Japanese destroyer Hatsukaze

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Career Japanese Navy Ensign
Name: Hatsukaze
Ordered: Kawasaki Shipbuilding Corporation
Laid down: 3 December 1937
Launched: 24 January 1939
Completed: 15 February 1940
Struck: 2 November 1943
Fate: Sunk in action, 2 November 1943
General characteristics
Class & type: Kagerō-class destroyer
Displacement: 2,033 long tons (2,066 t) standard
Length: 118.5 m (388 ft 9 in)
Beam: 10.8 m (35 ft 5 in)
Draft: 3.8 m (12 ft 6 in)
Propulsion: 3 × Kampon water tube boilers
2 × Kanpon impulse turbines
2 × shafts, 52,000 shp (39 MW)
Speed: 35.5 knots (40.9 mph; 65.7 km/h)
Range: 5,000 NM at 18 knots (21 mph; 33 km/h)
Complement: 239
Armament: (1939)
• 6 × 12.7 cm/50 Type 3 DP guns
• 2 × Type 96 25 mm AA guns
• 8 × 24 in (610 mm) torpedo tubes
• 18 depth charges
• 2 x paravanes
(1943)
• 6 × 12.7 cm/50 Type 3 DP guns
• 8 × Type 96 25 mm AA guns
• 8 × 24 in (610 mm) torpedo tubes
• 18 depth charges
Service record
Part of: Destroyer Division 16, Squadron 2 (1941-42)
Destroyer Division 16, Squadron 10 (1942-43)
Operations: Invasion of Philippines (1941)
Invasion of Timor and eastern Java (1941)
Battle of the Java Sea (1942)
Christmas Island invasion (1942)
Battle of the Eastern Solomons (1942)
Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands (1942)
Battle of Empress Augusta Bay (1943)
Victories: PT-43 & PT-112 (1943)

Hatsukaze (初風 lit. “First Wind”?) [1] was the seventh vessel to be commissioned in the 19-vessel Kagerō-class destroyers built for the Imperial Japanese Navy in the late-1930s under the Circle Three Supplementary Naval Expansion Program (Maru San Keikaku). She survived four major fleet actions against the Allies, but was finally sunk in November 1943 after being damaged through collision with a Japanese cruiser.

Background[edit]

The Kagerō-class destroyers were outwardly almost identical to the preceding light cruiser-sized Asashio-class, with improvements made by Japanese naval architects to improve stability and to take advantage of Japan’s lead in torpedo technology. They were designed to accompany the Japanese main striking force and in both day and night attacks against the United States Navy as it advanced across the Pacific Ocean, according to Japanese naval strategic projections.[2] Despite being one of the most powerful classes of destroyers in the world at the time of their completion, only one survived the Pacific War.[3]

Hatsukaze, built at the Kawasaki Shipbuilding Corporation, was laid down on 3 December 1937, launched on 24 January 1939 and commissioned on 15 February 1940.[4]

Operational history[edit]

Invasions of Southeast Asia[edit]

At the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Hatsukaze, was assigned to Destroyer Division 16 (Desdiv 16), and a member of Destroyer Squadron 2 (Desron 2) of the IJN 2nd Fleet, and had deployed from Palau, as part of the escort for the aircraft carrier Ryūjō in the invasion of the southern Philippines and minelayer Yaeyama.[5]

In early 1942, Hatsukaze participated in the invasion of the Netherlands East Indies, escorting the invasion forces for Menado, Kendari and Ambon in January, and the invasion forces for Makassar, Timor and eastern Java in February.[5] On 27–28 February, Hatsukaze and Desron 2 participated in the Battle of the Java Sea, taking part in a torpedo attack on the Allied fleet. During the month of March, Desron 2 was engaged in anti-submarine operations in the Java Sea. At the end of the month, the squadron escorted the Christmas Island invasion force, then returned to Makassar. At the end of April, Hatsukaze sailed to Kure Naval Arsenal for maintenance, docking on 3 May.[5]

On 21 May 1942, Hatsukaze and Desron 2 steamed from Kure to Saipan, where they rendezvoused with a troop convoy and sailed toward Midway Island. Due to the defeat of the Carrier Striking Force and loss of four fleet carriers in the Battle of Midway, the invasion was called off and the convoy withdrew without seeing combat. Desdiv 16 was ordered back to Kure.[5]

Solomon Islands campaign[edit]

On 14 July, Hatsukaze and Desdiv 16 were reassigned to Desron 10, Third Fleet. On 16 August, Desron 10 departed Kure, escorting a fleet towards Truk. On 24 August, Desron 10 escorted Admiral Nagumo's Striking Force in the Battle of the Eastern Solomons. During September and October, the squadron escorted the fleet patrolling out of Truk north of the Solomon Islands. On 26 October, in the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands, the squadron escorted the Striking Force, then escorted the damaged carriers Shōkaku and Zuihō into Truk on 28 October. On 4 November, Desron 10 escorted Zuikaku from Truk to Kure, then engaged in training in the Inland Sea, and then escorted Zuikaku from Truk to the Shortland Islands in January 1943.[5]

On 10 January, while providing cover for a supply-drum transport run to Guadalcanal, Hatsukaze assisted in sinking the American PT boats PT-43 and PT-112. She suffered heavy damage when struck by a torpedo (possibly launched by PT-112) in the port side; her best speed was 18 knots as she withdrew to Truk, for emergency repairs. Then she sailed to Kure in April for more extensive repairs. In September, Hatsukaze and Desron 10 escorted the super-battleship Yamato from Kure to Truk. In late September and again in late October, Desron 10 escorted the main fleet from Truk to Eniwetok and back again, in response to American carrier airstrikes in the Central Pacific region. Between these two missions, Hatsukaze sortied briefly from Truk in early October 1943 to assist the fleet oiler Hazakaya, which had been torpedoed by an American submarine.[5]

Final battle[edit]

On 2 November 1943, while attacking an Allied task force off Bougainville in the Battle of Empress Augusta Bay, Hatsukaze collided with the cruiser Myōkō. The collision sheared off her bow, leaving her dead in the water. Hatsukaze and the light cruiser Sendai were sunk (at position 06°01′S 153°58′E / 6.017°S 153.967°E / -6.017; 153.967Coordinates: 06°01′S 153°58′E / 6.017°S 153.967°E / -6.017; 153.967) by Allied destroyer gunfire. Of those on board, 164 were killed, including its commanding officer, Lieutenant Commander Buichi Ashida.[6] Hatsukaze was removed from the navy list on 5 January 1944.

See also[edit]

Books[edit]

  • Brown, David (1990). Warship Losses of World War Two. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-914-X. 
  • D'Albas, Andrieu (1965). Death of a Navy: Japanese Naval Action in World War II. Devin-Adair Pub. ISBN 0-8159-5302-X. 
  • Evans, David (1979). Kaigun: Strategy, Tactics, and Technology in the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1887-1941. US Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-192-7. 
  • 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. ^ Nelson. Japanese-English Character Dictionary. Page 803, 960;
  2. ^ Peattie & Evans, Kaigun .
  3. ^ Globalsecurity.org, IJN Kagero class destroyers
  4. ^ Nishidah, Hiroshi (2002). "Asashio class 1st class destroyers". Materials of the Imperial Japanese Navy. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f Allyn D. Nevitt (1998). "IJN Hatsukaze: Tabular Record of Movement". combinedfleet.com. 
  6. ^ Brown, David (1990). Warship Losses of World War Two. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-914-X.