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Shar2

IJN Battleship Haruna. Kagero Top Drawings

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IJN Battleship Haruna

Kagero Top Drawings

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The four Kongo class ships were the first modern warships in the Japanese Navy. They were designed by Britain's Sir George Thurston, and strongly influenced the design of the forthcoming Tiger-class battlecruisers. They were originally rated as "battlecruisers", but pre-WW2 rearmament reclassified them as battleships, though they were relatively lightly armed and armoured when compared to their modern battleship counterparts.

During the Second World War, Haruna was extensively employed, often in company with aircraft carriers. In December 1941, she covered the invasion of Malaya. The first four months of 1942 saw her supporting the conquest of the Dutch East Indies, participating in a bombardment of Christmas Island, and participating in the Indian Ocean Raid. In June, she was part of the ill-fated Japanese carrier force during the Battle of Midway and was lightly damaged when a bomb nearly hit her stern. The Guadalcanal Campaign that began in August 1942 also brought Haruna into action. With her sister ship, Kongo, on 14 October she delivered a devastating bombardment of Henderson Field, the U.S. airfield on Guadalcanal. Later in the month, she was present during the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands and in mid-November operated with the Japanese aircraft carrier force during the climactic Naval Battle of Guadalcanal.

Like most of the heavier Japanese warships, Haruna saw no combat during 1943 and the first five months of 1944, though she steamed north to Japan in May 1943 in response to the American landings on Attu and was in the central Pacific later in the year during the invasions of the Gilbert Islands and Bougainville. In mid-June 1944, however, the Japanese fleet was sent to counterattack the U.S. forces then assaulting Saipan. As part of the heavily-defended van carrier group, she took an active role in the ensuing Battle of the Philippine Sea and was hit by a bomb on 20 June. Haruna also participated in the Japanese Navy's final fleet action, the Battle of Leyte Gulf. She was damaged by bomb near-misses in the Sibuyan Sea on 24 October 1944, but steamed on to engage U.S. escort carriers and destroyers in the next day's Battle off Samar.

Stationed in Japanese waters by the beginning of 1945, Haruna was damaged at Kure during the U.S. carrier plane raids on 19 March. Still moored near Kure four months later, she was sunk by Task Force 38 aircraft on 28 July 1945. Haruna's wreck was scrapped after the war.

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This is the latest book from Kagero in their Top Drawing series, and like the previous books it has a brief history and the ships specifications at the beginning. Unfortunately, in this instance the history is rather too brief as the ship had a long career and more than one or two paragraphs could have been provided. The rest of the twenty two pages are filled with beautifully drawn diagrams of every part of the ship. It is obvious that a lot of time has been taken to get the drawings this good and accurate. This cannot be said for at least one of the annotations though as the diagram showing the No.4 turret is marked as No. 3. But this is a a mere trifle, especially when compared with the wealth of visual information provided in this book. Amongst the larger diagrams are smaller sketches giving further details on some of the ships hardware and fittings. No scales are given for the diagrams within the book, but the additional sheets are marked up, at least for the main drawings on them. Sheets A is in full colour with top, profile and fore/aft views on one side, in a rather odd 1:360 scale and an oblique drawing on the other, along with additional drawings of the aircraft, ships boats and 127mm AA mount. The line drawings on sheet B and C join together to provide a full profile port and starboard in 1:200 scale, complete with all the rigging, which certainly isn't as bad as that seen on some ships.

Conclusion
This is yet another brilliant book in this series from Kagero. It may not be quite as good as that of the previously reviewed title on the USS Missouri, but still very useful to maritime modellers nonetheless. Definitely gives the modeller an excuse to buy the Fujimi 1:350 kit, not that most modellers need an excuse. Very highly recommended.

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I'd want the book just to admire the full color photos et al....

I wonder if there was ever an INDIAN connection to the Sir GEORGE THURSTON... because HARUNA is an INDIAN name.

Lovely review Shar...

Thanks for your hard work

:worthy:

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