Sokuten-class auxiliary minelayer (1913)

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HIJMS Sokuten Maru No1.jpg
Sokuten (as Sokuten Maru No. 1)
Class overview
Name: Natsushima
Sokuten class auxiliary minelayer
Builders: Kure Naval Arsenal
Maizuru Naval Arsenal
Uchida Zōsen
Yokohama Iron Works
Yokohama Dock Company
Operators: Naval Ensign of Japan.svg Imperial Japanese Navy
Ensign of the Japanese Coast Guard.svg Japan Maritime Safety Agency
Flag of the Republic of China.svg Republic of China Navy
Succeeded by: Tsubame class
Built: ? – 1921
In commission: 1911 – 1970
Planned: 13
Completed: 13
Lost: 4
Retired: 9
General characteristics Natsushima
Type: Minelayer
Displacement: 405 long tons (411 t) standard
Propulsion: 2 × three expansion stages reciprocating engines
1 × water tube boiler
2 shafts, 600 shp
Complement: 40
Armament: • 2 × Armstrong 3 in L/40 guns
General characteristics Sokuten class
Type: Minelayer
Displacement: 405 long tons (411 t) standard
Length: 45.7 m (149 ft 11 in) Lpp
Beam: 7.6 m (24 ft 11 in)
Draught: 2.3 m (7 ft 7 in)
Propulsion:

2 × three expansion stages reciprocating engines
2 shafts, 600 shp

Enoshima and Kurosaki
1 × Ikeda model water tube boiler
all others
1 × Kampon water tube boiler
Speed: 12.0 knots (13.8 mph; 22.2 km/h)
Endurance: • Fuel:[1]
Sokuten and Toshima
30 tons coal
Kuroshima, Ashizaki, Katoku and Entō
60.5 tons coal
and after the Kurokami
70 tons coal
Complement: 40
Armament: Sokuten
• 2 × Armstrong 3 in L/40 guns
all others
• 1 × Type 41 76.2 mm (3.00 in) L/40 naval gun
• 82 × Mk.5 naval mines
• 18 × depth charges
Kurosaki, 1945
• 1 × Type 41 76.2 mm L/40 gun
• 2 × Type 93 13 mm AA guns
• ? × naval mines
• ? × depth charges
• 2 × depth charge projectors

The Sokuten class auxiliary minelayer (測天型敷設特務艇, Sokuten-gata Fusetsu-Tokumutei?) was a class of minelayers of the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN), serving during the 1910s and World War II. They were called the Sokuten class from their nameship. And, they were called Toshima class after the Sokuten retired. Also, by the book, the Natsushima was included to this class. This article handles the Natsushima and Sokuten class collectively, because they do not have a big difference. Their official class name was not mentioned in the IJN official documents.

Background[edit]

  • The IJN intended to update their mineboats for local guards.

Construction[edit]

  • In 1911, the IJN built the first experimental boat Natsushima (Natsushima Maru). The Natsushima attached importance to gun-fights. Therefore, she was equipped with two 3 inches Armstrong guns.
  • In 1913, the IJN built the second experimental boat Sokuten (Sokuten Maru No. 1). She was improved model of the Natsushima, and her equipments were almost the same as Natsushima.
  • The IJN adopted Sokuten's hull designs, and started productions.
  • Kuroshima, Kurokami and Kurosaki were equipped netlayer facilities. However, those armaments were not announced.

Service in the World War II[edit]

  • Natsushima was retired in 1927, and Sokuten was retired in 1936.
  • The other sisters participated to World War II, and 9 boats survived war.

Ships in class[edit]

Ship Builder Launched Completed Fate
Natsushima (夏島?)
(ex-Natsushima Maru)
Yokohama Dock Company March 1911 June 1911 Renamed Nastushima on 1 July 1920. Sold on 27 August 1927. Later scrapped.
Sokuten (測天?)
(ex-Sokuten Maru No. 1)
Maizuru Naval Arsenal March 1913 4 July 1913 Renamed Sokuten on 1 July 1920. Decommissioned on 25 August 1936.
Toshima (戸島?)
(ex-Toshima Maru)
Maizuru Naval Arsenal October 1914 20 March 1915 Renamed Toshima on 1 July 1920. Sunk by aircraft at Maizuru on 30 July 1945.
Kuroshima (黒島?)
(ex-Kuroshima Maru)
Maizuru Naval Arsenal October 1914 25 April 1915 Renamed Kuroshima on 1 July 1920. Decommissioned on 5 October 1945. Surrendered to Republic of China on 3 October 1947. Decommissioned in 1960.
Ashizaki (葦埼?)
(ex-Ashizaki Maru)
Maizuru Naval Arsenal October 1915 12 May 1916 Renamed Ashizaki on 1 July 1920. Decommissioned on 5 October 1945. Aground at Kamikaifu on 17 November 1945. Later scrapped.
Katoku (加徳?)
(ex-Katoku Maru)
Maizuru Naval Arsenal October 1915 4 April 1916 Renamed Katoku on 1 July 1920. Decommissioned on 5 October 1945. Surrendered to United States on 3 October 1947. Sold to Japan on 8 March 1948. Transferred to Maritime Safety Agency and given the pennant number PS-29 (later PB-29) on 1 May 1948. Decommissioned on 16 April 1952. Sold to Setonaikai Kisen inc., and renamed Tsurumi. Retired in 1970.
Entō (円島?)
(ex-Entō Maru)
Maizuru Naval Arsenal March 1917 16 May 1917 Renamed Entō on 1 July 1920. Heavy damaged by aircraft at Fangliao on 15 January 1945, later sank in shallow water.
Kurokami (黒神?)
(ex-Kurokami Maru)
Kure Naval Arsenal February 1917 1 May 1917 Renamed Kurokami on 1 July 1920. Decommissioned on 5 October 1945. Surrendered to United Kingdom on 14 November 1947. Later scrapped.
Katashima (片島?)
(ex-Katashima Maru)
Maizuru Naval Arsenal February 1917 19 May 1917 Renamed Katashima on 1 July 1920. Decommissioned on 5 October 1945. Surrendered to Soviet Union on 3 October 1947.
Enoshima (江之島?)
(ex-Enoshima Maru)
Maizuru Naval Arsenal 31 March 1919 Renamed Enoshima on 1 July 1920. Decommissioned on 30 April 1946.
Ninoshima (似島?) Kure Naval Arsenal May 1920 15 October 1920 Decommissioned on 30 November 1945.
Kurosaki (黒埼?) Uchida Zōsen 24 December 1921 Aground at Hachinohe on 18 November 1945. Later scrapped.
Washizaki (鷲埼?)
(ex-Minelayer No. 45)
Yokohama Iron Works 30 September 1921 Renamed Washizaki on 16 May 1926. Decommissioned on 30 November 1945. Surrendered to United Kingdom on 24 November 1947. Later scrapped.

Photos[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Editorial Committee of the Navy (1981), p. 146

Bibliography[edit]

  • "Rekishi Gunzō". , History of Pacific War Vol. 51, "The truth histories of the Imperial Japanese Vessels Part-2", Gakken (Japan), June 2002, ISBN 4-05-602780-3
  • Ships of the World special issue Vol. 45, Escort Vessels of the Imperial Japanese Navy, "Kaijinsha". , (Japan), February 1996
  • The Maru Special, Japanese Naval Vessels No. 47, "Japanese naval mine warfare crafts", "Ushio Shobō".  (Japan), January 1981
  • Editorial Committee of the Navy, Navy Vol. 11, "Part of small vessels, auxiliary vessels, miscellaneous service ship and converted merchant ships, Seibunsha K.K. (Japan), August 1981