The Taiho, launched in 1943, can be considered as the summit, in conceptual and technical terms, of the Japanese aircraft carrier
production. She was built with thick waterline armor and with an armored flight deck, the first one in a Japanese carrier. Another
novelty for a Japanese carrier and a right decision was the inclusion of the funnel within the superstructure of the isle.
Representing a major departure in Japanese carrier design, she was expected not only to survive multiple bomb, torpedo or projectile
hits but also to continue fighting effectively after suffering such attacks.
This, however, did not prevent her sinking in June 1944 during the Battle of the Philippine Sea, after being hit by a single torpedo
launched from the submarine USS Albacore. This shaking fact was due to explosions resulting from design flaws and poor damage control.
When the Taiho was sunk, she was not really in optimal operative conditions, due to her poorly trained crew. This showed once again
that from theory to practice a whole world mediates.
This elegant aircraft carrier owed her silhouette to a passenger liner which in turn had been already designed to be easily reconverted as an
aircraft carrier when the need arose. The Taiho presented an improved navigability over any of her predecessors, and she was equipped with
the new 100-millimeter antiaircraft cannons, which were considered by the Japanese themselves as their best ones, and as well with some of the
first radars that were installed in Japanese warships; these were air search radars covering a range of about 100-150 kilometers.
Leaving apart the aforementioned deficiencies, we can say that the Taiho was called to be one of the finest aircraft carriers of her time.
Class: Taiho (1 unit)
Type: Aircraft carrier
Length: 260.6 meters
Beam: 30 meters
Draught: 9.6 meters
Displacement (standard): 29770 tonnes
Propulsion: 4 x shaft, 4 x steam turbine Kampon, 8 x boiler Kampon, 160000 horsepower
Speed: 33.3 knots (61.7 kilometers/hour)
Range: 10000 nautical miles (19000 kilometers) at 18 knots
Armament: 12 x 100-millimeter 65-caliber cannon, 51 x 25-millimeter cannon
Armor: 55-152 millimeters in belt, 75-80 millimeters in upper deck, 32 millimeters in lower deck