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The Imperial Japanese Navy Technical Department (艦政本部 kansei hombu?, Short form: 艦本 kampon) was the externally operating division of the Ministry of the Navy of Japan responsible for the administration of naval vessel construction. From 1923 onward, it took on the role of a research institution for the research and development of naval technologies and engineering. This included studying and investigating existing western naval technology, developing and overseeing Japan's domestic shipbuilding and arms industries, and training officers to become naval engineers and inspectors. The bureau was dismantled along with the naval ministry in November 1945 after Japan surrendered to the Allies at the end of World War II.

Taishō period weapons[]

The Department developed various weapons during the Taishō period. These were known a "Xth Year Type" weapons, with the year being the year of the Taishō Emperor's reign (dating from 30 July 1912 - 25 December 1926).[1][2]

This nomenclature followed on from Meiji period - the Meiji Emperor's reign (13 February 1867 - 30 July 1912). Records exist of a "8.0 inch 45 caliber, 41st Year Type" (1908).[2]

3rd Year Type Guns (1914)[]

  • 16.1-inch (410 mm) 45 caliber, 3rd Year Type Gun
  • 8-inch (200 mm) 50 caliber, I 3rd Year Type Gun
  • 8-inch (200 mm) 50 caliber, II 3rd Year Type Gun
  • 5.51-inch (140 mm) 50 caliber, 3rd Year Type Gun BL
  • 5-inch (130 mm) 50 caliber, 3rd Year Type Gun

5th Year Type Gun (1916)[]

18.9-inch (480 mm) 45 caliber 5th Year Type Gun

6th Year Type Torpedo (1917)[]

The 6th Year Type torpedo

  • Diameter : 21 inches (533 mm)
  • Length : 22 ft 5 in (6.8 m)
  • Weight :3,157 lb (1,432 kg)
  • Explosive charge: 761 lb (345 kg)
  • Range :
    • 7,000 m (7,700 yd) at 36 kn (67 km/h; 41 mph)
    • 10,000 m (11,000 yd) at 32 kn (59 km/h; 37 mph)
    • 15,000 m (16,000 yd) at 26 kn (48 km/h; 30 mph).

It was widely used in surface ships and submarines into World War II:

8th Year Type Torpedo (1919)[]

The 8th Year Type torpedo:

  • Diameter: 24 inches (610 mm)
  • Length: 27 ft 7 in (8.4 m)
  • Weight: 5,207 lb (2,362 kg)
  • Explosive charge: 441 lb (200 kg)
  • Range:
    • 10,000 m (11,000 yd) at 38 kn (70 km/h; 44 mph)
    • 15,000 m (16,000 yd) at 32 kn (59 km/h; 37 mph)
    • 20,000 m (22,000 yd) at 28 kn (52 km/h; 32 mph).

An advance on its predecessor, it was used in:

9th Year Type Mine (1920)[]

The 9th Year Type mine was deployed from various ships.

It was used as a test explosive on the hulk of Japanese battleship Tosa.

11th Year Type Guns (1922)[]

The 11th Year Type gun (12 cm/45 or 4.7 inch) was used in:

Also, 5.51 inch 40 caliber, 11 th Year Type QF

References[]

  1. Japanese Torpedoes, combinedfleet.com
  2. 2.0 2.1 Guns, Mechanisms of Imperial Japanese Navy Warships in 3D, (based on information from "Naval Weapons of World War Two", John Campbell, Naval Institute Press, 1985), accessed 26 April 2010
  3. Report of the sinking of I-35, Department of Defence (Australia), undated World War II, accessed 24 April 2010

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