Japanese Cruiser Chikuma (1938)
The Chikuma (筑摩 重巡洋艦, Chikuma jūjun'yōkan?) was the second and last vessel in the Tone-class of heavy cruisers in the Imperial Japanese Navy. It is named after the Chikuma River, in Nagano prefecture of Japan. The Tone class cruisers were originally envisaged as the 5th and 6th vessels in the Mogami class. However, by the time construction began, serious weaknesses in the Mogami-class hull design had become clear following the Fourth Fleet Incident in 1935. As Japan no longer was obligated to abide by the limitations of the London Naval Treaty, a new design was created and new means of construction were utilized. Though the external dimensions were close to the Mogami class, the design was quite different, with all the main battery of guns placed forward of the bridge, reserving the entire stern area as a large sea plane hangar. Unlike the U.S. Navy, the Japanese did not have a dual role attack/scout aircraft. No reconnaissance units were assigned to the Japanese carriers, and little emphasis was placed on this aspect of carrier warfare. Instead the Japanese reserved all of their carrier aircraft for attack roles. Reconnaissance was left up to float planes carried by cruisers. The Chikuma was intended to provide the long range scout planes needed for their carrier Air Fleets.
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