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AKATSUKI destroyers (1932 - 1933)


  Inazuma 1939


Name No Yard No Builder Laid down Launched Comp Fate
暁 [Akatsuki]     Sasebo K K 2/1930 7.5.1932 11.1932 sunk 13.11.1942
響 [Hibiki]     Maizuru K K 2/1930 16.6.1932 3/1933 damaged 31.3.1945, never repaired, to USSR 5.1947 (Верный [Vernyy])
雷 [Ikazuchi]     Uraga, Tokyo 3/1930 22.10.1931 8/1932 sunk 14.4.1944
電 [Inazuma]     Fujinagata, Osaka 3/1930 25.2.1932 11/1932 sunk 14.5.1944

Technical data

Displacement standard, t1680
Displacement full, t


Length, m

106.7 pp, 113.3 wl, 118.4 oa

Breadth, m


Draught, m


No of shafts



2 sets Kampon geared steam turbines, 3 Kampon boilers

Power, h. p.


Max speed, kts


Fuel, t

oil 475

Endurance, nm(kts)



3 x 2 - 127/50 3-shiki, 2 x 1 - 13.2/76, 3 x 3 - 610 TT (15), 2 DCT (14), 18 mines



Standard scale images

<i>Hibiki</i> 1945
Hibiki 1945
<i>Akatsuki</i> 1932
Akatsuki 1932
<i>Hibiki</i> 1945
Hibiki 1945


  <i>Inazuma</i> 1939
  Inazuma 1939

Project history

The history of creation of Fubuki class destroyers, or "special type" goes back to 1922, in which Japan has signed the Washington agreement according to which IJN can had destroyers with 201600t total displacement. Taking into account that Naval Staff plans provided to have 144 destroyers, standard displacement of each ship was limited by 1400t. This quantity was obviously insufficient for creation of the rigorous design, especially taking into account necessity of increase in a stock of fuel for actions in Pacific ocean at a great distance from bases. Eventually, in the Naval Staff it have decided to compensate a lack of tonnage by quality indicators of separately taken ships, having raised their displacement to 2000t. In October, 1922 there was a technical design of "special type" destroyer, or Toku Gata (2000t, 40kts, 2x2 120mm guns, 76mm AA gun and 6 610mm TT). During designing characteristics have undergone some changes: displacement has decreased to 1900t, 120mm guns have given way to 127mm, there was third triple TT, and speed has raised to 42kts. In April, 1924 design has been submitted to considering in Naval Staff, hence after detailed analysis it have shipped on finishing: designers were offered to lower whenever possible displacement, simultaneously having strengthened artillery, at least and by speed. After entering of corrections and repeated discussion the design (1680t, 35kts, 3x2 127mm guns, 1 76mm AA gun and 2 40mm MGs, 9 610mm TT) have approved in 1926.

First five ships (No35-39) have been ordered under the 1923 Programme, and following four (No40-43) under the special order in November, 1925. After some delays called financial troubles, orders have proceeded, and under the 1927 Programme 15 ships were laid down. In 1928 in the Japanese Navy have refused numbering of destroyers, therefore the ships of "special type" were commissioned under names.

Destroyers of "special type" became the first-ever ships of this class on which the main artillery took places in waterproof turrets with splinterproof protection. For the first time in the Japanese practice destroyers have received 127mm/50 guns. Vertical aiming and ammunition feeding gears were hydraulic, but low feed rate reduced the importance of high elevation angle, therefore guns though were considered dual-purpose, as the antiaircraft acted unsatisfactorily.

In the course of building out-of-date 40mm Vickers MGs and 7.7mm MGs were refused. 13.2mm MGs intended for their replacement, but as the latter have appeared not ready, it was necessary to return 7.7mm (13.2mm MGs were installed in 1933-1934).

As building of the ships of "special type" was stretched more than for five years, at the expense of changes brought in the design destroyers of differ years of completing had a number of differences, therefore all series it is accepted to share conditionally on three groups.

On pooled into the first group ten ships (No35-44) there were turret mounts with an elevation angle 40°. The second group including following 10 destroyers (No45-54), differed in updated 127mm mounts with an elevation angle 75°, improved fire control system (that has demanded to enter additional level over a bridge) and less appreciable boilers air intakes. The third group included only 4 destroyers to which at the expense of raise of steam output of separate boiler it was possible to shrink their number from four to three. These ships differed hardly by shorter hull and smaller displacement, besides, first funnel in which smoke duct from only one boiler was deduced, was notably more thin, than on 1st and 2nd series of "special type" destroyers. Hibiki became the first all-welded destroyer of the IJN.

Occurrence of the ships of "special type" has called the big resonance in naval societies of all world. Power of armament seemed disproportionate to the moderated, in general, displacement, however outside of Japan very few people guessed, what price should be paid for this achievement. To these destroyers lacks, characteristic were peculiar to all Japanese ships of that time: first of all, excessive upper weight and stability which has worsened because of it. For achievement of the high requirements advanced by the Naval Staff concerning speed, arms and an endurance at the limited displacement designers had to show a considerable ingenuity. The weight decreased in all possible ways, in particular, at the expense of creation of the lightened machinery, usage of light alloys in a construction of superstructures and wide using of welding in hull construction. Despite it ships have appeared are supercharged, especially it concerned 2nd groups: their turrets have gone out on 20% more heavier, and bridges on one level higher. Besides, TTs received shields that has given an additional increase of the upper weight. Taking into account that arranged low in the hull machinery has been lightened, the stability was moderated to a dangerous limit. That fact, that at the new Japanese ships not everything is all right with stability, was acknowledged for the first time on March, 12th, 1934 when the torpedo boat Tomozuru has overturned. Assumptions were come out, as new destroyers are dangerous in this respect but before something has been made, there was "an incident with the Fourth fleet": during a storm fore ends of Hatsuyuki and Yugiri broken off, three ships have lost a part of superstructures, four more have received various hull damages. Though any of the ships was not lost, it has demonstrated serious lacks of destroyers of "special type". For position correction thorough reconstruction of all ships constructed late 1920s - early 1930s has been conducted. On all destroyers of "special type" it have moderated height of bridges and funnels, ammunition stowage was decreased. By eight last ships new lightened turrets with an elevation angle 55° were installed. Besides, they have significantly strengthened hulls, and nearby 40t of solid ballast was stowed in holds. As a result standard displacement has increased from 1750 to 2090t, speed has decreased to 34kts.


1935 - 1937, all survived: ballast was added; displacement increased to 2080 / 2560t, maximal speed fell to 34kts; - 2 x 1 - 13.2/76; + 2 x 2 - 25/60 96-shiki, 93-shiki sonar (presumably)

1941 - 1942, all: - 1 x 2 - 127/50 (No 2), 1 x 2 - 25/60; + 4 x 3 - 25/60 96-shiki, 4 x 1 - 13.2/76, 2 DCT (36 totally)

7.1944, Hibiki: + 8 x 1 - 25/60 96-shiki, 2 x 1 - 13.2/76

1944-1945, Hibiki: + 2-shiki 2-go, 3-shiki 1-go radars

1945, Hibiki: - 6 x 1 - 13.2/76; + 6 x 1 - 25/60 96-shiki

Naval service

Akatsuki at night 12-13.11.1942 was sunk at Sawo by gunfire of US cruiser Atlanta. Ikazuchi 14.4.1944 was sunk SW off Guam by US submarine Harder. Inadzuma 14.5.1944 was sunk at Tawi-Tawi (Borneo) by US submarine Bonefish. Hibiki 12.6.1942 was hard damaged by US aircraft at Kiska, 6.9.944 E off Ryukyu damaged on a mine (under other version, as a result of torpedo hit from US submarine Hake), 31.3.1945 she was damaged on a mine and till the end of war repair has not been finished; 5.7.1947 on a reparation she was transferred to the USSR.