Hiei was a Kongo-class battlecruiser used by the Imperial Japanese Navy in the Pacific Theater of Operations of World War II. On December 7, 1941, it participated, as a carrier escort, in the Japanese attack on the US Navy base of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Her 14-in guns softened up the beaches before the Japanese invasion of Dutch East Indies. Having taken part in the Battle of Midway, the Hiei battleship was assigned to the Japanese fleet deployed in the Solomon Islands, to be sunk by the American destroyer USS Laffey (DD-459) and TBF Avenger torpedo-bombers during the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal on November 14, 1942. Commissioned in August 1914, she had also participated in World War I naval actions. It was built in Japan by Yokosuka naval arsenal, but it had been designed by British naval engineer George Thurston.

Armament and Power Plant

Although Hiei was classified as battlecruiser, she had the armor and armament of a battleship, hence it is often referred to as as the latter type. She was armed with eight 14-in (356mm) naval guns, mounted in four deck turrets (two fore and two aft); sixteen 6-in (152mm) guns; eight 12-pounder (75mm), guns; and eight 21-in torpedo tubes. She was powered by 4 steam turbines, with 4 shafts, supplied by 8 boilers.

Specifications

Length: 222 m
Beam: 31 m
Draft: 9.7 m
Displacement: 37,000 tons
Maximum speed: 30 knots (56 km/h)
Range: 10,000 nautical miles (19.000 km)
Crew: 1,4000 sailors and officers.

Hiei

hiei-battleship

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