IJN Minekaze (DD-1919-26)
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The three parts of the Minekaze type destroyers made up 36 units that filled the destroyer flotillas during the mid 1930's and only relegated to more minor duties when enough of the Fubuki type had been completed. The 15 Minekaze type completed 1919-22 started being reduced to minor service in 1937-39. Armaments being reduced to make them more suitable for their tasks.
Original layout of the Minekaze type until the three classes were repurposed as escorts.
As the Pacific war raged on into 1942-43 the ships of the class were repurposed more and more toward anti-submarine and anti-aircraft duties.
The Kamikaze, above, was representative of the original destroyer classes. Minekaze (15-1919/21), Kamikaze (9-1921-22), Mutsuki (12-1924/27), made up the full 36 of the class, more had been ordered under the 8x8 fleet plan at the end of World War One, with at least 30 being cancelled. Only 30 made it into the Pacific War. Some had been reduced to targets or training ships from which there was no return to active service. Removal of main guns and torpedo tubes was needed to make weight available for AA guns, depth charges and eventually radar.
The following sub-types with differing armaments are all from my active imagination, and bare no resemblance to any real life examples except by pure coincidence.
1939 and the Yugumo class are just being put into the building lists. These would be the replacements for the older Minekaze and Momi class destroyers. Plans were already well advanced for the creation of the Greater Asian Co-prosperity Sphere, and getting the military convoys to where they needed to be to put boots on the ground, and these convoys would require escorts. The Minekaze types were perfect for the escorts the navy envisioned. The original armament was completely removed, both guns and torpedoes.
The forward torpedo well was plated in and fitted to take the 100mm AA gun in a tub. Two, either twin or triple, 25mm mountings were fitted in replacement of 'B' and 'C' mountings. These could be replaced with either single or twin 40mm in future refits. Another 100mm AA gun was put in 'D' position. The three 21" torpedo mountings were replaced with one triple 24" Long Lance mounting. The old engines were limited to 30,000shp which still produced 32-33 knots. The extra space forward was used partly for extra fuel tanks to increase the range to 5,000 miles. A new deck house was fitted forward of the 'C' position which would have extra depth charge stowage.
22 of the 30 available hulls had been converted this way when the Pacific War broke out in December 1941. Economic aggression by America being answered by military aggression by the Japanese. The last eight ships fought in their original armaments, but with the limited machinery power (30,000shp) as the others. The navy was trying not to overstress the machinery by allowing full power. Many combinations of armaments were put aboard these ships. A 3" AA gun forward in the bow position, 25mm to 40mm in the B and C positions, while most retained the 4.7" gun in the C or D position. The 3" forward was a better gun, not only for AA use, but also for firing at submarines, which had small turning circles, where the 3" had better rate of fire, and training rate.
|Displacement||1,400 tons std, 1,700 tons full load|
|Machinery||2 shaft Steam turbines, 38,500shp||30,000shp|
|Speed||39 knots||32-33 knots|
|Range||3,600 miles at 14 knots||5,000 miles at 14 knots|
|Armament||4 x 4.7" (4x1)
2 x 13.2mm (2x1)
2 x 7.7mm (2x1)
|2 x 100mm (2x1)
4/6 x 25mm
|Torpedoes||6 x 21" (3x2)|
31-36 re-rated as harbour support ships 1935-38
One of the real life upgrades was to replace the 21" with 24" torpedoes.
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