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Kasuga in 1900
|Builders:||Ansaldo, Genoa, Italy|
|Operators:||Imperial Japanese Navy|
|Beam:||18.9 m (62 ft 0 in)|
|Draught:||7.32 m (24 ft 0 in)|
|Speed:||20 knots (23 mph; 37 km/h)|
|Range:||7,000 nmi (13,000 km) at 10 kn (12 mph; 19 km/h)|
The Kasuga-class cruiser (春日型巡洋艦? Kasuga-gata jun'yōkan) was a class of two armored cruisers of the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) based on the Giuseppe Garibaldi-class cruisers developed by Italy at the end of the 19th century.
The Italian Giuseppe Garibaldi-class design was a private venture by Gio. Ansaldo & C., which was hoping to profit from the need for the world's navies to modernize towards heavily armored steam warships. The design was so popular that between 1894 and 1902 ten cruisers were purchased by four different countries: The first five by the Italian Navy, four by the Argentine Navy and one by the Spanish Navy.
The Italian Navy ordered the final two vessels of this class in 1902 as Mitre and Roca. Sold to the Argentine Navy before completion, they were renamed as Rivadavia and Mariano Moreno. The Argentines in turn sold them to the Imperial Japanese Navy before final completion in 1904, and they were renamed the Kasuga and Nisshin.
Designed by Edoardo Masdea, the Garibaldi-class cruiser was a hybrid between a cruiser and a battleship. At 20 knots (37 km/h) maximum speed, the design was slightly slower than contemporary cruisers, but was very heavily armed and also heavily armored, in a package with very low displacement and moderate dimensions.
The class was unusual in that they did not have a uniform main armament. Some had single 10-inch (254 mm) guns in gun turrets fore and aft; others (including the Kasuga) had a mixed armament of a single 10-inch (254 mm) gun in one turret and another turret with twin 8-inch (203 mm) guns. A third variation (including Nisshin) was a uniform armament of four 8-inch (203 mm) guns, twin gun turrets fore and aft.
Ships in class
Kasuga was built by Ansaldo at Genoa, Italy. She was to be named Mitre but was renamed as Rivadavia by Argentina. Launched on 22 October 1902 and completed on the 7 January 1904, she served in the Russo-Japanese War and took part in the Battle of the Yellow Sea and again at the Battle of Tsushima. After 1922, she was partially disarmed as part of the Washington Naval Treaty and used as a training ship. She was bombed and sunk by US Navy carrier aircraft at Yokosuka 18 July, 1945, raised and scrapped in 1948. 
Nisshin was also built by Ansaldo at Genoa. She was to be named Roca but was renamed as Mariano Moreno by Argentina. She was launched on 9 February 1903 and completed on the 7 January 1904. She served in the Russo-Japanese War and was severely damaged during the Battle of the Yellow Sea and again at the Battle of Tsushima. After 1922, as part of the Washington Naval Treaty she was partially disarmed and used as a training ship. Nisshin was finally expended as a target and sunk in 1936. 
The success of the Japanese Navy in using armored cruisers in the line of battle during the Russo-Japanese War of 1905 drew considerable attention from navies and ship designers worldwide. The armored cruiser design soon evolved into the dreadnought armored cruiser, which became known as the battlecruiser.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Kasuga class armored cruisers.|
- Nishida, Hiroshi. "Materials of IJN". Imperial Japanese Navy.