Akatsuki class destroyer (1901)

Akatsuki class destroyer (1901)

The nihongo|Akatsuki class destroyers|暁型駆逐艦|Akatsukigata kuchikukan was a class of two torpedo boat destroyers (TBDs) of the Imperial Japanese Navy. [ Jentsura, "Warships of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1869-1945" ]


The "Akatsuki"-class destroyers were ordered under the 1897 fiscal budget as a follow-on to the earlier "Ikazuchi"-class. Both were ordered to the Yarrow Shipbuilders in Clyde, Scotland. [ Howarth, "The Fighting Ships of the Rising Sun"]


Substantially identical to the previous "Ikazuchi"-class, the main difference between the vessels was in the design of its rudder. With the previous class, the rudder was semi-balanced, and had a portion exposed above the waterline. This made the vessel vulnerable to disablement by stray gunfire. The "Akatsuki"-class was intended to remedy this design flaw. Only two vessels were procured, as the Japanese navy intended to study the technique and to retrofit the existing "Ikazuchi"-class vessels in Japan.

The design was similar to the four-stack Royal Navy B class, also known as the “Thirty Knotters”.

Both vessels had a flush deck design with a distinctive "turtleback" forecastle that was intended to clear water from the bow during high speed navigation, but was poorly designed for high waves or bad weather. The bridge and forward gun platform were barely raised above the bow, resulting in a wet conning position. More than half of the small hull was occupied by the boilers and the engine room. With fuel and weaponry, there was little space left for crew quarters.

Both were powered by triple expansion steam engines and had coal-fired water-tube boilers. Armament was one QF 12 pounderon a bandstand on the forecastle, five QF 6 pounder Hotchkiss (two sided abreast the conning tower, two sided between the funnels and one on the quarterdeck) and 2 single tubes for 18 inch torpedoes. [Cocker, Destroyers of the Royal Navy]

Operational history

Both "Akatsuki"-class destroyers arrived in Japan in time to be used in combat service during the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905. "Akatsuki" arrived at Yokosuka on 7 May 1902 and "Kasumi" on 25 June.

During the Battle of Port Arthur "Akatsuki" struck a naval mine and sank on 17 May 1904 at coord|38|38|S|121|05|E.

After the end of the Russo-Japanese War, "Kasumi" was re-classified as third-class destroyer on 1912-08-28 and was removed from front line combat service. It was used as an unarmed utility vessel until 1920. [Nishida, "Imperial Japanese Navy" ]

List of Ships



*cite book
last = Evans
first = David
year = 1979
title = Kaigun: Strategy, Tactics, and Technology in the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1887-1941
publisher = US Naval Institute Press
location =
id = ISBN 0870211927

*cite book
last = Howarth
first = Stephen
year = 1983
title = The Fighting Ships of the Rising Sun: The Drama of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1895-1945
publisher = Atheneum
location =
id = ISBN 0689114028

*cite book
last = Jane
first = Fred T
year = 1904
title = The Imperial Japanese Navy
publisher = Thacker, Spink & Co
location =
id = ASIN: B00085LCZ4

*cite book
last = Jentsura
first = Hansgeorg
year = 1976
title = Warships of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1869-1945
publisher = US Naval Institute Press
location =
id = ISBN 087021893X

*cite book
last = Cocker
first = Maurice
year = 1983
title = Destroyers of the Royal Navy, 1893-1981
publisher = Ian Allan
location =
id = ISBN 0-7110-1075-7

External Links

*cite web
last = Nishida
first = Hiroshi
url = http://homepage2.nifty.com/nishidah/e/stc0403.htm
title = Materials of IJN: Akatsuki class destroyer
work = Imperial Japanese Navy


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