Wakatake-class destroyer

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The Wakatake-class destroyer Kuretake
Class overview
Name: Wakatake class
Operators:  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
  • 900 long tons (910 t) normal,
  • 1,100 long tons (1,100 t) full load
  • 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

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]


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]


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 15 September 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 10 April 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
Kawasaki Shipyards, Japan 13 December 1921 24 July 1922 30 September 1922 Sunk 30 March 1944 in air attack off Palau [07.50N, 134.20E]; struck 10 May 1944
Maizuru Naval Arsenal, Japan 15 March 1922 21 October 1922 21 December 1922 Sunk 30 December 1944 by USS Razorback at Bashi Channel [21N, 121.24E]; struck 10 February 1945
Uraga Dock Company, Japan 5 April 1922 15 February 1923 5 November 1923 Torpedoed Celebes Sea [04.52N, 122.07E] 1943-11-13 by USS Bluefish; struck 5 January 1944
Uraga Dock Company, Japan 20 November 1922 1 September 1923 24 July 1924 Capsized 5 December 1932 in storm off Keelung, Taiwan [27.17N, 122.12E]; struck 1 April 1933
Ishikawajima Shipyards, Japan 14 March 1922 4 November 1922 10 May 1923 Sunk 22 August 1945 by naval mine at Kanmon Straits; raised, BU 1948
Ishikawajima Shipyards, Japan 15 May 1922 14 April 1923 31 May 1924 Converted 1 February 1940 to Patrol Boat No. 46 (第四六号哨戒艇 Dai-46-Gō shōkaitei?); sunk 10 November 1944 by USS Greenling at Irōzaki
Fujinagata Shipyards, Japan 16 February 1922 23 September 1922 16 March 1923 Torpedoed 20 December 1943 off Manila Bay [14.44N, 119.55E] by USS Puffer; struck 5 February 1944
Fujinagata Shipyards, Japan 16 May 1922 19 March 1923 20 August 1923 Torpedoed 10 May 1944 west of Luzon [15.38N, 119.25E] by USS Cod; struck 10 July 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
2nd Destroyer
Dai-2-Gō Kuchikukan
No.2 Destroyer
Wakatake (若竹?),
Bamboo sprout
Yuri (百合?),
Dai-4 Kuchikukan
4th Destroyer
Dai-4-Gō Kuchikukan
No.4 Destroyer
Kuretake (呉竹?),
Black bamboo, Phyllostachys nigra
Ayame (菖蒲?)
Iris sanguinea
Dai-6 Kuchikukan
6th Destroyer
Dai-6-Gō Kuchikukan
No.6 Destroyer
Sanae (早苗?),
Rice sprouts on May
Kaidō (海棠?)
Malus halliana
Dai-8 Kuchikukan
8th Destroyer
Dai-8-Gō Kuchikukan
No.8 Destroyer
Sawarabi (早蕨?),
Bracken on Spring
Kakitsubata (杜若?)
Iris laevigata
Dai-10 Kuchikukan
10th Destroyer
Dai-10-Gō Kuchikukan
No.10 Destroyer
Asagao (朝顔?),
Morning glory
Tsutsuji (躑躅?)
Dai-12 Kuchikukan
12th Destroyer
Dai-12-Gō Kuchikukan
No.12 Destroyer
Yūgao (夕顔?),
Ipomoea alba
Shion (紫苑?),
Aster tataricus
Dai-14 Kuchikukan
14th Destroyer
Ajisai (紫陽?)
Dai-16 Kuchikukan
16th Destroyer
Dai-16-Gō Kuchikukan
No.16 Destroyer
Fuyō (芙蓉?),
Hibiscus mutabilis
Karukaya (刈萱?)
One of the Poaceae
Dai-18 Kuchikukan
18th Destroyer
Dai-18-Gō Kuchikukan
No.18 Destroyer
Karukaya (刈萱?),
One of the Poaceae
Omodaka (沢瀉?),
Dai-20 Kuchikukan
20th Destroyer
Botan (牡丹?),
Dai-22 Kuchikukan
22nd Destroyer
Bashō (芭蕉?),
Musa basjoo
Dai-24 Kuchikukan
24th Destroyer
Nadeshiko (撫子?),
Dai-26 Kuchikukan
26th Destroyer



  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


  • 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]