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Akitsu Maru Class, Japanese Landing Ships With Flight Decks


Photograph of Akitsu Maru-class landing ship with flight deck

navalhistory.flixco.info. Fair use may apply.


Specifications:


Tonnage 11,800 tons standard displacement
Dimensions 471'7" by 64'0" by 37'9"
143.74m by 19.50m by 11.51m
Maximum speed       20 knots
Aircraft 403'6" (122.99m) flight deck
1 elevator
20 aircraft or 20 Daihatsu landing craft
Armament 2 75mm antiaircraft guns
10 75mm field guns
Machinery
2-shaft turbine (7500 shp)
4 boilers

The Akitsu Marus were built by the Japanese Army as "landing ships with flight decks." They could carry a combination of landing craft and small aircraft, the latter intended to be flown off to airstrips ashore. They had no practical capability to land aircraft, for which Army pilots were not trained in any case. Plans were considered to modify the flight decks to support landing, which might have resulted in a ship whose role anticipated that of the postwar U.S. amphibious assault ships. However, these plans were never implemented.

A small number of Ka-1 autogyros were modified by eliminating the second seat and installing racks for two 60 kg (132 lb) depth charges. These were intended to operate off the Akitsu Marus, prefiguring the postwar concept of helicopter-equipped antisubmarine escort vessels. It is unclear whether they ever actually operated in this fashion.


Units in the Pacific:

Akitsu Maru       Completed 1942-1 (Harima)       Torpedoed 1944-11-15 by Queenfish off Korea
Nigitsu Maru Completed 1943-3 (Harima) Torpedoed 1944-1-12 by Hake near Rasa Island (132.85E 23.25N)


References

Chesneau (1992)

Jentschura, Jung, and Mickel (1977)
Naval History via Flix (accessed 2009-3-13)

Worth (2001)



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