Sakura-class destroyer

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IJN Sakura at Sasebo Taisho 7.jpg
Sakura at Sasebo, 1918
Class overview
Name: Sakura class
Builders: Maizuru Naval Arsensal
Operators:  Imperial Japanese Navy
Preceded by: Umikaze class
Succeeded by: Urakaze class
In commission: 21 May 1912 - 1 April 1932
Completed: 2
Retired: 2
General characteristics
Type: Destroyer
Displacement: 530 tons normal, 830 tons full load
  • 79.2 m (260 ft) pp
  • 83.6 m (274 ft) overall
Beam: 7.3 m (24 ft)
Draught: 2.2 m (7.2 ft)
Propulsion: 3-shaft Parsons steam turbine, 8 boilers, 20,500 ihp (15,300 kW)
Speed: 30 kn (56 km/h)
Range: 2,400 nmi (4,400 km) at 12 kn (22 km/h)
Complement: 94
  • 1 × 120 mm/40 cal guns
  • 4 × 80 mm/40 cal guns
  • 2 × 450 mm torpedoes

The Sakura-class destroyers (櫻型駆逐艦, Sakuragata kuchikukan) was a class of two destroyers of the Imperial Japanese Navy.[1]


Although unable to obtain funding in fiscal year 1907 for additional Umikaze-class destroyers, which were expensive due to their large size and imported turbine engines, the Imperial Japanese Navy was also unwilling to purchase three additional Kamikaze-class destroyers as recommended by the government. In a compromise, the Navy agreed to purchase two medium size ships instead.

Both were designed and built at the Maizuru Naval Arsenal in Japan.[2]


The Sakura-class ships were half the displacement of the previous Umikaze class but with the same basic hull design. Externally, the design went from four to three smokestacks, which was a first for the Japanese Navy; however, internally the troublesome heavy fuel oil-fired Parsons steam turbine engines of the Umikaze class were replaced by standard coal-fired triple expansion steam engines, which gave better reliability and fuel consumption. The lower rated power of 9,500 shaft horsepower (7,100 kW) gave the vessels a maximum speed of 30 knots (56 km/h), however, better fuel consumption equated to longer range, which was what the Imperial Japanese Navy needed.

Armament was similar to that of the Umikaze class, with one QF 4.7 inch Gun Mk I - IV, mounted on the deck forward of the bridge, and four 3-inch (76 mm) QF 12 pounder 12 cwt naval guns, mounted one on either side and two towards the stern of the ship, with two 450-mm torpedoes launchers.

Operational history[edit]

Japan had fifty destroyers operational at the start of World War I.[3] Although intended for coastal operation,[4] with the Umikaze-class destroyers too short in range to operate overseas and with all previous classes of destroyers too small and/or obsolete for front-line service, the two Sakura-class destroyers were Japan's most advanced front-line destroyers during the opening stages of the war. Both were deployed extensively overseas as part of Japan’s contribution to the war effort under the terms of the Anglo-Japanese Alliance.

The Sakura-class ships were re-rated as second-class destroyers on 28 August 1912, and served until 1 April 1932 when both were retired.[5]

List of Ships[edit]

Kanji Name Builder Laid down Launched Completed Fate
"Cherry Tree"
Maizuru Naval Arsenal, Japan 1911-03-31 1911-12-20 1912-05-21 Retired 1932-04-01
"Mandarin Orange"
Maizuru Naval Arsenal, Japan 1911-04-29 1912-01-27 1912-06-25 Retired 1932-04-01



  1. ^ Jentsura, Warships of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1869-1945
  2. ^ Howarth, The Fighting Ships of the Rising Sun
  3. ^ [1] WWI at Sea
  4. ^ [2] Global
  5. ^ Nishida, Imperial Japanese Navy


  • 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. 

External links[edit]