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Aikoku Maru Class, Japanese Auxiliary Cruisers


Photograph of Aikoku Maru
Wikipedia Commons


Specifications:


Tonnage 10,438 tons standard displacement
Dimensions 492' by 66'6" by 27'11"
151.2m by 20.27m by 8.51m
Aircraft
2 seaplanes
Maximum speed       21 knots
Armament 5.5"/50 guns
2 3"/40 AA guns
4 25mm machine guns
2x2 13mm/76 machine guns
2x2 21" torpedo tubes
Machinery
2-shaft Mitsui B&W diesels (13,000 shp)

The Aikoku  Marus were merchant ships of the Osaka Shosen line converted to a commerce raiding role just before war broke out. They had some modest success in this role in the far reaches of the Indian Ocean, and they also served as supply ships for replenishment of Japanese submarines operating off the coast of Africa.

The survivors were rerated as transports in 1943. None survived the war. Aikoku Maru was wrecked in Truk Lagoon when its cargo of explosives was hit by American carrier aircraft, and it has become a popular destination for scuba divers.


Units in the Pacific:

Aikoku Maru

Northeast of Tuamotu Archipelago

Sunk by aircraft 1944-2-18 at Truk

Hokoku Maru      

Northeast of Tuamotu Archipelago      

Sunk by gunfire 1942-11-11 in the Indian Ocean

Gokoku Maru

Completed 1942-9-25 (Kure)

Torpedoed 1944-11-10 by Barb near 129.3E 33.5N


References:

Boyd and Yoshida (1995)

CombinedFleet.com

Jentschura, Jung, and Mickel (1977)



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