Minekaze Class, Japanese Destroyers

Photograph of Minekaze-class destroyer

Wikimedia Commons

Schematic of Minekaze-class destroyer

U.S. Navy


Tonnage 1552 tons standard displacement
Dimensions 336'7" by 29'6" by 9'6"
102.59m by 8.99n by 2.90m
Maximum speed       36 knots
Complement 148
Armament 4 4.7"/45 dual-purpose guns
2 light machine guns
3x2 21" torpedo tubes
20 mines
2-shaft Parsons geared turbine (38,500 shp)
4 Kampon boilers
Bunkerage 230 tons fuel oil
Range 2100 nautical miles (3900 km) at 14 knots
520 nautical miles (960 km) at 34 knots

Nadakaze and Shimakaze were converted to patrol boats prior to the outbreak of war. Their armament was 2 4.7" guns and 18 depth charges, and they carried two Daihatsu landing craft and 250 troops.

1944: Armament typically included 13 to 20 25mm/60 AA guns and 5 13mm/76 machine guns.

1945: Armament typically 2 4.7" guns, 12 25mm AA guns, 2 21" torpedo tubes, 36 depth charges. Namikaze and Shiokaze were rebuilt as Kaiten suicide boat carriers.

The Minekazes were completed in 1920-1922 in the Mitsubishi Nagasaki yards and the Maizuru naval yard. They were influenced by German destroyer design, with the 4.7" (120 mm) main armament that had become standard for Japanese destroyers. Their guns had rather poor arcs of fire and their forward torpedo tubes were liable to water damage in heavy seas. They were very fast for their day, but inefficient, with a range significantly less than their American counterparts in spite of a greater bunkerage (originally 395 tons).

A total of 24 were built, making them the backbone of the Japanese destroyer force until the completion of the Fubukis. In this respect, the Minekazes were somewhat analogous to the American "flush-deckers."

Though very fast, they were underarmed and becoming obsolescent by the time war broke out. Most had their hulls strengthened in the late 1930s to improve their seaworthiness, at the expense of speed and range. Two had been converted to high-speed transports (rated as patrol boats) and a third to a target ship.

Units in the Pacific:

As destroyers:





Torpedoed 1944-7-6 off Menado by Paddle



Torpedoed 1944-11-1 off Luzon by Pintado


Cap St. Jaques

Torpedoed 1943-1-23 off Kavieng by Guardfish



Sunk by aircraft 1944-2-17 at Truk



Yakaze Kure
Minekaze Masampo Torpedoed 1944-2-10 off Formosa by Pogy
Numakaze Ominato Torpedoed 1943-2-18 off Okinawa by Grayback
Nokaze Ominato Torpedoed 1945-2-20 in South China Sea by Pargo
Namikaze Ominato
Okikaze Ominato Torpedoed 1943-1-9 off Tokyo Bay by Trigger
Shiokaze Legaspi Support Force (Takagi) off Davao      

As patrol boats:


Takao       Former Shimakaze. Torpedoed 1943-1-13 off Kavieng by Guardfish



Former Nadakaze. Torpedoed 1945-7-25 off Bali by British submarine

Photo Gallery

Side view of Minekaze class destroyer


ONI sheet on Minekaze class destroyer

\U.S. Navy


Evans and Peattie (1997)

Jentschura, Jung, and Mickel (1977)

Whitley (1988)

Worth (2001)

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