MINEKAZE ミネカゼ class
At the end of World War I the Japanese had the concept of first- and secondclass destroyers, ;the one being a scaled-up version of the other. Before this the Japanese navy had either bought British ships or copied them closely, but with the 21 'Momi' class and 15 'Minekaze' class second- and first-class destroyers they produced something a little more original, following an earlier German lead in providing a well between the short forecastle and the bridge structure. Destroyers of the time were quite short overall and, still without the benefit of a superimposed gun on a deckhouse forward,were prone to bury their noses m a short head sea. At best this made life difficult for the bridge personnel, and at worst there was danger of the structure being flattened or swept clean.
The forward well acted as a natural break and, as it moved things aft, also provided space for one set of torpedo tubes.The 'Minekazes',all launched between 1919 and 1922, were the Arikaze, Hakaze, Hokaze, Minekaze, Namikaze, Nokaze, Numakaze, Okikaze, Sawakaze, Shiokaze, Tachikaze, Yakaze and Yukaze.
The classes introduced the 533-mm (21-in) torpedo tube to Japanese destroyers,triples in the 'Minekaze' (and in the nine similar 'Kamikaze' class follow-ons). Both types carried their 120-mm (4.72-in) guns (the calibre itself reflecting earlier British influence) high on deckhouses and forecastle, enabling them to be fought in poor conditions when the weather deck was likely to be swept by loose water.
By World War II standards the 'Minekazes' were both small and old and, with the shortage of escorts being quickly and dramatically exploited by American submarines, most of the class shed half their main-calibre guns. Nine of the class themselves fell victim to submarine attack, the nameship being sunk by the USS Pogy in the East China Sea early in 1944 at a time when destroyers were made priority torpedo targets.
Specification 'Minekaze' class
Displacement: 1,215 tons standard and 1,650 tons full load
Dimensions: length 102.5 m (336.3 ft); beam 9.0 m (29.5 ft); draught 2.89 m (9.5ft)
Propulsion: two sets of geared steam turbines delivering 28709 kW (38,500 shp) to two shafts
Speed: 39 kts
Endurance: 6670 km (4,145 miles) at 14 kts
Armament: four single 120-mm (4.72-in) guns, two machine-guns,
two triple 533-mm (21-in) torpedo tube mountings and up to 20 mines