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Old 10-26-2017, 04:38 AM   #1
Faith
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Default (REQUEST) Nagara Class light cruiser

I would like to request the least well known of all japanese cruisers, the Nagara class.



The Nagara class was a continuation of the Kuma class light cruiser. The first 3 ships were authorised as part of the 8-4 Fleet Completion Program in 1920, with the last 3 laid down later during the year. As they were at their core repeats, they were identical to the preceding light cruisers. The only difference was the addition of a hangar inside the bridge structure, making it taller and larger. A very short flying off platform was built above the foward guns. A similar system was placed on the following Sendai class. Those were deemed inpractical in operation and the aircraft arrangement was replaced by a convetionnal catapult, first between the number 1 and 2 guns, then between number 5 and 6 aft. Armement arrangements were identical, with the exception of the torpedo launchers, modified to carry 24 inch torpedoes from 21 inch.

The ships had very colorful careers. They served as destroyer squadron flagships and frontline combat vessels at the beginning of the war. As the situation changed, they were deemed second line units and were used for various roles, such as convoy escorts, submarine hunters, transports, and even anti aircraft cruisers. No ship survived the war, the last survivor, ISUZU, sinking on April 7th, 1945 transporting troops in the Dutch East Indies.



Effectively, it's a Kuma with a Sendai bridge placed on top, which is all we need to do to create a good Nagara. I hope that a modder takes an interest in the ship.

In terms of service modifications, I propose that the ships be modified as so:
-Late 1943: adding 2x3 25 mm guns to the existing 3 existing AA guns, remove the number 5 gun and replace the number 7 gun with a Type 89 twin 5 inch gun, add 2 depth charge racks but no hydrophones.
-Mid 1944: Single 25 mm are to added wherever possible, the exact number up to the modder.
-November 1st, 1944: follow the arrangement of ISUZU, last surviving vessel from this point on. It was modified with a unique Anti Aircraft cruiser arrangement, with which it participated in the Battle of Cape Engano. Since few would specifically search out ISUZU when there are 4 carriers nearby, I believe it would be better to focus on the other ships, ABUKUMA and KINU, who had a more similar weapon arrangement.



Isuzu weapon arrangement

(gives general idea of the positionning of the 25mm, with 2 triples before the bridge and one triple on the stern. All shielded light AA guns are triples)

This is the final armement fit for the individual ships at the time of their sinking:
-NAGARA: 5x140mm, 1x2 128mm, 2x3 25mm, 6x2 25mm, 14x1 25mm, 10x13mm single (7 August 1944)
-ISUZU: 3x2 128mm, 11x3 25mm, 17x1 25mm (7 April 1945)
-NATORI: 5x140mm, 1x2 128mm, 2x3 25mm, 2x2 25mm, 4x1 25mm, 4x13mm quadruple (19 August 1944)
-YURA: 7x140mm, 2x2 25mm, 4x13mm quadruple (25 OCtober 1942)
-KINU: 5x140mm, 1x2 128mm, 2x3 25mm, 2x2 25mm, 4x13mm quadruple (26 October 1944)
-ABUKUMA: 5x140mm, 1x2 128mm, 4x3 25mm, 2x2 25mm, 24x1 25mm, 10x13mm single (26 October 1944)


Individual careers (taken from Wikipedia)

Nagara
Built by the Sasebo Naval Arsenal and commissioned on 22 April 1922, Nagara served in the initial battles of the Second Sino-Japanese War, including the Battle of Shanghai and the Invasion of French Indochina. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Nagara covered the landings of Japanese troops in Malaya and the Dutch East Indies. She accompanied Admiral Nagumo's Carrier Striking Force during the Battle of Midway, at the end of which she took over from the destroyer Nowaki as the flagship of Admiral Nagumo after the loss of his flagship Akagi. Afterwards, she participated in the battles of the Eastern Solomons, Santa Cruz , and the First Battle of Guadalcanal (where she is credited with sinking the destroyer USS Preston). She was finally torpedoed by the submarine USS Croaker en route between Kagoshima and Sasebo on 7 August 1944.

Isuzu
Built by the Uraga Dock Company, and commissioned on 15 August 1923, Isuzu covered the landings of Japanese troops in China, and the seizure of Hong Kong in early World War II. Afterwards assigned to the Dutch East Indies, during the Solomon Islands campaign she was active at the Battle of Santa Cruz and Naval Battle of Guadalcanal. Suffering significant damage in air attacks in late 1943, she was forced to return to Japan, where she underwent an extensive conversion into an anti-aircraft/anti-submarine cruiser. She survived the Battle of Leyte Gulf, but was soon after sunk by a "wolfpack" of US submarines off of Sumbawa on 7 April 1945.

Natori
Completed by Mitsubishi Nagasaki on 15 September 1922, Natori covered the landings of Japanese troops in the Philippines and the Dutch East Indies. During the Battle of Sunda Strait, she contributed to sinking the cruisers USS Houston and HMAS Perth. Subsequently assigned to patrols in the Dutch East Indies, she returned to Japan to repair damage in June 1943, and was only able to resume duties in March 1944. She was torpedoed off Samar by the US submarine, USS Hardhead on 19 August 1944.

Yura
Commissioned at Sasebo Naval Arsenal on 20 March 1923, Yura was involved in the sinking of Prince of Wales and Repulse, and covered the landings of Japanese troops in Malaya and Sarawak. Afterwards, she participated in the Indian Ocean raid, the Battle of Midway, and the Battle of the Eastern Solomons. She was sunk by United States Navy and United States Army Air Forces aircraft in the Solomon Islands on 25 October 1942.

Kinu
Completed at Kawasaki Shipbuilding Corporation in Kobe on 10 November 1922, Kinu was involved in the sinking of Prince of Wales and Repulse, and covered the landings of Japanese troops in Malaya and the Dutch East Indies. She was involved in various operations in the Solomon Islands and the Philippines, and was sunk by USN aircraft in the Visayan Sea on 26 October 1944.

Abukuma
Completed by the Uraga Dock Company on 26 May 1925, Abukuma took part in the attack on Pearl Harbor. She was later involved in the Battle of the Komandorski Islands, and remained active in northern waters under the IJN 5th Fleet until October 1944, However, when sent south to counter the American invasion of the Philippines, she was sunk at the Battle of Surigao Strait on 26 October 1944.

Sources:
-Mark Stille, Imperial Japanese Navy Light Cruisers, 1941-45, Osprey Publishing, 2012
-Wikipedia
-http://www.combinedfleet.com
-Shipbucket
-WW2DB
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Old 10-26-2017, 08:03 AM   #2
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Well, here's a quick grab of the Naka model DAT file in Fall of the Rising Sun:




... and here's the Kuma:




The portions highlighted on the two vessels are called the "Cabina" in S3ditor. The lower portion of the Kuma's "tower" area is actually part of the hull. The two Katori models in the game have a similar structure to the Kuma, with the lower portion of the superstructure being part of the hull. That complicates things. The tower on the Naka model isn't quite right either, and almost looks like it needs the Kuma top put on top of it, with some surgical reshaping, of course... There might be someone interested in doing a kit-bash project. How much 3D modeling have you done Faith?... We'll see if there's any nibbles on the idea.


Edits:

Nagara from 1932??


Abukuma 1941??


Isuzu 1944??

It's just a bit difficult, when the only two photos I've found thus far from war period the quality isn't much, so it is difficult to tell what the layout of the superstructure is. One thing though, they did eliminate that little "cut-out" in the gunwale, right behind the superstructure in the pre-war shots...
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Old 10-27-2017, 03:21 AM   #3
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Hello propbeanie,

Unfortunately I have no knowledge of 3d editing, and I won't be able to muster the free time for it . I'm already enjoying working on the campaign files. Looking at the models, I think it's still possible to completely cover up the base of the Kuma bridge with the Sendai one,. Although it would not look quite as real, it wouldn't be that bad, since the AA platform on the Sendai is already larger than in real life.

It is true that there are almost no close up shots of the 5500 ton cruisers during the war itself. The only good one is of Isuzu; otherwise it's distant shots from american aircraft.
Here are a few other pictures from Mark Stille's book, including closeups of the bridge's final configuration.



A close up of Abukuma's bridge during the Pearl Harbor operation
(sorry it's sideways)




Natori in 1933, with the final bridge configuration


3 different Nagara class ships, from top to bottom
Abukuma during the attack on Pearl Harbor
Isuzu in October 1944 during the Battle of Cape Engano
Nagara in 1944
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Old 10-27-2017, 08:18 AM   #4
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Well, on the Combined Fleet, Nagara Class page, there are a couple of shots that are OK. The Abukuma page has a decent side-shot from when they still had the forward catapult, The Nagara has the 2/3 rear shot, but larger, clearer and colorized from 1936. The Natori has a nice 1/8 front shot with nice detail from 1935. The Kinu is a 3/8 rear shot from 1937. The Yura has a 1938 camouflage shot from 7/8 front, and the Isuzu is a similar angle from 1944. It is very interesting to notice the differences in detail on the just the bridges in some of those shots, especially the Isuzu, with its "deflector" panels above and below the bridge "window". The canvas tarp covers on the bridges in the early versions crack me up. Open-air bridge during a battle... My dad was telling me about his trip from Texas during WWII from Texas through the Panama Canal to Pearl and then the Philippines, and using tarps on their LST vessel, just to keep the sun off of them.
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Old 10-27-2017, 10:01 AM   #5
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I have trouble imagining a trip across the Pacific Ocean without a roof.

Back on topic, no two Nagara class ship had a similar bridge. As you noticed, some are blocky, others are curvier. The platform for the quad 13mm were also different, as well as the rangefinders, which went from 12ft on Yura and Kinu, all the way to 20 ft on Abukuma.

Here are some good illustrations detailing the bridge structure after their rebuild (pics found on http://www.shipmodels.info):

Abukuma


Nagara, Natori, Isuzu


Nagara


Nagara at Shanghai, October 1936


Natori in the King George V drydock at Singapore, April 1943
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