As an island nation, it behooved Japanese warplanners to embark upon a massive naval-building campaign in the run up to World War 2. Ordered in 1937, Isokaze was one of the nineteen-strong destroyers of the Kagero-class serving the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN). Her keel waslaid down on November 25th, 1938 and she was officially launched on June 19th, 1939. Commissioned on November 30th, 1940, Isokaze managed a wartime service career up to the end of the fighting in 1945 - though she was heavily damaged before being scuttled during the IJN Yamato's suicide mission against the Americans at Okinawa on April 7th, 1945.
As completed, the vessel displaced 2,530 tons (short) and was given a length of 388.8 feet, a beam of 35.4 feet, and a draught of 12.5 feet. Her machinery included two steam turbines developing 52,000 horsepower and driving two shafts. This made the Isokaze a fast warship, capable of 35 knot speeds in ideal conditions - a key quality for destroyer types. Her full complement numbered 239 officers and sailors and her profile included a turret over the forecastle, a bridge superstructure just aft of the turret, an in line pair of smoke funnels near amidships, and additional turrets fitted towards the stern. A long and slender vessel, Isokaze held a rather low profile which helped her blend in well along the horizon.
At the heart of every destroyer was its armament suite. However, destroyers also required speed to be wholly effective which limited the caliber of arms fitted. Her main battery was still rather formidable, made up of 6 x 5" (127mm) guns which allowed lethal broadsides as well as attack angles from over the bow and the stern (lethality here to a lesser degree). She was defensed by 28 x 25mm anti-aircraft cannons while extreme-close-in work was handled through 4 x 13mm heavy machine guns. Like other surface fighting warships of the period, Isokaze was also outfitted with torpedo tubes, these being 8 x 24" (610mm) installations, a larger type compared to the typical 21"/533mm tubes found on other vessels of the war. Isokaze could also take on a convoy protection / submarine hunter role by carrying 36 depth charges into battle.
Put to sea without sonar or radar held the Isokaze and her class at a clear disadvantage against the British and the American warships operating in the Pacific Theater. Regardless, the class found a good level of success through their perfect combination of speed and firepower. Their hulls were well-designed for the rigors of rough seas travel and range proved impressive, allowing her to keep up with far-reaching patrols against marauding enemy submarines.
Isokaze managed a wartime career from its early days until its final few months. On April of 1945, she was part of the escorting flotilla assigned to protect IJN Yamato on its suicidal run towards Okinawa. Spotted by the Americans, the group was attacked by air elements of Task Force 58 with Isokaze receiving irreparable damage. The vessel was scuttled and her participation in the grand war forever ended. Yamato herself never reached her designation either, sunk on the same day by American aircraft.
In a telling statistic of the Allied ferocity and operating prowess in the Pacific Theater, all but one of the nineteen Kagero-class ships survived the war. The only surviving vessel became IJN Yukikaze which then went on to serve the nation of Taiwan until decommissioned in 1966.
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Offshore bombardment / attack of surface targets / areas primarily through onboard ballistic weaponry.
Offshore strike of surface targets primarily through onboard missile / rocket weaponry.
Active patroling of vital waterways and maritime areas; can also serve as local deterrence against airborne and seaborne threats.
✓Airspace Denial / Deterrence
Neutralization or deterrence of airborne elements through onboard ballistic of missile weaponry.
Serving in support (either firepower or material) of the main surface fleet in Blue Water environments.
388.8 ft 118.51 m
35.4 ft 10.79 m
12.5 ft 3.81 m
2 x Steam turbines developing 52,000 horsepower to 2 x shafts.
35.0 kts (40.3 mph)
5,001 nm (5,755 mi | 9,262 km)
6 x 5" (127mm) /50 caliber Dual-Purpose (DP) guns
28 x 25mm Anti-Aircraft Cannons
4 x 13mm Anti-Aircraft Heavy Machine Guns
8 x 24" (610mm) torpedo tubes
36 x Depth Charges
(Not all weapon types may be represented in the showcase above)
Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective naval campaigns / operations / periods.
The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com.
Part of a network of sites that includes GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world, WDMMA.org, the World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft, and SR71blackbird.org, detailing the history of the world's most iconic spyplane.