zondag 15 november 2015

The First Battle of Rotuma (March 2nd 1932)

The Great Pacific War: A History of the American-Japanese Campaign of 1931-1933 

The First Battle of Rotuma (March 2nd 1932)

Location of the battle

Location: Two hundred nautical miles northwest of Rotuma Island.

Date of the battle

March 2nd 1932.


The defeat of the Bonins operation brought major changes to the United States Navy high command, including a new CNO and a new commander of the United States Fleet. The United States Navy also undertook a new line of operations, emphasizing the interruption of Japanese overseas commerce while preparing to seize the island of Truk as an advanced base. To this end a number of cruisers and destroyers were based at Tutuila in Samoa to interrupt the extensive Japanese commerce with Australia. The Japanese, aware of the potential threat, prepared an expedition to seize Tutuila.

Order of battle

Imperial Japanese Navy: Samoa Expeditionary Force

Izumo-class armored cruisers: Iwate (flag) and Izumo.

Yakumo-class armored cruiser: Yakumo.

Azuma-class armored cruiser: Azuma.

10 destroyers.

10 transports.

United States Navy: Asiatic Fleet

Albany-class light cruiser: USS Columbia.

6 destroyers 

Outcome of the battle

Japanese victory.

Losses suffered during the battle

Albany-class light cruiser USS Columbia captain ordered the six destroyers to escape while USS Columbia remained to engage the Japanese,all six destroyers escaped successfully. Columbia was sunk in the battle, but not before severely damaging Azuma-class armored cruiser Azuma and one destroyer.


United States Navy: Asiatic Fleet: 300 sailors and officers killed.

Imperial Japanese Navy: Samoa Expeditionary Force: 97 sailors and officers killed.

Read more: Alternate Timelines Forum

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