1250 SCALE MESSAGE BOARD
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Re: Odd thing in a photograph...
The Mogami class 20.3 cm (8") guns had a max. elevation of 55 degrees. They were considered capable of being used as anti-aircraft weapons. In 1931 the IJN had a common Type 91 round that could be used in the anti-aircraft role. In 1940 a common Type 0 (fragmentation) round was put in service and could be used in the anti-aircraft role. In the summer of 1942 the IJN introduced a Type 3 fragmentation shell (for guns 8" and larger) for anti-aircraft use. This shell was filled with steel tubes (with an incendiary mixture) and were considered effective (by the IJN) if fired above the aircraft. The USN did not consider these shells to be very effective.
Reference: Japanese Cruisers of the Pacific War by Lacroix and Wells
So it is entirely possible the Mikuma's main guns were used in the anti-aircraft role.