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Naval Warfare

IJN Asahi

Pre-Deadnought Battleship [ 1900 ]

The IJN Asahi was torpedoed by the USS Salmon in the South China Sea during World War 2.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 08/07/2017 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

The IJN Asahi was a pre-dreadnought battleship vessel in service with the Imperial Japanese Navy. She saw extensive combat in the war against Russia where she incurred some damage from a mine but survive through the conflict and interwar years and into World War 2. The Asahi was part of the initial push to bring naval supremacy to the nation of Japan so, when ordered, she had to be built in the United Kingdom as Japan had no shipyards capable of undertaking such construction.

The profile of the Asahi warship was characterized by her twin smoke stacks and her twin masts. Before the 1923 disarmament, she fielded her 4 x 12" main guns in two turrets, one facing forward and one aft. Her machinery originally consisted of a reciprocating VTE engine powered by no less than 25 Belleville-class boilers producing 15,000 shaft horsepower while spinning two propeller shafts. A top speed of 18 knots was reported and a surface range of over 10,000 miles could be attained. A crew of 836 operated the vessel.©MilitaryFactory.com
Prior to her 1923 disarmament, armament of the Asahi centered around her 4 x 12" main guns, those these were augmented by a selection of other weapons that included 14 x 6" guns, 20 x 3 pounder and 12 x 2.5 pounder cannons. The Asahi could also field up to 5 x 457mm torpedoes for anti-ship duty and featured 2 x 3" anti-aircraft guns (the latter after a 1917 refit).

In the interwar years, Asahi was modified to serve as a submarine salvage ship. This required the removing of one of her smoke stacks and her 25 boilers were now just 4 Kapon brand types. She was fitted with a crane as well and served in a variety of naval experiments. By the time of the Second World War, the Asahi was called to action - now all but stripped of her original warship armament - and was relegated as submarine tender (she became a submarine tender beginning 1937). On May 25th, 1942, she was spotted and sunk by the United States Navy submarine USS Salmon in the South China Sea of the Pacific Theater. She was struck by two torpedoes and was lost a short time thereafter with 582 of her crew surviving.

The IJN Asahi was ordered in 1896 and laid down the following year. Construction was handled by the John Brown & Company in the United Kingdom while the design originated from one G.C. Macrow. The vessel was launched in 1899 and officially commissioned in 1900 upon reaching her homeland Japanese waters.©MilitaryFactory.com
Note: The above text is EXCLUSIVE to the site www.MilitaryFactory.com. It is the product of many hours of research and work made possible with the help of contributors, veterans, insiders, and topic specialists. If you happen upon this text anywhere else on the internet or in print, please let us know at MilitaryFactory AT gmail DOT com so that we may take appropriate action against the offender / offending site and continue to protect this original work.


Imperial Japan
Operators National flag of modern Japan
Imperial Japan
National Origin
IJN Asahi
Hull Class
IJN Asahi

Offshore Bombardment
Offshore bombardment / attack of surface targets / areas primarily through onboard ballistic weaponry.
Offshore strike of surface targets primarily through onboard missile / rocket weaponry.
Maritime Patrol
Active patroling of vital waterways and maritime areas; can also serve as local deterrence against airborne and seaborne threats.
Airspace Denial / Deterrence
Neutralization or deterrence of airborne elements through onboard ballistic of missile weaponry.
Fleet Support
Serving in support (either firepower or material) of the main surface fleet in Blue Water environments.
Flag Ship / Capital Ship
Serving in the fleet Flag Ship role or Capital Ship in older warship designs / terminology.

425.0 feet
(129.54 meters)
75.0 feet
(22.86 meters)
27.0 feet
(8.23 meters)

25 x Belleville (later 4 x Kampon) boilers with 1 x Reciprocating VTE steam enginedeveloping 15,000 horsepower to 2 x shafts.
18.0 knots
(20.7 mph)
Surface Speed
9,004 nm
(10,362 miles | 16,676 km)
1 knot = 1.15 mph; 1 nm = 1.15 mile; 1 nm = 1.85 km

4 x 12" main guns
14 x 6" guns
20 x 3-pdr cannons
12 x 2.5-pdr cannons
5 x 457mm torpedoes
2 x 3" anti-aircraft guns (after 1917)


Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War period
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Military lapel ribbon for the Russian Invasion of Ukraine
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2


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Image of the IJN Asahi
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