X-Plus XP330067 Imperial Japanese Navy Mitsubishi A6M2 Model 21 Riesen "Zero" Fighter - Aircraft Carrier Kaga, Pearl Harbor, December 1941 (1:144 Scale)
"We have resolved to endure the unendurable and suffer what is insufferable."
- Japanese Emperor Hirohito speaking to the Japanese people after the atomic bombings, August 1945
The Mitsubishi A6M Zero was a light-weight carrier-based fighter aircraft employed by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service from 1940 to 1945.
It is universally known as Zero from its Japanese Navy designation, Type 0 Carrier Fighter (Rei shiki Kanjo sentoki), taken from the last digit of the Imperial year 2600 (1940), when it entered service. In Japan it was unofficially referred to as both Rei-sen and Zero-sen. The official Allied code name was Zeke (Hamp for the A6M3 model 32 variant); while this was in keeping with standard practice of giving boys' names to fighters, it is not definitively known if this was chosen for its similarity to "Zero". Special Order!
Wingspan: 3 inches
Length: 2-1/2 inches
Release Date: June 2011
Historical Account: "Provincial Namesake" - Kaga was an aircraft carrier of the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN), named after the former Kaga Province in present-day Ishikawa Prefecture. Originally intended to be one of two Tosa-class battleships, Kaga was converted under the terms of the Washington Naval Treaty to an aircraft carrier as the replacement for the battlecruiser Amagi, which had been damaged in an earthquake. Kaga was rebuilt in 1933–35, increasing her top speed, improving her exhaust systems, and adapting her flight decks to more modern, heavier aircraft.
The third Japanese aircraft carrier to enter service, Kaga figured prominently in the development of the IJN's carrier striking force doctrine. The doctrine, which grouped carriers together to give greater mass and concentration to their air power, was a revolutionary strategic concept at the time. The employment of this doctrine was crucial in enabling Japan to attain its initial strategic goals during the first six months of the Pacific War.
Kaga's aircraft first supported Japanese troops in China during the Shanghai Incident of 1932 and participated in the Second Sino-Japanese War in the late 1930s. With other carriers, she took part in the Pearl Harbor raid in December 1941 and the invasion of Rabaul in the Southwest Pacific in January 1942. The following month her aircraft participated in a combined carrier airstrike on Darwin, Australia, helping secure the conquest of the Dutch East Indies by Japanese forces. She missed the Indian Ocean raid in April as she had to return to Japan for permanent repairs after hitting a rock in February.
After repairs Kaga rejoined the 1st Air Fleet for the Battle of Midway in June 1942. After bombarding American forces on Midway Atoll, Kaga and the other carriers were attacked by American aircraft from the carriers Enterprise, Hornet, and Yorktown. Dive bombers from Enterprise severely damaged Kaga; when it became obvious she could not be saved, she was scuttled by Japanese destroyers to prevent her from falling into enemy hands. The loss of Kaga and three other IJN carriers at Midway was a crucial strategic defeat for Japan and contributed significantly to Japan's ultimate defeat in the war. In 1999, debris from Kaga was located on the ocean floor; the main body of the carrier has not yet been found.