Japanese cruiser Jintsu


Japanese cruiser Jintsu

nihongo|"Jintsu"|神通 軽巡洋艦|Jintsu keijunyōkan was a "Sendai"-class light cruiser in the Imperial Japanese Navy, named after the Jinzu River in the Gifu and Toyama prefectures of central Japan.

Background

"Jintsu" was the second vessel completed in the three-ship "Sendai"-class of light cruisers, and like other vessels of her class, she was intended for use as the flagship of a destroyer flotilla.

ervice career

Early career

"Jintsu" was completed at Kawasaki Kobe shipyards on 21 July 1925. During a night training exercise on 24 August 1927, she inadvertently rammed and sank the destroyer "Warabi", and had to be taken to Maizuru for major repairs.

In 1928, "Jintsu" was assigned to cover landings of Japanese troops in Shandong province during the Jinan Incident, and was later based out of Tsingtao.

From 1929 to 1941, "Jintsu" was assigned to patrols of the China coast and to covering the landings of Japanese forces in China from 1937 onwards after the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War.

Early stages of the Pacific War

On 26 November 1941, "Jintsu" became the flagship of Rear Admiral Raizo Tanaka and DesRon 2 under the Philippine Seizure Force, Southern Force, of the Japanese Third Fleet. At the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor, "Jintsu" was engaged in the invasion of the southern Philippines, escorting transports with the IJA 16th Infantry Division and Kure No. 1 Special Naval Landing Force (SNLF) from forward bases in Palau to Davao, Legaspi and Jolo. After the Philippines was in Japanese hands by the end of December, "Jintsu" was reassigned to Rear Admiral Kubo's Eastern Netherlands East Indies Seizure Force with DesDiv 15 and DesDiv 16.

Battle of the Java Sea

On 9 January 1942, "Jintsu" departed Davao for the invasion of the Celebes, escorting transports holding the Sasebo No. 1 Combined Special Naval Landing Force (SNLF). On 17 January, a Kawanishi E7K2 "Alf" reconnaissance floatplane launched from "Jintsu" shot down a Dutch Lockheed Hudson light bomber near Menado, but was shot down itself before it could return. In early February, "Jintsu" was assigned to the invasion force for Ambon, followed by both Dutch and Portuguese Timor and eastern Java.

"Jintsu" was thus at the Battle of the Java Sea on 27 February 1942. Her destroyer groups included DesDiv 7's "Ushio", "Sazanami", "Yamakaze" and "Kawakaze" and DesDiv 16's "Yukikaze", "Tokitsukaze", "Amatsukaze" and "Hatsukaze", and she accompanied the cruisers "Nachi", "Haguro", and "Naka", .

At 1547, "Jintsu" with her destroyer squadrons (and also the "Inazuma"), engaged Dutch Rear Admiral Karel W. F. M. Doorman's Strike Force's light cruiser HNLMS "De Ruyter", cruisers HMS "Exeter", USS "Houston", light cruisers HMAS "Perth", HNMS "Java"," destroyers HMS "Electra", HMS "Encounter", HMS "Jupiter", HNLMS "Kortenaer", HNMS "Witte de With" and old destroyers USS "Alden", USS "John D. Edwards", USS "John D. Ford" and USS "Paul Jones".

Floatplanes launched from "Jintsu", "Naka" and "Nachi" marked Doorman's ships' positions and to help target Japanese gunnery. At 1727, "Jintsu" launched eight Type 93 "Long Lance" torpedoes at Doorman's force. These were followed by torpedoes from DesRon 2's destroyers. In all, 72 torpedoes were launched, but incredibly, not one hit a target, and the Allied fleet was later destroyed by other surface units. "Jintsu" was credited with assisting in the sinking of the "Electra".

"Jintsu" returned to Japan in March for refit and repairs. While at Kure, the Doolittle Raid bombed the Japanese home islands. "Jintsu" was one of the many vessels sent in an unsuccessful pursuit of the American carrier force.

In May, "Jintsu" was sent to Saipan where she was joined to the Midway Invasion Force, escorting transports and oilers. During the Battle of Midway on 3 June 1942, the convoy was bombed by nine Boeing B-17 Flying Fortresses. Later, the convoy was attacked by torpedo-carrying Consolidated PBY Catalina amphibious patrol planes. One oiler was hit during these attacks, but "Jintsu" returned to Truk, and then to Japan unscathed.

In July, in a reorganization of the Imperial Japanese Navy, "Jintsu" was reassigned to the newly formed Japanese 8th Fleet under the overall command of Vice Admiral Gunichi Mikawa. After American forces invaded Guadalcanal in August, "Jintsu" was sent to the Solomon Islands.

olomon Islands campaigns

On 16 August 1942, "Jintsu" departed Truk commanding a major reinforcement for Guadalcanal. On 20 August, the troops were landed, but the lightly-armed Japanese failed to storm Guadalcanal's Henderson Field. Rear Admiral Tanaka received a signal from Vice Admiral Nishizo Tsukahara's 11th Air Fleet HQ to turn his convoy about and head north to avoid an American task force. Shortly thereafter, he received another signal from Vice Admiral Mikawa's Eighth Fleet HQ ordering him to change course to 250-degrees WSW. Tanaka, faced with conflicting orders from the senior officer in the area and his own superior, was further frustrated by poor radio reception which prevented him from contacting either headquarters. He compromised and changed course to 320 degrees (WNW), convert|190|nmi|km|0 south of Guadalcanal.

Meanwhile, 20 American carrier planes (Cactus Air Force) from USS "Long Island" arrived to reinforce the American defenses at Guadalcanal. In response, Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto ordered Vice Admiral Chuichi Nagumo's Third Fleet, with aircraft carriers "Shokaku", "Zuikaku", "Ryuko", battleships "Hiei", "Kirishima", cruisers "Kumano", "Suzuya", "Chikuma", "Tone" and "Nagara" and three destroyers to reinforce Admiral Tanaka in "Jintsu". On 23 August, convert|200|nmi|km|-1 north of Guadalcanal, Rear Admiral Tanaka's convoy was spotted by a Catalina PBY flying boat. At 0830, Tanaka received a signal from Vice Admiral Mikawa's Eighth Fleet headquarters directing him to head north to avoid the American task force. At 1430, Tanaka received a signal from Vice Admiral Tsukahara's 11th Air Fleet headquarters directing him to land troops on Guadacanal the next day. Tanaka, faced with yet a second set of conflicting orders, replied that he could not comply because some of his ships were too slow.

The Battle of the Eastern Solomons occurred over the following two days, 24 August 1942. "Jintsu" rendezvoused with "Ryujo", which launched two air strikes against Henderson Field. However, "Ryujo" herself was hit by aircraft from USS "Saratoga", with four bombs and a torpedo hit that flooded her starboard engine room, and sank that night.

On 25 August, convert|150|nmi|km|0 north of Guadalcanal, six USMC Douglas SBD Dauntless dive-bombers attacked the "Jintsu" convoy, sinking one transport and damaging another. A 500-lb. bomb hit "Jintsu", starting fires and flooding her forward magazines. Twenty-four crewmen were killed and Admiral Tanaka was injured. He shifted his flag to "Kagero" and "Jintsu" withdrew to Shortland, and from there to Truk, where she underwent emergency repairs for the next month. In October, she was sent back to Japan, where two Type 96 triple-mount 25 mm AA guns were installed.

Battle of Kolombangara

After repairs/modifications were completed on 9 January 1943, "Jintsu" became flagship of DesRon 2 and departed Kure bound for Truk. "Jintsu" was immediately assigned to the operation to evacuate surviving Japanese army troops from Guadalcanal, which she covered successfully. Through July, "Jintsu" made several transport runs, escorting forces moving between Truk, Roi and Kwajalein.

On 13 July 1943, "Jintsu" was in the Battle of Kolombangara. At 0330, "Jintsu" departed Rabaul as flagship of Rear Admiral Isaki, with the destroyers "Yukikaze", "Hamakaze", "Yugure", "Mikazuki", "Kiyonami" and destroyer-transports "Satsuki", "Minazuki", "Yunagi" and "Matsukaze" with 1200 troops to reinforce Japanese positions on Kolombangara Island, in the Solomon Islands. Soon after arriving into position, "Jintsu's" radar detected the presence of an Allied fleet before visual contact was made.

The Allied fleet consisted of the cruisers USS "Honolulu", USS "St Louis", HMNZS "Leander", and the destroyers USS "Ralph Talbot", USS "Maury", USS "Gwin", USS "Woodworth" and the USS "Buchanan", USS "Radford", USS "Jenkins", USS "Nicholas", USS "O'Bannon" and the USS "Taylor".

Admiral Isaki ordered a night torpedo attack, and his ships launched 31 Type 93 "Long Lance" torpedoes, as "Jintsu" illuminated the Allied fleet with her searchlights. The illumination was fatal, as "Jintsu" was hit by at least ten 6-inch shells from the Allied cruisers, setting her on fire. The barrage killed both Rear Admiral Isaki and Captain Sato; shortly afterwards a torpedo hit "Jintsu" starboard in the aft engine room.

As Captain Zenjiro Shimai of "Yukikaze" assumed command of the Japanese fleet and counterattacked (sinking "Gwin", and damaging "Leander" and "St Louis", "Jintsu" broke in two and sank at coord|07|38|S|157|06|E.

Later, Japanese submarine I-180 rescued 21 crewmen and a few more were recovered by the Americans, but 482 men were lost.

"Jintsu" was removed from the Navy list on 10 September 1943

List of Captains

References

Books

*cite book
last = Brown
first = David
authorlink =
year = 1990
title = Warship Losses of World War Two
publisher = Naval Institute Press
location =
id = ISBN 1-55750-914-X

*cite book
last = D'Albas
first = Andrieu
authorlink =
year = 1965
title = Death of a Navy: Japanese Naval Action in World War II
publisher = Devin-Adair Pub
location =
id = ISBN 0-8159-5302-X

*cite book
last = Dull
first = Paul S.
authorlink =
year = 1978
chapter =
title = A Battle History of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1941-1945
publisher = Naval Institute Press
location =
id = ISBN 0-87021-097-1

*cite book
last = Evans
first = David
authorlink =
year = 1979
title = Kaigun : Strategy, Tactics, and Technology in the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1887-1941
publisher = Naval Institute Press
location =
id = ISBN 0-87021-192-7

*cite book
last = Howarth
first = Stephen
authorlink =
year = 1983
title = The Fighting Ships of the Rising Sun: The drama of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1895-1945
publisher = Atheneum
location =
id = ISBN 0-68911-402-8

*cite book
last = Jentsura
first = Hansgeorg
authorlink =
coauthors =
year = 1976
chapter =
title = Warships of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1869-1945
publisher = Naval Institute Press
location =
id = ISBN 0-87021-893-X

*cite book
last = Lacroix
first = Eric
authorlink =
coauthors = Linton Wells
year = 1997
chapter =
title = Japanese Cruisers of the Pacific War
publisher = Naval Institute Press
location =
id = ISBN 0-87021-311-3

*cite book
last = Whitley
first = M.J.
authorlink =
coauthors =
year = 1995
chapter =
title = Cruisers of World War Two: An International Encyclopedia
publisher = Naval Institute Press
location =
id = ISBN 1-55750-141-6

External links

*cite web
last = Parshall
first = Jon
coauthors = Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp, & Allyn Nevitt
year =
url = http://www.combinedfleet.com/sendai_c.htm CombinedFleet.com: "Sendai" class
title = Imperial Japanese Navy Page (Combinedfleet.com)
work =
accessdate = 2006-06-14

*Tabular record: [http://www.combinedfleet.com/jintsu_t.htm CombinedFleet.com: "Jintsu" history]
* [http://web.ukonline.co.uk/aj.cashmore/japan/cruisers/sendai/jintsu.html Jintsu Statistics Page]
* [http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/sh-fornv/japan/japsh-j/jintsu.htm Department of the Navy History Page]

Notes

ee also

*List of World War II ships


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