki has the distinction of becoming the first Imperial Japanese warship to feature turbine engines as part of its propulsion scheme. However, her sister IJN Kurama - which was finished with the more traditional reciprocating engine fit - entered construction well before lead-ship Ibuki in August of 1905 due to issues with the turbine installation.

As built, IJN Ibuki was classified as an "armored cruiser" given a displacement of 14,870 tons under standard load and 15,845 tons under full load. Dimensions included a running length of 485 feet with a beam of 75.5 feet and a draught of 26.2 feet. Power was from Mirabura boiler units feeding 2 x Curtis geared-steam turbines developinf 24,000 horsepower driving 2 x Shafts astern. The warship could make headway at 21.5 knots and range out to 5,000 nautical miles (the latter when steaming at 14 knots). Ibuki was loaded with 2,000 tons of coal as well as another 218 tons of oil fuel.

Aboard was a crew of 844 men. Armor (forged by Krupp) included up to 7" at the belt, 7" at the barbettes, 7" at the main gun turrets, 7.9" at the conning tower, and up to 5" at the deck.

Armament centered on 4 x 12" Type 41st Year main guns set in two twin-gunned primary turrets, one featured fore and the other aft. Secondary armament was 8 x 8" (200mm) Type 41st Year guns set in four twin-gunned turrets. This was backed by 14 x 4.7" (120mm) Type 41st Year tertiary guns and 8 x 3.1" (8cm) guns. Like other warships of the period, Ibuki was outfitted with torpedo tubes, these being 3 x 450mm (45cm / 17.7") launchers.

On August 28th, 1912, Ibuki was reclassified as a "battlecruiser" to fall more in line with Western offerings and went on to participate in actions concerning World War 1 on the side of the allies. She escorted Australian and New Zealand troops across the Indian Ocean to the Dardanelles for her part in the war and also took part in the search for the German light cruiser SMS Emden. With the end of the war in November of 1918, and because of the restrictions set forth by the newly minted Washington Naval Treaty of 1922, IJN Ibuki and her sister were given up for scrap. IJN Ibuki was struck from the Naval Register on September 20th, 1923 though her main guns were reclaimed as coastal artillery at Hakodate, Hokkaido and mounted at positions in the Tsugaru Strait between Honshu and Hokkaido.


Decommissioned, Out-of-Service
844 Personnel
Ship Class [ Ibuki-class ]
Ships-in-Class [ 2 ] Ship Names: IJN Ibuki; IJN Kurama
National flag of Imperial Japan Imperial Japan
- Blue Water Operations
- Fleet Support
- Hunter
- Direct-Attack
485 ft (147.83 m)
Width / Beam:
75.5 ft (23.01 m)
Height / Draught:
26.2 ft (7.99 m)
Displacement (Surface):
14,875 tons
Mirabura boiler units feeding 2 x Curtis geared steam turbines developing 24,000 horsepower driving 2 x Shafts astern.
Speed (Surface):
22 kts (25 mph)
5,040 nm (5,800 miles; 9,334 km)
4 x 12" Type 41st Year main guns in two twin-gunned primary turrets.
8 x 8" (200mm) Type 41st Year secondary guns in four twin-gunned turrets.
14 x 4.7" (120mm) Type 41st Year guns in single-gunned emplacements.
4 x 3.1" (8cm / 80mm) guns.
3 x 17.7" (45cm / 450mm) torpedo tubes.

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