Fusō (1877)

Fusō in her original configuration. Original image in the public domain.

Ship Class

Fusō was a central-battery ironclad laid down around 1875 in London for the Japanese Navy. Fusō completed in January, 1878, and was sailed to Japan by a British crew, during which she ran aground transiting the Suez Canal. After repairs in Yokosuka, she spent most of July as a tourist attraction, first for the nobility, then the general public. Fusō was modernized from 1891-94, losing most of her sailing capability. She then participated in the Sino-Japanese War, and fought at the Battle of the Yalu, acquitting herself well. During a storm on 29 October, 1897, Fusō broke her anchor chain, and collided with two other ships, resulting in her sinking. She was raised the next year, and returned to service in April, 1900. During the Russo-Japanese War, Fusō was part of the reserve squadron during the Battle of Tsushima, but saw no action, and some of her guns were landed for use against Port Arthur. Reclassified as a coast defense ship in December, 1905, Fusō was stricken in 1908, and sold the following year. Her exact disposition is unknown, but she was likely scrapped.

Bonus Photos

Fusō after her 1891-94 rebuild. Note that her masts still have limited spars for sailing. Original image in the public domain.

Bonus Information

Fun Fact: During the Battle of the Yalu, Fuso was hit by a large number of 6" shells, but none penetrated her armor, resulting in only five dead in her crew.