The light cruiser Nagara was the lead ship of the Nagara-class. She was named after the Nagara River. The Nagara-class cruisers proved useful in combat operations ranging from the Aleutian Islands to the Indian Ocean throughout World War II. Most served as flagships for destroyer or submarine squadrons, and were deployed for transport or local defense missions. Towards the end of the war, the surviving vessels were increasingly obsolete and were retained as second-line units.
With the heavy cruisers Myōkō and Nachi, the Nagara participated in the Hainan Island Operation in February 1939 under Vice Admiral Kondo Nobutake. From 30 January 1941 to 8 April 1941, Nagara assisted in the Invasion of French Indochina. From 10 June 1941 to 9 September 1941, Nagara provided coverage for the landings of Japanese troops in southern China.
Invasion of the Philippines and Dutch East IndiesEdit
During that Time, the Nagara performed multiple escort-missions and covered landing tropps.
Battle of MidwayEdit
During the Battle of Midway, Nagara accompanied Admiral Nagumo's Carrier Striking Force, with the aircraft carriers (Akagi, Kaga, Soryu, Hiryū, cruisers Tone, Chikuma, and battleships Haruna and Kirishima. On 4 June 1942 Nagara unsuccessfully counter-attacked the USS Nautilus (SS-168) after the latter attempted to torpedo Kirishima. After Akagi was hit and set afire by dive-bombers from USS Enterprise (CV-6), Vice Admiral Nagumo transferred his flag to the Nowaki and then the Nagara. Nagara returned safely to Japan on 13 June 1942.
Nagara was removed from the Navy List on 10 October 1944.