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The Wakatake-class destroyer Kuretake
|Operators:||Imperial Japanese Navy|
|Preceded by:||Minekaze class|
|Succeeded by:||Kamikaze class|
|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)|
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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
List of Ships
|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|
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|
Black bamboo, Phyllostachys nigra
Rice sprouts on May
Bracken on Spring
One of the Poaceae
One of the Poaceae
- Jentsura, Warships of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1869-1945
- Globalsecurity.org, IJN Wakatake class destroyers
- Howarth, The Fighting Ships of the Rising Sun
- 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
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Wakatake class destroyers.|
- Nishida, Hiroshi. "Materials of IJN: Minekaze class destroyer". Imperial Japanese Navy.
- Globalsecurity.org. "IJN Wakatake class destroyers".
- Nevitt, Allyn D. "They Also Served: The Second-Class Destroyers". Combined Fleet.com.