Support the project with paypal

JAVA light cruisers (1925-1926)


Java 1925 Many thanks to Wolfgang Stöhr for additional information on this page.


Name No Yard No Builder Laid down Launched Comp Fate
Java   165 De Schelde, Vlissingen 31.5.1916 9.8.1921 1.5.1925 sunk 27.2.1942
Sumatra   148 Nederlandsche Dok- en Scheepsbow Mij, Amsterdam 15.7.1916 19.12.1921 26.5.1926 scuttled 9.6.1944
Celebes   284 Fijenoord, Schiedam 6.1917 --- --- cancelled 7.1917

Technical data

Displacement standard, t


Displacement full, t


Celebes: 8400

Length, m

153.0 pp 155.3 oa

Celebes: 158.3 oa

Breadth, m


Draught, m

5.50 max

No of shafts



Java, Celebes: 3 sets Krupp-Germania geared steam turbines, 8 Schulz-Thornycroft boilers

Sumatra: 3 sets Zoelly geared steam turbines, 8 Schulz-Thornycroft boylers

Power, h. p.

Java: 65000

Sumatra: 82000

Max speed, kts


Fuel, t

oil 1200

Endurance, nm(kts)


Armour, mm

belt: 75 - 50, bulkheads: 60, deck: 25 with 50mm slopes, gunhouses: 100, CT: 125 - 100


10 x 1 - 149/50 Bofors No.6, 4 x 1 - 75/55 Bofors/Wilton-Fijenoord No.4, 36 mines



Standard scale images

<i>Sumatra</i> 1939
Sumatra 1939
<i>Java</i> 1941
Java 1941


<i>Java</i> 1925 <i>Many thanks to Wolfgang Stöhr for additional information on this page.</i>
Java 1925 Many thanks to Wolfgang Stöhr for additional information on this page.

Project history

The design of cruiser for service in the East Indies has been developed by "Krupp Germaniawerft" on a basis of German Karlsruhe class. In the first variant ship should have a forecastle, a poop, 4 funnels and guns placed aside, but the design with the extended forecastle, two funnels and artillery arrangement under the mixed scheme has ultimately been chosen. Outwardly she reminded German battlecruisers of Moltke class. The design was approved 21.7.1915. Building of three ships, Java, Sumatra and Celebes was supposed. Latter ship should be built by Maatschappij Fijenoord in Rotterdam under slightly changed design as flagship of East Indian fleet, but actually she was never laid down (only 30t of steel had been prepared), and 14.7.1917 her building was cancelled. Java and Sumatra were close to German First World War cruisers from which in practically invariable kind borrowed a hull structure, but differed from them by the strengthened armament and the displacement increased approximately on a quarter.

For a fire control three 4m rangefinders and one 2m AA rangefinders served. Torpedo and aviation armaments were not provided by the project. Ships could carry 12 mines in special hold or up to 36 mines on rails.

Machinery under the design included 8 Schulz-Thornycroft boilers with complete oil firing (18atm operating pressure) and 3 Germania geared turbine units, however the turbines intended for Sumatra have been destroyed by a fire, and them have replaced by Zolly, that became the reason of complexities in maintenance in the first years of service. A designed power of 72000hp should ensure 31kts speed; however on trials Java made 30kts, and Sumatra 30.3kts.

Soon after commission each ship received 2 seaplanes (at first Van Berkel WA, then Fairey IIIF and Fokker C.VIIW and ultimately C.XIVW) for which handling at fwd funnel 2 cranes were mounted.

In the late thirties plans of radical update of cruisers with replacement of 10 15cm guns by 4 twin turrets of the same calibre with superfiring arrangement, and AA armament consisted of 10 twin 40mm/56 MG have arisen. However in connection with the order of Kijkduin class cruisers from realisation of the given plan have refused, having limited by only major repair of the ships.

Ship protection

75mm-thick armoured belt with 120mm length protected machinery and magazines, 50mm-thick belt with 13m length aft from aft bulkhead (aft 150mm gun mount) protected steering gear compartment. Main 25mm armoured deck was connected with upper edge of belt by 50mm slopes. Citadel was closed by 60mm bulkheads abreast end 150mm guns. Main gunhouses had 100mm sides and 25mm crowns, CT had 125 - 100mm sides, funnel bases had 50mm protection.


1926, both: + 2 WA seaplanes (Fairey IIIF since 1928, Fokker C. VIIW since 1929 and C.XIW since 1938)

1935, Java: - 4 x 1 - 75/55, mine stowage decreased to 12 (in hold only); + 2 x 2 - 40/56 Bofors No.3, 4 x 1 - 12.7/90

1935, Sumatra: - 4 x 1 - 75/55, mine stowage decreased to 12 (in hold only); + 3 x 2 - 40/56 Bofors No.3, 4 x 1 - 12.7/90; Zoelly geared turbines were replaced by Parsons

1938, Java: + 2 x 2 - 40/56 Bofors No.3, 2 x 1 - 12.7/90

1938, Sumatra: - 3 x 2 - 40/56; + 6 x 1 - 40/56 Bofors No.4, 2 x 1 - 12.7/90

1942, Sumatra: - 6 x 1 - 12.7/90; + 6 x 1 - 20/70 Oerlikon Mk II/IV, 2 DCT(10); standard displacement was 6795t and complement 526.

3/1944, Sumatra: - 4 x 1 - 149/50, 6 x 1 - 40/56, 2 x 1 - 20/70, 2 DCT

Naval service

Java in battle in Java sea 27.2.1942 received torpedo hit from Japanese cruiser Nachi and sunk.

Sumatra in May, 1940 was at Vlissingen in expectation of laying up to reserve, 11.5.1940 she escaped to Britain, then passed to the East Indies where 31.10.1940 has been laid up to reserve; she was re-commissioned 27.1.1942, but actually to efficient condition has not been finished; in March, 1944 she was disarmed at Portsmouth (UK) and 9.6.1944 scuttled as breakwater at Mulberry harbour (Normandy). Main guns were removed from a cruiser and used for re-arming of Flores class gunboats.

Many thanks to Wolfgang Stöhr for additional information on this page.