Captains, a brand new vessel is being launched from the drydock to join the ranks of the Imperial Japanese Navy – the Yūgumo class destroyer is making its way to the naval battlefields of War Thunder in one of the upcoming test sessions!
In the mid 1930s, Japan started devoting more time and resources into further developing and expanding its navy. During this process, construction of light units such as PT-boats and destroyers, was emphasized as these units would form the backbone of the Imperial Japanese Navy. Part of the efforts to increase the size of the navy were a set of requirements issued by the Japanese admiralty that intended to standardize the development of destroyers. These requirements called for all future destroyers to have a top speed of at least 36 knots and a range of 5000 nautical miles at 18 knots. Furthermore, the dimensions of future designs are not to exceed the size of the Fubuki class destroyer.
The first class that was following these new requirements was the Kagerō class. However, as the first ships of that class were being built, a follow-up design was already in the works that closely matched the specified requirements and performed better than the Kagerō – the Yūgumo class. This class, which the Japanese designated as Type-A destroyers, differed from the Kagerō class by a slight increase in dimensions, some structural differences and improved anti-aircraft capabilities.
The new design adopted a new, more efficient propellor design, which required the aft end of the ship to be elongated by 0.8m. Among other tweaks, the bridge was reshaped to lessen wind resistance and the six 127mm dual purpose cannons were fitted into the new Type D turret which allowed the guns to be elevated up to 75 degrees, making them better suited for anti-air duties.
The lead ship of the class, Yūgumo, whilst being used extensively throughout the war, rarely ever engaged in proper combat. Her routine missions usually revolved around escorting large task forces or transporting troops. The first proper taste of combat would also be her last. In October 1943, whilst being involved in evacuation operations around the Solomon Islands, Yūgumo was engaged by a small US task force. After managing to sink one US destroyer, the ship’s fate was ultimately sealed after taking heavy damage from gun fire and a subsequent torpedo hit.
A total of 19 Yūgumo class destroyers were built. 12 of which were built in 1939 with the remaining 7 being completed in 1941. All 19 ships were sunk in combat during their operational service in WW2.
Fortunately for our own aspiring naval commanders, Yūgumo will take on a much more central role in the naval engagements of War Thunder. Yūgumo class destroyers cover distances slower compared to other nation’s counterparts, but compensate for that by having a relatively low silhouette and a vast array of weaponry, making versatility one of its main attributes. Two turbines, powered by three steam boilers, produce 52,000 horsepower, which in turn allow the Yūgumo to reach a top speed of 35 knots (65 km/h). Yūgumo’s crew consists of 228 sailors, including officers, most of which are manning the various weapon systems on deck. This wide selection of weapons will surely provide Yūgumo’s captains with a plethora of options and opportunities when it comes to deciding which targets to engage. The primary armament consists of six 127mm cannons fitted in dual mounts, one on the bow and two on the stern of the ship. These cannons can both be used against enemy vessels as well as enemy aircraft, thanks to their dual purpose nature. Yūgumo also possesses two quad 610mm torpedo launchers which can fire off to either to either side of the ship, thanks to their convenient placement mid-ships. Besides all of this, Yūgumo also has four 25mm anti-air cannons and 18 depth charges at its disposal for those unexpected close encounters.
Captains of the Yūgumo will require a great deal of flexibility and awareness in combat as they will be taking on a supportive role both in offensive and defensive operations. Whilst using the Yūgumo, players should be focused on supporting their allies at all times as performing “lone wolf” actions will likely result in a quick and sudden one way trip to the bottom of the ocean. Provide artillery support during gun fights and cover your allies, block off choke points with a torpedo salvo if the enemy is breaking through, or make the most out of your dual purpose cannons by keeping the sky clear of enemy aircraft. Yūgumo captains are sure to have their hands full during a fight, think you’re up to the task commander?