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IJN Akagi


Conventionally-Powered Fleet Aircraft Carrier (1927)


Naval Warfare

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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.
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.
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.

Specifications



Service Year
1927

Origin
Imperial Japan national flag graphic
Imperial Japan

Complement
2,000
PERSONNEL


Class
Akagi-class
Number-in-Class
2
VESSELS
Ships-in-Class


IJN Akagi; IJN Kaga (half-sister)


National flag of modern Japan Imperial Japan
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Flag Ship / Capital Ship
Serving in the fleet Flag Ship role or Capital Ship in older warship designs / terminology.


Length
816.0 ft
248.72 m
Beam
100.0 ft
30.48 m
Draught
27.0 ft
8.23 m
Displacement
33,800
tons


Installed Power: 19 x Kampon water-tube boilers; 4 x Kampon geared steam turbines; 4 x shafts
Surface Speed
32.0 kts
(36.8 mph)
Range
7,991 nm
(9,196 mi | 14,800 km)


6 x 20cm/50 caliber (7.9-inch) guns
6x2 120mm (4.7-inch) anti-aircraft guns
14x2 25mm (1-inch) anti-aircraft guns


Supported Types




(Not all weapon types may be represented in the showcase above)
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


Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2


Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective naval campaigns / operations / periods.

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