IJN Destroyer Shimakaze: high-speed steam engine


IJN Destroyer Shimakaze: experimental high-speed steam engine

 

Imperial Japanese Navy Destroyer Shimakaze

Imperial Japanese Navy Destroyer Shimakaze

 

The Shimakaze was a powerful and experimental destroyer of the Imperial Japanese Navy. More unit, a total of 32 were planned to equip four squadron destroyer with 8 units each one. However, the limitations of industry power as well as the fact that this destroyer needed a high-pressure steam engine, which was experimental, made impossible to construct more units.

The Shimakaze name means “Island Wind”  and it is also consider as the most powerful super-destroyer built for the Imperial Japanese Navy during Pacific War.

The surface armament included six 127 mm (5.0 in) dual-purpose guns. She also had conventional anti-aircraft and anti-submarine weaponry.  She had a unique weapon feature in the IJN because the Shimakaze was the only Japanese destroyer to be armed with 15 torpedo tubes, each capable of firing the deadly 610 mm (24 in) Type 93 “Long Lance” torpedo.

The speed was also one of the great features of this ship. She received the installation of  an enormously powerful, high-temperature, high-pressure steam engine that was able to develop 79,240 shp (59,090 kW).

Using the high-pressure steam engine she did not only become the fastest warship in IJN but also in the World.  Indeed, the design indicated that she could make a speed of 39 kn (72 km/h; 45 mph), but on trials she made 40.9 kn (75.7 km/h; 47.1 mph). An impressive score.

She was ordered in 1939,  laid down in Maizuru Naval Arsenal in August 1941 and completed on 10 May 1943.  On 11 November 1944 during the Battle of Ormoc Bay, and when she was serving as the flagship of Destroyer Squadron 2 under the command of Rear Admiral Mikio Hayakawa, she was attacked and sunk by American aircraft from Task Force 38.

 

Class and type: none
Type: Destroyer
Displacement:
  • 2,570 long tons (2,610 t) (standard)
  • 3,300 long tons (3,400 t) (full load)
Length:
  • 129.5 m (424 ft 10 in) o/a
  • 126 m (413 ft 5 in) w/l
Beam: 11.2 m (36 ft 9 in)
Draft: 4.15 m (13 ft 7 in)
Installed power: 75,000 shp (56,000 kW)
Propulsion:
  • 2 × Kampon impulse geared steam turbines
  • 3 × Kampon water-tube boilers
  • 2 × shafts
Speed: 40.9 kn (75.7 km/h; 47.1 mph)
Range: 6,000 nmi (11,000 km; 6,900 mi) at 18 kn (33 km/h; 21 mph)
Complement: 267 (May 1943)
Armament:
  • As Built: 6 × 127 mm (5 in)/50 cal 12.7 cm/50 Type 3 dual-purpose guns (3×2)
  • 6 × 25 mm (1 in) Type 96 25mm anti-aircraft guns (2×3)
  • 2 × 13.2 mm (0.52 in) anti-aircraft machine guns (1×2)
  • 15 × 610 mm (24 in) torpedo tubes (3×5)
  • 18 depth charges
  • Early 1944 Refit: 4 × 127 mm (5 in)/50 cal dual purpose guns (2×2)
  • 16 × 25 mm (1 in) anti-aircraft guns (4×3, 2×2) (increased in June to 28)
  • 15 × 610 mm (24 in) torpedo tubes (3×5)
  • 36 depth charges


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