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fighting ships of the world

IMPERIAL JAPANESE NAVY (JAPAN)

CONVERTED MERCHANT VESSELS

armed merchant cruisers of WW II

Aikoku Maru 1942

Kongo Maru 1941

Bangkok Maru 1942

Noshiro Maru 1942

Awata Maru 1942

Ukishima Maru 1942

Name

Launched // Comm.

Builder

Tonnage, BRT

Dimensions, m

(length pp)

Speed, kts

Engine, Power hp

Armament

Fate

愛国丸 <Aikoku Maru> 25/4/1940// 9/1941 Tama SB, Tama 10437 149.6x20.2x7.92 21 2 diesels, 13000 8 x 1 - 140/50, 2 x 2 - 13.2, 2 x 2 - 533 TT, 2 seaplanes transport 10/1943
赤城丸 <Akagi Maru> 6/6/1936//12/1941 Mitsubishi, Nagasaki 7387 140.8x19.0x9.30 19 1 diesel, 8000 4 x 1 - 152/50, 2 x 2 - 13.2, 2 x 2 - 533 TT sunk 17/2/1944
浅香丸 <Asaka Maru> 7/7/1937//9/1941 Mitsubishi, Nagasaki 7398 141.0x19.0x10.5 19 1 diesel, 8000 4 x 1 - 152/50, 2 x 2 - 13.2, 2 x 2 - 533 TT transport 10/1943
粟田丸 <Awata Maru> 5/8/1937//9/1941 Mitsubishi, Nagasaki 7398 140.8x19.0x9.30 19 1 diesel, 8000 4 x 1 - 152/50, 2 x 2 - 13.2, 2 x 2 - 533 TT transport 10/1943
盤谷丸 <Bangkok Maru> 30/3/1937//9/1941 Mitsubishi, Kobe 5451 114.7x17.0x7.01 18 2 diesels (1 shaft) 4 x 1 - 120/45, 1 x 1 - 7.7, 500 mines transport 10/1943
護国丸 <Gokoku Maru> 2/4/1942//10/1942 Tama SB, Tama 10438 149.6x20.2x7.92 21 2 diesels, 13000 8 x 1 - 140/50, 2 x 2 - 13.2, 2 x 2 - 533 TT, 2 seaplanes transport 10/1943
報国丸 <Hokoku Maru> 5/7/1939//9/1941 Tama SB, Tama 10438 149.6x20.2x7.92 21 2 diesels, 13000 8 x 1 - 140/50, 2 x 2 - 13.2, 2 x 2 - 533 TT, 2 seaplanes sunk 11/11/1942
金城山丸 Kinjosan Maru 1/8/1936//3/1941 Mitsui, Tama 3262 101.4x14.3x7.6   1 steam turbine, 1800   sunk 4/5/1942
金龍丸 <Kinryu Maru> 16/6/1938//9/1941 Kawasaki, Kobe 9309 146.9x19.0x12.2 18 1 diesel, 9200 4 x 1 - 152/50, 2 x 2 - 13.2, 2 x 2 - 533 TT transport 7/1942
清澄丸 <Kiyosumi Maru> 30/6/1934//12/1941 Kawasaki, Kobe 8613 138.3x18.5x12.2 18 1 diesel, 7600 4 x 1 - 140/50, 1 x 1 - 76, 2 x 1 -7.7 transport 10/1943
金剛丸 <Kongo Maru> 7/12/1934// 9/1941 Harima, Harima 8624 137.2x18.6x8.51 18 1 diesel, 7600 4 x 1 - 140/50, 1 x 1 - 76, 2 x 1 -7.7 sunk 10/3/1942
能代丸 <Noshiro Maru> 28/6/1934//9/1941 Mitsubishi, Nagasaki 7184 136.7x19.0x8.43 18.5 1 diesel, 6700 4 x 1 - 140/50, 1 x 1 - 76, 2 x 1 - 7.7 transport 10/1943
西貢丸 <Saigon Maru> 28/4/1937//9/1941 Mitsubishi, Kobe 5350 114.7x17.0x7.01 18 2 diesels (1 shaft) 4 x 1 - 120/45, 1 x 1 - 7.7, 500 mines sunk 18/9/1944
浮島丸 <Ukishima Maru> 26/12/1936//9/1941 Mitsui, Tamano 4730 108.4x15.7x7.01 16.5 1 diesel 6 x 1 - 120/45, 1 x 1 -7.7 gunboat 4/1943

Ship project history: In 1941-1942 some fast cargo- and cargo-passenger vessels of Japanese merchant fleet have been requisitioned and entered service with IJN as auxiliary (armed merchant) cruisers for operations actions on communication lines of the enemies. Ships were armed with 4-8 120-152mm guns, besides, some of them carried reconnaissance seaplanes, torpedo tubes and minelaying equipment.

As the armaments were not masked (as, for example, on German raiders), these ships were easily identified as combatants. It became one of the reasons of that auxiliary cruisers have not achieved some success, moreover, one of them, Hokoku Maru, at an attack on small convoy consisting from small Dutch tanker Ondina and Indian minesweeper Bengal, has been sunk. After that discomfiture remained auxiliary cruisers have been returned to category of transports.

Modernizations: None.

 

Fate Notes: Kongo Maru was sunk 10/3/1942 at Lae by American carrier aircraft. Hokoku Maru 11/11/1942 was NW off Coco by Indian minesweeper Bengal and Dutch tanker Ondina. Akagi Maru 17/2/1944 was sunk at Truk by American carrier aircraft. Saigon Maru was sunk 18/9/1944 in Manila Bay by American submarine Flasher.

 

Aikoku Maru

Hokoku Maru

 

Ivan Gogin, 2008-14