Shinano, Japanese Fleet Carrier

Sketch of IJN Shinano

S. Fukui (Naval Historical Center # NH 63437)


Tonnage 62,000 tons standard displacement
Dimensions 872'8" by 119'1" by 33'10"
266.0m by 36.3m by 10.3m
Maximum speed       27 knots
Complement 2400
Aircraft 827' (252m) flight deck
2 elevators
42 aircraft operational
Additional replacement aircraft
Armament 8x2 5"/40 dual-purpose guns
35x3 25mm AA guns
12x28 5" rocket launchers
Protection 6.3" (160mm) VH machinery belt inclined 20 degrees
15.7" (400mm) VH magazine belt  inclined 20 degrees
10.6" to 3" (270 to 75 mm) lower VH magazine belt inclined 14 degrees
6.5" to 3" (200 to 75 mm) lower VH machinery belt inclined 14 degrees
13.4" (340mm) VH bulkheads inclined 20 degrees
4" (100mm) armor deck over machinery
7.5" (200mm) armor deck over magazines
3.1" (80mm) flight deck
0.47" (12mm) hangar deck
1" (25mm) upper deck
3.6" (140mm) MNC uptakes
13.8" (350mm) VH steering room sides
3" (75mm) steering room floors
4-bulkhead void-void-void-liquid torpedo protection (0.35", 0.63", lower armor belt, 0.4", 0.6" or 9mm, 16mm,l over armor belt, 11mm, 15mm bulkheads) from inboard to outboard)
4-shaft geared turbines (150,000 shp)
12 Kanpon boilers
Bunkerage 8900 tons fuel oil
155,000 gallons (590,000 liters) aviation gasoline
Type 13 air search radar
Type 21 radar (two sets)
Range 10,000 nautical miles (19,000 km) at 18 knots

The Shinano was the largest carrier built during the war (62,000 tons) and probably also the shortest-lived, being torpedoed by the U.S. submarine Archerfish on 29 November 1944 while still incomplete and under way between shipyards. The skipper, Abe Toshio, assumed the damage was light and continued on course, but this only hastened progressive flooding and resulted in the loss of the ship. At the time of her loss, Shinano was lacking some of her boilers and pumps and poor yard work had compromised her watertight integrity. Nor were her hatches and manholes sealed, since civilian workers were actually still aboard and working during this voyage.

Shinano was originally to be the third ship of the Yamato class, but the Japanese realized after the disaster at Midway that carriers were needed much worse than battleships. The hull of Shinano was then just 45% complete, giving considerable latitude in converting her on the ways to a carrier. She was rather a peculiar improvisation, retaining heavy belt armor and adding a heavily armored flight deck. She also departed from previous Japanese pratice in being designed with an open hangar and with facilities for refueling and rearming aircraft on the flight deck.

The design was terribly inefficient in the sense that she could operate only 42 planes, but she could ferry an additional 30 aircraft and the Japanese apparently intended to operate her as a support ship for forward units. Her own air group was to consist of 18 A7M Reppu fighters, 18 B7A "Grace" dive bombers, and 6 C6N "Myrt" reconnaissance aircraft, but the Reppu never went into production.

Photo Gallery

Photograph of Shinano in profile




Blair (1975)
Chesneau (1992) (accessed 2008-2-23)
Garzke and Dullin (1985)

Gogin (2010; accessed 2013-4-5)

Jentschura, Jung, and Mickel (1977)

Worth (2001)

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