Kongō (1877)

Kongō at anchor c.1878. Original in the public domain.

Nation
Ship Class
Ship Type
Laid Down
1875
Launched
1877
Commissioned
1878
Decommissioned
1909
AD/BC
AD
History

Kongō was the lead of a two-ship class of ironclads, built in Britain for Japan. Laid down in 1875, she was completed in January, 1878, and arrived in Japan in April, commissioning on 10 July. Kongō had a short active career, becoming a training ship in 1887, but continued making long range cruises, visiting the Mediterranean and North America. In 1891, Kongō transported home the survivors of the Ottoman frigate Ertuğrul, which had wrecked off the coast of Japan. Her officers were received by the Sultan, and later on the same trip, the ship hosted King George I of Greece. Kongō saw her only combat action during the Sino-Japanese War, fighting at the Battle of Weihaiwei in early 1895. By the time the Russo-Japanese War rolled around, Kongō was classed as a third-rate coast defense ship. She was re-rated again as a survey ship in 1906, which seems to have been a common practice in the IJN with their older ships in this period. Kongō was decommissioned in 1909, and sold for scrapping in 1910.