Japanese battleship Hatsuse

Coordinates: 38°37′N 121°20′E / 38.617°N 121.333°E / 38.617; 121.333
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Hatsuse at sea
Yard number680
Laid down10 January 1898
Launched27 June 1899
Completed18 January 1901
FateSank 15 May 1904 after striking a mine
General characteristics
Class and typeShikishima-class pre-dreadnought battleship
Displacement14,312 long tons (14,542 t) (normal)
Length438 ft 8 in (133.7 m)
Beam76 ft 6 in (23.3 m)
Draught27 ft 5 in (8.4 m)
Installed power
  • 14,500 
  • 25
    Belleville boilers
Propulsion2 shafts, 2 triple-expansion steam engines
Speed18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph)
Range5,000 nmi (9,300 km; 5,800 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph)
Complement849 (as flagship)
  • 2 × twin
    12 in (305 mm) guns
  • 14 × single
    6 in (152 mm) guns
  • 20 × single
    12-pdr (3 in (76 mm)) guns
  • 8 × single
    3-pdr (47 mm (1.9 in)) guns
  • 4 × single 2.5-pdr (47 mm (1.9 in)) guns
  • 4 ×
    18 in (450 mm) torpedo tubes
  • Harvey armour
  • Belt: 4–9 in (102–229 mm)
  • Deck: 2.5–4 in (64–102 mm)
  • Gun turrets: 10 in (254 mm)

Hatsuse (初瀬, Hatsuse) was a

Port Arthur on 15 May 1904 after the ship struck two mines. The ship struck one mine which caused significant damage. Less than two hours later, the ship struck a second mine which detonated one of her magazines
and Hatsuse sank almost immediately afterwards with the loss of over half her crew.


The Shikishima class was an improved version of the

forced draught and were designed to reach a top speed of 18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph). Hatsuse, however, reached a maximum speed of 19.1 knots (35.4 km/h; 22.0 mph) from 16,117 ihp (12,018 kW) on her sea trials.[3] She carried enough coal to give her a range of 5,000 nautical miles (9,300 km; 5,800 mi) at a speed of 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph).[4]

The ships'

Harvey armour 4–9 inches (102–229 mm) thick. The armour of their gun turrets had a maximum thickness of 10 inches (254 mm) and their decks ranged from 2.5 to 4 inches (64 to 102 mm) in thickness.[3]

Construction and career

Hatsuse's hull under construction three months after her keel was laid

Its name comes from the old place name in

Meiji Emperor at Queen Victoria's funeral on 2 February.[9] She arrived in Singapore on 28 March where she restocked with coal,[10] received a change of paint from grey to black and then departed on 3 April bound for Yokosuka.[11][12]

At the start of the Russo-Japanese War, Hatsuse, commanded by

Vice-Admiral Tōgō Heihachirō led the 1st Fleet in an attack on the Russian ships of the Pacific Squadron anchored just outside Port Arthur. Tōgō had expected his surprise night attack on the Russians by his destroyers to be much more successful than it actually was and anticipated that they would be badly disorganised and weakened, but the Russians had recovered from their surprise and were ready for his attack. The Japanese ships were spotted by the cruiser Boyarin which was patrolling offshore and alerted the Russian defences. Tōgō chose to attack the Russian coastal defences with his main armament and engage the Russian ships with his secondary guns. Splitting his fire proved to be a bad idea as the Japanese eight-inch (203 mm) and six-inch guns inflicted little damage on the Russian ships who concentrated all their fire on the Japanese ships with some effect. Although a large number of ships on both sides were hit, Russian casualties numbered only 17 while the Japanese suffered 60 killed and wounded before Tōgō disengaged. Hatsuse was hit twice during the battle, losing seven crewmen killed and seventeen wounded.[13]

Hatsuse participated in the action of 13 April when Tōgō successfully lured out a portion of the Pacific Squadron, including Vice-Admiral Stepan Makarov's flagship, the battleship Petropavlovsk. When Makarov spotted the five battleships of the 1st Division, he turned back for Port Arthur and Petropavlovsk struck a minefield laid by the Japanese the previous night. The Russian battleship sank in less than two minutes after one of her magazines exploded, with Makarov one of the 677 killed. Emboldened by his success, Tōgō resumed long-range bombardment missions, which prompted the Russians to lay more minefields.[14]

On 14 May Nashiba put to sea with the battleships Hatsuse,

foundered about eight hours later, after her crew had abandoned ship.[18]


  1. ^ "Cwt" is the abbreviation for hundredweight, 12 cwt referring to the weight of the gun.


  1. ^ a b Chesneau & Kolesnik, p. 221
  2. ^ Evans & Peattie, p. 60
  3. ^ a b Brook 1999, p. 125
  4. ^ Jentschura, Jung & Mickel, p. 17
  5. ^ Jane, p. 399
  6. ^ Evans & Peattie, pp. 57–58, 60
  7. ^ Brook 1985, p. 274
  8. ^ a b Jentschura, Jung & Mickel, p. 18
  9. ^ Brook 1999, p. 127
  10. ^ "Arrival of the Japanese battleship – Hatsuse". The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser. Singapore. 28 March 1901. p. 3. Retrieved 25 December 2019.
  11. ^ "Friday, March 29, 1901". The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser. Singapore. 4 April 1901. p. 209. Retrieved 25 December 2019.
  12. ^ "Untitled article". The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser. Singapore. 3 April 1901. p. 2. Retrieved 25 December 2019.
  13. ^ Forczyk, pp. 41–44
  14. ^ Forczyk, pp. 45–46
  15. ^ Warner & Warner, p. 279
  16. ^ Brook 1999, p. 124
  17. ^ Forczyk, p. 46
  18. ^ Forczyk, pp. 46–47


Further reading

External links