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Japanese cruiser Chitose
Japanese cruiser Chitose.jpg
Japanese cruiser Chitose
Career Naval Ensign of Japan.svg
Name: Chitose
Ordered: 1896 Fiscal Year
Builder: Union Iron Works, United States
Laid down: 16 May 1897
Launched: 23 January 1898
Completed: 1 March 1898
Commissioned: March 1898
Decommissioned: 1 April 1928
Struck: 1 April 1928
Fate: Sunk as target, 19 July 1931
General characteristics
Class & type: Kasagi-class cruiser
Displacement: 4,836 t (4,760 long tons)
Length: 115.3 m (378 ft 3 in) w/l
Beam: 15 m (49 ft 3 in)
Draft: 5.4 m (17 ft 9 in)
Installed power: 11,600 kW (15,600 hp)
Propulsion: 2 × VTE; 12 × boilers
2 × shafts
Speed: 22.5 kn (41.7 km/h; 25.9 mph)
Range: 4,000 nmi (7,400 km; 4,600 mi) at 10 kn (19 km/h; 12 mph)
Complement: 405
Armament: • 2 × 20.3 cm/45 Type 41 naval guns
• 10 × QF 4.7 inch Gun Mk I–IV guns
• 12 × QF 12 pounder 12 cwt naval gund
• 6 × QF 3 pounder Hotchkiss guns
• 4 × 356 mm (14.0 in) torpedo tubes
  • Deck: 112 mm (4.4 in) (slope), 62 mm (2.4 in) (flat)
  • Gun shield: 203 mm (8 in) (front), 62 mm (2.4 in) (sides)
  • Conning Tower: 115 mm (4.5 in)

Chitose (千歳?) was a Kasagi-class protected cruiser of the Imperial Japanese Navy. It was the sister ship to the Kasagi.


Chitose was ordered as part of the 1896 Emergency Fleet Replenishment Budget, funded by the war indemnity received from the Empire of China as part of the settlement of the Treaty of Shimonoseki ending the First Sino-Japanese War.


Chitose was designed and built in San Francisco in the United States by the Union Iron Works. It was the second major capital warship to be ordered by the Imperial Japanese Navy from an American shipbuilder, and the last to be ordered from an overseas shipyard. Its specifications were very similar to that of the Takasago, but with slightly larger displacement and overall dimensions, but with identical gun armament (and without the bow torpedo tubes). However, internally the ships were very different, with Chitose having 130 watertight compartments, compared with 109 in Takasago[1]

Service record

A short historical film clip of the launch. (1898)

Chitose’s launch was filmed by Thomas Edison. It was christened by May Budd, niece of California governor James Budd, with a bottle of California wine. Gladys Sullivan, niece of San Francisco mayor James D. Phelan, pressed the button that sent the ship down the slipway. To symbolize the peacekeeping role of the warship, 100 doves were released as it was launched. Japanese Consul General Segawa explained in a speech at the following luncheon that the name "Chitose" meant "a thousand years of peace" in Japanese, and that he hoped that the ship would fulfill that wish.

Chitose arrived at Yokosuka Naval District on 30 April 1898.

Russo-Japanese War

During the Russo-Japanese War, Chitose was active in the Battle of Port Arthur as flagship for Admiral Dewa Shigeto. On 9 February 1904, she was part of the 3rd Cruiser Squadron which engaged the Russian fleet at the entrance to Port Arthur, attacking the cruisers Askold and Novik, and sinking a Russian destroyer on 25 February. During the Battle of the Yellow Sea on 10 August, Chitose participated in the unsuccessful pursuit of the cruisers Askold and Novik, and continued to pursue Novik to Hokkaido together with Tsushima, sinking the Russian cruiser at the Battle of Korsakov on 21 August.[2]

During the final decisive Battle of Tsushima, Chitose, together with the other cruisers in the 3rd Division, she engaged the Russian cruisers Oleg, Aurora, and Zhemchug. When Kasagi was damaged in the battle, Admiral Dewa transferred his flag to Chitose. The following day, Chitose sank a Russian destroyer, and successfully pursued the cruiser Izumrud. Following the Battle of Tsushima, Chitose was assigned to cover the landings of Japanese reinforcements in northern Korea. She was returned to Maizuru Naval Arsenal for repairs at the end of July 1905.

World War I

From 1 April-16 November 1907, Chitose made a round-the-world voyage, first stopping in the United States to attend the Jamestown Exposition of 1907, the 300th anniversary celebrations of the founding of the Jamestown Colony, and continuing onwards to Europe. She underwent extensive overhaul in 1910, with her cylindrical locomotive-style boilers replaced by more reliable Miyabara boilers.[1]

During World War I, Chitose was assigned to the IJN 2nd Fleet, and participated in patrols of the sea lanes between Singapore and Borneo against German commerce raiders and U-boats, as part of Japan's contribution to the Allied war effort under the Anglo-Japanese Alliance. Downgraded to a 2nd Class Coastal Defense Vessel on 1 September 1921, and was partially disarmed. Chitose was deemed obsolete on 1 April 1928 and removed from the navy list. Re-designated Haikan No.1, was sunk on 19 July 1931 off Kōchi, Shikoku during a live fire exercise as a target.


  • Chesneau, Roger (1985). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships, 1906–1921.. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-907-3. 
  • Evans, David C.; Peattie, Mark R. (1997). Kaigun: Strategy, Tactics, and Technology in the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1887-1941. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-192-7. 
  • Howarth, Stephen (1983). The Fighting Ships of the Rising Sun: The Drama of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1895-1945. Atheneum. ISBN 0-689-11402-8. 
  • Jane, Fred T. (1904). The Imperial Japanese Navy. Thacker, Spink & Co. 
  • Jentsura, Hansgeorg (1976). Warships of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1869-1945. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-893-X. 
  • Roberts, John (ed). (1983). 'Warships of the world from 1860 to 1905 - Volume 2: United States, Japan and Russia. Bernard & Graefe Verlag, Koblenz. ISBN 3-7637-5403-2. 
  • Schencking, J. Charles (2005). Making Waves: Politics, Propaganda, And The Emergence Of The Imperial Japanese Navy, 1868-1922. Stanford University Press. ISBN 0-8047-4977-9. 
  • Willmont, H.P. (2009). The Last Century of Sea Power: From Port Arthur to Chanak, 1894-1922. Indiana University Press. ISBN 0-253-35214-2. 

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 Chesneau, Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships, 1906–1921. Page 230 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Conway" defined multiple times with different content
  2. Willmont, The Last Century of Sea Power.

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