IJN Taifeng Story

Before World War II (1939-1945), the Japanese navy was the third most powerful sea power on earth, and for good reason - many of its interests were concentrated beyond the mainland, the country was a Isolated island Pacific Northwest country. As such, the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) would be at the vanguard of a trans-Pacific expansion effort during the war to tangle with the U.S. and British navies in the regionboth posing the greatest threat.

Aircraft carriers, Japanese authorities took notice and ordered the same survivability for new indigenous aircraft carriers - represented by the Taiho-class group, consisting of IJN Taiho (her name means "big phoenix") - the only ships in the class.

Taiho was launched on July 10, 1941 and launched on April 7, 1942. At this time, the Empire was at full-scale war throughout the Pacific and had consolidated gains in parts of Asia and the Pacific. The U.S. Navy was ready for the challenges ahead, and the Japanese had little time to move on. The devastating results of the IJN at the Battle of Midway (June 4-7, 1942) made it clear that a new, state-of-the-art carrier was desperately needed.

The two sister ships were quickly ordered to make up for the loss and join Taiho. Midway became a particularly important victory for the United States, marking the loss of four important IJN carriers to U.S. carriers.

The battle also claimed the lives of 3,057 Japanese soldiers, the first defeat for the Japanese navy since the 1860s.

Taiho was commissioned on March 7, 1944, when the tides of the Pacific Ocean were changing. The ship has up to 3 inches of armor between the flight deck and the hangar elevator, and there are two of them, one at the front and the other at the back. The belt received armor protection up to 6 inches and its drive compartment was covered by 2. 2" armor thickness.

All the extra weight makes this ship top-heavy, but the idea behind it was to build a ship that could take such horrific damage that it could still keep fighting.

While the original design of the ship had no radar, the widespread adoption of radar on warships in Europe meant that the Japanese soon implemented their own local solution on Taiho - creating a pair of Type 21 air search systems and a Type 13 aerial search unit attracted attention 92 miles from the island building.

New rapid-firing, high-velocity 100 mm (3.9 in) Type 98/65 automatic cannon provides local defense. Twelve of these guns were mounted on six turrets. 51 x 25 mm (1") guns were added to the 17 three-gun turrets mounted above the design for further air defense support.

In addition, local defenses would fall on any accompanying warships.

The ship displaces 30,250 short tons at standard load and 37,870 short tons at full load. Dimensions include a length of 855 feet, a beam of 90 feet and a draft of 31.5 feet. Electricity is supplied by 8 Kampon RO Go boilers which provide 4 Kampon geared steam turbines with 160,000 hp to 4 shafts.

Top speeds can reach over 33 knots and range up to 12,000 miles.

As planned, Taiho has a conventional layout with two hangar lifts on the non-stop flight deck. A crane mounted on the starboard stern was used to salvage overboard items, including downed aircraft and supplies brought by support ships. The island-style superstructure, located above the starboard side of the ship, proved to be the only obstacle for the pilot to take off or land. The flush deck makes it possible to prepare multiple planes and launch one immediately after another to get as many planes as possible into the sky as quickly as possible. Authorities initially envisioned the ship would carry as many as 80 aircraft into combat, but in reality no more than 75 were actually used - mainly due to crew shortages and, most importantly, the losses suffered by the IJN accrued during the war. at this point.

Their stable of aircraft would eventually include several types - fighter jets, dive bombers and torpedo bombers. The ship had a total crew of 1,751 people, although more than 2,100 people were transported by the end.

All in all, Taiho became the most technologically advanced Japanese aircraft carrier of World War II. Despite considering two more ships, she never outclassed it. During World War II, she served with the IJN and suffered the fate of many of the IJN's most important warships.

Still, the Taiho is a remarkable feat considering Japan's previous launch attempts made untested changes to its design -- all under the pressure of war and the loss of territory, manpower, and vital resources. feat.

Shortly after commissioning in March 1944, Taiho was dispatched to Singapore to rendezvous with veterans Shokaku and Zuikaku under the banner of the First Carrier. After a period of naval pilot training and sea trials to justify her designs and systems, she arrived in Tawi Tawi, the southernmost part of the Philippines, as part of the First Motor Fleet.

In June 1944, Taiho quickly ended in the Battle of the Philippine Sea (June 19). In response to the American presence, Taiho ordered the launch of her air wing. However, the USS Albacore, an attack submarine of the US Navy, spotted her and began attacking the huge pontoon. A series of six torpedoes were fired at Japanese targets, but only one hit directly (four missed and one was intercepted by Japanese pilots in a suicide dive).

The explosion caused by a single impact torpedo created a hole in the starboard side of the ship in front of the island's superstructure, causing jet fuel to spew out and rendering the forward hangar lift unusable. Flooding occurred, adding to the suffering of the crew.

Damaged elevators now mean planes cannot be launched or retrieved as usual, and damage forced minor lists. Reduce the speed to compensate for the latter, while covering the elevator shaft on the flight deck. Quick repairs kept the cockpit up and running well into the afternoon.

Despite this, deadly smoke accumulated downstream of the ship, and attempts to remedy this were largely ineffective. An ignition source somewhere on the ship eventually caused a huge explosion, shaking the deck and breaking the sides of the hull, allowing more water to enter.

Then came a second massive explosion, which meant the ship's final end, which sank in about 90 minutes. Of the 2,150 crew on board, only 500 survived.

Taiho served only a few months with the IJN, which took a heavy toll on Japan's war effort in the Pacific.

IJN Taiho Specification




- Aircraft/Sea Support

- Blue Water Operations

- Fleet Support

- Hunter

- direct attack





89.1 ft (27.16 m)




Displacement (surface):

30,250 tons


8 x Kampon Ro-Go Boilers and 4 x Kampon Geared Steam Turbines producing 160,000hp on 4 x Axles.


Speed ??(surface):

34 kn (39 mph)


10,428 nautical miles (12,000 miles; 19,312 km)


12 x 3.9" (100 mm) / 65 caliber Type 96 Anti-Aircraft Gun (AA) (six twin turrets).

51 x 1" (25 mm) Anti-Aircraft Gun (AA) (single gun position).


Up to 65 aircraft can be carried.

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