IJN Ryujo (CVL-1933)


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The real life Ryujo were a Japanese experiment to get the maximum out of a small 'cruiser' sized aircraft carrier. It failed. Throughout its life the real life Ryujo fought overweight problems (sounds like me :) Having the Japanese toss the treaties in 1930, allows them to start building maximum rather than minimum sized ships. For the 'Fleet' protection carriers, two ,Takao sized cruiser hulls, were built into what would later be termed light fleet carriers (CVL). These ships would be filled with fighters and be allocated to the battlefleet to provide the Combat Air Patrols and main fighter cover.

When these two ships joined the fleet in 1934, they became a part of Carrier division 1, with the two Kii class carriers. Both ships saw action in the Chinese Intervention in 1937. It was not until 1941 when enough of the six Soryu class had been completed did the Ryujo class become the Fleet fighter carriers. Each of these carriers would have 42 fighters and 6 reconnaissance aircraft. The recon aircraft were twice as fast as those that could be launched off the cruisers and battleships and had a better radius of action. More information sooner. A major requirement in the carrier battles of WW2.

Displacement 16,800 tons std, 18,550 tons full load
Length 654 ft hull (676 ft overall)
Breadth 70 ft hull
Draught 24 ft
Machinery 4 shaft Steam turbines, 150,000shp
Speed 32 knots
Range 10,000 miles at 18 knots
Armour 3" side, 2.5" deck
Armament 8 x 5" (4x2)

36 x 25mm (12x3)

Aircraft 48
Complement 1040
Notes IJN Ryujo

IJN Kuzuryu

Real life Ryujo. Note that it required bulges even before it was completed. Very little could be done to improve the ship as any extra weight just caused further problems with stability. Nice try, but no cigar.


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