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IJN Akagi


Conventionally-Powered Fleet Aircraft Carrier


Imperial Japan | 1927



"The Akagi served the Japanese Empire through the assault on Pearl Harbor only to be sunk some seven months later in the Battle of Midway."



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 05/30/2017 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
The IJN Akagi was born from a battlecruiser class design consisting of the Akagi and the Amagi. These cruisers were under construction by the time of the end of the First World War and the Washington Naval Treaty signed enacted after the conflict limited naval production throughout the globe in an effort to thwart a new arms race. As such, construction of these battlecruisers was stopped and consideration was given to their dismantling. The Imperial Japanese Navy, however, proceeded to transform the Akagi and Amagi battlecruisers into full-fledged fleet carriers (the Amagi would later be destroyed in the Great Kanto earthquake of 1923).

The Akagi was ordered in 1920 and laid down later that year. The vessel was launched five years later and commissioned in 1927. She featured two hangar decks with stacked flight decks which, the thinking being, allowed fighters the ability to scramble directly from their hangars and land on the top-most flight deck when returning. On paper this seemed a sound idea but, when put into practice, the results were not as effective. As such, the Akagi was taken back into port for some re-working from 1935 up to 1938. Through this new effort, the additional flight decks were eliminated which allowed for more space to carry additional aircraft. A more contemporary island superstructure was also added to the design though this was placed along the not-so-traditional portside of the vessel.

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With the Akagi fully ready she was put into action for the surprise attack on the American fleet at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on December 7th, 1941. Akagi served a collection of torpedo bombers, dive bombers and fighter planes during the attack. With America no officially in the war, the Doolittle Raid (launched from the USS Hornet) caused quite a stir in Japan, showing that the Empire was not immune to the reach of the American military. The Akagi was sent in, unsuccessfully, to find and destroy the carrier. Shortly thereafter the Akagi was called to take part in the invasion of the island of Java and several actions against British Royal Navy cruisers off India by 1942.

The Akagi's involvement in World War 2 came to an abrupt end at the Battle of Midway on June 4th, 1942. Facing off against the USS Enterprise and her band of fighters and bombers, the Akagi was assaulted by American navy warplanes and struck once - thought critically - by dive bombers. The explosion ignited an inferno aboard her hangar decks (containing fuel and fully-laden aircraft ready for take-off). A second American bomb landed externally - though close enough - to jam her rudder and the Akagi became a helpless vessel burning throughout the following night. By the morning of June 5th, 1942, with most of her crew evacuated to other ships, the Akagi was ordered sunk by her own destroyers and was eventually torpedoed. Some 267 personnel perished with her. Strategically important to the Allies was the loss of four Japanese carriers at the Battle of Midway, taking away much of the "reach" of the IJN in one fatal blow.

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one sea-going vessel design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for IJN Akagi.
19 x Kampon water-tube boilers; 4 x Kampon geared steam turbines; 4 x shafts
Propulsion
32.0 kts
36.8 mph
Surface Speed
7,991 nm
9,196 miles | 14,800 km
Range
Structure
The bow-to-stern, port-to-starboard physical qualities of IJN Akagi.
2,000
Personnel
Complement
816.0 ft
248.72 meters
O/A Length
100.0 ft
30.48 meters
Beam
27.0 ft
8.23 meters
Draught
33,800
tons
Displacement
Armament
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of IJN Akagi.
6 x 20cm/50 caliber (7.9-inch) guns
6x2 120mm (4.7-inch) anti-aircraft guns
14x2 25mm (1-inch) anti-aircraft guns
Air Arm
Available supported fixed-wing / rotary-wing aircraft featured in the design of IJN Akagi.
1941:
18 x Mitsubishi A6M "Zero" fighters
18 x Aichi D3A "Val" dive bombers
27 x Nakajima B5N "Kate" torpedo bombers

1942:
21 x Mitsubishi A6M "Zero" fighters
21 x Aichi D3A "Val" dive bombers
21 x Nakajima B5N "Kate" torpedo bombers
Ships-in-Class (2)
Notable series variants as part of the IJN Akagi family line as relating to the Akagi-class group.
IJN Akagi; IJN Kaga (half-sister)
Operators
Global operator(s) of the IJN Akagi. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national naval warfare listing.
National flag of modern Japan

[ Imperial Japan ]
1 / 1
Image of the IJN Akagi

Mission Roles
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to seaborne requirements.
BLUE WATER SERVICE
FLAG / CAPITAL SHIP
SHIP-TO-SHORE
Recognition
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
IJN Akagi Conventionally-Powered Fleet Aircraft Carrier appears in the following collections:
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