Momo-class destroyer

IJN Hinoki at Wuhan Taisho 12.jpg
Hinoki on patrol at Wuhan, China, 1923
Class overview
Preceded by Isokaze class
Succeeded by Enoki class
In commission1916–1944
General characteristics
  • 275 ft (83.8 m) (pp)
  • 281 ft 8 in (85.9 m) (waterline)
Beam25 ft 5 in (7.7 m)
Draught7 ft 9 in (2.4 m)
Installed power
Propulsion2 shafts; 2 steam turbines
Speed31.5 knots (58.3 km/h; 36.2 mph)
Range2,400 nmi (4,400 km; 2,800 mi) at 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph)

The Momo-class destroyer (桃型駆逐艦, Momogata kuchikukan) consisted of four destroyers built for the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War I. As with the previous Kaba class, all were named after trees.


The Momo-class destroyers were designed as part of the first phase of the Hachi-Hachi Kantai program of the Imperial Japanese Navy, at the same time as the large Isokaze class. With the commissioning of the new high speed battleships Yamashiro and Ise, escort vessels with equally high speed and blue ocean capabilities were required. However, the Japanese Navy could not afford to build many large destroyers, so it was decided to split production between large "1st-class destroyers" (i.e. the Isokaze class) and new medium-sized "2nd class destroyers" (i.e. the Momo class).

Four vessels were built under the fiscal 1915 budget, with the order split between Maizuru Naval Arsenal and Sasebo Naval Arsenal.[1]


The Momo-class ships were a scaled-down version of the Isokaze class and retained many of the innovations introduced by that class: curved, rather than straight bow, torpedo tubes, geared turbines, and a single-caliber main battery.

Internally, the engines were heavy fuel oil-fired steam turbine engines. Two vessels (Hinoki and Yanagi) used Brown-Curtis turbine engines, and the other two (Momo and Kashi) used Japanese-designed geared turbine engines. The smaller engines gave a smaller rated power of 16,700 shp, which allowed only for a speed of 31.5 knots (58.3 km/h), and limited range due to high fuel consumption.

Armament was slightly less than the Isokaze class, with three instead of four QF 4.7 inch Gun Mk I - IV guns, pedestal mounted along the centerline of the vessel, front, mid-ship and to the stern. The number of torpedoes was the same as the Isokaze (i.e. two triple launchers).

Operational history

The Momo-class destroyers were completed in time to serve in the very final stages of World War I. As the Japanese 15th Destroyer Flotilla under the cruiser Izumo, they were based at Malta from August 1917.[2] The Japanese fleet was nominally independent, but carried out operations under the direction of the Royal Navy command on Malta, primarily in escort operations for transport and troopship convoys and in anti-submarine warfare operations against German U-boats in the Mediterranean.[3]

Kashi was transferred to the Manchukuo Imperial Navy on 1 May 1937 and was renamed Hai Wei.[4] However, on 6 June 1942, Hai Wei was transferred back to the Imperial Japanese Navy, and reclassified as the auxiliary escort Kari. The ship fought in World War II, and was sunk by United States Navy aircraft from TF38 off of Okinawa on 10 October 1944.[5]

The remaining three vessels were retired on 1 April 1940 and broken up, except for Yanagi, which was retained as a training hulk until 1947. Yanagi's hull was eventually used as part of the breakwater at Kitakyushu alongside the Suzutsuki. The remains are still visible at 33°55′48.6″N 130°49′19.9″E / 33.930167°N 130.822194°E / 33.930167; 130.822194.


Construction data
Kanji Name Translation Builder Laid down Launched Completed Fate
Momo Peach Tree Sasebo Naval Arsenal 28 February 1916 12 October 1916 23 December 1916 Scrapped, 1 April 1940

Kashi Evergreen Oak Tree Maizuru Naval Arsenal 15 March 1916 1 December 1916 31 March 1917 Transferred to Manchukuo, 1 May 1937, as Hai Wei
Returned to IJN, 29 June 1942, as Kaii, sunk by air attack off Okinawa, 10 October 1944
Hinoki Japanese Cypress Tree Maizuru Naval Arsenal 5 May 1916 25 December 1916 31 March 1917 Scrapped, 1 May 1940
Yanagi Willow Tree Sasebo Naval Arsenal 21 October 1916 24 February 1917 5 May 1917 Retired, 1 May 1940; training hulk to 1 April 1947

In film

In the 1958 World War II film Run Silent, Run Deep, Clark Gable's character is obsessed with sinking what he refers to as an "Akikaze"-class destroyer. To test his radically aggressive head-on "down the throat" attack plan, he first engages one of the smaller "Momo"-class destroyers. His completely unconventional attack works and he sinks the destroyer. Having proven the viability of his tactic, he then attacks a larger and far more dangerous destroyer that he calls an "Akikaze"-class destroyer. He believes it is the ship that claimed his previous submarine and four others. In reality the destroyer "Akikaze" was one of 16 "Minekaze"-class destroyers. There was no "Akikaze" class, although it is referred to as if "Akikaze" were the name of the class throughout the movie. The actual "Minekaze" class of which the real "Akikaze" was a member is never mentioned.



  1. ^ Howarth, The Fighting Ships of the Rising Sun
  2. ^ http://www.naval-history.net/WW1NavyJapanese.htm
  3. ^ Halpern, Paul G (1994). A Naval History of World War I. Routledge. p. 393. ISBN 1-85728-498-4.
  4. ^ http://www.battleships-cruisers.co.uk/japanese_destroyers.htm
  5. ^ http://www.battleships-cruisers.co.uk/japanese_destroyers.htm


  • Evans, David (1997). 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.
  • Jentsura, Hansgeorg (1976). Warships of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1869-1945. US Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-893-X.

External links

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