Hatsuse (1899)

Hatsuse running speed trials, c.late 1899 or 1900. Photo in the collection of the US Navy History & Heritage command.

Ship Class
Laid Down

One of the earliest Japanese battleships, Hatsuse was a Shikishima-class predreadnought. Built by Armstrong Whitworth to a Japanese order, she was laid down in 1898, and commissioned 18 January, 1901. Hatsuse represented the Emperor at Queen Victoria's funeral before sailing to Japan. She participated in the Battle of Port Arthur at the outbreak of the Russo-Japanese War, where she suffered minor damage and seven crew lost, and the action on 13 April that saw the Russian flagship run into the Russian's own minefield. Hatsuse continued operating in the area until 15 May, when she ran into a minefield herself. She struck one mine that disabled her steering, and left her adrift, and the second mine detonated one of her magazines. The resulting explosion sank the ship, and killed 496 of her 849 crew.

Bonus Photos

Construction work on Hatsuse's hull, c.April, 1898. Original photo featured in Popular Science Monthly, Volume 58.