Murakumo-class destroyer Kagerō at Kure, 1920
|Builders:||John I. Thornycroft & Company Chiswick, England|
|Operators:||Imperial Japanese Navy|
|Preceded by:||Ikazuchi-class destroyer|
|Succeeded by:||Akatsuki-class destroyer|
|In commission:||Dec 29, 1898-June 4, 1925|
|Displacement:||275 long tons (279 t) normal,
361 long tons (367 t) full load
|Length:||63.2 m (207 ft) pp,
67.7 m (222 ft) overall
|Beam:||5.96 m (19.6 ft)|
|Draught:||1.7 m (5.6 ft)|
|Propulsion:||2-shaft reciprocating, 3 boilers, 5,800 ihp (4,300 kW)|
|Speed:||30 knots (56 km/h)|
The Murakumo class destroyers (叢雲型駆逐艦 Murakumogata kuchikukan?) were a class of six torpedo boat destroyers (TBDs) of the Imperial Japanese Navy. The class is also sometimes referred to as the Shinonome class destroyers (東雲駆逐艦 Shinonomegata kuchikukan?).
In the First Sino-Japanese War, the Japanese navy came to understand the combat effectiveness of small, fast torpedo equipped warships over larger, slower ships equipped with slow-loading and often inaccurate naval artillery. The Murakumo class vessels were the second class of destroyers procured by the Imperial Japanese Navy, but were purchased almost simultaneously with the Ikazuchi class Four were ordered under the 1896 fiscal year budget, and an additional two under the 1897 budget. All were ordered from John I. Thornycroft & Company in Chiswick, England.
The design of the Murakumo-class destroyers was based on Thorneycrofts two-stack destroyers for the Royal Navy (from 1913 known as the D class) also known as the “Thirty Knotters”. Although slightly smaller than the Ikazuchi-class, they had the same armaments.
All Murakumo-class vessels had a flush deck design with a distinctive "turtleback" forecastle that was intended to clear water from the bow during high speed navigation, but was poorly designed for high waves or bad weather. The bridge and forward gun platform were barely raised above the bow, resulting in a wet conning position. More than half of the small hull was occupied by the boilers and the engine room. With fuel and weaponry, there was little space left for crew quarters.
All were powered by triple expansion steam engines for 5,800 shp and had coal-fired water-tube boilers. Armament was one QF 12 pounder on a bandstand on the forecastle, five QF 6 pounder Hotchkisss (two sided abreast the conning tower, two sided between the funnels and one on the quarterdeck) and 2 single tubes for 18 inch torpedoes.
All six Murakumo-class destroyers arrived in Japan in time to be used during the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905. All were present at the Battle of the Yellow Sea and the final crucial Battle of Tsushima.
The Murakumo-class vessels reclassified as third-class destroyers on August 28, 1912, and were removed from front-line combat service. Shinonome was lost during a typhoon off of Taiwan on August 6, 1913-08.
After the war, Murakumo and Yūgiri were demilitarized, and used a depot ships from 1919–1920, and into auxiliary minesweepers in 1920. Shiranui, Kagerō and Usugumo were similarly modified in 1923, but all vessels were retired from service and struck from the Navy List by the end of 1925.
List of ships
|Thornycroft, Chiswick, UK||1897-10-01||1898-11-16||1898-12-29||depot vessel 1919-04-01, aux minesweeper 1920-07-01; dispatch vessel 1922-04-01, scuttled 1925-06-04|
|Thornycroft, Chiswick, UK||1897-10-01||1898-12-14||1899-02-01||wrecked off Taiwan 1913-07-23; written off 1913-08-06|
|Thornycroft, Chiswick, UK||1897-11-01||1899-01-26||1899-03-10||depot vessel 1919-04-01, aux minesweeper 1920-07-01; BU 1922-04-01|
|Thornycroft, Chiswick, UK||1898-01-01||1899-03-15||1899-05-13||minesweeper 1922-04-01, dispatch vessel 1923-08-01; BU 1925-02-25|
|Thornycroft, Chiswick, UK||1898-08-01||1899-10-23||1899-10-31||Dispatch Vessel 1922-04-21; BU 1925-02-25|
|Thornycroft, Chiswick, UK||1898-09-01||1900-01-16||1900-02-01||minesweeper 1922-04-01, dispatch vessel 1923-08-01; scuttled 1925-04-29|
- Jentsura, Warships of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1869-1945
- Howarth, The Fighting Ships of the Rising Sun
- Cocker, Destroyers of the Royal Navy
- Nishida, Imperial Japanese Navy
- Halpern. A Naval History of World War I
- Evans, David (1979). Kaigun: Strategy, Tactics, and Technology in the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1887-1941. US Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-192-7.
- 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.
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- Jentsura, Hansgeorg (1976). Warships of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1869-1945. US Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-893-X.
- Cocker, Maurice (1983). Destroyers of the Royal Navy, 1893-1981. Ian Allan. ISBN 0-7110-1075-7.
- Halpern, Paul G (1994). A Naval History of World War I. Routledge. ISBN 1-85728-498-4.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Murakumo class destroyer.|
- Nishida, Hiroshi. "Materials of IJN: Murakumo class destroyer". Imperial Japanese Navy.
- Smith, Gordon. "Imperial Japanese Navy". World War I at Sea.