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Kaga, 1920-1942, The Japanese Aircraft Carrier

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Kaga, 1920-1942, The Japanese Aircraft Carrier

Written by Miroslaw Skwiot and Adam Jarski

Hardcover Series 95001

Published by Oficyna Wydawnicza KAGERO


Available from www.shop.kagero.pl for €27,95




What is it?

This book is a hardcover publication of 142 pages that deals in English with the history and the technical details of the IJN Kaga from the earliest plans/policies of the Imperial Japanese Navy to build battleships that could rival those of Great Britain and the United Staes in 1916 to the sinking of the aircraft carrier Kaga during the Battle of Midway in 1942.




How are the history and the technical details of the ship presented in the book?

Well, very thoroughly, as a matter of fact. There are four major parts that make up the book, namely:


Battleship Kaga.

In this chapter the thinking of the IJN about it's assets is highlighted, the different designs that stemmed from the experiences the British and Germans had at the Battle of Jutland, 1916, as wel as the power that the Japanese wanted to project through their navy. This part also highlights what effects the Washington Naval Treaty had on the Imperial Japanese Navy and it described how the IJN came to select the Kaga for conversion to aircraft carrier as that almost didn't happen...




Aircraft Carrier "Kaga"

This chapter highlights the difficulties the IJN encountered when designing and choosing the different possible concepts and solutions for an aircraft carrier, also looking at the choices the Royal Navy and the U.S. Navy made with their early aircraft carriers.




Technical Description

This chapter goes quite into the details and discusses the finer technical points of the hull, flight decks, elevators, superstructure, armour and fire protection, defensive armament, offensive armament (yes indeed, the aircraft and their bombs and torpedoes!), the fire control systems, propulsion and the crew. Keep in mind that the carrier started out as a carrier with 3 flight decks and was reconstructed to the more familiar 1 flight deck. This reconstruction is also described.











This chapter details thae operations that "Kaga" was involved in, from the early operations in Chinese waters, through Pearl Harbor, the American raid against the Marshall Islands, attacks against Port Darwin and Tjilatjap to the final ops during the Battle of Midway until the sinking.










What do we think?

It is a very thorough book on the history and technical details of the ship. For the modeller it has some value as the way the IJN went about arming and flying their aircraft off the carrier are described as the philosophy of keeping spare aircraft ready for operations opposed to  the use of spare parts to repair damaged aircraft. The description of the various bombs and torpedoes can be of use to aircraft modellers as well as ship modellers. If you're only interested in how the ship looked because you are building Fujimi's (to be released) kit of the Kaga, then this book is not for you. In that case you'd better invest in Super Drawings in 3D 16031 "The Japanese Aircraft Carrier Kaga" from the same publisher.




At the end of the book there are some very nice computer generated profiles included of the Kaga. There are however also some "half" 3D -graphics from the above mentioned book included as some kind of advert. I applaud the inclusion of those graphics but to have a half flight deck to look at is not as I would like to see it....




Highly recommended for those interested in the history and the technical details inside the ship.



I'd like to thank Kagero for supplying the book for review.

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