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The IJN Kaga (加賀) was an aircraft carrier of the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN), the third to enter service, named after the former Kaga Province in present-day Ishikawa Prefecture. Originally intended to be one of two Tosa-class battleships, Kaga was converted under the terms of the Washington Naval Treaty to an aircraft carrier as the replacement for the battlecruiser Amagi, which had been damaged during the 1923 Great Kanto earthquake. Kaga was rebuilt in 1933–35, increasing her top speed, improving her exhaust systems, and adapting her flight decks to more modern, heavier aircraft.

The ship figured prominently in the development of the IJN's carrier striking force doctrine, which grouped carriers together to give greater mass and concentration to their air power. A revolutionary strategic concept at the time, the employment of the doctrine was crucial in enabling Japan to attain its initial strategic goals during the first six months of the Pacific War.

Kaga's aircraft first supported Japanese troops in China during the Shanghai Incident of 1932 and participated in the Second Sino-Japanese War in the late 1930s. With other carriers, she took part in the Pearl Harbor raid in February 1942.

Specifications[]

Original Configuration[]

  • Type: Aircraft Carrier
  • Service Period: 1929-1933
  • Characteristics:
    • Length: 782 feet 6 inches (238.51 meters)
    • Beam: 103 feet 11 inches (31.67 meters)
    • Draft: 26 feet 7.93 meters)
    • Displacement: 26,900 tons (Standard); 33,700 tons (Full Load)
  • Crew: 1,340
  • Propulsion: 12 x Kampon Type B boilers, 4 x Kawasaki Brown-Curtis geared turbines, 91,000 shp (68,000 kW)
  • Range: 8,000 nautical miles (14,816 kilometers) at 14 knots (25.93 km/h)
  • Speed: 27.5 knots (50.93 km/h)
  • Armament:
    • 10 x 20cm/50-caliber 3rd Year Type naval guns (2x2, 6x1)
    • 12 x 12cm/45-caliber 10th Year Type Model A2 dual purpose naval guns (6x2)
  • Aircraft Carried: 60 aircraft (16 x Nakajima A1N fighters, 28 x Mistubishi B1M3 torpedo bombers, 16 x Mitsubishi 2MR recon planes)

1933-1935 Reconstruction[]

  • Type: Aircraft Carrier
  • Service Period: 1935-1945
  • Characteristics:
    • Length: 812 feet 6 inches (247.65 meters)
    • Beam: 106 feet 8 inches (32.51 meters)
    • Draft: 31 feet 1 inch (9.47 meters)
    • Displacement: 38,200 tons (Standard); 42,541 tons (Full Load)
  • Crew: 1,708-2,016
  • Propulsion: 8 x Kampon Type B boilers, 4-shaft Kampon geared turbines, 127,400 shp (97,000 kW)
  • Range: 10,000 nautical miles (18,520 kilometers) at 15 knots (27.78 km/h)
  • Speed: 28 knots (51.86 km/h)
  • Armament:
    • 16 x 12.7cm/40-caliber Type 89 dual purpose naval guns (8x2)
    • 44 x 25mm/60-caliber Type 96 anti-aircraft guns (22x2)
  • Armour:
    • Belt: 6-inches (152.4 mm)
    • Deck: 1.5-inches (38.1 mm)
  • Aircraft Carried: 78 (22 x Mitsubishi A6M Zero, 28 x Aichi D3A, 28 x Nakajima B5N) + 18 spares