Imperial Japanese Navy Destroyers 1919–45 (1): Minekaze to Shiratsuyu Classes (New Vanguard) (Paperback)

During the Pacific War, arguably the most successful component of the Imperial Japanese Fleet was its destroyer force. These ships were generally larger than their Allied counterparts and were better armed in most cases. Armed with a large, long-range torpedo (eventually called Long Lance by the Allies), these ships proved themselves as formidable opponents. In the first part of the war, Japanese destroyers were instrumental in an unbroken string of Japanese victories. However, it was not until the Guadalcanal campaign that these ships fully demonstrated their power. In a series of night actions, these ships devastated Allied task forces with a number of daring night attacks using their deadly torpedoes.

This volume will detail the history, weapons and tactics of the Japanese destroyers built before the war. This includes the famous Fubuki class (called "Special Type" by the Japanese, which were, when completed in the late 1920's, the most powerful class of destroyers in the world. This design forced all other major navies to follow suite and provided the basic design for the next many classes of Imperial Navy destroyers. This book will also cover the three classes built before the Special Type which were based on a German World War I design as well as two classes built after the advent of the Special Type. All of these ships had a rich history as they fought from the first battles of the Pacific War up until the very end when several accompanied the superbattleship Yamato on her death sortie.

The final part of the book will be an analysis of the destroyer designs covered in the book which will include an examination of their strengths and weaknesses. The success (or lack of success) of these designs will be discussed and they will be compared to comparable Allied destroyer designs.

Mark Stille is the author of numerous Osprey titles focusing on naval history in the Pacific. He recently concluded a nearly 40-year career in the intelligence community, including tours on the faculty of the Naval War College, on the Joint Staff and on US Navy ships. He received his BA in History from the University of Maryland and also holds an MA from the Naval War College.

Paul Wright has painted ships of all kinds for most of his career, specializing in steel and steam warships from the late 19th century to the present day. Paul's art has illustrated the works of Patrick O'Brian, Dudley Pope and C.S. Forester amongst others, and hangs in many corporate and private collections all over the world. A Member of the Royal Society of Marine Artists, Paul lives and works in Surrey.
Product Details ISBN: 9781849089845
ISBN-10: 1849089841
Publisher: Osprey Publishing
Publication Date: March 19th, 2013
Pages: 48
Language: English
Series: New Vanguard

“This handy handbook perfectly complements Osprey's two-volume set on US World War II destroyers -- New Vanguard 162 and 165.  And I eagerly await Stille's sequel.” —David L. Veres, (July 2013)

“This book covers the various classes from Minikaze through Shiratsuyu and include the Kamikaze, Mitsuk, Fubuki, Akatsuke, and Hatsuharu builds. Each ship class is described and a brief history of each ship in the class is provided, including its eventual fate. This is further enhanced by at least one well done photo of each class as well as the art work of Paul Wright showing some of these ships in action. It all makes for an excellent primer on these ships and is a book that every nautical enthusiast has to have on their shelves. Most highly recommended.” —Scott Van Aken, Modeling Madness (April 2013)