The Pacific War Online Encyclopedia
|Previous: Mineki Toichiro||Table of Contents||Next: Mines|
Minelayers are ships equipped to lay various kinds of mines in shallow waters. The United States built one minelayer from the keel up, the Terror, but most of its minesweepers were converted from other types, such as destroyers. These converted minelayers generally proved satisfactory. The Japanese also built a dedicated minelayer, Itsukushima, but most of her minelayers were minelayer/net tender or minelayer/escort ship hybrids.
Most minelayers were used for defensive minelaying, where mines were laid to protect friendly waters (such as approaches to friendly ports.) Such minelayers required neither speed nor endurance nor heavy armament. However, offensive minelaying, where mines were laid around enemy ports or along enemy shipping lanes, required enough speed to reach the target area, lay the mines, and get clear before the minelayer was detected. The U.S. Navy therefore classified fast minelayers (which usually converted destroyers) separately from other minelayers. However, we do not make the distinction in the following lists of minelayer classes.
Tatsumiya Maru class
Converted Clemson class
Converted Wickes class
Robert H. Smith class
Prinz Van Oranje class
Willem van der Zan
The Pacific War Online Encyclopedia © 2007, 2011, 2014-2015 by Kent G. Budge. Index
Comment on this article