As seen in June 1942 Battle of Midway

Hasegawa no. 202

Scale 1: 700

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Kaga (Japanese: 加賀, formerly Kaga Province, in present-day Ishikawa Prefecture) was an aircraft carrier of the Imperial Japanese Navy, originally intended as a Tosa class fast battleship. She took part in the Pearl Harbor raid and was sunk at the Battle of Midway on 4 June 1942.

Kaga began as a Tosa class battleship, and was launched on 17 November 1921 at the Kawasaki Heavy Industries shipyard in Kobe. On 5 February 1922 both Tosa class ships were cancelled and designated for scrapping under the terms of the Washington Naval Treaty.

The Treaty authorized conversion of two battleship or battlecruiser hulls into aircraft carriers of up to 33,000 tons standard displacement. The incomplete battlecruisers Amagi and Akagi were initially selected, but the Great Kantō Earthquake of 1923 damaged Amagi's hull beyond economic repair. Kaga was therefore selected for completion as an aircraft carrier.

Kaga's conversion began in 1923 and lasted until 1928. As completed, the ship had two main hangar decks and a third auxiliary hangar with a total capacity of 60 aircraft. The hangars opened onto two superimposed flying off decks at the bow. In theory, this permitted aircraft to take off directly from the hangars, while landing on the main flight deck above. Funnel gasses were collected in a pair of long horizontal ducts which discharged at each side of the flight deck ramp. Kaga was armed with ten 200 mm (7.9 in) guns in a combination of twin turrets and casemates. Belt and deck armor were considerably reduced. No catapults were fitted.

Upon completion, Kaga underwent trials for another two years before becoming operational. In service, the multiple flight deck arrangement proved unsuccessful. In 1934, Kaga therefore commenced a second major reconstruction. The flight deck and hangars were extended to the bow, increasing flight deck length to 812.5 ft and raising aircraft capacity to 90. A third elevator serviced the extended hangars. New boilers and turbines increased power from 91,000 to 127,400 shp. The hull was lengthened by 34 ft at the stern and the lengthy funnel ducting was replaced by a single downturned starboard funnel. A small starboard island superstructure was also installed. Standard displacement increased by almost 9,000 tons, from 29,600 to 38,200 tons.

Kaga returned to service in 1935. During the late 1930s Kaga supported operations in China, and was involved in the Shanghai Incident and during the early years of the Second Sino-Japanese War.

At the beginning of World War II, Kaga was commanded by Captain Okada Jisaku. Together with Akagi she formed Carrier Division 1 of the Striking Force for the attack on Pearl Harbor. On 7 December 1941 she launched two strikes against Oahu. In her first strike, 26 Nakajima B5N "Kate" torpedo bombers targeted Arizona, Vestal, Tennessee, West Virginia, Oklahoma, and Nevada, and 9 Mitsubishi A6M "Zero" fighters attacked the airbase at Hickam Field. In her second strike, 23 Aichi D3A "Val" dive bombers targeted Nevada, Maryland, and West Virginia.

In January 1942, together with Akagi, Kaga supported the invasion of Rabaul in the Bismarck Islands. On 9 February she hit a reef at Palau and took on water. After temporary repairs, she continued to the Timor Sea, where on 19 February 1942 she launched air strikes against Darwin, Australia, sinking nine ships, including USS Peary. In March 1942, Kaga covered the invasion of Java.

Kaga was unable to participate in the Indian Ocean raid in April because of the damage she had received in February. Instead, she returned to Sasebo for repairs.

In May 1942, Kaga sailed on her final mission. Her aircraft complement was 30 "Zeros," 23 "Vals," and 30 "Kates." On 4 June 1942 Kaga launched air strikes against Midway, and then came under attack from American land- and carrier-based planes. At 10:22, SBD Dauntless dive-bombers from USS Enterprise hit her with at least four 1000 lb (453.6 kg) bombs, which set off explosions and fires among the armed and fueled planes on her hangar deck. Captain Okada was killed by a bomb that hit the bridge. The fires proved impossible to control and the order to abandon ship was given at about 14:00.

At 14:10 the submarine USS Nautilus hit Kaga with a torpedo, but it was a dud and did not explode. Kaga's crew were taken off by the destroyers Hagikaze and Maikaze, and at 19:25 she was scuttled by two torpedoes and sank at position 30-23.3'N, 179-17.2' W.

In 1999, the Nauticos company discovered wreckage that has been identified as coming from Kaga.

By Wikipedia.com

Technical specification:

  • Laid down at Kawasaki Kobe Naval yard 19 July. 1920
  • Launched 17. Nov. 1921
  • Completed 31. Mar. 1928
  • Reconstruction and rearmament: 1935, and approx 1942
  • Sunk 4 June. 1942 with the loss of 814 of her crew (Hit by 4 bombs in 5 min. by US. aircraft from USS Enterprise)
  • displacement: 43,650 tons tons full load
  • length: 247,70 m
  • beam: 32,52 m
  • draught: 9,50 m
  • ship horse power: 127,400 Shp.
  • speed : 28,5 knots
  • crew: 2016


  • Main guns 10 (10x1) 8' = 20.3 cm
  • 28  25mm AA guns (14x2)
  • DP guns 16 (8x2) 5' = 12.7 cm
  • Up to 90 Aircraft could be carried


Books form my own library :  

Japanese Naval Warship Photo Album Aircraft carriers from Diamond Sha books.  


Reference: Pictures

Model Art no. 20 waterline special


Reference: drawings and background (show her 1942 configuration of 6 front support legs under the flight deck)


Ships of the world no. 500


Reference: picture


Samourai sur porte-Avions  LELA Presse


Reference: Drawings, pictures, background and aircraft markings




IJN Carrier Zuikaku 1/100 Super Scale Model

Reference: Model (IJN. Super details) drawings (Masts and deck details)


Gakken n14


Reference: Drawings, pictures, background (In general)

Perfect Guide, the aircraft carriers of the Imperial Japanese Navy & Army


Reference: History, background, pictures, models (this is best reference book of the above to gather information of this model)




Nihon kaigun and J-aircraft.com.

and Mr. Omani fantastic model of Kaga as seen in 1941: http://www.h3.dion.ne.jp/~mokei/e-home.htm

Also a great thanks to Mr. Buton of Japan, who provided me with additional information.

The building time was 11 weeks.

Aeronautic March 22 2009.



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