I told you that my second post would be about ship blueprints and design, so here it is:
As some of you may know, the Yzuru Hiraga is the famous Japanese naval architect of the beginning of the 20th century. Such ships as Yubari, Yamashiro, Nagato are a part of his work.
Moreover, in 1916 he became a chief engineering director of the Eight-eight fleet program, according to which by the 1927 Imperial Japanese Navy must have had 8 top class fast battleships and 8 top class battlecruisers.
I will come back to this program in future posts, but now I want you guys to know, what could be one of the starting point of completely different IJN:
Here you can see one of the preliminary dreadnought designs, based on the famous Mikasa.
This blueprint was found in the Hiraga's archive, and is dated as 1903/1904 design - the time of ironclads sunset, the time where Russian Imperial Fleet was still alive, the time before Russo-Japanese War.
The ship is approximately 18000 tons displacement, has four main caliber turrets with dual 305mm 45 caliber guns, and can probably go as fast as 18-19 knots; it is very similar to South Carolina/Michigan, isn't it?
We all know, that the first dreadnoughts built for IJN were Settsu and Kawachi, but this particular design shows us, that history could have gone another way, and who knows, how could it change the future?..