Akatsuki-class destroyer (1901)

IJN Kasumi in England Meiji 35.jpg
Akatsuki-class destroyer Kasumi in London on commissioning, 1902
Class overview
Name: Akatsuki class
Builders: Yarrow & Co, Cubitt Town, London
Operators:  Imperial Japanese Navy
Preceded by: Murakumo class
Succeeded by: Shirakumo class
In commission: December 1901 – April 1913
Completed: 2
Lost: 1
Retired: 1
General characteristics
Type: Destroyer
  • 363 long tons (369 t) normal,
  • 415 long tons (422 t) full load
  • 67.29 m (220.8 ft) pp,
  • 68.45 m (224.6 ft) overall
Beam: 6.28 m (20.6 ft)
Draught: 1.73 m (5.7 ft)
Propulsion: 2-shaft reciprocating, 4 Yarrow boilers, 6,000 ihp (4,500 kW)
Speed: 30 knots (56 km/h)
Complement: 62

The Akatsuki-class destroyers (暁型駆逐艦, Akatsukigata kuchikukan) was a class of two torpedo boat destroyers (TBDs) of the Imperial Japanese Navy, built in Britain in 1901-02.[1]


The Akatsuki-class destroyers were ordered under the 1897 fiscal budget as a follow-on to the earlier Ikazuchi class. Both were ordered on 5 November 1900 from Yarrow & Co, and built at their London Yard, Cubitt Town, London.[2]


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-pounder gun on a bandstand on the forecastle, five QF 6 pounder Hotchkiss guns (two sited abreast the conning tower, two sited between the funnels and one on the quarterdeck) and 2 single tubes for 18-inch (460 mm) torpedoes.[3]

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 38°38′S 121°05′E / 38.633°S 121.083°E / -38.633; 121.083.

After the end of the Russo-Japanese War, Kasumi was re-classified as third-class destroyer on 28 August 1912 and was removed from front line combat service. The ship was used as an unarmed utility vessel until 1920.[4]

List of ships

Kanji Name
Builder Laid down Launched Completed Fate
Yarrow & Co, Cubitt Town, London 10 December 1900 13 February 1901 14 December 1901 mined off Port Arthur 17 May 1904
written off 19 October 1905
1 February 1901 23 January 1902 14 February 1902 demilitarized 1 April 1913
Broken up 1 July 1920



  1. ^ Jentsura, Warships of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1869-1945
  2. ^ Howarth, The Fighting Ships of the Rising Sun
  3. ^ Cocker, Destroyers of the Royal Navy
  4. ^ Nishida, Imperial Japanese Navy


  • Cocker, Maurice (1983). Destroyers of the Royal Navy, 1893-1981. Ian Allan. ISBN 0-7110-1075-7.
  • Evans, David (1979). Kaigun: Strategy, Tactics, and Technology in the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1887-1941. US Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-192-7.
  • 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.
  • Jane, Fred T (1904). The Imperial Japanese Navy. Thacker, Spink & Co. ASIN: B00085LCZ4.
  • Jentsura, Hansgeorg (1976). Warships of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1869-1945. US Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-893-X.
  • Lyon, David (1996). The First Destroyers. Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, Maryland. ISBN 1-55750-271-4.

External links

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