Taiho Class

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Models of this class:
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  • Information on this class has been compiled by Jeff Donahoo

    Standard Displacement: 29,300 tons
    Complement: 1,751

    Length: 855'
    Beam: 90'-9"
    Draught: 31'-6"

    4" flight deck
    53 aircraft
    Flight Deck: 844'x98'-6"

    Armor: 6" side

    Machinery: 4 shaft Kanpon turbines
    Boilers: 8 Kanpon S.H.P.: 160,000=33 knots
    Oil: 5,700 tons
    Radius: 10,000 miles @ 18 knots

    Name Builder Ordered Laid Down Launched Completed Ship Fate Crew Fate
    Taiho Kawasaki Jyuko Co, Kobe 1939 4th Replacement Program (#130) 7/10/41 4/7/43 3/7/44 sunk 6/19/44 670 dead, 1,480 saved

    Name: Taiho: Great Phoenix

    Commanding Officer:
    Capt Kikuchi Tomozo (45) 12/23/43-6/19/44

    Notes: Probably one of the most tragic stories of all IJN ships in World War 2: the Taiho was the epitome of IJN carrier design when she set sail on her first battle sortie. The carrier boasted the following firsts (and ultimately "lasts") on any operational IJN carrier: armored flight deck, a hurricane bow, the best anti-aircraft guns available (eight twin 3.9"), and the largest flight deck area (until the ill-fated Shinano). The Taiho was a beautiful ship to look at. Alas, during her first battle sortie, she launched two attack waves of aircraft, but was hit by a single torpedo of the spread of 6 fired by the submarine USS Albacore. Due to lack of training and poor hangar design, the avgas fumes built up and finally triggered an explosion that doomed the ship. The Taiho was designed before the Japanese entered World War 2 and the dangers of accumulating avgas fumes in poorly ventilated, enclosed hangar decks was not yet fully appreciated. During the course of the war (before the Taiho took to the seas) more than one IJN and USN carrier would be terminally damaged due to avgas fumes building up and igniting. The Americans build all new carriers with many new tools to combat this very real danger, but the Japanese did not have the luxury of hindsight when they designed the Taiho.