From: the flight deck of the Zuikaku
ORIGINAL: Mike Solli
No more droves of AKs sitting in port.
Just to make you tear out even more of your hair, you have to be very careful when you talk about “AK/APs”. There’s 3 different kinds.
An xAK (or xAP) is a typical commercial carrier; it has 2-5 ton cranes, a crew of 30-40, and is in general “commercial” service; cargo ‘trash’ haulers, or passenger ‘slave’ ships. They can carry stuff, but load/unload PAINFULLY slowly unless in a port with “facilities”. Some of these had a ‘deep tank’ or a forepeak tank that carried a liquid cargo (av-gas, kerosene, etc ..)
An AK (AP) is a navalized ship, with 10-15 ton cranes, a crew of maybe 300, integral lighters (LCs), and is designed/converted/constructed to haul military cargoes into harms way. Because of their integral deck facilities, crew, and lighterage, they are “relatively” independent of port size restrictions.
An AKA (APA) is a fully navalized assault transport: 15-40 ton cranes, crew of 340-400, Welling davits, LCI, LCVP, LCM up the wazoo. These are the sharp end of the flaming telephone pole looking to be inserted into the bad people’s … well.
You will need to be very, very, very, very, judicious in your selection of just which types are going to perform what sorts of functions.
Thanks! That explains a lot. I've noted the absense of the last two categories for the Japanese at the war's start. That also explains why there is the ability to convert certain xAK classes into AKs.
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