Wakatake-class destroyer

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Kuretake2.jpg
The Wakatake-class destroyer Kuretake
Class overview
Builders: Kawasaki Shipbuilding
Maizuru Naval Arsenal
Fujinagata Shipyards
Ishikawajima Shipyards
Uraga Dock Company
Operators: Empire of Japan Imperial Japanese Navy
Preceded by: Minekaze class
Succeeded by: Kamikaze class
In commission: 1920–1945
Planned: 23
Completed: 8
Cancelled: 15
Lost: 7
Retired: 1
General characteristics
Type: Destroyer
Displacement: 900 long tons (910 t) normal,
1,100 long tons (1,100 t) full load
Length: 83.8 m (275 ft) pp,
85.3 m (280 ft) overall
Beam: 7.9 m (26 ft)
Draught: 2.5 m (8.2 ft)
Propulsion: 2-shaft Mitsubishi-Parsons geared steam turbine, 3 heavy oil-fired boilers 21,500 ihp (16,000 kW)
Speed: 36 knots (67 km/h)
Range: 3,000 nmi (5,600 km) at 15 kn (28 km/h; 17 mph)
Complement: 110
Armament: 3 × Type 3 120 mm 45 caliber naval gun
2 × 7.7mm machine guns
4 × 53cm torpedoes
20 × mines (Asagao, after July 1944)
• 2 × Type 3 120 mm 45 caliber naval guns
• 4 × Type 96 25 mm AT/AA Guns,
• 4 × 13 mm Type 93 AA guns,
• 2 × 530 mm (21 in) 6th Year Type TTs
(3 × 6th Year Type torpedoes)
• up to 36 × depth charges

The Wakatake-class destroyers (若竹型駆逐艦 Wakatakegata kuchikukan?) were a class of eight 2nd-class destroyers of the Imperial Japanese Navy.[1]

Background[edit]

The medium-sized Wakatake-class destroyers were a follow-on to the Momi class as part of the Imperial Japanese Navy's 8-6 Fleet Program from fiscal 1921 as a lower cost accompaniment to the larger Minekaze-class destroyers. The class was originally planned to consist of twenty-three vessels, but due to the Washington Naval Treaty, as well as budgetary limitations, the final number was reduced to eight. The Wakatake class was the last class to be rated "second class" and all future destroyers were designed larger.[2] It was planned that the Wakatake-class ships should have names, but upon completion they were given numbers. This proved to be extremely unpopular with the crews and was a constant source of confusion in communications, so in 1928, names were assigned.[3]

Design[edit]

The Wakatake-class destroyers were essentially slightly modified Momi-class ships with a deeper draft to improve handling characteristics in heavy seas, particularly against rolling. Weaponry layout, general arrangement and silhouette were all identical with the Momi class.

As with the Momi class, a number of types of turbine engines were used for propulsion. Asagao was built with Parsons impulse turbines, Yūgao with Escher Wyss & Cie Zoelly turbines, and the remaining vessels with Brown-Curtis turbines.

Operational history[edit]

The small displacement and shallow draft of the Wakatake class limited their utility as fleet escorts. As with the Momi class, in the 1920s and 1930s, they were mainly used in Chinese coastal waters.[4]

On September 15, 1932 Sarawabi capsized due to poor stability and sank north of Keelung near Taiwan.

In April 1940 Yūgao was re-rated as Patrol Boat No. 46, with considerably reduced armament.

Six of the eight Wakatake-class destroyers still operating as destroyers on the eve of the Pacific War, equally divided between the 13th and 32nd Destroyer Divisions. Desdiv 13 comprised Wakatake, Kuretake, and Sanae, and was assigned to the Kure Naval District. These ships were charged with antisubmarine patrols in the waters of the Inland Sea, Bungo Strait, and western Kyūshū. Desdiv 32 with Asagao, Fuyō and Karukaya came under the Chinkai Guard District and spent the war's early months screening maritime traffic in the Tsushima Straits.

On April 10, 1942, the 1st Surface Escort Division of the Southwest Area Fleet was created, and Desdivs 13 and 32 were assigned to it to provide protection for convoys against Allied submarine activity. The convoy routes were initially those between Moji, Taiwan, and the Philippines. Later, these routes extended to Singapore, French Indochina, the Netherlands East Indies, and Palau. In the course of this service Karukaya set a record by successfully completing 54 convoy escorts before her loss.

Of the six destroyers, four were lost to American submarines, and one to an air attack. Only Asagao survived the war and was finally broken up in 1948.[5]

List of Ships[edit]

Kanji Name Builder Laid down Launched Completed Fate
若竹
(第二駆逐艦)
Wakatake
ex-DD-2
Kawasaki Shipyards, Japan December 13, 1921 July 24, 1921 September 30, 1922 Sunk March 30, 1944 in air attack off Palau [07.50N, 134.20E]; struck May 10, 1944
呉竹
(第四駆逐艦)
Kuretake
ex-DD-4
Maizuru Naval Arsenal, Japan March 15, 1922 October 21, 1922 December 21, 1922 Sunk December 30, 1944 by USS Razorback at Bashi Channel [21N, 121.24E]; struck February 10, 1945
早苗
(第六駆逐艦)
Sanae
ex-DD-6
Uraga Dock Company, Japan April 5, 1922 February 15, 1923 November 5, 1923 Torpedoed Celebes Sea [04.52N, 122.07E] 1943-11-13 by USS Bluefish; struck January 5, 1944
早蕨
(第八駆逐艦)
Sarawabi
ex-DD-8
Uraga Dock Company, Japan November 20, 1922 September 1, 1923 July 24, 1924 Capsized December 5, 1932 in storm off Keelung, Taiwan [27.17N, 122.12E]; struck April 1, 1933
朝顔
(第十駆逐艦)
Asagao
ex-DD-10
Ishikawajima Shipyards, Japan March 14, 1922 November 4, 1922 May 10, 1923 Sunk August 22, 1945 by naval mine at Kanmon Straits; raised, BU 1948
夕顔
(第十二駆逐艦)
Yūgao
ex-DD-12
Ishikawajima Shipyards, Japan May 15, 1922 April 14, 1923 May 31, 1924 Converted February 1, 1940 to Patrol Boat No. 46 (第四六号哨戒艇 Dai-46-Gō shōkaitei?); sunk November 10, 1944 by USS Greenling at Irōzaki
芙蓉
(第十六駆逐艦)
Fuyō
ex-DD-16
Fujinagata Shipyards, Japan February 16, 1922 September 23, 1922 March 16, 1923 Torpedoed December 20, 1943 off Manila Bay [14.44N, 119.55E] by USS Puffer; struck February 5, 1944
刈萱
(第十八駆逐艦)
Karukaya
ex-DD-18
Fujinagata Shipyards, Japan May 16, 1922 March 19, 1923 August 20, 1923 Torpedoed May 10, 1944 west of Luzon [15.38N, 119.25E] by USS Cod; struck July 10, 1944

Naming history[edit]

The IJN originally planned that the Wakatake-class ships should have names, but upon completion they were given numbers due to the projected large number of warships the IJN expected to build through the Eight-eight fleet plan. This proved to be extremely unpopular with the crews and was a constant source of confusion in communications. In August 1928, names were assigned, but not the original names that were planned.

Plan name and transliteration Original name as ordered Renamed 24 April 1924 Renamed 1 August 1928
Kikyō (桔梗?)
Chinese bellflower
Dai-2 Kuchikukan
(第二駆逐艦?),
2nd Destroyer
Dai-2-Gō Kuchikukan
(第二号駆逐艦?),
No.2 Destroyer
Wakatake (若竹?),
Bamboo sprout
Yuri (百合?),
Lilium
Dai-4 Kuchikukan
(第四駆逐艦?),
4th Destroyer
Dai-4-Gō Kuchikukan
(第四号駆逐艦?),
No.4 Destroyer
Kuretake (呉竹?),
Black bamboo, Phyllostachys nigra
Ayame (菖蒲?)
Iris sanguinea
Dai-6 Kuchikukan
(第六駆逐艦?),
6th Destroyer
Dai-6-Gō Kuchikukan
(第六号駆逐艦?),
No.6 Destroyer
Sanae (早苗?),
Rice sprouts on May
Kaidō (海棠?)
Malus halliana
Dai-8 Kuchikukan
(第八駆逐艦?),
8th Destroyer
Dai-8-Gō Kuchikukan
(第八号駆逐艦?),
No.8 Destroyer
Sarawabi (早蕨?),
Bracken on Spring
Kakitsubata (杜若?)
Iris laevigata
Dai-10 Kuchikukan
(第十駆逐艦?),
10th Destroyer
Dai-10-Gō Kuchikukan
(第十号駆逐艦?),
No.10 Destroyer
Asagao (朝顔?),
Morning glory
Tsutsuji (躑躅?)
Azalea
Dai-12 Kuchikukan
(第十二駆逐艦?),
12th Destroyer
Dai-12-Gō Kuchikukan
(第十二号駆逐艦?),
No.12 Destroyer
Yūgao (夕顔?),
Ipomoea alba
Shion (紫苑?),
Aster tataricus
Dai-14 Kuchikukan
(第十四駆逐艦?),
14th Destroyer
Ajisai (紫陽?)
Hydrangea
Dai-16 Kuchikukan
(第十六駆逐艦?),
16th Destroyer
Dai-16-Gō Kuchikukan
(第十六号駆逐艦?),
No.16 Destroyer
Fuyō (芙蓉?),
Hibiscus mutabilis
Karukaya (刈萱?)
One of the Poaceae
Dai-18 Kuchikukan
(第十八駆逐艦?),
18th Destroyer
Dai-18-Gō Kuchikukan
(第十八号駆逐艦?),
No.18 Destroyer
Karukaya (刈萱?),
One of the Poaceae
Omodaka (沢瀉?),
Alismataceae
Dai-20 Kuchikukan
(第二十駆逐艦?),
20th Destroyer
Botan (牡丹?),
Peony
Dai-22 Kuchikukan
(第二十二駆逐艦?),
22nd Destroyer
Bashō (芭蕉?),
Musa basjoo
Dai-24 Kuchikukan
(第二十四駆逐艦?),
24th Destroyer
Nadeshiko (撫子?),
Dianthus
Dai-26 Kuchikukan
(第二十六駆逐艦?),
26th Destroyer

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. 
  • 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.

Collection of writings by Sizuo Fukui Vol.5, Stories of Japanese Destroyers, Kōjinsha (Japan) 1993, ISBN 4-7698-0611-6

  • Model Art Ship Modelling Special No.17, Genealogy of Japanese Destroyers Part-1, Model Art Co. Ltd. (Japan), September 2005, Book code 08734-9
  • Model Art Extra No.340, Drawings of Imperial Japanese Naval Vessels Part-1, Model Art Co. Ltd. (Japan), October 1989, Book code 08734-10
  • Daiji Katagiri, Ship Name Chronicles of the Imperial Japanese Navy Combined Fleet, Kōjinsha (Japan), June 1988, ISBN 4-7698-0386-9

External links[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Jentsura, Warships of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1869-1945
  2. ^ Globalsecurity.org, IJN Wakatake class destroyers
  3. ^ Howarth, The Fighting Ships of the Rising Sun
  4. ^ http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http://www.geocities.com/bullhead262/ijn/dd/dd.htm&date=2009-10-25+16:42:57
  5. ^ Nevitt, Combined Fleet.com