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Class/Manufacturer History: Soryu (meaning "Blue Dragon") was an aircraft carrier built for the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) during the mid-1930s. A sister ship, Hiryū, was intended to follow Sōryū, but Hiryū’s design was heavily modified and she is often considered to be a separate class. Sōryū’s aircraft were employed in operations during the Second Sino-Japanese War in the late 1930s and supported the Japanese invasion of French Indochina in mid-1940. During the first months of the Pacific War, she took part in the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Battle of Wake Island, and supported the conquest of the Dutch East Indies. In February 1942, her aircraft bombed Darwin, Australia, and she continued on to assist in the Dutch East Indies campaign. In April, Sōryū’s aircraft helped sink two British heavy cruisers and several merchant ships during the Indian Ocean raid.
After a brief refit, Sōryū and three other carriers of the 1st Air Fleet (Kidō Butai) participated in the Battle of Midway in June 1942. After bombarding American forces on Midway Atoll, the carriers were attacked by aircraft from the island and the carriers Enterprise, Hornet, and Yorktown. Dive bombers from Yorktown crippled Sōryū and set her afire. Japanese destroyers rescued the survivors but the ship could not be salvaged and was ordered to be scuttled so as to allow her attendant destroyers to be released for further operations. She sank with the loss of 711 officers and enlisted men of the 1,103 aboard. The loss of Sōryū and three other IJN carriers at Midway was a crucial strategic defeat for Japan and contributed significantly to the Allies’ ultimate victory in the Pacific.
Item created by: Lethe on 2015-05-31 17:46:30. Last edited by gdm on 2016-02-21 10:29:41
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