Japanese amphibious assault ship Shinshū Maru
Shinshū Maru (神州丸 or 神洲丸) 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 four cover names, R1,GL,MT, and Ryujo Maru.
|Laid down:||8 April 1933|
|Launched:||14 March 1934|
|Commissioned:||15 November 1934|
|Fate:||Sunk 3 January 1945|
|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)|
|Aircraft carried:||26 × aircraft (planned)|
|Aviation facilities:||Hangar and catapult; no flight deck (planned)|
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, it was planned that Shinshū Maru should carry aircraft in a hangar within her voluminous superstructure. The aircraft would have been launched by two catapults to support amphibious assaults, but the catapults were removed before completion and the ship never carried any operational planes.
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.