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Kongō battleship: The Imperial Jewel

Kongō was a Japanese battleship originally built by the Vickers company in Great Britain and represents the lead ship of a series of advanced capital ships built for the Imperial Japanese Navy prior to the outbreak of WWI. Soon, captains in War Thunder will spot this legendary Japanese warship as it arrives in game with the next major update!

Briefly: A British-built Japanese WWI-era battleship outfitted with an impressive weapons arsenal and capable of attaining a very high top speed.

IJN Kongō, battleship, Japan, Rank V


  • Excellent mobility
  • Powerful main battery guns
  • Scout planes
  • Vulnerable high-calibre fire
  • Poor long-range AA capability

After the Royal Navy commissioned the battlecruiser HMS Invincible into service in 1908, the IJN was quick to react with a plan to expand its fighting force with modern warships being approved already by the end of the decade. However, the problem persisted that Japanese shipyards simply lacked the technological know-how to build such warships at the time. As a result, taking advantage of the existing naval cooperation agreement with Great Britain, Japan sought assistance from the Vickers company, who besides helping design a matching warship, also agreed to manufacture the lead ship, to be named Kongō, while the remaining ones would be built in Japan.

IJN Kongō was laid down in January 1911 as the lead ship of its class of modern battlecruisers to be built for the Imperial Japanese Navy. It was launched in May 1912 and completed in April 1913, subsequently entering service in August as the most advanced Japanese warship of its time. During WWI, IJN Kongō took part in minor operations but was quickly placed in reserve after the conflict. With international agreements limiting naval power after WWI, Japan was forced to upgrade existing warships in order to maintain its fighting power. As a result, Kongō was extensively upgraded on two occasions in the interwar period, not only vastly improving its characteristics but also noticeably changing its visual appearance.

During WWII however, Kongō had a rather illustrious service record. It took part in several major operations, including the Invasion of the Dutch East Indies, the Battle of Midway and also supported Japanese forces at Guadalcanal. After taking part in the famous Battle of Leyte Gulf, Kongō would serve until November 1944 when it was sunk by a successful torpedo attack by the American submarine USS Sealion.


In War Thunder, the battleship Kongō will be a new top-of-the line heavy warship soon joining the ranks of the Imperial Japanese Navy with the arrival of the next major update. Incredibly fast for its class of warship and packing a heavy punch, Kongō will become a valuable asset to any Japanese captain’s naval battle lineup in the upcoming update!

Japanese engineers opted to fit the Kongō with eight massive 14’’ (356 mm) cannons, split between four twin turrets. To complement this powerful primary battery, Kongō’s secondary arsenal consists of eight 6’’(152 mm) cannons mounted in four casemates on either side of the ship’s hull and situated just above the main armor belt. As a result, Kongō is capable of taking on even the most heavily armed and armored battleships of other nations currently present in the game.

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Aside from the impressive arsenal Kongō can bring to bear on surface targets, the ship also features an equally expansive suite of dual-purpose weapons. Because Kongō will arrive to the game in its 1944 configuration, the ship’s dual-purpose and anti-aircraft arsenal have been substantially bolstered. Therefore, aspiring captains of Kongō will have an additional six twin 5’’ (127 mm) dual purpose cannons as well as a mind-boggling 100 25 mm AA cannons at their disposal. While such a large number of guns will make it very difficult for pilots and captains of smaller vessels to get too close to Kongō, the ship will remain somewhat exposed to high-altitude attacks due to the limited effectiveness of its dual-purpose weapons.

Fun Fact: Upon entering service, Kongō was among the most advanced warships in the world, rightfully earning its name ‘Indestructible Diamond’ in Japanese.

Despite being somewhat vulnerable to high-altitude attacks, this by no means should imply that the Kongō is a sitting duck. Despite being a battleship, Kongō is in fact able to attain a very impressive speed of 30 knots (59 km/h) thanks to its turbines generating a power output of 136,000 hp. As a result, Kongō can not only quickly reposition itself during a battle, but it can also effectively dodge enemy fire at long range. However, as some enemy fire will inevitably find its target, its danger posed to Kongō is greatly reduced thanks to an 203 mm thick armored belt, 254 mm strong turrets and up to 127 mm of deck armour. However, it's worth noting that despite this Kongō is still susceptible to battleship fire, since its armor can not shield the ship from high-calibre cannons.

Kongō will soon join the top rank of the Japanese naval tree in War Thunder with the arrival of the next major update coming soon. In the meantime, be sure to pay close attention to the news as we continue revealing what other exciting new additions await you in the upcoming update. Until then, calm seas and happy hunting captains!

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