This Japanese Aircraft Carrier Got Sunk Before It Could Even Start Its First Mission

Amagi was an Unryu-class aircraft carrier built for the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II. Named after Mount Amagi, and completed late in the war, she never embarked her complement of aircraft and spent the war in Japanese waters.

Some 16 Unryu-class aircraft carriers were planned as part of a huge naval construction programme begun in 1942 and designed to replace the losses suffered at the Battle of Midway. The Unryu series proved to be the last purpose-built carriers constructed by the Japanese, and then only three were completed before the end of the war.

The Amagi had an overall length of around 225 metres, a beam of 22 metres, and a draft of 8.73 metres, displacing some 20,450 metric tons. The crew consisted of 1,595 officers and men. The Unry?-class carriers used the same turbines and boilers as used in the heavy cruiser Suzuya. These consisted of four geared steam turbine sets with a total of 152,000 shaft horsepower (113,000 kW) driving four shafts using steam provided by eight Kampon Type B water-tube boilers. The ship had a designed speed of 34 knots (63 km/h; 39 mph).  When it was commissioned in 1944, the carrier was intended to carry a mixed compliment of 48 aircraft. However, by then the shortage of carrier-qualified aircrew was such that planes were ordered to operate from shore bases and Amagi never embarked her air group.

The ship’s primary armament consisted of a dozen 40-caliber 12.7 cm Type 89 anti-aircraft (AA) guns in twin mounts on sponsons on the ship’s sides. Amagi was initially equipped with 16 triple 25 mm Type 96 and three single AA gun mounts, most on sponsons along the sides of the hull. By the end of the war, the ship mounted 22 triple and 23 single mounts. These guns were supplemented by six 12 cm (4.7 in) 28-round AA rocket launchers.

The ship capsized in July 1945 after being hit multiple times during airstrikes by American carrier aircraft during a massive air raid while moored at Kure Naval Base. Amagi was refloated in 1946 and scrapped later that year.

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