Fubuki class Special Destroyers

The Fubukis were the first of the Japanese super destroyers which overlooked treaty tonnage limits and had devastating armaments. Not only were their six 5" guns devastating -- according to Whitley's book (Destroyers of World War II, published by the U.S. Naval Institute Press), the ships after the first 10 had dual purpose (antiship/antiaircraft) guns -- but they carried no less than nine 24" torpedo tubes, which could be reloaded.

The fabled "Long Lance" torpedo had an exceptionally long range and powerful warhead. The brilliant Japanese had solved the engineering problem of how to make and use oxygen-driven torpedoes (without them blowing up), just like they would later solve the problem of aerially launching torpedoes in shallow water ... like Pearl Harbor. Moreover, they had the best night optics of the war and rigorously trained in combat-like conditions.
Prewar Japanese fleet doctrine envisioned flotillas of these destroyers unleashing shoals of these torpedoes at long range against our slow-moving line of old battleships. Then their own battleline would close for the kill. However, greatly increased speeds meant longrange firings could widely miss their targets, as I have discovered using my own "Naval Action" naval miniatures/models wargame rules.
Anyway, until we had properly functioning torpedoes and reliable radar (and had learned how to use them ... sometime in 1943 ...) Japanese destroyers owned the night, as exemplified by the Battle of Tassafaronga in late November 1942, wherein Japanese destroyers devastated our cruiser battleline, sinking the Northampton.

However, their slim designs made them vulnerable to torpedoes themselves, and the oxygen torpedoes could be highly explosive if their destroyer was heavily hit.

Fubuki's own career was somewhat checquered. Responsible for defending the transports in Sunda Strait at the west end of Java, the night of Feb/Mar42, it was surprised and knocked aside by Allied cruisers USS Houston and HMAS Perth. It then fired torpedoes at them which missed. (If Houston and Perth had laid smoke against the Japanese warships outside the mouths of strait and gone back for the transports, there might have been a massacre of ships and troops that would have crippled further Japanese expansion, and they then might have escaped in the panic and confusion. Instead, they sailed on through and out to be accosted and sunk by heavy cruisers Mikuma and Mogami.)
It should be remembered that Houston's aft turret had been previously destroyed, because her captain had thought radical evasive maneuvering was unnecessary against horizontal bombers and that, after the Battle of the Java Sea, she had only 20 shells per 8" gun left at the start of this battle.
However, sustained fire from her galleries of 5" secondary guns could have been lethal against the heavily and explosively laden transports full if Imperial troops.

And here are the sides for a 2-D model of the Fubuki class destroyers:

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21May09