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Japanese destroyer Yamakaze
Yamakaze underway
Career Japanese Navy Ensign
Name: Yamakaze
Ordered: 1934 FY
Builder: Uraga Dock Company
Laid down: 25 May 1935
Launched: 21 February 1936
Commissioned: 30 June 1937
Struck: 20 August 1942
Fate: Sunk 25 June 1942
General characteristics
Class & type: Shiratsuyu-class destroyer
Type: Destroyer
Displacement: 1,685 long tons (1,712 t)
Length: 103.5 m (340 ft) pp
107.5 m (352 ft 8 in) waterline
Beam: 9.9 m (32 ft 6 in)
Draft: 3.5 m (11 ft 6 in)
Propulsion: 2 shaft Kampon geared turbines
3 boilers, 42,000 hp (31,000 kW)
Speed: 34 knots (39 mph; 63 km/h)
Range: 4,000 nmi (7,400 km) @ 18 kn (33 km/h)
Complement: 226
Armament: • 5 × 12.7 cm/50 Type 3 naval guns (2×2, 1×1)
• 2 × 13 mm AA guns
• 8 × 24 in (610 mm) torpedo tubes
• 16 × Depth charges
Service record
Operations: Battle of Tarakan (1942)
Battle of the Java Sea (1942)
Battle of Midway (1942)

Yamakaze (山風 ”Mountain Wind”?) [1] was the eighth of ten Shiratsuyu-class destroyers, and the second to be built for the Imperial Japanese Navy under the Circle Two Program (Maru Ni Keikaku).[2]


The Shiratsuyu class destroyers were modified versions of the Hatsuharu-class, and were designed to accompany the Japanese main striking force and to conduct both day and night torpedo attacks against the United States Navy as it advanced across the Pacific Ocean, according to Japanese naval strategic projections.[3] Despite being one of the most powerful classes of destroyers in the world at the time of their completion, none survived the Pacific War.[4]

Yamakaze, built at the Uraga Dock Company was laid down on May 25, 1935, launched on February 21, 1936 and commissioned on June 30, 1937.[5]

Operational history

At the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Yamakaze was assigned to Destroyer Division 24 of Destroyer Squadron 4 of the IJN 2nd Fleet together with her sister ships Umikaze, Kawakaze, and Suzukaze, and had sortied from Palau as part of the Philippine invasion force, covering landings at Legaspi and Lamon Bay. From January 1942, Yamakaze participated in operations in the Netherlands East Indies, including the invasion of Tarakan Island, where she assisted in sinking the Royal Dutch Navy minesweeper Prins van Oranje. She later covered landings at Balikpapan and Makassar, sinking the USS Shark (SS-174) in the Makassar Strait[6] with her guns on 11 February. After participating in the invasion of eastern Java, Yamakaze engaged a group of Allied destroyers during the Battle of the Java Sea, and was credited with assisting in the sinking of USS Pope (DD-225), HMS Exeter (68) and HMS Encounter (H10). In April, Yamakaze assisted in the invasion of Panay and Negros in the Philippines. From 10 May, Yamakaze was reassigned to the IJN 1st Fleet and returned to Sasebo Naval Arsenal for repairs at the end of the month. During the Battle of Midway on 4–6 June, Yamakaze was part of the Aleutians Guard Force under Admiral Shirō Takasu. On 25 June 1942, while steaming independently from Ōminato towards the Inland Sea, Yamakaze was torpedoed and sunk with all hands by USS Nautilus (SS-168) approximately 60 nautical miles (110 km) southeast of Yokosuka at position 34°34′N 140°26′E / 34.567°N 140.433°E / 34.567; 140.433.

Photo of Yamakaze sinking after being torpedoed.


  1. Nelson. Japanese-English Character Dictionary. Page 347
  2. Lengerer, pp. 92-3
  3. Peattie & Evans, Kaigun .
  4., IJN Shiratsuyu class destroyers
  5. Nishidah, Hiroshi (2002). "Shiratsuyu class 1st class destroyers". Materials of the Imperial Japanese Navy. 
  6. [1]


  • D'Albas, Andrieu (1965). Death of a Navy: Japanese Naval Action in World War II. Devin-Adair Pub. ISBN 0-8159-5302-X. 
  • Brown, David (1990). Warship Losses of World War Two. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-914-X. 
  • 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. 
  • Jentsura, Hansgeorg (1976). Warships of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1869–1945. US Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-893-X. 
  • Lengerer, Hans (2007). The Japanese Destroyers of the Hatsuharu Class. Warship 2007. London: Conway. pp. 91–110. ISBN 1-84486-041-8. 
  • Nelson, Andrew N. (1967). Japanese–English Character Dictionary. Tuttle. ISBN 0-8048-0408-7. 
  • Watts, Anthony J (1967). Japanese Warships of World War II. Doubleday. ASIN B000KEV3J8. 
  • Whitley, M J (2000). Destroyers of World War Two: An International Encyclopedia. London: Arms and Armour Press. ISBN 1-85409-521-8. 

External links

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