Hyuga & Ise: The Oddball Battleships

Above^: Hyuga in 1941

This pair, a general update to the Fuso and Yamashiro duo, were commishioned during WW I. Averaging a gross weight of 42,000 tons, they were very orthodox for the time, unusual only in having 16 centerline 14in guns. These originally carried no AA guns, as there were no carriers prior to 1922. The duo was present at the early battles, serving no real purpouse. After the defeat at Midway, it was decided that these ships would be converted to Battleship/Carriers, operating about 20 Aichi D3A2 "Val" divebombers. This was an obvious choice because these ships had 6 turrets instead of the normal 4 and, unllike their older Fuso class counterparts, could manage 25kn. This decision was made even easier in late 1942 when "y" turret on Hyuga exploded. However, the Japanese aircraft industry was hard-pressed for even these 30 planes and the ships took place in the battle at Leyte without their aircraft. Neither ship ever saw combat and were sunk by US carrier aircraft in the Inland Sea near Kure during the dying days of the war.

Below: Ise after the reconstruction to Semi-Carrier





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