Ibuki (1943)

Ibuki at Sasebo, Japan, in October, 1946, before scrapping began. Unknown author, believed to be in the public domain.

Nation
Ship Class
Laid Down
1942
Launched
1943
AD/BC
AD
History

Ibuki was originally ordered in 1941 as the lead ship of two heavy cruisers, but work was halted in 1942, after the disaster at Midway. The IJN completed her enough to launch on 21 May, 1943, so the slip could be used for other construction. Intended to displace 14,600 tons, and mount the typical ten 203mm (8") guns and four quad mounts for the Type 93 "Long Lance" torpedo, Ibuki sat around for a few months before the decision was made to complete her as a carrier, in August. Towed to Sasebo in December, work proceeded slower than intended. Displacement remained about the same, but removal of half her engines meant her top speed would have been only 29 knots. Ibuki was fitted with a flight deck 205m (672' 7") long was added over a hanger deck. Capacity would have been just twenty-seven aircraft, intended to be the A7M "Sam" fighter and B7A "Grace" bomber. Ibuki would have mounted three different types of radar, and retained her sonar from the original cruiser design. Work was halted in March, 1945 when she was 80% complete, and never resumed. Ibuki was scrapped post-War. By the time she would have been completed, her air group would have been woefully inadequate, and a shortage of fuel would likely have immobilized her, anyway. Ibuki would likely have held up fairly well to hits in combat, since her armor was left from her cruiser design, though she likely would have retained the common IJN cruiser vulnerability to torpedoes.

Bonus Photos

Post-War photo of Ibuki being dismantled, c.1947. US Army photo.