Shōkaku-class aircraft carrier
The Shōkaku and Zuikaku class were two aircraft carriers built for the Imperial Japanese Navy in the late 1930s. Completed shortly before the start of the Pacific War in 1941, they were called \”arguably the best aircraft carriers in the world\” when built. They participated in every major naval action of the war, including the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Indian Ocean Raid, and the Guadalcanal Campaign.
About Shōkaku-class aircraft carrier in brief
The Shōkaku and Zuikaku class were two aircraft carriers built for the Imperial Japanese Navy in the late 1930s. Completed shortly before the start of the Pacific War in 1941, they were called \”arguably the best aircraft carriers in the world\” when built. With the exception of the Battle of Midway, they participated in every major naval action of the war, including the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Indian Ocean Raid, and the Guadalcanal Campaign. Their inexperienced air groups were relegated to airfield attacks during the attack at Pearl Harbor but they later sank two of the four fleet carriers lost by the United States Navy during the war in addition to one elderly British light carrier. The sisters trained before moving south to defend against any American attempt to retake the Mariana Islands or the Philippines. They were sunk by an American submarine during theBattle of the Philippine Sea in June 1944 as the Americans invaded the Marianas. The ships had a length of 5 meters, a beam of 29 meters, a draft of 32 meters deep, and a overall load of 23,105 metric tons at load. Based on hydrodynamic research conducted for the Yamato-class battleships, they received a bulbous bow and twin rudders, both of which were positioned on the centerline abaft the propellers. Their crew consisted of 1,660 men: 75 commissioned officers, 56 special duty officers, 71 warrant officers and 1,458 pettymen excluding the air group.
The ShōKaku-class carriers were ordered in 1937 as part of the 3rd Naval Armaments Supplement Program. The new ships were fitted with four geared turbine sets, each driving one 4-meter propeller, using eight propellers by Kampon Kampon using eight steam turbines. They had a beam of 29 meters and a beam beam of 32 m deep, a draft of 9.5 meters and were moulded in moulded depth of 2.5 metres. The sister ships returned to Japan after the Battle of the Coral Sea, one to repair damage and the other to replace aircraft lost during the battle, so neither ship participated in the Battle of Midway in June 1942. They formed the bulk of the IJN’s carrier force for the rest of the War. As such they were the primary counterattack force deployed against the American invasion of Guadal canal in the battle of the Eastern Solomons in August 1942. The ship was sacrificed as a decoy four months later during the Battle off Cape Engaño. It was the furthest advanced by this point and the supporting structure for the bridge had already been built; rebuilding it would have delayed construction so it was left in place. The design was based on an enlarged and improved Hiryū design with the island on the port side, amidships. The Navy General Staff laid out an ambitious requirement for a ship that equaled the 96-aircraft capacity of the Akagi and Kaga, the speed of Hiryū and the defensive armament of Kaga.