Japanese amphibious assault ship Shinshū Maru

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ShinshuMaru.jpg
History
Empire of Japan
Name: Shinshū Maru
Laid down: 8 April 1933
Launched: 14 March 1934
Commissioned: 15 November 1934
Fate: Sunk 3 January 1945
General characteristics
Type: Amphibious assault ship
Displacement: 7,100 tons standard, 8,108 tons full
Length: 144 m (472 ft 5 in)
Beam: 22 m (72 ft 2 in)
Draft: 4.2 m (13 ft 9 in)
Speed: 20.4 kn (37.8 km/h; 23.5 mph)
Complement: 2,000
Armament:
Aircraft carried:
Aviation facilities: Hangar and catapult; no flight deck

Shinshū Maru (神州丸) was a ship of the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II. She was the world's first landing craft carrier ship to be designed as such, and a pioneer of modern-day amphibious assault ships. During some of her operations, she was known to have used at least two cover names, Fuso Maru, and Ryujo Maru.

At least one source claims that Shinshū Maru was one of the ships sunk by friendly fire at the Battle of Sunda Strait and then salvaged and returned to service.

Design features[edit]

Shinshū Maru was a significant advance in amphibious warfare, having incorporated numerous innovative features, and as such she was shrouded in a veil of secrecy throughout her existence. She could carry 29 Daihatsu-class landing craft, 25 Shohatsu-class landing craft and four armoured gunboats, to be launched from a floodable well deck.

In addition, Shinshū Maru could carry aircraft in a hangar within her superstructure; these aircraft could be launched by catapult to support amphibious assaults, but could not return to the ship, and must land on captured airfields instead.

These concepts pioneered by Shinshū Maru persist to the current day, in the U.S. Navy's LHA and LHD amphibious assault ships.

Fate[edit]

On 3 January 1945, while returning to Takao after a supply mission to Leyte Island, Shinshū Maru was heavily damaged by a US air attack by Task Force 38; after the ship was abandoned she was sunk by the submarine USS Aspro in the Formosa Straits off Takao.[1]

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