Old Wakatake and Minekaze class Destroyers

Although old and weaker-armed in comparison to the newer Japanese fleet -- or "special" -- destroyers, these ships could still pack a deadly punch: even the 21" Japanese torpedoes were lethal. After the war began, the need for antisubmarine escorts became acute, and many of these ships had their torpedo armaments reduced to make way for more depth charges and antiaircraft guns. Toward the end of the war, some of them were converted into Kaiten -- suicide submarine torpedo -- carriers.

There were later, prewar classes in the same configuration, but somewhat larger and packing the 24" "Long Lance" torpedoes, like the Mutsuki.

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30Apr09