Warship Pictorial #13
IJN Kongo Class Battleships

by Steve Wiper of Classic Warships
Japanese Navy fans take heart, Classic Warships has released it's first book on the IJN. This one covers the four Kongo Class Battleships, the Kongo, Hiei, Kirishima, and Haruna. These ships served in two world wars and were often in the thick of the action. It's great to finally have an english language book that covers them in detail.
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 The ships are each featured from their beginnings through to the last known photos of each one. For instance the photo's on the right show the HIJMS Kongo fitting out in 1913, with the as built appearance shown in the elevation drawing. There are other drawing that track her appearance through important updates and refits. The photo's are excellent quality and the majority of them I've never seen in print before.
The photo's of the Hiei are a treasure trove of information, I had searched high and low for good information on this ship. It was a key player in the Friday the 13th Battle of Guadalcanal. I now have enough reference to build an accurate scale model of this ship. As with the others, this ship is covered all during it's career. In between the wars it was demilitarized to comply with the Washington treaty and soon after restored to full fighting status, all covered in this book.
The Kirishima is among the least photographed IJN ships, at least until now. It is fascinating to follow along with her through the years, in photo's and drawings. There is a history on each ship as well as a complete record of their movements through World War Two.
With the Haruna we have a great photographic record of some interesting Japanese camouflage, including what can only be called a "V" pattern possibly to make the ship appear as a sea with white caps. Interestingly the Haruna was sunk in a zebra stripe camo as shown on the right.
On the right and the cover photo above are excellent examples of  "colorization" at it's finest. The dark grey ships are literally brought out of the shadows by the vivid color, and accurate color applied to them. Purist's take heart the original black and white versions are also contained within. I hope to see more of Steve's colorization in future books.
There are the following drawings in this book:
  • HIJMS Kongo as built 1914 elevation view.
  • HIJMS Kongo after first major reconstruction 1934 elevation view.
  • HIJMS Kongo after second major reconstruction 1937 plan and elevation view.
  • HIJMS Kongo late war appearance 1944 plan and elevation.
  • HIJMS Hiei as built 1914 elevation.
  • HIJMS Hiei as demilitarized 1929-36 plan and elevation.
  • HIJMS Hiei after second reconstruction 1940 elevation.
  • HIJMS Kirishima as built 1915 elevation.
  • HIJMS Kirishima after first major reconstruction 1934 elevation.
  • HIJMS Kirishima after second reconstruction 1941 (final form) plan and elevation.
  • HIJMS Haruna as built 1915 elevation.
  • HIJMS Haruna prior to first major reconstruction 1924 elevation.
  • HIJMS Haruna after first major reconstruction 1933 elevation.
  • HIJMS Haruna after second major reconstruction 1934 plan and elevation.
  • HIJMS Haruna after late war refit 1944 elevation.
  • IJN Floatplanes multiple views with specifications.
    • Type 95 Nakajima E8N "Dave"
    • Type 94 Kawanishi E7K "Alf"
    • Type Zero Mitsubishi F1M "Pete"
    • Type Zero Aichi E13A "Jake"
Also General Statistics on all ships, as built, and throughout the major changes in their careers. With 72 pages full of 112 photo's and a list price of only $13.95 this is an unbeatable value to the historian and modeler.


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