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Akagi: Unmatched to This Day





Akagi: the queen of the Japanese carriers. She began life as a fast battle cruiser in 1922. After the Washington Treaty, Akagi was rebuilt as a huge aircraft carrier.  Akagi sported a 2 level hangar deck, and could accommodate nearly 100 aircraft.
She was extensively rebuilt in the 1930's with a full length flight deck and her now famous strut supports on either end of the flight deck; now a distinctly Japanese trait.
A marked ship after Pearl Harbor, Akagi participated in every carrier battle before Midway. On June 5, 1942 Akagi was destroyed when bombs stacked in the hangar decks exploded after an American attack. She sank the following day after the gasoline tanks exploded and sealed her fate.


Akagi's Specifications

Specifications as completed:

Displacement: 33,821 tons trial

Dimensions: 816.5 x 95 x 26.5 feet/249 x 30 x 8 meters

Extreme Dimensions: 855.5 x 96 x 26.5 feet/260.7 x 30 x 8 meters

 Propulsion: Steam turbines, 19 boilers, 4 shafts, 131,200 shp, 31 knots
 
Crew: 2000

Armor: 6 inch belt, 3 inch armored deck

Armament: 2 dual, 6 single 8/50 SP, 6 dual 4.7/45 DP, 22 MG

Aircraft: 60

Specifications following reconstruction

Displacement: 42,750 tons full load

Dimensions: 821.5 x 102.5 x 28.5 feet/250.4 x 31.25 x 8.7 meters

Extreme Dimensions: 855 x 102.5 x 28.5 feet/260.6 x 31.25 x 8.7 meters

Propulsion: Steam turbines, 19 boilers, 4 shafts, 133,000 shp, 31.2 knots

Armor: 6 inch belt, 3 inch armored deck

Armament: 6 single 8/50 SP, 6 dual 4.7/45 DP, 28 25 mm AA

Aircraft: 72 (91 maximum)

Concept/Program:
A pair of 47,000 ton battle cruisers (fast battleships) canceled under the Washington Treaty and reordered as aircraft carriers, equivalent to USS
Lexington & USS Saratoga and HMS Glorious & HMS Courageous. One of the two ships was wrecked by an earthquake; the other was completed as Japan's first large carrier, and saw extensive service.

Design/Conversion:
Hull essentially unchanged, except armor was reduced. Completely reworked from the main deck up, with dual level hangar. Had short flying-off decks at the bow, opening directly from the hangars, in addition to the main flight deck. Completed without an island. She mounted a cruiser's gun armament, partially in turrets and partially in casemates. The boilers exhausted through a starboard-side funnel, which was angled downward. The short flying-off decks were nearly useless.

Modifications:
A small island was installed on the starboard side prior to reconstruction.

Modernization:
Underwent a major reconstruction to remove the forward flying decks and modernize the ship. The forward flying decks were eliminated, the hangars
extended forward, and the main flight deck lengthened, widened and strengthened. A port-side island was installed; the small starboard island was removed. The gun armament was re-arranged and improved. Aircraft arrangements were improved and there were general updates throughout.

Operational:
Generally operated with semi-sister Kaga. Saw extensive service as one of the primary Japanese carriers prior to and during WWII.

 Departure from Service/Disposal:
Lost at Midway


Below: The Model I Built of Akagi in 1998

 More Images of Akagi