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Harusame-class destroyer
IJN Murasame at Sasebo Taisho 8.jpg
Japanese destroyer Murasame at Sasebo, 1919
Class overview
Builders: Yokosuka Naval Arsenal, Kure Naval Arsenal, Japan
Operators: Naval Ensign of Japan.svg Imperial Japanese Navy
Preceded by: Shirakumo class destroyer
Succeeded by: Kamikaze class destroyer
In commission: 1903-06-26 - 1923-04-01
Completed: 7
Active: 0
Lost: 2
Retired: 5
General characteristics
Type: Destroyer
Displacement: 375 tons normal, 435 tons full load
Length: 69.2 meters pp, 71.4 meters overall
Beam: 6.57 meters
Draught: 1.83 meters
Propulsion: 2-shaft reciprocating, 4 coal-fired boilers, 6000ihp
Speed: 29 kn (54 km/h)
Range: 1,200 nmi (2,200 km) @ 12 kn (22 km/h)
Complement: 55

The Harusame class destroyers (春雨型駆逐艦 Harusamegata kuchikukan?) was a class of seven torpedo boat destroyers (TBDs) of the Imperial Japanese Navy. The Harusame-class of destroyers were the first destroyers to be built in Japan.[1]


The Harusame-class destroyers were part of the 1894 Imperial Japanese Navy ten-year expansion and modernization plan for based on lessons learned in the First Sino-Japanese War. In the second phase of this plan, from fiscal 1897, after 12 destroyers had been imported from the United Kingdom, budget cutbacks reduced the number of new vessels to only four more (two each from the Akitsuki and Shirakumo-classes.

In fiscal year 1900, the Imperial Japanese Navy decided to cancel plans for a torpedo boat tender, which freed funds to purchase four additional destroyers. Likewise, in fiscal 1903, the cancellation of six planned utility vessels freed funds to produce an additional three destroyers.

In order to cut costs and to help develop the Japanese shipbuilding industry, it was decided to construct all seven of the new destroyers at Japanese yards. The first four were built at the Yokosuka Naval Arsenal, and the remaining three at the Kure Naval Arsenal.[2]


The Harusame-class ships attempted to incorporate the best features of the existing destroyer designs in the Navy's inventory. The bow design and front half of the vessel was substantially identical to the previous Yarrow-built Ikazuchi-class, whereas the aft section was a copy of the previous Thornycroft-built Murakumo-class.

Externally, the design retained the four-smokestacks of the Ikazuchi, and the improved rudder design of the Akitsuki–class. The main design issue was with the coal-fired triple expansion steam engines, which copied the design of the Yarrow water-tube boilers. As with the Ikazuchi-class, the rated power was 7,000 shp; however, problems with quality of the materials and construction meant that actual maximum power was considerably less.[3]

Armament was the similar to the previous Ikazuchi and Murakumo classes; i.e. two QF 12 pounder on a bandstand on the forecastle, four QF 6 pounder Hotchkiss (two sided abreast the conning tower, and two sided between the funnels and two single tubes for 18-inch (460 mm) torpedoes.[4]

Operational history

All of the Harusame-class destroyers were completed in time to be used in combat during the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905, with the final three vessels completed just in time to take part in the crucial final Battle of Tsushima. Hayatori was lost after striking a naval mine during the conflict off of Port Arthur 38°47′S 121°30′E / 38.783°S 121.5°E / -38.783; 121.5.[5]

Harusame was lost in 1911 after running aground in Matoya Bay in Mie Prefecture, Japan 34°25′N 137°00′E / 34.417°N 137°E / 34.417; 137.[5] On 1912-08-28, the remaining five vessels were derated to third-class destroyers and were removed from front line combat service. However, all five served again during World War I, albeit in minor roles.

All five surviving vessels were converted to auxiliary minesweepers on 1922-04-01, but were used for only a year until converted to unarmed utility vessels, and were then subsequently scrapped in 1924 or 1926.[5]

List of Ships

Kanji Name Builder Laid down Launched Completed Fate
春雨 Harusame Yokosuka Naval Arsenal, Japan 1902-02-01 1902-10-31 1903-06-26 ran aground 1911-11-24, written off 1911-12-28, wreck BU 1926-08-01
村雨 Murasame Yokosuka Naval Arsenal, Japan 1902-03-20 1902-11-29 1903-07-07 aux minesweeper 1922-04-01, decommissioned 1923-04-01, BU 1926-02-14
速鳥 Hayatori Yokosuka Naval Arsenal, Japan 1902-04-15 1903-03-12 1903-08-24 mined off Port Arthur 1904-09-03; struck 1905-06-15
朝霧 Asagiri Yokosuka Naval Arsenal, Japan 1902-04-15 1903-04-15 1903-09-18 aux minesweeper 1922-04-01, decommissioned 1923-04-01; BU 1926-02-14
有明 Ariake Kure Naval Arsenal, Japan 1904-06-30 1904-12-17 19??-03-15 retired 1924-12-01, struck from Navy List 1925-04-10; Transferred to Home Ministry as a police boat 1925-11-12
吹雪 Fubuki Kure Naval Arsenal, Japan 1904-09-29 1905-01-21 1905-02-28 BU 1924-04-01
Arare Kure Naval Arsenal, Japan 1904-10-29 1905-04-05 1905-05-10 BU 1924-04-01

See also



  • Evans, David (1979). Kaigun: Strategy, Tactics, and Technology in the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1887-1941. US Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-192-7. 
  • Howarth, Stephen (1983). The Fighting Ships of the Rising Sun: The Drama of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1895-1945. Atheneum. ISBN 0-689-11402-8. 
  • Jane, Fred T (1904). The Imperial Japanese Navy. Thacker, Spink & Co. ASIN: B00085LCZ4. 
  • Lyon, David (2006). The First Destroyers. Mercury Books. ISBN 1-84560-010-X. 
  • Jentsura, Hansgeorg (1976). Warships of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1869-1945. US Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-893-X. 

External links


  1. Jentsura, Warships of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1869-1945
  2. Howarth, The Fighting Ships of the Rising Sun
  3. Evans, Kaigun: Strategy, Tactics, and Technology in the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1887-1941
  4. Jane, The Imperial Japanese Navy
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Nishida, Imperial Japanese Navy

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