:: YUKIKAZE (1939) ::

Yukikaze destroyer (1939) High resolution picture

The Yukikaze was a Japanese destroyer launched in 1939 as part of the Kagero class, the first Japanese destroyers designed after Japan had withdrawn from the naval limitation treaties that tied previous projects. The Kagero was a project of heavy destroyers that satisfied the requirements of the Imperial Japanese Navy. They were very successful ships, gifted with good seaworthiness, long operational range and extraordinarily powerful armament. The main artillery was formed by six 127-millimeter cannons in three twin turrets, with an elevation angle of 55 degrees which allowed to effectuate antiaircraft fire.

As it happened with every Japanese destroyer, the torpedo armament was particularly impressive. From 1941 they were armed with 610-millimeter torpedoes propelled by oxygen, which had an operational range of 22 kilometers at 48 knots and almost 40 kilometers at 36 knots, which was almost thrice than that of conventional torpedoes, and the provision of fast reloads was virtually twice of the existing armament. In the Battle of Java Sea and in the diverse encounters in the Solomon Islands in 1942 and 1943 these torpedoes gave a decisive advantage to the Japanese. The reloads of the fore torpedo launcher were transported at both sides of the fore funnel and those of the aft launcher in the berthing side of the aft superstructure.

The antiaircraft armament was notably increased during the war and in some ships the turret in X position was suppressed to improve stability. The illustration shows the Yukikaze as she was in 1945, with the turret X replaced by 25-millimeter antiaircraft cannons and a Type 22 radar device in the fore mast. The destroyers of this class took part in many actions in the Pacific and all of them except the Yukikaze were sunk during the war. Surprisingly, the Yukikaze survived without suffering any damage despite having intervened in many combats.

Class: Kagero (18 units - Akigumo, Amatsukaze, Arashi, Hagikaze, Hamakaze, Hatsukaze, Hayashio, Isokaze, Kagero, Kuroshio, Maikaze, Natsushio, Nowaki, Oyashio, Shiranui, Tanikaze, Tokitsukaze, Urakaze, Yukikaze)

Type: Destroyer

Length: 118.5 meters

Beam: 10.8 meters

Draught: 3.76 meters

Displacement (standard): 2032 tonnes

Propulsion: 2 x shaft, 2 x steam turbine Kampon, 3 x boiler Kampon, 52000 horsepower

Speed: 35 knots (64.8 kilometers/hour)

Range: 5000 nautical miles (9260 kilometers) at 18 knots

Complement: 240

Armament (as built): 6 x 127-millimeter 50-caliber cannon, 4 x 25-millimeter cannon, 8 x 610-millimeter torpedo tube, 18 x depth charge (two racks)

Armament (in 1945): 4 x 127-millimeter 50-caliber cannon, 28 x 25-millimeter cannon, 8 x 610-millimeter torpedo tube, 36 x depth charge (two racks)

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