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Japan's Imperial Navy flag

Japan's Kaga fleet aircraft carrier

Photos

Kaga fleet aircraft carrier after modernization in 1936:
Japan's Kaga fleet aircraft carrier after modernization in 1936
US Naval History and Heritage Command, NH-73060
Kaga fleet aircraft carrier:
Japan's Kaga fleet aircraft carrier
Imperial War Museum, MH-6489
Kaga fleet aircraft carrier:
Japan's Kaga fleet aircraft carrier
US Naval History and Heritage Command, NH-75483
Kaga fleet aircraft carrier depicted in a diorama of the Battle of Midway:
Japan's Kaga fleet aircraft carrier depicted in a diorama of the Battle of Midway
National Archives, 80-G-701869
Kaga fleet aircraft carrier depicted in a diorama of the Battle of Midway:
Japan's Kaga fleet aircraft carrier depicted in a diorama of the Battle of Midway
National Archives, 80-G-701870
Kaga fleet aircraft carrier depicted in a diorama of the Battle of Midway:
Japan's Kaga fleet aircraft carrier depicted in a diorama of the Battle of Midway
National Archives, 80-G-701871

Design

Due to the Washington Treaty restrictions a Kaga class battleship was converted into an aircraft carrier. The Amagi was destroyed in an earthquake in September 1923 and it's design was used for the Kaga.

Initially the funnels discharged out the stern but this interfered with air operations. There were also three flight decks in the front.

Engines

There were four oil sprayed coal and eight oil fired boilers initially.

The exhaust went through 300' long tubes that went under the flight deck on each side.

Ships

IJN Kaga, (ancient Japanese province)

  • Formerly a Kaga class battleship.
  • Manufacturer: Kawasaki at Kobe, Kawasaki at Yokosuka, Yokosuka, Yokosuka Navy Yard
  • July 19, 1920: Laid down.
  • November 17, 1921: Launched
  • March 31, 1928: Commissioned
  • 1924: Conversion of Kaga hull started.
  • 1928 - 1933: Joined Carrier Division 1.
  • March 1928: Completed.
  • 1930: Joined Combined Fleet.
  • January 1932: Shanghai Incident.
  • June 1934: Conversion at Sasebo Navy Yard.
  • 1934 - 1935, 1935: Refit at Sasebo Navy Yard. Three / two forward flight decks removed and main flight deck lengthened by 34'. Armor and elevator added. Eight new boilers added. Exhaust rerouted to go out one funnel. Total aircraft carrier were 72 with 18 spares. 4.7" guns replaced by 5" guns.
  • June 26, 1935: Conversion completed.
  • 1936 - 1938: Joined Carrier Division 2.
  • 1937: China.
  • 1939 - 1942: Joined Carrier Division 1.
  • August 1939: Attacks on Hangchou, Nanking, and Canton.
  • 1941: Eight 25 mm added.
  • December 1941: Pearl Harbor.
  • February 19, 1942: Darwin raid.
  • February 1942: Grounded and was damaged.
  • March 26, 1942: Refit.
  • March 1942: Rabaul.
  • 1942: Small island added. Third elevator added. Single downward funnel installed.
  • June 4, 1942: Sunk at Battle of Midway.

Usage

Member of Carrier Division 1 with Akagi.

Attack on Pearl Harbor

Kaga was one of six carriers at Pearl Harbor. Kaga sent 27 Nakajima B5N Kate torpedo bombers, 18 Mitsubishi A6M Zero fighters, and 26 Aichi D3A Val dive bombers.

East Indies, South Pacific, Indian Ocean

With Akagi, in Carrier Division 1, they took part in raids in the East Indies, South Pacific, and Indian Ocean.

Battle of Midway

Was part of the First Carrier Division at the Battle of Midway. Sunk by aircraft from the USS Enterprise. The Kaga was hit by four bombs from American Douglas SBD Dauntless dive bombers and sank after the aviation fuel tanks exploded.

Specifications

  Kaga - Pre 1934
Crew 1,340
Displacement 26,900 tons, 28,100 tons, 29,600 tons
Displacement - Loaded  
Physical Characteristics  
Length 782' 6"
238.5 m, 238.51 m
Length - Water Line 754' 5", 754' 6", 754' 7"
230 m
Length - Between Perpendiculars 715', 715' 1"
217.9 m, 217.93 m, 218 m
Beam 97', 97' 3", 102' 9"
29.57 m, 29.6 m
Draft / Height 21' 6", 26'
7.92 m, 7.93 m
Flight Deck 560' x 100', 561' 6" x 100', 562' x 100'
170.69 m x 30.48 m, 171.2 m x 30.5 m
Performance  
Speed 25 knots, 27 knots, 27.5 knots, 28.3 knots
Range at 14 knots 8,000 nautical miles
Armament  
Anti-Aircraft 8", 8" L/50: 10
7.9" L/50, 200 mm: 10
4.7", 4.7" L/45, 120 mm: 12, 16
Machine Guns: 22
Aircraft 60
Nakajima A1N fighters: 24
Mitsubishi B1M attack: 36
Armor  
Belt 6", 11"
Deck 1.5"
Engines  
Boilers 12, Kangon: 12, Kampon: 12
Shafts 4
Turbines Brown-Curtis, Geared, Curtis Geared
HP 91,000
Oil 3,600 tons, 5,300 tons
Coal 1,700 tons
  Kaga
Crew 1,708, ~2,000, 2,016, 2,019
Displacement 38,200 tons, 38,813 tons
Displacement - Loaded 43,650 tons
Physical Characteristics  
Length 812', 812' 4", 812' 6", 855', 855' 3"
247.6 m, 247.65 m
Length - Water Line 786' 6", 788' 5"
240.3 m
Length - Between Perpendiculars 715'
217.9 m
Beam 103', 102' 8", 106' 7", 106' 9", 107'
32.5 m
Draft / Height 29', 30', 31', 31' 1", 31' 2"
9.48 m, 9.5 m
Flight Deck 812', 815' 6" x 100', 815' 8" x 100', 816' 4" x 100'
248.6 m x 30.5 m
Performance  
Speed 28 knots, 28.33 knots, 28.34 knots, 31.25 knots
Range at 16 knots 10,000 nautical miles
Range 10,000 nautical miles
Armament  
Anti-Aircraft 8", 8" L/50: 10
7.9", 200 mm, 7.9" L/50, 200 mm: 10
5", 127 mm, 5" L/40: 16
5" Type 89 twin mounts, 5" L/40 twin mounts: 8
25 mm twin mount: 8, 11, 15
1": 22
Aircraft 72, 90
D1A: 24
D4Y: 36
A5M: 12
Aircraft - 1942 66
Armor  
Main belt 9 - 11"
Sides 11"
Deck 4 - 6"
Engines  
Boilers 8, Kanpon: 8
Shafts 4
Turbines Geared , Geared steam, Kanpon geared, Steam
HP 127,000, 127,400, 127,500
Oil 5,300 tons, 7,500 tons

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. Weapons of World War II, Alexander Lüdeke, 2007
  8. The World's Aircraft Carriers 1914 - 1945, Roger Chesneau, 1986
  9. The Imperial Japanese Navy in the Pacific War, Mark E. Stille, 2013
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site