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"Antiaircraft Defenses of Japanese Warships" from Tactical and Technical Trends

The following intelligence report on Japanese naval antiaircraft defenses was originally published in Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 8, Sept. 24, 1942.

[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the U.S. War Department publication Tactical and Technical Trends. As with all wartime intelligence information, data may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the text. Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]


Because land-based aviation is being called upon more and more frequently to operate against enemy naval units, information on the antiaircraft armament of Axis warships, as well as the number of planes they normally carry, is of interest to all air personnel. The following tables give the antiaircraft defenses of Japanese warships; those of German warships will be given in the next issue. For explanation of the symbols used in the following tables to designate the type of ship, see this publication, Issue No. 4, p. 25.

The number of light antiaircraft guns listed may not always be accurate, since the number and position of these smaller weapons often vary. One of the standard machine guns is the .78-cal weapon, whose characteristics are given on the first table below; and generally, the caliber of weapons in this category is below 40 mm. Some machine guns are mounted for a 360° traverse and elevations up to 90°, while others are more limited.

"X" before a ship designation indicates a converted model, while a prefixed "O" indicates an old model. "VO" stands for observation plane.

      5-in     4.7-in     3-in     .78-in*
Maximum Elevation 85° 85° 85°  
Maximum Horizontal Range 18,000 yds 21,000 yds  9,000 yds  5,470 yds
Maximum Vertical Range 33,000 ft  25,000 ft  20,000 ft   3,289 ft 
Muzzle Velocity  3,000 f/s  3,000 f/s  2,300 f/s --
Weight of Shell 60 lbs 45 lbs 13 lbs --
*The 20-mm Oerlikon AA machine gun has similar characteristics.

 Type   Name   Tonnage   Length 
 Heavy AA     Disposition     Light AA  Aircraft
 Kongo Class
BB1Kongo29,330704268 5-inBroadside, concentrated amidships in twin mounts.7 MG3 VO
BB2Hiyei29,330704184 5-in, 4 3-in 7 MG3 VO
BB3Kirishima29,330704268 5-in7 MG3 VO
BB4Haruna29,330704268 5-in7 MG3 VO
Fuso Class
BB5Fuso29,33067322 1/28 5-inTwo twin mounts are elevated on tower base aft; location of others not indicated.7 MG3 VO
BB6Yamashiro29,33067322 1/28 5-in7 MG3 VO
Ise Class
BB7Ise29,990683238 5-inBroadside, on either side of foremast and aftermast.7 MG3 VO
BB8Hyuga29,990683238 5-in7 MG3 VO
Nagato Class
BB9Nagato32,720700268 5-inBroadside, in pairs amidship.7 MG3 VO
BB10Mutu32,720700268 5-in7 MG3 VO
Yamato Class
BB11Yamato------------3 VO
"Pocket Battleships"
CB1Kishu12 to 15,000--3012 5-in (?)------
CB2?12 to 15,000--3012 5-in------
CB3?12 to 15,000--3012 5-in------
CB4Chichibu12 to 15,000--3012 5-in------
CB5"Job 8"12 to 15,000--3012 5-in------
Aircraft Carriers
CV1Hosho (Hosyo)7,470510-- 2 3-in--2 MG36
CV4Ryujo (Ryuzyo)7,1005482512 5-in--24 MG32
CV7Shokaku (Syokaku) ------16 6-in (?)--16 20-mm Oerlikon 63
CV8Zuikaku17,000 (est.) 8003016 5-in--16 20-mm Oerlikon63
CV10Kasuga------16 5-in (?)----45
XCV2Zuiho------ 4 5-in (?)--12 MG (?)30
(New Construction)
CVKashiwara(May possibly be completed and named Junyo.)60 (?)
CVIzumo(May possibly be completed and named Hiyo.)60 (?)
Cruisers (Light)
Tenryu Class
CL1Tenryu3,230468311 3-inOn stern.2 MGNone
CL2Tatsuta3,230468311 3-inOn stern.2 MGNone
Kuma Class
CL3Kuma5,100535333 3-inSingle mounts, one on either side of first stack, one on stern.2 MG1 VO
CL4Tama5,100535333 3-in2 MG1 VO
CL5Kitagami5,100535333 3-in2 MG1 VO
CL6Kiso5,100535333 3-in2 MG1 VO
CL7Oi5,100535333 3-in2 MG1 VO
Nagara Class*
CL8Nagara5,170535333 3-inProbably same as in Kuma Class.6 MG1 VO
CL9Natori5,170535333 3-in6 MG1 VO
CL10Kinu5,170535333 3-in6 MG1 VO
CL11Yura5,170535333 3-in6 MG1 VO
CL12Isuzo5,170535333 3-in6 MG1 VO
CL13Abukuma5,170535333 3-in6 MG1 VO
Sendai Class*
CL15Sendai5,195535333 3-inOne on either side of second funnel; third not indicated (possibly on stern).6 MG1 VO
CL16Jintsu (Zintu)5,195535333 3-in6 MG1 VO
CL17Naka5,195535333 3-in6 MG1 VO
Katori Class*
CL18Katori------2 5-in----1 VO
CL19Kashima------2 5-in----1 VO
CL20Kashii------2 5-in----1 VO
Hirado Class
OCL1Hirado------2 3-in--2 MGNone
OCL2Yahagi------2 3-in--2 MGNone
Seaplane Carriers
AV1Notoro14,050470122 3-in----8 to 16 VO
AV2Kamoi17,000496152 3-in----10 to 16 VO
AV3Chitose (Titose) 9,000577 1/2206 5-inMounted in pairs.20 MG20 VO
AV4Chiyoda (Tiyoda)9,000577 1/2206 5-inMounted in pairs.20 MG20 VO
AV6Nisshin------4 3-in----14 VO
XAVKamikawa Maru6,853479172 5-in--2 MG10 VO
XAVFujikawa Maru------2 5-in--2 MG10 VO
XAVSouyou Maru------2 5-in--2 MG10 VO
XAVKinugasa Maru6,808453 1/2 172 5-in--2 MG10 VO
XAVKagu Maru6,807453 1/2172 5-in--2 MG10 VO
XAVKiyozumi Maru------2 5-in--2 MG10 VO
XAVGoshu Maru------2 5-in--2 MG10 VO
Cruisers (Heavy)
Kako Class
CA1Hurutaka7,100580334 4.7-inBroadside, amidship in single mounts.10 MG2 VO
CA2Kako7,100580334 4.7-in10 MG2 VO
CA3Aoba7,100580334 4.7-in10 MG2 VO
CA4Kinugasa7,10058033--10 MG2 VO
Nachi Class
CA5Nachi (Nati)10,000640338 4.7-inIn twin mounts, broadside on either side of funnels.8 47-mm4 VO
CA6Haguro10,000640338 4.7-inand 8 MG4 VO
CA7Myoko10,000640338 4.7-in--4 VO
CA8Ashigara10,000640338 4.7-in--4 VO
Takao Class
CA9Takao9,850650334 4.7 inBroadside in single mounts.8 47-mm4 VO
CA10Atago9,850650334 4.7 inand 8 MG4 VO
CA11Chokai9,850650334 4.7 in--4 VO
CA12Maya9,850650334 4.7 in--4 VO
Mogami Class
CA15Suauya8,500639338 5-inThe 5-in guns are in twin mounts on either side of funnel.12 MG4 VO
CA16Kumano8,500639334 3-in12 MG4 VO
Coast Defense Ships (Old Heavy Cruisers)
OCA1Asama------1 3-in------
OCA2Yakumo8,640434161 3-in--3 MG--
OCA3Azuma (Aduma)8,640452 1/2211 3-in--3 MG1 VO
OCA4Izumo (Idumo)9,180434161 3-in--3 MG1 VO
OCA5Iwate9,180434161 3-in--3 MG1 VO
OCA6Kasuga7,080357201 3-in--2 MG--
*One of these sunk.


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