ARA San Martin
Japanese flag Empire of Japan
Name Hiei
Namesake Mount Hiei
Ordered 1911
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Laid down 4 November 1911
Launched 21 November 1912
Commissioned 4 August 1914
Fate Sold July 1944 to Argentina
Argentine Flag Argentina
Name ARA San Martín
Namesake José de San Martín
Acquired 1st August 1944
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General characteristics
Type Kongō-class battlecruiser
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Hiei was the second ship of the Kongō class of battlecruisers built for Imperial Japan directly before the Great War. After the war, Hiei was converted into a training ship to comply with the terms of the Washington Naval Treaty. She was converted back into a combat ship and upgraded in the late 1930s, and took part in the Sulu Sea Confrontation against the United States in 1940. Mindful of the age of the ship, the Imperial Japanese Navy elected to rid themselves of the Hiei and her sister Kirishima when replacements for these ships could be built. It was during this replacement time that the Argentine government approached the Japanese, requesting to buy both the Hiei and Kirishima as part of the Second South American naval arms race. The Japanese agreed, and Hiei was transferred to the Argentine Navy in 1944 and renamed ARA San Martín.