fighting ships of the world



TAKASAGO protected cruiser (1898)

Takasago 1904

Name No Builder Laid down Launched Comp Fate
高砂 <Takasago>   Armstrong, Elswick, UK 4/1896 18/5/1897 6/4/1898 sunk 13/12/1904


Displacement normal, t


Displacement full, t


Length, m

109.7 pp 118.2 oa

Breadth, m


Draught, m


No of shafts



VTE, 8 cylindrical boilers

Power, h. p.


Max speed, kts


Fuel, t

coal 1000

Endurance, nm(kts) 5500(10)

Armour, mm

Harvey steel - deck: 63 with 114mm slopes, 203mm gun shields: 114 - 63, 120mm guns shields: 63, CT: 114


2 x 1 - 203/45 Armstrong S, 10 x 1 - 120/40 Armstrong T, 12 x 1 - 76/40 Armstrong N, 6 x 1 - 47/30 21/2pdr Hotchkiss Mk I, 5 - 450 TT (1 bow, 4 beam)



Ship project history: The Takasago was designed by Sir Philip Watts and was a typical Elswick cruiser of the period. With a high freeboard at the forecastle and poop, where the 203mm guns were sited high up, she suffered from instability and was prone to roll heavily in any kind of sea. Nevertheless she was a fast steamer. The Harvey steel armour protection was designed to withstand the impact of 203mm AP shells, and watertight integrity was ensured with a total of 109 watertight compartments, including 18 in the double bottom. The real value of the Takasago lay in her armament of all QF guns of the Elswick pattern, the 203mm guns having a rate of fire of four rounds per minute. The fore and aft shielded 120mm guns were sited to port and starboard in open casemates abreast the bridge and near the after emergency steering position. The remainder of the 120mm guns were sited in shields behind the low bulwark in the waist of the ship.

    Previous Japanese protected cruisers, including those built by Armstrong's, suffered from stability problems, and to reduce these in the Takasago the fighting tops, which each carried two 47mm/30 guns, were carried lower down the masts than in earlier cruisers.

Ship protection: 63mm deck had 114mm slopes, 203mm guns were protected by shields with 114mm faces and 63mm sides, 120mm guns were protected by 63mm shields. CT had 114mm sides.

Modernizations: None.

Naval service: The Takasago was mined off Port Arthur on 12 December 1904 and sank the following day with the loss of 204 lives.

Takasago 1898


Ivan Gogin, 2014