zondag 15 november 2015
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.
United States Navy: Asiatic Fleet
Albany-class light cruiser: USS Columbia.
Outcome of the battle
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.