Japanese cruiser Saien

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Saien in 1895
Japanese cruiser Saien in 1895
Career (China) Beiyang Navy Ensign
Name: Jiyuan
Builder: Stettiner AG Vulcan, Stettin, Germany
Laid down: 31 January 1880
Launched: 6 June 1883
Completed: 1885
Commissioned: 11 June 1885
Fate: Prize of war to Japan, 16 March 1895
Career (Japan) Japanese Navy Ensign
Name: Saien
Acquired: 16 March 1895
Fate: Mined off Port Arthur, 30 November 1904
General characteristics
Displacement: 2,440 long tons (2,479 t)
Length: 75 m (246 ft 1 in) w/l
Beam: 10.5 m (34 ft 5 in)
Draught: 4.67 m (15 ft 4 in)
Propulsion: 2-shaft reciprocating triple expansion steam engine, 2,800 shp
2 boilers
230 tons coal
Speed: 15 knots (17 mph; 28 km/h)
Complement: 180
Armament: • 2 × 210 mm (8 in) guns
• 1 × 150 mm (6 in) gun
• 4 × 75 mm (3 in) guns
• 6 × 47 mm (2 in) guns
• 4 × 380 mm (15 in) torpedo tubes
Armour: Deck: 75 mm (3 in)
Turret: 50 mm (2 in)

The Saien (済遠(さいえん)巡洋艦 Saien junyōkan?) was a protected cruiser in the Imperial Japanese Navy, originally built for the Beiyang Fleet, by the Stettiner Vulcan AG shipyards in Stettin, Germany under the name Jiyuan. Obsolete transliterations of its Chinese name include Tche-Yuen and Tsi-yuan. In modern Chinese, its name transliterates to Chiyuan. Obsolete transliterations of its Japanese name include "Saiyen".


In terms of design, the Saien resembled the contemporary Japanese Matsushima class cruisers, in the use of large cannons on a relatively small displacement hull. As part of the Beiyang fleet, the Saien was present at the initial Battle of Pungdo and at the Battle of the Yellow Sea. It was captured by the Japanese in the first Sino-Japanese War during the Battle of Weihaiwei, and was commissioned into the Imperial Japanese Navy as the 2nd class cruiser Saien on 16 March 1895.

Service record

The service record of the Saien in the Imperial Japanese Navy was short. It was among the warships that supported the Japanese invasion of Taiwan, and took part in the bombardment of the coastal defences of Takow (Kaohsiung) on 13 October 1895. Saien was re-classified as a 3rd class Coastal Defense Vessel on 11 November 1904, but was assigned to duties as part of the blockading force at the Battle of Port Arthur in the opening stages of the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905. It sank after being mined off of Port Arthur 38°51′N 121°05′E / 38.85°N 121.083°E / 38.85; 121.083 on 30 November 1904.


  • Dull, Paul S. (1978) A Battle History of the Imperial Japanese Navy ISBN 0-85059-295-X
  • Evans, David. Kaigun: Strategy, Tactics, and Technology in the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1887-1941. US Naval Institute Press (1979). ISBN 0870211927
  • Gardiner, Robert (editor) (2001) Steam, Steel and Shellfire, The Steam Warship 1815-1905, ISBN 0-7858-1413-2
  • Howarth, Stephen. The Fighting Ships of the Rising Sun: The Drama of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1895-1945. Atheneum; (1983) ISBN 0689114028
  • Jane, Fred T. The Imperial Japanese Navy. Thacker, Spink & Co (1904) ASIN: B00085LCZ4
  • Jentsura, Hansgeorg. Warships of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1869-1945. Naval Institute Press (1976). ISBN 087021893X
  • Schencking, J. Charles. Making Waves: Politics, Propaganda, And The Emergence Of The Imperial Japanese Navy, 1868-1922. Stanford University Press (2005). ISBN 0804749779

See also

ja:済遠 (巡洋艦) zh:濟遠艦