A short history of the United States Navy by George Ramsey Clark; William Oliver Stevens; Carroll Storrs

By George Ramsey Clark; William Oliver Stevens; Carroll Storrs Alden; Herman F Krafft

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Her fighting tops were removed, improved anchor arrangements were fitted, she was repainted all grey, better W/T installations and refurbished internal fittings for a Japanese crew were a few of the modifications she received. Her old 12in guns were replaced with a Japanese model and again in 1910 with a more powerful 40 calibre 12in gun. Her 6in armament was slightly reduced and throughout this period she was fitted with improved smaller-calibre weapons for training purposes and as test pieces for newer ships.

Raised and refurbished by the Japanese as a war prize she was rated as a first-class coastal vessel and training ship after being renamed as Suwo. Various sources state that she was scuttled in 1925 and others claim that she was scrapped in 1922. Further to these it is also recorded that she was scrapped in 1946! Sagami and Fuji during manoeuvres 1913 Sagami was re-classed as a coastal defence ship in 1912 and used for training. Sold back to Russia and given her old name back, she struck two mines laid by a German submarine which set off her forward magazines; listing heavily, she slowly sank.

Paradoxically, the 12in guns were of different calibres; those of the forward and aft centre mountings were 50-calibre, while those on the broadside were 45-calibre. This was a move made to give a shorter gun so that the turrets could be fitted closer together without having to increase the length of the ship to avoid blast problems or cramped internal conditions. On completion, however, both these problems were still evident in these ships. On 12 July 1918 Kawachi suddenly blew up at anchor as a result of an internal explosion, very similar to those that had occurred in the British ships HMS Bulwark, HMS Natal and HMS Vanguard.

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