She was reclassified as a first reserve ship on 15 November, but did not rejoin the First Carrier Division until the following month. [16] These guns fired 20.3-kilogram (45 lb) projectiles at a muzzle velocity of 825–830 m/s (2,710–2,720 ft/s); at 45°, this provided a maximum range of 16,000 meters (17,000 yd), and they had a maximum ceiling of 10,000 meters (11,000 yd) at 75° elevation. Later that day, 17 D3As from Akagi helped to sink the British heavy cruisers Cornwall and Dorsetshire. © 2020 Guardian News & Media Limited or its affiliated companies. [67][Note 5], Akagi (right, partially obscured by clouds) takes evasive action during an aerial attack by US B-17s shortly after 8 a.m. on 4 June 1942. 199, 258, 266, 365, 390; Prange, "Dec 7", pp. [10], On Akagi's predecessor Hōshō, the hot exhaust gases vented by swivelling funnels posed a danger to the ship, and wind-tunnel testing had not suggested any solutions. Eight ships were sunk, including the American destroyer Peary, and fourteen more were damaged. Ariga, who was senior to Aoki, ordered him to abandon ship. Other crewmembers killed included 72 seamen, 68 mechanics, one maintenance man, and five clerks. Aoki refused to abandon ship with the damage control teams at 22:00 and had himself tied to the anchor capstan. “I’m sure of what we’re seeing here, the dimensions that we’re able to derive from this image (are) conclusive,” Kraft said. [72], Akagi reinforced the CAP with launches of three Zeros at 08:08 and four at 08:32. [65] Depleted of ammunition, three of Akagi's CAP Zeroes landed aboard the carrier at 07:26. 76–78, Watts, pp. [33], Several major weaknesses in Akagi's design were not rectified. Originally intended to be a battlecruiser, Akagi 's hull was converted to an aircraft carrier during construction in compliance with the Washington Naval Treaty. She was reclassified as a special purpose ship (Tokubetse Ilomokan) on 15 November 1940, while she was being overhauled. This ultimately called for carriers to operate in front of the battle fleet with the goal of using massed air attacks to disable the enemy before ship-to-ship fighting commenced. On deck are Mitsubishi B1M and B2M bombers, Akagi joined the Combined Fleet in August 1927 and was assigned to the First Carrier Division upon its formation on 1 April 1928, serving as the division's flagship under Rear Admiral Sankichi Takahashi. She provided 20 B5Ns and 9 Zeros for the initial airstrike on Rabaul on 20 January 1942. The ship's anti-aircraft guns were grouped amidships and placed relatively low on the hull. A third elevator midships, 11.8 by 13 meters (38 ft 9 in × 42 ft 8 in) in size, was added. As carriers were still envisioned as support units within the fleet, Akagi was armed with ten 20 cm guns for fending off enemy cruisers and destroyers. [30] They fired .25-kilogram (0.55 lb) projectiles at a muzzle velocity of 900 m/s (3,000 ft/s); at 50°, this provided a maximum range of 7,500 m (8,200 yd), and an effective ceiling of 5,500 m (18,000 ft). Around 07:40 he reversed his order when he received a message from one of his scout aircraft that American warships had been spotted. Gardiner, Robert; Gray, Randal, eds (1984). Dive bombers from Enterprise severely damaged Akagi. These deficiencies, combined with the shipboard weaknesses previously detailed, would eventually doom Akagi and other First Air Fleet carriers. [8] Akagi's main flight deck was 190.2 meters (624 ft 0 in) long, her middle flight deck (beginning right in front of the bridge) was only 15 meters (49 ft 3 in) long and her lower flight deck was 55.02 meters (180 ft 6 in) long. Her island and forward flight deck (with parked B5N Kate torpedo bombers), March 26, 1942. [63], At this time, Nagumo's carriers were attacked by six US Navy TBF Avengers from VT-8 squadron and four United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) B-26 Marauders, all carrying torpedoes. Withdrawing after the attack, Akagi, Kaga, and the carriers of the Fifth Carrier Division (Shokaku and Zuikaku) moved south and supported the Japanese invasion of New Britain and the Bismarck Islands.
Ordered in 1920, Akagi (Red Castle) initially was designed as an Amagi-class battlecruiser mounting ten 16-inch guns. Moving into southern Chinese waters, the carrier supported Japanese ground operations during the Second Sino-Japanese War. One of Akagi's Zeroes, however, was shot down by defensive fire from the B-26s. Lengerer, Hans (1982). The Kido Butai then sailed for Staring Bay on Celebes Island to refuel and recuperate. This saw the elimination of the lower two flight decks and their conversion into fully-enclosed hangar decks. All rights reserved. The carrier's early career was uneventful, consisting of various training exercises. The forward funnel was fitted with a water-cooling system to reduce the turbulence caused by hot exhaust gases and a cover that could be raised to allow the exhaust gases to escape if the ship developed a severe list and the mouth of the funnel touched the sea. Aircraft carrier Akagi shortly after leaving Port Stirling, Celebes Island, for the Indian Ocean. [38], The Japanese doctrine held that entire carrier air groups should not be launched in a single massed attack. The expedition’s director of undersea operations Rob Kraft and Naval History and Heritage Command historian Frank Thompson reviewed high-frequency sonar images of the warship on Sunday before asserting that its dimensions and location meant it had to be the carrier Akagi. [57], On 25 May 1942, Akagi set out with the Combined Fleet's carrier striking force in the company of carriers Kaga, Hiryū, and Sōryū, which constituted the First and Second Carrier Divisions, for the attack on Midway Island.

This process was limited by the number of ordnance carts used to handle the bombs and torpedoes and the limited number of ordnance elevators. Aircraft carriers Akagi and Kaga were sunk by US forces during second world war confrontation, Mon 21 Oct 2019 22.43 AEDT Her deck armor was also reduced from 96 to 79 mm (3.8 to 3.1 in).
Its is reported that the wreck is upright, in its keel and is largely intact. [50] Four of the Blenheims were subsequently shot down by CAP fighters and one was shot down by aircraft from the carriers' returning air strike. Though the American torpedo planes had been defeated, their attack pulled the Japanese fighters out of position.

One of the carrier's Zeros was shot down by American anti-aircraft guns during the first wave attack, killing its pilot. 130, 170–71, Peattie, pp. With his ship badly stricken, Captain Taijiro Aoki ordered the carrier's magazines to be flooded.

In her new configuration, the carrier embarked 12 Mitsubishi A5M "Claude" fighters with 4 disassembled spares, 19 Aichi D1A dive bombers with 5 spares, and 35 Yokosuka B4Y horizontal/torpedo bombers with 16 spares. Most of the Allied forces in the Dutch East Indies surrendered to the Japanese later in March. The upper and middle hangar areas' total space increased to about 93,000 square feet (8,600 m2); the lower hangar remained the same size. The rear vertical funnel was changed to match the forward funnel and incorporated into the same casing. Two Japanese aircraft carriers that fought at the Battle of Midway have been found by a crew of deep-sea explorers and historians – all in the span of one week. 419, 421. The anti-aircraft sponsons were to be raised one deck to allow them some measure of cross-deck fire as was done during Kaga's modernization. Rob Kraft and Naval History and Heritage Command historian Frank Thompson aboard RV Petrel identified the wreck Akagi using high frequency sonar. The Avengers went after Hiryū while the Marauders attacked Akagi. She was the second carrier to enter service with the IJN, after Hōshō and before Kaga (which replaced Amagi). Also, the island blocked the forward arcs of the port battery. Nagumo's chief of staff, Rear Admiral. Seven of the carrier's aircrew members were killed, also the fewest of any of the four fleet carriers lost in the battle. Descending on Pearl Harbor, the carrier's torpedo planes targeted the battleships USS Oklahoma, USS West Virginia, and USS California. There was no island superstructure when the carrier was completed; the carrier was commanded from a space below the forward end of the upper flight deck.

124–25, 147–53; Tully; Stille, pp. [7], Akagi and Kaga were completed with three superimposed flight decks, the only carriers ever to be designed so. 172, 174–75; Parshall and Tully, p. 131; Werneth, pp. Akagi contributed 18 B5Ns, 18 D3As, and 9 Zeros to the attack, which caught the defenders by surprise.

Akagi, the only remaining member of her class, was launched as a carrier on 22 April 1925 and commissioned at Kure Naval Arsenal on 25 March 1927, although trials continued through November 1927. 395, 403–04, 406, 413, 421–26, Lengerer, p. 319; Tully; Parshall and Tully, p. 42, Parshall and Tully, pp. Conducting training for most of the year, command of the carrier passed to Captain Isoroku Yamamoto in December. “You see the damage these things took, and it’s humbling to watch some of the video of these vessels because they’re war graves.”. [89][Note 10] The damage-control teams were eventually evacuated as well, as was (under duress) Aoki. The aircraft carrier Akagi entered service with the Imperial Japanese Navy in 1927 and took part in the opening campaigns of World War II. [21], Akagi was reduced to second-class reserve status on 1 December 1931 in preparation for a short refit in which her arresting gear was replaced and her radio and ventilation systems were overhauled and improved. 65, 70, 159; Stille, pp.

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