|JAPANESE HYBRID WARSHIPS Hyuga-Ise, Mogami, I-400 & I-13|
232 pages + fold-outs (4 x B2), 37 pages of text, 96 pages in color, 180 profiles 2D and 3D, 176 b/w photos, 32 color photos, 141 drawings, 8 maps.
Basing on authorative Japanese technical standard publications and the official Japanese war history and unpublished reports of the U.S. Naval Technical Mission to Japan, the author describes three particular warship types characterised by one common feature: The addition and primary use of aircrafts while maintaining the original armament either unchanged or in a reduced form. The amalgamation of the features of fundamentally different warship types such as the gun carrier and the aircraft carrierin one vessel seemed promising, and the hybrid ship became an important theme in the 1920s. But none of the 'Big Five' built hybrids before the outbreak of World War II. However, the prominent role of the aircraft was proven from the first day of the Pacific War and after the defeat at Midway in June 1942 the Imperial Japanese Navy investigated the conversion of the existing battleships and heavy cruisers in aircraft carriers or hybrids.
After mentioning this investigation the author outlines the realised conversions of BBs Ise and Hyûga in BB-XCV and CA Mogami in a CA-XCV before dealing with the aircraft carrying submarines of I 400 class which combined two superlatives: the biggest SS of the world and the only one 'armed' with three seaplane bombers to attack major American coastal cities and the locks of the Panama Canal. Due to the inability to produce the required number of such submarines, the design of the I 13 class was changed to embark two seaplane bombers and to operate in combination with ships of the I 400 class.
The planned and executed operations of these ships are described with reference to the official Japanese war history and supplemented by numerous maps and track charts selected by the author from Japanese sources. Sander Kingsepp, perhaps best known for his translations on Nihon Kaigun website, has supplied summarised translations on Mogami's reconnaissance aircrafts and the loss of I 13, which are both added as enclosures.