IJN Fubuki (DD-1928-40)
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With the Fubuki class ships, the Japanese produced the best destroyer class of the inter-war years. When compared to the contemporary European types the Fubuki Class really were "The Special Ones". In real life the classes were split because of the London Treaty into four or five distinct types. It was the London Treaty that gave the Japanese so many problems with the stability of their ships as they designed ships up to the treaty limits then pushed them beyond. The Japanese paid a heavy price for this, having to remedy faults to all ship classes built in the mid 1930's till the Japanese threw out the treaties in 1935 and returned to more viable units.
With my magic wand waiving the Treaties from 1930, the Hatsuharu and other turtle variants need not be built. The Fubuki can go through to the Yugumo type with little variations between classes, such as slowly improving the capabilities of the 5" gun housing to a turret that could withstand aircraft ordinance, and have enough elevation to be considered a true DP weapon.
The original Fubuki class looked like ships from a different planet when they burst onto the Naval scene in the late 1920's. It always surprised me that the US and European nations took so long to come up with ship classes that came anywhere near the capabilities of the Fubuki's. The Fubuki with its 50,000shp machinery was credited with 38 knots from trials but was more likely to make 36 knot maximum in service. Dead flat calms do not happen often at sea.
The first revision of the class came in the third squadron (ships 17-32) when a new machinery layout was introduced in a smaller version with the same output. A new smaller fore funnel was the most visible sign, while the third turret evolution was also introduced with the capability to stop machine gun bullets, and a higher 55 degree elevation. The two single 13.2mm were replaced with a twin mounting.
The last pre-war Fubuki class version was the Fubuki-III type, which became the Kagero Class with the final type 'D' mounting fitted before the class went to the full DP mounting which became the Yugumo class. The other major design changes were the replacement of the three triple mountings of torpedoes with two quadruple mountings of the Long Lance 24" torpedoes. Another rearrangement of the machinery moved the small funnel aft and the bigger funnel forward. The 13.2mm mounting was replaced with the first 25mm twin mounting. The number of 25mm fitted, grew and grew throughout the war.
|Displacement||1,950 tons std, 2,400 tons full load|
|Machinery||2 shaft Steam turbines, 50,000shp|
|Range||6,000 miles at 14 knots|
|Armament||6 x 5" (3x2)
2 x 13.2mm (2x1)
|Torpedoes||9 x 24" (3x3)|
The reason why it is important for the Japanese to rid themselves of the naval treaties as soon as possible. The over armed and under resourced Hatsuharu type. Stability problems plagued them all their careers.
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