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Japanese aircraft carrier Kaga

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Japanese.aircraft.carrier.kaga.jpg
Kaga

Career RN Ensign
Ordered:
Laid down: 19 July 1920
Launched: 17 November 1921
Commissioned: 1 November 1929
Fate: Sunk by US air attack at the battle of Midway, on 4 June 1942
Struck: 10 August 1942
General Characteristics
Displacement: 33,693 tons
Length: 260.7 metres wl
Beam: 31.3 metres
Draught: 8.7 metres
Propulsion: Kanpon geared turbines, 4 shafts, 91000 hp (67.9 MW)
Speed: 31.25 knots (57.88 km/h)
Range: 7,000 nautical miles at 12 knots (13000 km at 22 km/h)
Complement: 2,000
Armament: Ten 8 inch (200 mm) guns, sixteen 5 inch (120 mm) guns, twenty-two 25 mm anti-aircraft guns
Aircraft: 91

Kaga (Japanese: 加賀, the ancient Kaga Province, in present-day Ishikawa Prefecture) was an aircraft carrier of the Imperial Japanese Navy. She took part in the battle of Pearl Harbor and was sunk at the battle of Midway on 4 June 1942.

Kaga began as a Tosa-class battleship, launched in 1921 at the Kawasaki Heavy Industries shipyard at Kobe. The constraints of the Washington Naval Treaty, 1922, meant that neither Kaga nor Tosa could be completed. When the aircraft carrier Amagi was destroyed, while still under construction, in an earthquake on 1 September 1923, it was decided to replace her with a carrier built on the hull of the incomplete Kaga.

At the beginning of World War II she was commanded by Captain Okada Jisaku. Together with Akagi she formed Carrier Division 1 of the Strike Force for the attack on Pearl Harbor. On 7 December 1941 she launched two strikes against Oahu. In the first wave, 26 Kates targeted Arizona, Vestal, Tennessee, West Virginia, Oklahoma, and Nevada, and 9 Zeros attacked the airbase at Hickam Field. In the second wave 26 Vals targeted Nevada, Maryland, and West Virginia.

In January 1942, together with Akagi, Kaga supported the invasion of Rabaul in the Bismarck Islands. On 9 February she hit a reef at Palau and took on water. After temporary repairs, she continued to the Coral Sea, where on 19 February 1942 she launched air strikes against Darwin, Australia, sinking nine ships, including USS Peary. In March 1942 Kaga covered the invasion of Java.

Kaga was unable to participate in the Indian Ocean raid in April because of the damage she had received in February. Instead she returned to Sasebo for repairs.

In late May 1942 she became Vice Admiral Chuichi Nagumo's flagship in the attack on Midway Island, as Shokaku was repairing damage received in the battle of the Coral Sea and Zuikaku was re-equipping the aircraft lost in that battle.

On 4 June 1942 Kaga launched air strikes against Midway before coming under air attack from American land- and carrier-based planes. At 10:22 she was hit by four bombs from dive-bombers from USS Enterprise (CV-6), setting off explosions and fires among the armed and fueled planes on her hangar deck. Captain Okada was killed by a bomb that hit the bridge. The fires proved impossible to control and the order to abandon ship was given at about 14:00.

At 14:10 the submarine USS Nautilus hit Kaga with a torpedo but it was a dud and did not explode.

Kaga's crew were taken off by the destroyers Hagikaze and Maikaze and at 19:25 she exploded and sank. It is not known whether the explosion was a result of the fire or whether she was scuttled by torpedoes. 814 of her crew were killed in the battle.

External links

zh:加贺号航空母舰 de:HIJMS Kaga

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