Yokosuka Naval Arsenal


Yokosuka Naval Arsenal

History

In 1866, the Tokugawa shogunate government established the "Yokosuka Seisakusho", a military arsenal and naval base, with the help of foreign engineers, including the French naval architect Léonce Verny. The new facility was intended to produce modern, western-style warships and equipment for the Tokugawa navy. The construction of the arsenal was an important first step for the modernization of Japan's industry. Modern buildings, an aqueduct, foundry, brick factories, technical schools to train Japanese technicians were established.

After the Boshin War and the Meiji Restoration, the new Meiji government took over control of the facility in 1871, renaming it the "Yokosuka Zosenjo" (Yokosuka Shipyards). The first dry dock was opened in 1871, and is still in operation today. Japan's first domestically produced warship, "Saiki", was completed the same year.

The Yokosuka Naval District was established at Yokosuka, Kanagawa in 1884, as the first of the naval districts responsible for the defense of the Japanese home islands, and the Yokosuka Shipyards was renamed the Yokosuka Naval Arsenal in 1903. Japan had purchased five submarines from the Electric Boat Company [U.S.] during the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905). These Holland Type VII submarines were built by Arthur Leopold Busch as he traveled to Japan during this time. Mr. Busch was a naval architect and shipbuilder who represented the newly organized company (Electric Boat Company) now located at the Quincy Massachusett's shipyard known as the Fore River Ship and Engine Company. These first five submarines became Japan's (IJN) initial entry into the theater of underwater warfare that began nearly the same time as the outbreak of the Russo-Japanese conflict. Another representitive of Electric Boat, Frank Cable, and electrician, trained two Japanese crews in the operation of such craft.

Arthur Busch was also the man responsible for building the United States Navy's first submarine some five or so years before this time for the Holland Torpedo Boat Company. This (particular craft) was named the USS Holland (SS-1) and was America's first commissioned craft (of this) type. Two additional Holland designed submarines were built for Japan by 1906 "under contract" and a licencing "agreement" with Holland's company back in 1905. In 1909, Japan's first domestically designed and produced battleship, "Satsuma" was launched.

Yokosuka became one of the main shipyards of the Imperial Japanese Navy in the 20th century, building numerous battleships such as "Yamashiro", and aircraft carriers such as "Hiryu" and "Shokaku".

Naval aircraft were designed at the nearby Yokosuka Naval Air Technical Arsenal.

The facilities were seized by the Allied forces at the end of World War II, and on 1945-10-15 the Yokosuka Naval Arsenal was officially abolished.

However, the facilities continued to be used in the post-World War II period, by the United States Navy as the "Yokosuka Ship Repair Facility" and its former property is now under the control of the United States Fleet Activities Yokosuka.

A steam hammer from the former Yokosuka Naval Arsenal is on display at the "Verny Commemorative Museum" in Yokosuka.

ee also

*Kure Naval Arsenal
*Sasebo Naval Arsenal
*Maizuru Naval Arsenal
* [http://www.geocities.com/gwmccue/] John P. Holland site with accurate information concerning IJN's first Holland Type 7-P submarines built under licence.

References

*cite book
last = Jansen
first = Marius B.
year = 2000
title = The Making of Modern Japan
publisher = Belknap Press
location =
id = ISBN 0674009916

*cite book
last = Topkins
first = Tom
year = 1981
title = Yokosuka, Base of an Empire
publisher = Presidio Press
location =
id = ISBN 0891410880

*cite book
last = Teratani
first = Takeaki
year = 1981
title = Kindai Nihon no zosen to kaigun: Yokohama, Yokosuka no kaijishi
publisher = Seizando Shoten
location =
id = ISBN 4425301315


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