IJN Tone (CA-1943)


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The final cruiser class started by the Japanese Navy was the four ship Tone Class heavy cruisers that were to be replacements for the early losses in 1942. The first of the class (Tone) was due to complete in late 1943 with three more to follow at regular intervals. All four had been laid down by June 1942 when the Japanese Navy took the four carrier loss at Midway. Knowing that the aircraft carrier was going to win or lose the war for them the Japanese cast around for all of the different hulls that could be converted to aircraft carriers. The four ships of the Tone class were just what the doctor ordered.

The Tone class was to incorporate a lot of new ideas for the Japanese Navy. Fitting the torpedoes and aircraft handling facilities at the rear of the ship being just one of them. The Tone class also introduced Japanese cruisers to the twin 3.9" turret as the secondary AA armament. The big long flush deck hull was perfect for an aircraft carrier and that was where they would end up. (See Ibuki Class)

Displacement 17,250 tons std, 21,000 tons full load
Length 718 ft
Breadth 74 ft
Draught 24 ft
Machinery 4 shaft Steam turbines, 160,000shp
Speed 33 knots
Range 10,000 miles at 18 knots
Armour 4-5" side, 2.5" deck, 5" turrets.
Armament 12 x 8" (4x3)

12 x 3.9" (6x2)

21 x 25mm (7x3)

Aircraft 3
Torpedoes 16 x 24" (4x4) 16 reloads
Complement 980
Notes Tone

Real life IJN Tone was a hybrid heavy cruiser seaplane carrier. Able to carry up to six floatplanes, they were supposed to take the pressure off the fleet carriers by using their aircraft for reconnaissance purposes.

The two ships of the real life Tone class would have been far better off being built as CVL's, then their aircraft would really have taken the pressure of the Fleet Carriers.

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