Japanese battleship Yashima

Japanese battleship Yashima

nihongo|"Yashima"|八島 (戦艦)|Yashima (senkan) was the second ship of the "Fuji"-class of early pre-dreadnought battleships of the Imperial Japanese Navy, and one of the six battleships ("Shikishima", "Fuji", "Hatsuse", "Yashima", "Asahi", and "Mikasa") that formed the main Japanese battle line in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–1905. The "Yashima" had a very brief career. The name "Yashima" is from an ancient poetic name for "Japan".


"Yashima" and her sister-ship "Fuji" were the first two battleships built for Japan. As the Japanese were still incapable of building modern steel warships themselves, "Yashima" was ordered from Armstrong Whitworth, at the Elswick Yard, Great Britain in 1894.

To help sell their products before the days of computer graphics, manufacturers would commission highly detailed scale models of the proposed ship. The model of "Yashima" still survives and is currently on display at the RHS (Royal Hospital School) Holbrook in Suffolk, England. The plaque reads 'Japanese Armourclad "Yashima" 19 3/4 knots speed, built by Sir W.G. Armstrong Whitworth & Co Ld. Elswick Shipyard 1897 Newcastle on Tyne. Designed by Sir Philip Watts, KCB, FRS etc.

"Yashima" arrived at Yokosuka on 1897-11-30, too late for combat in the First Sino-Japanese War, and was designated as a 1st class battleship.

After the start of the Russo-Japanese War, "Yashima" was assigned to the 1st Squadron, 1st Division of the IJN 1st Fleet, under Rear Admiral Nashiba Tokioki. On 1904-05-14 Admiral Nashiba put to sea with the battleships "Hatsuse" (flag), "Shikishima", and "Yashima", cruiser "Kasagi", and dispatch-vessel "Tatsuta" to relieve the Japanese blockading force off Port Arthur. On the morning of 1904-05-15, the squadron proceeded to patrol to east by north across the mouth of the port. This course brought the Japanese fleet into a minefield previously laid by the Russian minelayer "Amur". Both "Hatsuse" and "Yashima" struck two mines each and were lost in one of the greatest Japanese naval disasters during the Russo-Japanese War.

A few hours after being mined, "Yashima" sank several hours later while under tow to Korea for repairs. Her loss was concealed by the Japanese for the duration of the war as not to discourage the its public with news of the loss of the irreplaceable battleship and nearly 200 of its crew with it.

"Yashima" sinking in a Russian minefield; May 15, 1904


*cite book
last = Andidora
first = Ronald
year = 2000
title = Iron Admirals: Naval Leadership in the Twentieth Century
publisher = Greenwood Press
location =
id = ISBN 0-313-31266-4

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year = 1999
title = Warrior to Dreadnought, Warship Development 1860-1906
publisher = Naval Institute Press
location =
id = ISBN 1-84067-529-2

*cite book
last = Evans
first = David
year = 1979
title = Kaigun: Strategy, Tactics, and Technology in the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1887-1941
publisher = US Naval Institute Press
location =
id = ISBN 0870211927

*cite book
last = Howarth
first = Stephen
year = 1983
title = The Fighting Ships of the Rising Sun: The Drama of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1895-1945
publisher = Atheneum
location =
id = ISBN 0689114028

* Jane, Fred T. "The Imperial Japanese Navy". Thacker, Spink & Co (1904) ASIN: B00085LCZ4
*cite book
last = Jentsura
first = Hansgeorg
year = 1976
title = Warships of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1869-1945
publisher = Naval Institute Press
location =
id = ISBN 087021893X

*cite book
last = Schencking
first = J. Charles
year = 2005
title = Making Waves: Politics, Propaganda, And The Emergence Of The Imperial Japanese Navy, 1868-1922
publisher = Stanford University Press
location =
id = ISBN 0804749779

External links

* [http://homepage2.nifty.com/nishidah/e/stc0107.htm Materials of the Imperial Japanese Navy]
* [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=950CE1D81E3DE633A25751C0A9609C946497D6CF New York Times June 2 1905 on loss of Yashima]

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