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Japanese aircraft carrier Shinyo: Map

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 was an escort carrier operated by the Imperial Japanese Navy, converted from the German ocean liner Scharnhorst, which had been purchased by the Japanese Navy. The Scharnhorst had been trapped in Kure, Japan, following the outbreak of World War II in Europe, which precluded any attempt for the ship to return to Germany.


Conversion

The ship was intended for use as a troop ship, but after the Japanese defeat at the Battle of Midwaymarker, the Navy decided to convert her into an escort carrier. Conversion work on Scharnhorst began in September 1942. Steel from the uncompleted hull of the canceled fourth Yamato class battleship was used in the conversion process. Scharnhorst's design was similar to the Japanese passenger liners of the Nitta Maru class, which were also converted into the Taiyō class escort carriers, so her conversion followed a similar plan. The main differences were retention of the original propulsion machinery, and addition of external bulges which helped increase stability. Shinyo was fitted with two aircraft elevators and a single hangar, giving her the ability to operate 27 aircraft, with a further 6 spare airframes.

Armament

Shinyo was armed with 8 dual-purpose (anti-aircraft and surface) 5" guns in four Type 89 twin mounts. She also carried 30 25 mm anti-aircraft guns in 10 triple mounts. Later 12 addition 25 mm AA in single mounts were added. When Shinyo was refitted in July 1944, 8 more 25 mm AA were added for a total of 50.

Service history

Shinyo was commissioned into the fleet in December 1943, and was subsequently assigned to the Grand Escort Command. Starting in July 1944, Shinyo escorted convoys. Shinyo was escorting a convoy bound for Singaporemarker in November 1944 when she was attacked and sunk by the American submarine Spadefish. Shinyo's weakly armored fuel tanks exploded and started a massive fire that destroyed the ship and killed most of her crew.

References

  1. Stille, Mark: Imperial Japanese Navy Aircraft Carriers: 1921-1945, page 42. Osprey Books, 2006. ISBN 978-1-84603-009-3
  2. Stille, Mark. Imperial Japanese Navy Aircraft Carriers: 1921-1945, page 43. Osprey Books, 2006. ISBN 978-1-84603-009-3


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