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Japan's Imperial Navy flag

Japan's Akagi fleet aircraft carrier

Photos

Fleet aircraft carrier Akagi and battleship Kongo circa 1934:
Japan's Fleet aircraft carrier Akagi and battleship Kongo circa 1934
US Naval History and Heritage Command photograph, NH-81117
Akagi fleet aircraft carrier in Sukumo Bay in April 27, 1939:
Japan's Akagi fleet aircraft carrier in Sukumo Bay in April 1939
US Naval History and Heritage Command photograph, NH-73058

Akagi fleet aircraft carrier:
Japan's Akagi fleet aircraft carrier
Imperial War Museum, MH-5933
Akagi fleet aircraft carrier in summer of 1941:
Japan's Akagi fleet aircraft carrier in summer of 1941
US Naval History and Heritage Command photograph, NH-73059
Akagi fleet aircraft carrier under attack by B-17s at the Battle of Midway:
Japan's Akagi fleet aircraft carrier under attack by B-17s at the Battle of Midway
US Air Force, USAF-57576

Design

The Akagi was built from a converted Amagi class battlecruiser because of the Washington Treaty.1,3,4,5,6,7,8

Flight Deck

Initially there were three flight decks forward and the Akagi could only carry 61 aircraft.1,2,3,4 There was no island on the flight deck when first built.2,6,8

The flight deck had two elevators, the forward 38' 6" x 42' 6" and aft 42' x 27' 6".2,7 The flight deck had a slope both in the front and rear.1,2,7 The slope in front helped aircraft get up to speed for takeoff.1,2,7 The slope in the rear helped slow down landing aircraft.1,2

Ships

IJN Akagi, (red Castle8, extinct volcano near Tokyo8)

  • Manufacturer: Kure7, Kure Navy Yard1,2,3,8
  • December 6, 1920: Laid down.7,8
  • 1923: Conversion to carrier started.,78
  • April 22, 1925: Launched.1,3,5,7,8
  • March 19274, March 25, 1927: Completed.2,3,4,7,8
  • 1931: Cross deck arrester gear installed.7
  • October 19352, October 1935 - August 19387, 1935 - 19383, 1936 - 19381: Modernization at Sasebo Navy Yard began.1,2,3,7 8" turrets removed.1,7,8 Removed two forward flight decks to make way for a single flight deck that went whole length of ship.1,2,3,8 Upper flight deck lengthened to 817'.3,7 A 37' 6" x 41' 3" elevator was added admidships.3,6,7,8 Coal boilers replaced by oil burning ones.7An island was put on the port side.1,2,6,8 There was a single funnel on the starboard side.1,8 Aircraft capacity increased to 798/91 (Aichi D1A: 18, Yokosuka B4Y: 36, Mitsubishi A5M: 18).1,7
  • 1937: Sino-Japanese War.7
  • August 31, 1938: Modernization completed.2
  • November 26, 1941: Flagship of Carrier Division 1.2 Sailed for attack on Pearl Harbor.2
  • December 6, 1941: Attack on Pearl Harbor.2,6,7,8
  • January 20 - 22, 1942: Attacks on Rabaul7,8, Kavieng, Lea, Salamaua.2
  • February 19, 1942: Attack on Darwin.2,7,8
  • February 25 - March 9, 1942: Support Java operations.2
  • April 1942: Indian Ocean.7 Helped sink HMS Dorsetshire and HMS Cornwall.7
  • April 5, 1942: Attack on Colombo.2
  • April 9, 1942: Attack on Trincomalee.2
  • June 1942: Member of Carrier Division 1 in Midway Striking Force.2
  • June 4, 1942: Set on fire at Battle of Midway.2,6
  • June 5, 1942: Sunk at Battle of Midway.1,2,3,6,8

IJN Amagi, (extinct volcano8)

  • Manufacturer: Yokosuka Navy Yard2,5
  • September 1, 1923: Damaged beyond repair in Tokyo earthquake.2,3,4,5,7

Usage

Pearl Harbor

The Akagi was the flagship for the operation.6,8

December 1941 - May 1942

The Akagi took part in attacks on Pearl Harbor, Rabaul, Dutch East Indies, Port Darwin, and Ceylon.6,8

Battle of Midway

On June 4, 1942 aircraft from the USS Enterprise set the Akagi on fire.2,3,4,6,7,8 On June 5, 1942 sunk by the Arashi2,7, Hagikaze7, Maikaze7, and Nowaki2,7.

 

Specifications

  Akagi pre-1936
Crew 1,6007
Displacement 26,900 tons2,3, 28,100 tons5, 29,600 tons7
Physical Characteristics  
Length 855' 4"3, 855' 6"2, 857'7
260.6 m2, 260.7 m3, 261.21 m7
Length - Water Line 816' 8"3, 816' 9"7, 817'2
248.95 m7, 249 m2,3
Length - Between Perpendiculars 763'2,5, 770'7, 771'3
232.6 m2, 234.7 m7, 235 m3
Beam 92'5, 95'3,7
28.96 m7, 29 m3
Draft / Height 20' 6"7, 21' 3"5, 26' 6"3
8.07 m3, 8.08 m7
Flight Deck 624' x 100'3,7, 632'6,8
190.2 m x 30.48 m7
Performance  
Speed 28.5 knots5, 32.5 knots7
Range at 14 knots 8,000 nautical miles2,7
Armament  
Anti-Aircraft 7.9" L/50, 200 mm: 102
8"5,7,8, 8" L/503: 103,5,7,8
4.7"5,7: 127, 165
4.7" L/45 twin mounts, 120 mm: 62,3
Machine guns: 223
Aircraft 602,3,6,7,8, 611
Armor  
Belt 10"3
Engines  
Boilers Kanpon RO coal fired Boilers: 82
Kanpon RO mixed fired Boilers: 122
193, Kanpon7: 197
Shafts 42,3,7
Turbines Gijitsu Honbu2,7
HP 131,0007, 131,2002,3,5
Coal 2,100 tons2,3
Oil 3,900 tons2,3,7
  Akagi
Crew 1,3402,4, 1,6308, 2,0001,3,6
Displacement 36,500 tons1,2,3,4,6,8
Displacement - Loaded 42,000 tons4, 42,750 tons3
Physical Characteristics  
Length 855'4,6,8, 855' 2"3, 855' 6"1,2
260.6 m2,4, 260.67 m3
Length - Water Line 821' 5"3, 821' 6"2
250.3 m2, 250.36 m3
Length - Between Perpendiculars 771'1,2
235 m2
Beam 102' 8"4, 102' 9"1,2,3, 103'6,8
31.3 m2,4, 31,32 m3
Draft / Height 28' 3"4, 28' 6"1,2, 28' 7"3, 29'6,8
8.6 m2,4, 8.71 m3
Flight Deck 817'6,8, 817' 6" x 100'3, 817' 9" x 100'1,2
249.2 m x 30.5 m2
Performance  
Speed 31 knots2,4,6,8, 31.2 knots1
Range 8,200 nautical miles6
Range at 16 knots 8,200 nautical miles2,8
Armament  
Anti-Aircraft 8": 61,6,8
8" L/50: 63
7.9" L/50, 200: 62
7.9", 200 mm: 64
4.7" twin mounts, 120 mm: 61,4,6,8
4.7" L/45 twin mounts, 120 mm: 62,3
25 mm twin mounts: 141,2,3.4,6,8
Aircraft 798, 911,3
Aircraft - June 1942 21: Mitsubishi A6M Zero fighters4
21 Aichi D3A Val dive-bombers4
21 Nakajima B5N Kate torpedo-bombers4
Armor  
Main belt 10"1
Engines  
Boilers Kanpon oil fired boilers: 192
193
Shafts 41,3,4
Turbines Geared1,3,4
Kanpon Geared: 42
HP 133,0001,2,3,4
Oil 5,770 tons2, 6,000 tons3

Sources:

  1. Japanese Warships of World War II, A. J. Watts, 1966
  2. The Imperial Japanese Navy, A. J. Watts and B. G. Gordon, 1971
  3. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1922-1946, Robert Gardiner, 1987
  4. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
  5. Janes' Fighting Ships of World War II, 1989
  6. Imperial Japanese Navy Aircraft Carriers 1921-45, Mark Stille, 2005
  7. The World's Aircraft Carriers 1914 - 1945, Roger Chesneau, 1986
  8. The Imperial Japanese Navy in the Pacific War, Mark E. Stille, 2013
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site