Home Intro People Events Equipment Places Maps Books Photos Videos Other Reference FAQ About

World War II Database

Atago file photo [2032]


Ship ClassTakao-class Heavy Cruiser
BuilderKure Naval Arsenal
Laid Down28 Apr 1927
Launched16 Jun 1930
Commissioned30 Mar 1932
Sunk23 Oct 1944
Displacement9,850 tons standard; 14,616 tons full
Length669 feet
Beam68 feet
Draft20 feet
Machinery4-shaft geared turbine, 12 Kampon boilers
Power Output133,100 shaft horsepower
Speed35 knots
Range8,500nm at 14 knots
Armament10x8in, 4x5in, 4x24in torpedo tubes, 2x40mm anti-aircraft, 60x25mm anti-aircraft, 4x13.2mm anti-airc
Armor1.5-5in main belt, 1.3in main deck, 0.5-1in upper deck, 3-4in bulkheads, 1in turrets


ww2dbaseAt the start of the Pacific War, the fast and heavily armed Atago was the flagship of Vice Admiral Nobutake Kondo's Cruiser Division 4. She sailed with the Japanese fleets that supported the invasion of Malaya and the Philippines in Dec 1941, then sailed to the South Pacific and became involved in the Battle of the Java Sea and the attack on Darwin. In Apr 1942, she unsuccessfully gave chase to William Halsey's task force that launched the Doolittle raiders. In Jun 1942, she participated in the Battle of Midway. In late 1942, she operated in the South Pacific, participating in the Battle of the Eastern Solomons, Battle of Santa Cruz Islands, and the Second Naval Battle of Guadalcanal during which she shared the credit of damaging the American battleship South Dakota. She later helped the evacuation of Guadalcanal. On 5 Nov 1943, while refueling in Rabaul, she was attacked by American aircraft from carriers Saratoga and Princeton. Atago sustained three near misses by 500-lb bombs, losing 22 men including commanding officer Captain Nakaoka. On 10 Feb 1944 and 6 Apr 1944, she was unsuccessfully attacked by American submarines Permit and Dace, respectively. On 13 Jun 1944, she participated in the Battle of the Philippines Sea. Like Midway, it was a battle that dramatically damaged Japanese naval aviation strength, but again like Midway Atago emerged unscathed. In Oct 1944, she left Lingga Roads near Singapore as the flagship of Admiral Takeo Kurita's First Mobile Striking Force, sailing to join the Leyte campaign. On 23 Oct 1944, she was attacked by American submarines Darter and Dace in the Palawan Passage. Atago capsized and sank at 0553, killing 360. Kurita was forced to transfer his flag first to a destroyer than again to the battleship Yamato. While the sinking of the fleet's flagship did not dramatically affect, the loss of communications personnel did cause minor consequences later on in the operation.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Feb 2007

Heavy Cruiser Atago Interactive Map


Atago, date unknownJapanese heavy cruiser Atago, early 1930s
See all 7 photographs of Heavy Cruiser Atago


Map depicting Japanese and US Naval movements during the Second Naval Battle of Guadalcanal the night of Nov 14, 1942.

Atago Operational Timeline

30 Mar 1932 Atago was commissioned into service.
10 Dec 1941 Japanese submarine I-58 spotted British battleship HMS Prince of Wales and battlecruiser HMS Repulse off British Malaya, launched five torpedoes, but all of them missed; beginning at 1117 hours, Japanese aircraft began to attack. Overwhelmed, HMS Repulse was sunk at 1233 hours (513 killed), followed by HMS Prince of Wales at 1318 hours (327 killed); destroyers HMS Electra, HMS Express, and HMS Vampire rescued 1,862 survivors. On land, the British commanders dispatched the 1st Battalion of the 14th Punjab Regiment and the 2nd Battalion of the 1st Gurkha Rifles regiment to Changlun and Asun in northern British Malaya to counter the Japanese advance; contact was made at Changlun at 2100 hours, where two Japanese tanks were destroyed before the Punjabi troops fell back toward Asun.
5 Nov 1943 During the US raid on Rabaul, New Britain, Atago was damaged by three near misses, killing 22, including commanding officer Captain Nobuki Nakaoka.
6 Nov 1943 Atago departed Rabaul, New Britain for Truk, Caroline Islands to receive temporary repairs.

Did you enjoy this article or find this article helpful? If so, please consider supporting us on Patreon. Even $1 per month will go a long way! Thank you.

Share this article with your friends:


Stay updated with WW2DB:

 RSS Feeds

Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Mike Dunne says:
27 Jan 2007 11:05:26 PM

One of my favourite ships of WWII
2. Renan Lima Rodrigues says:
18 Jun 2020 02:39:25 PM

Takao class were true pieces of art, powerful, fast and superb design.

In addition to the incredible pyramid bridge, the wavy hull and black paint give an air of grandeur.

The 20.3cm / 50 Model EĀ¹ weapons were modified and the spread improved in 1938, the barbettes have 76mm NVNC.

Chokai is a true representative of this class, in addition to the elite reputation, his speed in tests was 35.58 knots. About the leader of 4 Sentai, Atago, was responsible for having damaged the battleship South Dakota at 16,000 meters partially penetrating the belt.

All visitor submitted comments are opinions of those making the submissions and do not reflect views of WW2DB.

Posting Your Comments on this Topic

Your Name
Your Email
 Your email will not be published
Comment Type
Your Comments


1. We hope that visitor conversations at WW2DB will be constructive and thought-provoking. Please refrain from using strong language. HTML tags are not allowed. Your IP address will be tracked even if you remain anonymous. WW2DB site administrators reserve the right to moderate, censor, and/or remove any comment. All comment submissions will become the property of WW2DB.

2. For inquiries about military records for members of the World War II armed forces, please see our FAQ.

Change View
Desktop View

Search WW2DB
More on Atago
» Hironobu
» Kondo, Nobutake
» Koyanagi, Tomiji
» Kurita, Takeo

Event(s) Participated:
» Invasion of the Philippine Islands
» Invasion of Malaya and Singapore
» Dutch East Indies Campaign, Java
» Attack on Darwin
» Battle of Midway and the Aleutian Islands
» Guadalcanal Campaign
» Solomon Islands Campaign
» Philippines Campaign, Phase 1, the Leyte Campaign

» Interrogation Nav 82, Captain Tsuneo Shiki

Partner Sites Content:
» Atago Tabular Record of Movement

Heavy Cruiser Atago Photo Gallery
Atago, date unknownJapanese heavy cruiser Atago, early 1930s
See all 7 photographs of Heavy Cruiser Atago

Famous WW2 Quote
"Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few."

Winston Churchill, on the RAF

Support Us

Please consider supporting us on Patreon. Even $1 a month will go a long way. Thank you!

Or, please support us by purchasing some WW2DB merchandise at TeeSpring, Thank you!