Chinese cruiser Yi Xian

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Republic of China
Name: Yi Xian
Namesake: Dr. Sun Yi-Xian, founding father of the Republic of China
Builder: Kiangnan Dock and Engineering Works, Shanghai, China
Completed: 1931
Fate: Sold for scrapping, 19 May 1959
General characteristics
Type: Light cruiser
Displacement: 1,650 t (1,624 long tons)
Length: 270 ft (82 m)
Beam: 34 ft (10 m)
Draught: 12.4 ft (3.8 m)
  • Two-shaft Reciprocating Engines
  • 3 coal-fire boilers
  • 4,000 shp (3,000 kW)
Speed: 19 knots (22 mph; 35 km/h)
Complement: 182
  • As Built
  • 1 × 6 in (152 mm) gun
  • 1 × 140 mm (6 in) gun
  • 4 × 75 mm (3 in) AA guns
  • 1 × 47 mm (2 in) rapid fire gun
  • After Japanese Reconstruction
  • 1 × 120 mm (5 in) DP gun
  • 2 × twin 40 mm (2 in) Type 91 "HI" guns
  • 5 × 25 mm Type 96 AA guns
  • 6 × 7.7 mm machine guns

Yi Xian (Chinese: 逸仙), named after the founding father of the Republic of China and completed in 1931, was a light cruiser— albeit having more in common with the small cruisers of pre–World War I era—in the ROC Navy before World War II. An enlarged design was laid down but never completed due to Japanese occupation of Kiangnan shipyard.

Service record[edit]

Yi Xian participated in the defense of Kiangyin Fortress, Yangtze River, near Nanking and took over flagship duties after both Ning Hai and Ping Hai were sunk by Japanese aircraft. Yi Xian was sunk as well on 25 September 1937 after shooting down two of the 16 attacking aircraft, losing 14 of its crew.

The Japanese salvaged the ship after the fall of Kiangyin Fortress. After having its stern deck added by one level and receiving radar, sonar, and Japanese weapons, it was renamed Atada (阿多田) and employed as a training ship for naval academy cadets destined for submarine service. It survived World War II and was returned to its former owner on 9 August 1946. Before its departure, however, the Japanese installed all the German-made wooden furnitures taken from the armored cruiser Yakumo (which by then had been sold for scrapping) into its cabins.

After reverting to its old name and rejoining the ROCN, Yi Xian remained active during the Chinese Civil War and the ROC government's subsequent withdrawal to Taiwan. It participated in numerous patrol cruises but was not involved in any major action until being decommissioned on 1 June 1958 and sold for scrapping on 19 May the following year.

External links[edit]