Asashio-class destroyer

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Asashio
Asashio underway in July 1937.
Class overview
Operators:  Imperial Japanese Navy
Preceded by: Shiratsuyu class
Succeeded by: Kagerō class
Built: 1937–1939
In commission: 1939–1945
Completed: 10
Lost: 10
General characteristics
Type: Destroyer
Displacement: 2,370 long tons (2,408 t)
Length: 111 m (364 ft) pp
115 m (377 ft 4 in)waterline
118.3 m (388 ft 1 in) OA
Beam: 10.3 m (33 ft 10 in)
Draft: 3.7 m (12 ft 2 in)
Propulsion: 2-shaft geared turbine, 3 boilers, 50,000 shp (37,285 kW)
Speed: 35 knots (40 mph; 65 km/h)
Range: 5,700 nmi (10,600 km) at 10 kn (19 km/h)
960 nmi (1,780 km) at 34 kn (63 km/h)
Complement: 200
Armament: 6 × Type 3 127 mm 50 caliber naval guns (3 × 2)
up to 28 × Type 96 AA guns
up to 4 × Type 93 AA guns
8 × 610 mm (24 in) torpedo tubes (2 × 4)
16 × Type 91 torpedoes
36 × depth charges
Asashio-class ONI image

The Asashio-class destroyers (朝潮型駆逐艦 Asashio-gata kuchikukan?) were a class of ten destroyers of the Imperial Japanese Navy in service before and during World War II.[1]

Background[edit]

The Imperial Japanese Navy was not entirely satisfied with the performance of the Shiratsuyu-class destroyer, particularly in terms of operational range and speed. However, given the limitations of the 1930 London Naval Treaty, it was considered impossible to modify these vessels any further to improve their specifications. This obstacle was removed after the Japanese government allowed the treaty to expire without renewal. The final four vessels of a projected 14 destroyers in the Shiratsuyu-class were cancelled, and the larger new Asashio-class vessels were approved under the Maru-2 Supplementary Naval Expansion budget of 1934, with construction spanning 1935-1936. All ten vessels were lost in the Pacific War.[2]

Design[edit]

The Asashio class was the first Japanese destroyer class to exceed 2,000 tons displacement and the first to be equipped with sonar. Early critical issues with the Asashio class included the reliability of their new steam turbines engines, and issues with the design of their rudder, which were addressed by the start of the Pacific War.

In terms of armament, the Asashio class was similar to the previous Fubuki-class and Akatsuki-classes, but with twin mount 5-inch guns instead of a single mounts. The guns were mounted in Type C gun turrets capable of 55 degree elevation. Also, the position of the "X" turret at the shelter deck level forward of the quarterdeck "Y" turret, gave the Asashio class a different silhouette than the Shiratsuyu class, where both turrets were at quarterdeck level. The torpedo armament of eight 24” torpedo in two quadruple launchers was retained, with the torpedo reloads stored in a deckhouse on the centerline. This design became the basic plan for all future destroyers in the Japanese navy.

The Asashio-class vessels had three boilers running two geared turbine shafts with an output of 50,000 hp (37,000 kW) at the screws, giving it a top speed of 35 knots (65 km/h) and a range of 5,700 nautical miles at 10 knots (19 km/h) or 960 nautical miles (1,780 km) at 34 knots (63 km/h).[3]

In the middle of the Pacific War (1943–44), on surviving vessels the "X" turret was removed and replaced by triple Type 96 25 mm anti-aircraft guns, increasing the total number to 15. After June 1944, even more anti-aircraft guns were added, raising the total to between 15 and 28 Type 96 guns and four Type 93 13 mm guns. Four depth charge throwers and 36 depth charges were also fitted at between 1943 and 1944. The last four surviving vessels were also equipped with Type 13 and Type 22 radar.

Operational history[edit]

During the war the Asashio class was used extensively in the protection of the Combined Fleet. Arare was attacked and sunk off Kiska Island during the Aleutian Islands Campaign by USS Growler on July 5, 1942. Kasumi was also heavily damaged along with one other destroyer. Asashio and Arashio escorted the 7th Cruiser Division at the Battle of Midway, where both were damaged by air attack. Although repaired and returned to service, both were sunk in 1943 when a large Japanese transport force was destroyed by American planes in the Battle of the Bismarck Sea. Michishio, Asagumo, and Yamagumo were lost in 1944 in the Battle of Leyte Gulf. Kasumi, last of the class to be laid down, served as escort on the attack on Pearl Harbor and joined the battleship Yamato during Operation Ten-Go against the American fleet at Okinawa. None of the Asashio-class ships survived the Pacific War.[4]

List of ships[edit]

Ships of the Asashio class[5]
Ship Shipyard Laid down Launched Completed Fate
朝潮 Asashio Sasebo Naval Arsenal 7 September 1935 16 December 1936 31 August 1937 Air Strike,4 March 1943
大潮 Ōshio Maizuru Naval Arsenal 5 August 1936 19 April 1937 31 October 1937 Torpedoed, 20 February 1943
満潮 Michishio Fujinagata Shipyards 5 November 1935 15 March 1937 31 October 1937 Surface action, 25 October 1944
荒潮 Arashio Kawasaki-Kobe 1 October 1935 26 May 1937 30 December 1937 air attack, 4 March 1943
夏雲 Natsugumo Sasebo Naval Arsenal 1 July 1936 26 May 1937 10 February 1938 air attack, 15 October 1942
山雲 Yamagumo Fujinagata Shipyards 4 November 1936 24 July 1937 15 January 1938 surface action, 25 October 1944
峯雲 Minegumo Fujinagata Shipyards 22 March 1937 4 November 1937 30 April 1938 surface action, 5 March 1943
朝雲 Asagumo Kawasaki-Kobe 23 December 1936 5 November 1937 31 March 1938 surface action, 25 October 1944
Arare Maizuru Naval Arsenal 5 March 1937 16 November 1937 15 April 1939 torpedoed, 5 July 1942
Kasumi Uraga Dock Company 1 December 1936 18 November 1937 24 June 1939 air attack, 7 April 1945

References[edit]

Books[edit]

  • Evans, David (1979). Kaigun: Strategy, Tactics, and Technology in the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1887-1941. US Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-192-7. 
  • Brown, David (1990). Warship Losses of World War Two. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-914-X. 
  • Roger Chesneau, ed. (1980). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1922-1946. Grenwitch: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-146-7. 
  • Howarth, Stephen (1983). The Fighting Ships of the Rising Sun: The Drama of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1895–1945. Atheneum. ISBN 0-689-11402-8. 
  • Jentsura, Hansgeorg (1976). Warships of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1869–1945. US Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-893-X. 
  • Watts, A. J. Japanese Warships of World War II, Ian Allen, London, 1967.
  • Whitley, M. J. (1988). Destroyers of World War 2. Cassell Publishing. ISBN 1-85409-521-8. 

External links[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Jentsura, Warships of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1869-1945
  2. ^ Globalsecurity.org, IJN Shiratsuyu class destroyers
  3. ^ Roger Chesneau, ed. (1980). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1922-1946. Grenwitch: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-146-7. 
  4. ^ Brown, David (1990). Warship Losses of World War Two. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-914-X. 
  5. ^ Nishida, Hiroshi. "Materials of IJN: Shiratsuyu class destroyer". Imperial Japanese Navy.