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Ariecho

December 29 - Focus: Kamikaze-class and Independence-class

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General



 



A little more choices today, but we're starting to see the results of our work, with more and more classes already covered.  While we'd like to cover individual ships, the smaller they are, the more difficult it is to find anything relevant to tell about them, as their actions are often intermixed with others of the same class, which is often the case with destroyers.



 



1915 - Battle of Durazzo



1917 - HMS Dragon - D-class - Launched



1925 - IJN Asanagi - Kamikaze-class - Commissioned



1937 - IJN Sōryū - Sōryū-class - Commissioned 



1941 - USS Monterey - Independence-class - Laid down



1942 - U-boat attacks on convoy ONS-154 (8 ships sunk)



1943 - USS Makassar Strait - Casablanca-class - Laid down



1943 - USS Ommaney Bay - Casablanca-class - Launched



1943 - IJN Yahagi - Agano-class - Commissioned



1944 - U-boat attacks on convoy TBC-21 (2 ships sunk)



 



Statistics:



Allies: 26 surface ships laid down, 35 launched, 33 commissioned, and 3 lost (USS WasmuthHMS MTB 782USS Minivet)



Japan: 3 surface ships commissioned (IJN Asanagi, IJN SōryūIJN Yahagi)



 



1925



 



On December 29, 1925, IJN Asanagi, a Kamikaze-class destroyer, was commissioned.  The Kamikaze-class was an evolution of the Minekaze-class, the first class of "1st Class destroyers", under Japanese classification.



 



With more and more Minekaze-class ship being built, the Japanese progressively included some modifications, and the Kamikaze-class was nothing more than a repeat of the last 3 Minekaze-class destroyers: IJN NamikazeNokaze, and Numakaze.



 



mk1_zps6fca0a1e.png



Evolution of the Minekaze-class



 



Japanese destroyers' doctrine:



The Japanese saw the destroyers as an offensive weapon, and a way to soften enemy fleets before battleships would engage.  For that purpose, they intensively trained their crew for night operations, and they also spent a lot of time to develop better torpedoes, a program culminating with what was eventually known as the "Long Lance", or type 93 torpedo.



 



Under Japanese doctrine, a night attack would start with heavy cruisers launching a large torpedo attack, which would be followed by another attack at a closer range by destroyer squadrons.  A squadron was composed of 3 or 4 divisions, themselves composed of 3 or 4 ships, usually of the same class.



 



Kamikaze-class:



Nine ships of what also known as the "second group of Minekaze" were ordered between 1921 and 1922: 



 











































  Laid down Launched Commissioned
Kamikaze 12-15-1921 09-25-1922 12-28-1922
Asakaze 02-16-1922 12-08-1922 06-16-1923
Harukaze 05-16-1922 12-18-1922 05-31-1923
Matsukaze 12-02-1922 10-30-1923 04-05-1924
Hatakaze 07-03-1923 03-15-1924 08-30-1924
Oite 03-16-1923 11-27-1924 10-30-1925
Hayate 11-11-1922 03-23-1925 12-21-1925
Asanagi 03-05-1923 04-21-1924 12-29-1924
Yunagi 09-17-1923 04-23-1924 04-24-1925

 



It should be noted that the ships didn't receive their final name until 1928.  Before that, they were "numbered", and all received an odd number from 1 to 17, preceded by the word Dai, which (if I'm not mistaken) means "number".  Not every ship received the name that was envisioned for her when she was laid down.  For example, Kamikaze had two names that were planned to be given to her: Kiyokaze or Soyokaze.  That name was eventually changed when she was commissioned, and she became Dai-1 Kuchikukan, only to be renamed Dai-1-Gō Kuchikukan in 1924, and eventually Kamikaze in 1928.



 



Characteristics (source Wikipedia):



Displacement: 1,400 tons normal, 1,750 tons full load

Length: 337 ft overall - Beam: 30 ft - Draught: 9.5 ft

Propulsion:



Kamikaze to Hatakaze: 4 x Ro-Gō Kampon water-tube boilers - 2 x Parsons geared turbines - 38,500 shp 2 shafts
Oite to Yūnagi: 4 x Ro-Gō Kampon water-tube boilers - 2 x Kampon geared turbines - 38,500 shp 2 shafts



Speed: 



Kamikaze to Hatakaze: 37.25 knots
Oite to Yūnagi: 36.88 knots

Range: 3600 nm @ 14 knots
Complement: 154

Armament: 4 × Type 3 120 mm 45 caliber naval gun - 2 ×7.7 mm machine guns - 6× 530 mm torpedoes (in 3 double mounts) - 18 x depth charges



 



Kamikaze-class destroyers' armament was very similar to what could be found on the Minekaze, which meant a powerful set of torpedo tubes, a bad primary armament, and an even worse secondary/anti-aircraft armament.  A modification between the two classes was the fact that torpedo mounts were now electrically powered.



 



Throughout the war, and because of the increase of US naval aviation presence, the Japanese started to remove torpedo tubes in order to increase their anti-aircraft power.  IJN Yunagi even lost one of her guns to add some 25 mm guns.



 



Operational life:



By the time war started, the Kamikaze-class destroyers were obsolete, and Japan had produced several newer classes of destroyers, the latest at war start being the Kagerō-class. Several others would follow.  Therefore, the Kamikaze were now being relegated to escort duty for the most part.



 



Kamikaze: Kamikaze didn't see too much action during the war until 1945, when she was assigned as escort to the heavy cruiser Haguro.  While performing her escort duty, she was attacked by a British formation that sank Haguro and damaged Kamikaze in what was known as Operation Dukedom.  A month later, in June 1945, she escorted another heavy cruiser, Ashigara, who was sunk by HMS Trenchant, helped by HMS Stygian and HMS Blueback.  Kamikaze survived the war.



 



800px-Kamikaze_II.jpg



IJN Kamikaze



 



AsakazeAsakaze was assigned to the 5th Destroyer Division (DesDiv 5) and was active in the early Japanese invasions.  She spent most of her time between the Philippines, Malaya, and the Dutch East Indies.  While escorting a convoy on August 23, 1944, she was sunk by the US submarine USS Haddo.



 



Japanese_destroyer_Asakaze_around_1924.j



IJN Asakaze



 



Harukaze: Harukaze was also part of DesDiv 5, and was present at the battle of Sunda Strait on March 1, 1942, where USS Houston and HMAS Perth were sunk, although there is no evidence that she inflicted any damage on these two ships, despite attacking them.  On November 16, she hit a mine, which put her out of commission until 1943.  On October 1944, she took credit for sinking USS Shark, a Balao-class submarine, only to be attacked a few days later by USS Sailfish, a Sargo-class submarine, who torpedoed her.  Although damaged, she survived the attack.  On January 21, 1945, she fell victim of air strikes from Task Force 38, and had to be towed back to Japan, where she finished the war, unrepaired.



 



Japanese_destroyer_Harukaze_1934.jpg



IJN Harukaze



 



Hatakaze: Another member of DesDiv 5, Hatakaze stayed within that Division until March 1942.  Two months later, she was assigned to the Yokosuka Naval district, where being part of the older destroyers, she was relegated to escort duty.  She was another victim of Task Force 38, more precisely aircraft of USS Ticonderoga who sank her on January 15, 1945.



 



640px-Japanese_destroyer_Hatakaze_Taisho



IJN Hatakaze



 



Oite: Oite started the war with DesDiv 29.  Despite her old age, she was selected to participate in the attack on Wake Island, where she was "welcomed" by the US Marines coastal guns.  She was also present during the invasion of Rabaul in January 1942 then at the battle of the Coral Sea, where she escorted the Japanese invasion force.  She was hit by 2 torpedoes, the first one on September 21, 1943, which didn't do any damage, and the second one on February 18, 1944, during US aircraft carriers' attack on Truk.  This one proved deadly.  3 other destroyers, as well as 3 light cruisers were sunk during the operation, named Operation Hailstone.



 



IJN_DD_Oite_in_1927_off_Yokohama.jpg



IJN Oite



[Note: On this picture, the number on the bow is the Division number, while her Dai number (11) is under the second funnel]



 



Hayate: Dai-15 joined DesDiv 29 with her sisters Oite, Yūnagi and Asanagi.  On December 11, 1941, just 4 days after Pearl Harbor, she was suk by a 5-inch coastal battery that defended Wake Island, becoming the first Japanese destroyer lost in the war.  Apparently, two shells shot by the Marines hit her magazines that immediately exploded, sinking her.



 



640px-Japanese_destroyer_Hayate_Taisho_1



IJN Hayate



 



Asanagi: Another member of DesDiv 29, Asanagi participated in the Gilbert Islands campaign and the second attack on Wake Island on December 23, 1941.  She was also present in the attack on Rabaul as well as the battle of the Coral Sea, where she escorted the transports for the invasion of Port Moresby.  On May 22, 1944, USS Pollack, a Porpoise-class submarine, intercepted the convoy that she was escorting, and launched some torpedoes that sank her.



 



640px-Asanagi.jpg



IJN Asanagi



 



Yūnagi: The last Kamikaze-class destroyer to be built, Yūnagi was also part of DesDiv 29.  She followed Oite to the Gilbert Islands and Wake Island, as well as the invasion of Rabaul.  In August 1942, she was present at the battle of Savo Island, and later on was assigned again to convoy duties.  Reassigned to the 8th fleet, she participated in the battle of  Kolombongara on JUly 12, 1943.  On August 25, 1944, while escorting a convoy to Manila, she was attacked and sunk by USS Picuda, a Balao-class submarine.



 



800px-Yunagi_II.jpg



IJN Yūnagi



 



There is no indication yet if the Kamikaze-class will be in the game, but should it be, it could probably be a good tier-3 destroyer or a tier-2, as a fully improved version of the Minekaze-class.  Were it to be a tier-3, separate from the Minekaze-class, then a full upgrade to the Kamikaze could be the Mutsuki-class, which followed, and was in many aspects similar to the Kamikaze-class, but with a heavier torpedo armament.



 



The Mutsuki-class were the first Treaty destroyers, and they answered the Japanese doctrine, which was to soften enemy capital ships with destroyers, as a parity in numbers couldn't be achieved with the heavier ships.  However, as I always say, it's a different story...


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1941



 



USS Independence in San Francisco Bay, 15 July 1943. Look close and you can see this is the original form of the air group, with 9 F6F, 9 SBD, and 9 TBF; no Independence-class ship ever actually carried SBDs into combat.



USS_Independence_CVL-22_zpsb750a49d.jpg



 



The Independence-class was the result of a number of design studies undertaken in 1940 at the behest of FDR. Noting that none of the Essexes were expected to complete before 1944, he asked the Navy to look into converting some cruisers in to carriers. BuShips said in October 1941 that the result would be of lesser capability, but available much faster. Two months later the Japanese brought the debate to a screeching halt with the attack on Pearl Harbor, and by June 1942 the green light was given to convert nine Cleveland-class ships on the ways into aircraft carriers. (One of them Monterey, was laid down today in 1941, though at the time she was slated to become USS Dayton, CL-78.)



 



The Independence is currently slated to be a Tier 5 in the USN tech tree for the game. Based on the design of the Sangamon-class escort carriers, it's missing a lot of things you'd expect from a fleet carrier. The airgroup was relatively small at 33 aircraft, split between 24 F6F fighters and 9 TBM torpedo bombers. They were not good at seakeeping in Pacific typhoons because of their small size, and it also contributed to an above-average rate of accidents on landing and takeoff. Also missing was a heavy flak battery; the Independence conversion simply didn't have anywhere to put a 5”/38 battery, so they were completely dependent on medium and light automatic flak. Protection was moderate at best, and the magazines weren't large enough for the operational issue of munitions that they usually received, requiring some to be stored on the hanger deck.



 



Size comparison of US fleet carriers; from nearest to furthest, USS Saratoga (Lexington-class), USS Enterprise (Yorktown-class), USS Hornet (Essex-class), and USS San Jacinto (Independence-class); taken at NAS Alameda, California, September 1945.



USS_Saratoga_Enterprise_Hornet_San-Jacin



 



What the Independence did have going for them was that they were fast enough to operate with the battlefleet, at 31.5 knots. And they were available quickly: all nine ships of the class entered service in 1943 less than a year after conversion was authorized, and even by the Battle of Philippine Sea in 1944 they were still carrying 40% of the Fast Carrier Forces Pacific Fleet's fighter force and 36% of their torpedo aircraft. During the war several of them were damaged, but only one, Princeton, was sunk; she was hit by a conventional bombing attack at Leyte Gulf.



 



USS Princeton afire at Leyte, 24 October 1944. The other ship is Cleveland-class USS Birmingham, coming alongside to help fight the fires. When Princeton blew up, Birmingham would actually suffer more casualties than Princeton would.



USS_Birmingham_comes_alongside_the_burni



 



The Independences' tour of duty in US service did not last very long beyond the end of WW2 because of their small size, which prevented them from operating jet aircraft. Independence herself survived Shot Able and Shot Baker during Operation Crossroads and was used for radiation research for a few years but was expended as a target in 1951, never sailing under her own power again. Bataan fought in the Korean War carrying a Marine airgroup. Langley and Belleau Wood served with the French Marine Nationale until the early 1960s as La Fayette and Bois Belleau, and their airgroups flew combat sorties in Indochina. Cabot actually lasted until 1989 in service with Spain as Dedalo and was the first carrier to operate Harrier jumpjets. Efforts were made to preserve Cabot, but failed, and she was scrapped in 2000. The rest were out of service by 1947 and scrapped by 1954.



 



Belleau Wood burning after a kamikaze strike, 30th October 1944. Note the crews are more interested in hosing down the TBFs to prevent the fire from spreading forward than they are hosing down the fire itself. In the background is Essex-class USS Franklin, which is also burning from a kamikaze hit.



Fighting_fires_on_USS_Belleau_Wood_28CVL



 



Dimensions



Displacement (standard): 11000 tons



Length: 622 feet 6 inches



Beam (hull): 71 feet 6 inches



Beam (counting flight deck and gun tubs): 109 feet 2 inches



Draft: 26 feet



 



Weapons



26 40mm/56 Mark II Bofors guns in double and quad mounts.



 



Engines



Four Babock and Wilcox boilers, four GE turbines, four screws



100000 SHP



 



Performance



31.5 knots



 



Crew



1569



 



Aircraft



As designed: 9 fighter, 9 divebomber, 9 torpedo bomber



As used: 24 fighter, 9 torpedo bomber


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Good post!  Great choice of pictures (+1)

 

Question for you, NG:  What is the #28 on the bow of IJN Yūnagi

Edited by Ariecho

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1941

 

USS Independence in San Francisco Bay, 15 July 1943. Look close and you can see this is the original form of the air group, with 9 F6F, 9 SBD, and 9 TBF; no Independence-class ship ever actually carried SBDs into combat.

USS_Independence_CVL-22_zpsb750a49d.jpg

 

The Independence-class was the result of a number of design studies undertaken in 1940 at the behest of FDR. Noting that none of the Essexes were expected to complete before 1944, he asked the Navy to look into converting some cruisers in to carriers. BuShips said in October 1941 that the result would be of lesser capability, but available much faster. Two months later the Japanese brought the debate to a screeching halt with the attack on Pearl Harbor, and by June 1942 the green light was given to convert nine Cleveland-class ships on the ways into aircraft carriers. (One of them Monterey, was laid down today in 1941, though at the time she was slated to become USS Dayton, CL-78.)

 

The Independence is currently slated to be a Tier 5 in the USN tech tree for the game. Based on the design of the Sangamon-class escort carriers, it's missing a lot of things you'd expect from a fleet carrier. The airgroup was relatively small at 33 aircraft, split between 24 F6F fighters and 9 TBM torpedo bombers. They were not good at seakeeping in Pacific typhoons because of their small size, and it also contributed to an above-average rate of accidents on landing and takeoff. Also missing was a heavy flak battery; the Independence conversion simply didn't have anywhere to put a 5”/38 battery, so they were completely dependent on medium and light automatic flak. Protection was moderate at best, and the magazines weren't large enough for the operational issue of munitions that they usually received, requiring some to be stored on the hanger deck.

 

Size comparison of US fleet carriers; from nearest to furthest, USS Saratoga (Lexington-class), USS Enterprise (Yorktown-class), USS Hornet (Essex-class), and USS San Jacinto (Independence-class); taken at NAS Alameda, California, September 1945.

USS_Saratoga_Enterprise_Hornet_San-Jacin

 

What the Independence did have going for them was that they were fast enough to operate with the battlefleet, at 31.5 knots. And they were available quickly: all nine ships of the class entered service in 1943 less than a year after conversion was authorized, and even by the Battle of Philippine Sea in 1944 they were still carrying 40% of the Fast Carrier Forces Pacific Fleet's fighter force and 36% of their torpedo aircraft. During the war several of them were damaged, but only one, Princeton, was sunk; she was hit by a conventional bombing attack at Leyte Gulf.

 

USS Princeton afire at Leyte, 24 October 1944. The other ship is Cleveland-class USS Birmingham, coming alongside to help fight the fires. When Princeton blew up, Birmingham would actually suffer more casualties than Princeton would.

USS_Birmingham_comes_alongside_the_burni

 

The Independences' tour of duty in US service did not last very long beyond the end of WW2 because of their small size, which prevented them from operating jet aircraft. Independence herself survived Shot Able and Shot Baker during Operation Crossroads and was used for radiation research for a few years but was expended as a target in 1951, never sailing under her own power again. Bataan fought in the Korean War carrying a Marine airgroup. Langley and Belleau Wood served with the French Marine Nationale until the early 1960s as La Fayette and Bois Belleau, and their airgroups flew combat sorties in Indochina. Cabot actually lasted until 1989 in service with Spain as Dedalo and was the first carrier to operate Harrier jumpjets. Efforts were made to preserve Cabot, but failed, and she was scrapped in 2000. The rest were out of service by 1947 and scrapped by 1954.

 

Belleau Wood burning after a kamikaze strike, 30th October 1944. Note the crews are more interested in hosing down the TBFs to prevent the fire from spreading forward than they are hosing down the fire itself. In the background is Essex-class USS Franklin, which is also burning from a kamikaze hit.

Fighting_fires_on_USS_Belleau_Wood_28CVL

 

Dimensions

Displacement (standard): 11000 tons

Length: 622 feet 6 inches

Beam (hull): 71 feet 6 inches

Beam (counting flight deck and gun tubs): 109 feet 2 inches

Draft: 26 feet

 

Weapons

26 40mm/56 Mark II Bofors guns in double and quad mounts.

 

Engines

Four Babock and Wilcox boilers, four GE turbines, four screws

100000 SHP

 

Performance

31.5 knots

 

Crew

1569

 

Aircraft

As designed: 9 fighter, 9 divebomber, 9 torpedo bomber

As used: 24 fighter, 9 torpedo bomber

 

Should have posted this in a new topic >.< But still, a good read, +1

 

Edited by waffles1945

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Should have posted this in a new topic >.< But still, a good read, +1

 

Nope.  It was part of our daily thread (read title).  It just happens that Camelot was faster than NGTM (difficulties communicating).

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Camelot was really, really fast. I had the dialog box open and was getting my last picture pasted in when he managed to post.

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Question for you, NG:  What is the #28 on the bow of IJN Yūnagi

 

The most likely answer is that's her destroyer division at the time the photo was taken. The Japanese don't seem to have cared for hull or pennant numbers the way the USN and European navies do, to the point I'm not sure they actually tracked them after the ship was named. Usually if you see a number painted on a ship it's division number for that reason, and the ship's probably a destroyer. Larger ships were divisioned by class and you were expected to figure it out for yourself.

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The most likely answer is that's her destroyer division at the time the photo was taken. The Japanese don't seem to have cared for hull or pennant numbers the way the USN and European navies do, to the point I'm not sure they actually tracked them after the ship was named. Usually if you see a number painted on a ship it's division number for that reason, and the ship's probably a destroyer. Larger ships were divisioned by class and you were expected to figure it out for yourself.

Most of the Kamikaze had their Dai number, with only two exceptions.  I reached the same conclusion you did (as noted on the Oite), but was not sure about Yūnagi.  Thanks

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Good stuff!

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Glad to see some love for the smaller carriers! I had a Great Uncle on the USS Princeton and the USS Boxer :honoring:

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Glad to see some love for the smaller carriers! I had a Great Uncle on the USS Princeton and the USS Boxer :honoring:

We've already covered 3 classes of those, if I remember well: Bogue (and British equivalent), Casablanca, and now Independence.

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Nice articles +1 for both. And how does the evolution picture work, because the top picture seems like an improvement of the one below it.

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Nice articles +1 for both. And how does the evolution picture work, because the top picture seems like an improvement of the one below it.

Good question (+1)

The top picture is the Minekaze in pre-war configuration.

The middle picture is Yukaze in 1945 configuration.  It shows the removal of some torpedo tubes to add more anti-aircraft guns.

The bottom picture is Namikaze in 1945 configuration, when she was converted into a kaiten carrier.

 

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I literally cry every time I read about Cabot. So close to being saved, and the only WW2 era carrier that wasn't an Essex class to do so, and she fell so short of making it.

 

A moment of silence please, for poor old Cabot.

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