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Kamikaze-class destroyer (1922)
Kamikaze underway on December 23, 1922.
Class overview
Builders: Maizuru Naval Arsenal
Uraga Dock Company
Ishikawajima Shipyards
Fujinagata Shipyards
Sasebo Naval Arsenal
Operators: Empire of Japan Imperial Japanese Navy
Preceded by: Wakatake-class destroyer
Succeeded by: Mutsuki-class destroyer
In commission: 1921–1947
Planned: 27
Completed: 9
Cancelled: 18
Active: 0
Lost: 7 + 1 (postwar)
Retired: 1
General characteristics
Type: Destroyer
Displacement: 1,400 long tons (1,400 t) normal,
1,720 long tons (1,750 t) full load
Length: 97.5 m (320 ft) pp,
102.6 m (337 ft) overall
Beam: 9.1 m (30 ft)
Draught: 2.9 m (9.5 ft)

(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 ihp (28,700 kW)

2 shafts
Speed: (Kamikaze to Hatakaze)
37.25 knots (68.99 km/h)
(Oite to Yūnagi)
36.88 knots (68.30 km/h)
Range: 3600 nm @ 14 knots
(6,700 km at 26 km/h)
Complement: 154
Armament: 4 × Type 3 120 mm 45 caliber naval gun
2 ×7.7mm machine guns
6× 53cm torpedoes (in 3 double mounts)
18 x depth charges

The Kamikaze-class destroyers (神風型駆逐艦 Kamikazegata kuchikukan?) were a class of nine destroyers of the Imperial Japanese Navy.[1] Some authors consider the Nokaze-class, Kamikaze-class and Mutsuki-class destroyers to be extensions of the Minekaze class, and the Kamikaze class is sometimes referred to as the "Kiyokaze class" to distinguish it from the earlier WW-I era destroyer class of the same name. Obsolete by the beginning of the Pacific War, the Kamikaze were relegated to mostly secondary roles. Most ultimately were lost to U.S. submarines.


The Kamikaze-class vessels were an extension and improvement to the ongoing Minekaze-class program as part of the Eight-eight fleet Plan. They were ordered under the 1921-1922 fiscal budget. As with the Wakatake class, they were originally numbered, but were assigned individual names after 1928.[2] Construction of the last two planned Kamikaze vessels was cancelled in conformance with the Washington Naval Treaty. Oite, Hayate, Asanagi and Yūnagi were called the Kamikaze class late production model (or occasionally Oite class), as the powerplant and armaments were different.


The Kamikaze-class ships were visually identical to the earlier Minekaze-class, apart from slight detail changes in the bridge and the addition of an improved 4.7"/50 cal. main gun which was designed as a dual purpose mount.

The Kamikaze-class was the first destroyer class in the Japanese Navy to be built with a bridge strengthened by steel plating. This gave the vessels a higher center of gravity, and to counteract this they were built with an increased displacement and a wider beam for better stability. Although they had slightly less speed >37.5 knots (69.5 km/h) they were considered satisfactory compared with the Minekaze class.[3]

Operational history

The Kamikaze class vessels all saw combat during the Pacific War, with Hayate having the distinction of being the first Japanese destroyer to be lost in combat during that conflict. She was sunk during the Battle of Wake Island in December, 1941.[4] By 1944 four Kamikaze-class vessels had been sunk by American submarines and a fifth was lost in an air raid on Truk. In 1945 a sixth ship was sunk by submarine action. Only Kamikaze and Harukaze survived the war, but Harukaze was in such poor condition when surrendered at Sasebo that she was soon scrapped. Kamikaze continued on as a repatriation ship after it was surrendered at Singapore, but grounded off Cape Omaezaki in June 1946 and was written off.[5]

Class members

Kanji Name Builder Laid down Launched Completed Fate
神風 Kamikaze
Mitsubishi-Nagasaki, Japan 1921-12-15 1922-09-25 1922-12-19 renamed Kamikaze 1928-08-01; demilitarized repatriation ship 1945-12-01; grounded Omaezaki 1946-06-07; stricken 1946-06-26
朝風 Asakaze
Mitsubishi-Nagasaki, Japan 1922-02-16 1922-12-08 1923-06-16 renamed Asakaze 1928-08-01; Torpedoed W of Luzon [16.06N, 119.44E] 1944-08-23; stricken 1944-10-10
春風 Harukaze
Maizuru Naval Arsenal, Japan 1922-05-16 1922-12-18 1923-05-31 renamed Harukaze 1928-08-01; surrendered to USN 1945-11-10; scrapped 1947
松風 Matsukaze
Maizuru Naval Arsenal, Japan 1922-12-02 1923-10-30 1924-04-05 renamed Matsukaze 1928-08-01; Torpedoed NW Chichijima [26.59N, 143.13E] 1944-06-09; stricken 1944-08-10
旗風 Hatakaze
Maizuru Naval Arsenal, Japan 1923-07-03 1924-03-15 1924-08-30 renamed Hatakaze 1928-08-01; Air attack off Takao [22.37N, 120.15E] 1945-01-15; stricken 1945-03-10
追風 Oite
Uraga Dock Company, Japan 1923-03-16 1924-11-27 1925-10-30 renamed Oite 1928-08-01; Air attack at Truk [07.40N, 151.45E] 1944-02-18; stricken 1944-03-11
疾風 Hayate
Ishikawajima Shipyards, Japan 1922-11-11 1925-03-24 1925-11-21 renamed Hayate 1928-08-01; combat loss Battle of Wake Island [19.16N, 166.37E] 1941-12-11; stricken 1942-01-10
朝凪 Asanagi
Fujinagata Shipyards, Japan 1923-03-05 1924-04-21 1925-12-29 renamed Asanagi 1928-08-01; torpedoed W of Ogasawara [28.20N, 138.57E] 1944-05-22; stricken 1944-07-10
夕凪 Yūnagi
Sasebo Naval Arsenal, Japan 1923-09-17 1924-04-23 1925-05-24 renamed Yunagi 1928-08-01; torpedoed NW of Luzon [18.46N, 120.46E] 1944-08-25; struck 1944-10-10

Naming History

The IJN originally planned that the Kamikaze class ships should have names, but upon completion they were given numbers due to the projected large number of warship the IJN expected to build through the Eight-eight fleet plan. This proved to be extremely unpopular with the crews and was a constant source of confusion in communications. In August 1928, names were assigned, but not the original names that were planned.

Planned name and transliteration Name as completed Renamed 24 April 1924 Renamed 1 August 1928
Kiyokaze (清風?)
Pure Wind
Soyokaze (微風?)
Dai-1 Kuchikukan (第一駆逐艦?),
1st Destroyer
Dai-1-Gō Kuchikukan (第一号駆逐艦?),
No.1 Destroyer
Kamikaze (神風?),
God Wind
Karukaze (軽風?),
Light Wind
Dai-3 Kuchikukan (第三駆逐艦?),
3rd Destroyer
Dai-3-Gō Kuchikukan (第三号駆逐艦?),
No.3 Destroyer
Asakaze (朝風?),
Morning wind
Makaze (真風?) True Wind Dai-5 Kuchikukan (第五駆逐艦?),
5th Destroyer
Dai-5-Gō Kuchikukan (第五号駆逐艦?),
No.5 Destroyer
Harukaze (春風?),
Spring Wind
Ōkaze (大風?),
Great Wind
Tsumujikaze (旋風?),
Dai-7 Kuchikukan (第七駆逐艦?),
7th Destroyer
Dai-7-Gō Kuchikukan (第七号駆逐艦?),
No.7 Destroyer
Matsukaze (松風?),
Pine Wind
Dai-9 Kuchikukan (第九駆逐艦?),
9th Destroyer
Dai-9-Gō Kuchikukan (第九号駆逐艦?),
No.9 Destroyer
Hatakaze (旗風?),
Flag Wind
Dai-11-Gō Kuchikukan (第十一号駆逐艦?),
No.11 Destroyer
Oite (追風?),
Favorable Wind
Dai-13-Gō Kuchikukan (第十三号駆逐艦?),
No.13 Destroyer
Hayate (疾風?),
Dai-15-Gō Kuchikukan (第十五号駆逐艦?),
No.15 Destroyer
Asanagi (朝凪?),
Morning Calm
Dai-17-Gō Kuchikukan (第十七号駆逐艦?),
No.17 Destroyer
Yūnagi (夕凪?),
Evening Calm



  • Brown, David (1990). Warship Losses of World War Two. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-914-X. 
  • Evans, David (1979). Kaigun: Strategy, Tactics, and Technology in the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1887-1941. US Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-192-7. 
  • Hara, Tameichi (1978). Japanese Destroyer Captain. Ballantyne Books, New York. ISBN 0-345-27894-1. 
  • 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. 
  • 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


  1. Jentsura, Warships of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1869-1945
  2. Howarth, The Fighting Ships of the Rising Sun
  3., IJN Minekaze class destroyers
  4. Brown. Warship Losses of World War II
  5. [1] Nishida, Materials of the Imperial Japanese Navy

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