While sorting some troubleshooting regarding the last of the four Kongo Class ships (kongo herself) I somehow ended going through a major update of ony of my earliest, and still among my personal favourite, drawings: The Akizuki Class.
Akizuki as of 1942:
Lead ship of her class, Akizuki was commissioned in June 1942. She was the first IJN destroyer to rely more on her guns instead of her torpedoes and among the last IJN destroyers completed still sporting the name painted in kanji on the hull sides (painted over within the end of the year).
Akizuki as of 1944:
Akizuki recieved her first refit -to beef up the anti-air suite- in November/December 1942. On January 19th 1943 Akizuki is torpedoed by the USS Nautilus and heavily damaged. a series of repairs done at Truk first and Sasebo later took place between January and October. During work, the anti-air suite is increased to five triple and twelve single 25mm machine guns. Type13 and Type21 air-search radars are fitted.
Akizuki was sunk on October 25 1944 during the Battle of Cape Engano. Either hit by a bomb or a torpedo at midship she breaks in half and sinks with 183 of the crew.
Hatsuzuki as of 1943:
Hatsuzuki, commisioned in late December 1942, was among the first IJN ships to be commissioned with a radar suite (a Type21 air search set). During the conflict, she assisted the heavily damaged Suzutsuki in January 1944 and helped rescuing Taiho's survivors during the Battle of the Phillippine sea.
On October 25 1944 Hatsuzuki took part in the Battle of Cape Engano, later helping in the rescue of Zuikaku's survivors. While attempting to look for survivors from Chiyoda, Hatsuzuki, along with cruiser Isuzu and destroyer Wakatsuki, was suprised by a large US surface force comprised by four cruisers and fifteen destroyers. Under orders from her skipper, Amano Shigetaka, Hatsuzuki deliberately charged the incoming enemy ships in the attempt to divert attention and give the other ships (and the rest of the Japanese fleet further north) a chance to escape. During the two-hour-long fierce, but one sided, battle Hatsuzuki suffered mutiple gunfire and torpedo hits (official US logs report over 2.500 shells expended by the cruisers alone) leading to her eventual sinking at 20:58 in the evening. Her diversion and sacrifice allowed the rest of the Japanese surviving ships to escape. Eight of Hatsuzuki's crew (plus 17 survivors from Zuikaku) endured a 21-day drift towards Formosa (Taiwan) before being rescued. The rest of the crew was lost.
Suzutsuki as of 1945:
Suzutsuki was commissioned in December 1942 and spent a relatively uneventful escort role until January 16 1944 when she was torpedoed by the USS Sturgeon. Two torpedo hits blew off the entire bow and a part of the stern, shearing off or flooding more than half of the entire ship. Towed to Kure by Hatsuzuki, Suzutsuki was repaired and returned to service on October 12. Just four days later she was torpedoed again -by USS Besugo-, losing part of the bow forward of the first gun mount. Repairs lasted until mid November. Suzutsuki then took part in Operation Ten-Go on April 7 1945, escorting Yamato towards Okinawa. In the subsequent US air attack she suffered a direct hit on the bow, roughly in the same spot she had been damaged twice earlier, knocking out of action both forward turrets and nearly breaking the ship in two once again. Suzutsuki eventually managed to reach Sasebo under her own power by steaming in reverse all the way. Following makeshift repairs, she was used as a floating anti-air battery until the end of the war and ultimately decommissioned in November 1945. She then uncerimoniously acted as a temporary breakwater before being broken up for scratch.
Fuyutsuki as of 1944:
Fuyutsuki was the first of the namesake subclass of the Akizuki. In order to speed up construction the design of the ships was modified: The bow line straightened, the three-dimentional air intakes for the boiler replaced by two-dimensional ones, the aft deckhouse abaft the torpedo reloads removed, and the part retained simplified in shape. The number of portholes was reduced. Also the bridge structure was more squared (and larger) in the back, in order to house the radar rooms for the Type21 set. Fuyutsuki was commissioned in late May 1944.
Fuyutsuki as of1945:
On October 12 1944 Fuyutsuki was torpedoed and damaged by the US submarine Trepang. Repairs lasted until alte november. During the works the radar suite was modified. The Type21 set was removed and replaced by two Type13 air search and one Type22 surface search ones. Anti-aircraft armament was increased to reach seven triples and eighteen single 25mm machine guns. On April 7 1945, Fuyutsuki took part in Operation Ten-Go, escorting Yamato towards Okinawa. Recieving only light damage, she rescued survivors from Kasumi before scuttling her. She ultimately lost her stern after hitting a mine in late August 1945, just before the end of the war. Used as a temporary breakwater she was ultimately scrapped after November 1945.
Harutsuki as of 1945:
Completed in late December 1944, Harutsuki acted as a training vessel until March 1945, acting as an escort until the end of the war. Decommissioned in October, she was used as a repatriation vessel until August 1947 when turned over to the soviet Union. She was used as a training vessel, target ship and floating barracks until 1969 when finally scrapped.
Hanazuki as of 1945:
Hanazuki was the first, and only one to be completed, of another subclass of the Akizuki. She was of an even more simplified design to speed up her construction even more than that of the Fuyutsuki subclass ships. She was commissioned in December 1944 after only 10 months of construction, and acted as a training vessel until March 1945. On april 6 she escorted Yamato and her fleet, bound to Okinawa for Operation Ten-Go from Tokuyama to Bungo Strait before returning to the Inland Sea. surrendered undamaged, she was Decommissioned in October 1945, turned over to the United States in June 1947 (and renamed DD-934) before being ultimately sunk as target off the goto islands in February 1948.
Here the original