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Naval Historical Center # NH 73059
|36,500 tons standard displacement
|855'3" by 102'9" by 28'7"
260.68m by 31.32m by 8.71m
|817' (249.0m) flight deck
63 aircraft operational
91 aircraft total
6x2 4.7"/45 dual purpose guns
14x2 25mm/60 machine guns
|6" (152mm) belt inclined 14 degrees
3.1" (79mm) armor on 1" (25mm) plate hangar deck with additional 4" (102mm) slopes to lower edge of belt
3" (76mm) torpedo bulkhead tapering to 0.63" (16mm) plus 4' (1.2m) blisters
||4-shaft Gijutsu-Hombu turbines
19 Kampon boilers
|5775 tons fuel oil
225,000 gallons (852,000 liters) gasoline
|7100 nautical miles (13,200 km) at 16 knots|
Akagi was laid
down as a 41,000 ton battle
cruiser, but under the terms of the Naval
Disarmament Treaty of 1922 she
was completed in 1927 as an aircraft
carrier. This explains
her unusually heavy armor belt. Like her counterparts in the
an 8” main battery on the theory that she would be used in a
scouting role and
might have to deal with enemy light surface
originally completed as a flush-deck carrier with ten 8" guns and three
vertically stacked flight decks. The triple flight decks permitted the
carrier to land aircraft on the uppermost flight deck while
simultaneously launching aircraft from the other two flight decks.
However, the second flight deck was barely long enough to launch the
lightest naval aircraft, while the third flight deck was just long
enough to launch contemporary torpedo
bombers. Both decks became inadequate as aircraft performance
improved, and in 1935-1938 Akagi
was reconstructed with a single flight deck and a port island. The
lower flight decks were merged with the hangar decks, increasing the
aircraft capacity from 60 to 91. At the same time, the boilers were
switched to burn fuel oil only, and four of the 8" guns were removed
and replaced with light antiaircraft guns.
The 1930s reconstruction left Akagi with a number of peculiarities. She retained six 8" guns in casemates below the flight deck, where just three guns could be brought to bear against any one target. She was also the only carrier except Hiryu with a port island. This was done because a Navy Aviation Department study warned of excessive turbulence if the island was not placed amidships, but the boiler uptakes were located amidships on the starboard side.
Because of her origins as a converted battle cruiser, Akagi
was unusually habitable. However, she was prone to severe vibrations in
the stern part of the ship when maneuvering at high speed.
Akagi was probably the most beloved ship of the Imperial Navy’s air arm, and served as flagship of 1 Air Fleet under Nagumo until she was lost at the battle of Midway on 4 June 1942. According to a recent analysis, she succumbed to a single bomb that penetrated the center of her flight deck and exploded among torpedo bombers being refueled and rearmed on her hangar deck. A second hit mentioned in older histories was in fact a very near miss astern.
CombinedFleet.com (accessed 2007-3-11)
Gogin (2010; accessed 2012-11-23)
and Tully (2006)
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