Generally speaking, Japanese warship design leaned towards:
  • Bigger but fewer guns, Japanese preferred two-gun over three-gun turrets, the Yamato being a notable exception
  • Less armor, again exception Yamato
  • Faster top speed (many
    exceptions to this of course)
  • "Pagoda masts", super high superstructures to improve sighting and targeting at the expense of stability and durability. And again, exception Yamato
Overall, without radar, the Japanese battleships were probably worse off as they were rarely able to make full use of their long range gunnery advantage.

Examples, roughly in order of development dates:


Kongo (technically a battlecruiser)



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