it certainly has been a long time since I've updated this thread, and today I bring you the largest post that I've ever written at a grand total of 3198 words, it certainly is quite the whopper and hopefully you will enjoy it
Munguro class Destroyer leaders
Developed after the conclusion of the First World War, the Munguro class was the Zipang navy's latest generation of Destroyer leaders, the class was designed to replace the wartime built Destroyer leaders and pre-war Destroyer leaders classes, like their smaller Tsuta Class cousins Incorporated many lessons learnt from the First World War, with the biggest one being the change to to a much harder hitting weapon than me standard 100mm gun that have been used on previous Zipang Destroyer classes, another element that set the Munguros apart from their predecessors, was the reduction in torpedo armament, from two twin torpedo launchers to just one
Displacement: 1,701 tonnes standard
Dimensions: 355ft x 25ft x 12ft
Machinery: 2-shaft geared turbines, 6 water tube boiler, 35,500 shp
Speed: 38 knts
Endurance: 6,000 nautical miles at 10 knots
Armor: 25mm splinter protection
Armament: Munguro as Commissioned: 1923
1x4 12cm Type-22
1x2 60cm Type-18 torpedo tubes
2x1 12.7mm Machine Guns
Armament: Munguro as Decommissioned: 1948
1x4 12cm Type 22 Mod 4
2x8 3cm Type 28 Mod 3,4,6 autocannons
1x20 2cm Type 31 Mod 2,4 autocannons
Commissioned in the winter of 1923, Munaguro for her time was the most powerful destroyer size vessel in all of Asia, and in many areas far out succeeded her Japanese contemporaries. Much like her smaller Tsuta Class cousins, many design lessons that were learnt throughout the course of the First World War were implemented. Most notably were the lessons learned from the Battle of Jutland, which was an eye-opener for the Zipang Admiralty in regards to destroyer design. Of particular note, there was the lackluster performance of the Type 5 100mm gun - which had been the standard light weapon on all Zipang warships from 1905 onwards - and as a result, the Zipang destroyer performance during the Battle of Jutland suffered compared to their British contemporaries. Yet, the one area that the Zipang destroyers excelled in over their British counterparts was the torpedo armament. Where the destroyer Hamakaze (DD-25), been credited with sinking the German battleship SMS Prinzregent Luitpold. Thus proving in the eyes of the Admiralty, the viability of destroyer torpedo attacks against larger targets such as battleships and cruisers, as well as vindicating the navy's destroyer doctrine.
A further five members of the class would join the Navy, from 1923 onwards, with at least one of them being assigned to each destroyer squadron. But, they would later be replaced in their role in the late 1920s as destroyer flotilla leaders by the new and much more powerful Haku-sekirei destroyer leaders. As a result, they would be re-incorporated into the squadrons as regular members instead of flotilla leaders, and often delegated to lead smaller sub-portions of the squadron. Going into the early 1930s with the rising tensions between Japan and Zipang, meant that the Munaguro class began to see much more active use, due to their large size and range, which meant the class could patrol a much larger area than other contemporary destroyers, while fulfilling a multitude of roles
on the 4th of September 1934 Munguro along with the first and second Destroyer Squadron were at anchor Tajima Bay being prepared for a large-scale exercise that was planned to take place on the early morning of the 6th of September, for the exercise Munguro was placed in temporary command of both the first and second Destroyer Squadron due to both Haku-sekirei and Amatsubamé having to be repaired, due to a collision that had happened the previous week, however some very distressing news was announced over the radio, this news was that a Zipang light Cruiser had been fired upon by a Japanese Cruiser without any prior provocation, as a result the Zipang Cruiser had no choice but to fire back in self defence, of course such a news was very disconcerting to the crew of the ships, however over the next 24-hours the situation between the Zipang and Japanese governments would deteriorate rapidly, with Japan ultimately declaring war with the justification being that a Zipang naval vessel had unjustly fired upon a Japanese vessel without any provocation, even though the incident have been the other way around, this made it clear to the Zipang government, that the Japanese were using any flimsy excuse to declare war, which meant that the incident that had transpired a day before had most likely been premeditated and not an accident as originally thought, with the state of war being declared, the Zipang armed forces were placed on high alert and prepared for the defence of their home, the Japanese wasting no time quickly launching rais on coastal cities and sea ports,and as well as striking merchant shipping, one particular incident was the sinking ocean liner SS Musashi the 10th of September.
over the next couple weeks the 1st 2nd and 6th Destroyer Squadron would partake would partake in many skirmishes with Japanese units with the goal of disrupting Japanese operations around the northern tip of Zipang Island chain, however these operations would prove unsuccessful with the first and second Destroyer Squadron suffering heavy casualties of particular note was November the 2nd, where the first Destroyer Squadron try to intercept a Japanese task force consisting of the Japanese light carrier ryujo and several escorts including the newly commissioned to heavy cruiser Takao, the operation would be unsuccessful with the carrier management to escape with only minor damage, and with the first Destroyer Squadron losing 3 destroyers to enemy fire and a further 3 having to be scuttled after the battle due to severe damage, throughout the latter half of October the first and second Destroyer Squadrons would continue unsuccessfully try and counter counter Japanese movements and operations around the coast, however on the 21st of October the first Destroyer Squadron would be sent to intercept what was thought to be a small convoy, however the Intelligence had been wrong and it turned out that the convoy was actually a full-scale invasion fleet consisting of large Japanese surface combatants as well as a sizable invasion fleet, as a result of being drastically outnumbered and outgunned, the first Destroyer Squadron suffered heavy casualties and would almost be completely decimated by the Japanese force resulting in almost the complete annihilation of the Squadron, this leaving only 4 ships to escape the battle, the remains of the first Destroyer Squadron would be incorporated into the combined Fleet, and would partake in the final major surface battle of the war, on the 5th of November 1934
after the surrender of the Zipang Armed Forces on November 9th, the surviving members of the Munguro class, would fall under Japanese control with them being interred at Yokosuka naval Arsenal along with many other Zipang naval vessels, due to suffering little damage in the conflict Daizen and Komadori would immediately be put back into service with the reform first Destroyer Squadron, while Mozu and Munguro took much longer to be put back into service due to heavy damage that was sustained during the final fleet engagement between the Japanese and Zipang navis, going into the latter half of the 1930s the remaining Munguro class would be shuffled around between various Destroyer Squadrons both in the imperial Japanese Navy and people's Zipang navy, the remaining members will also receive minor refits starting in 1937, this refit entail the complete removal of the twin torpedo launcher from behind number 3 funnel and it being replaced with 2 twin type 25 30 mm anti aircraft guns, another edition was the addition of a rangefinder/director hybrid mounted atop the superstructure, although most of the class only received 1 rangefinder/director hybrid unit, Mozu became identifiable from her sisters, for the fact that she had a second unit mounted atop her rear most superstructure, unlike the rest of her Sisters.
With Japan prepared for its Conquest of the Pacific, Zipang ships began to see much more active service alongside their Japanese counterparts in various parts of the Pacific, the Munguro's despite their age, were still considered Frontline units and therefore would seem much more active service then destroyers of a similar vintage such as the Tsuta which by this point had been relegated to harbour defence and convoy escort duty. With Japan signing of the axis pact in 1940, and it's continuous expansion in the Pacific, in August of 1940 Munguro and Mozu were reassigned from the first Destroyer Squadron the Japanese maybes first carrier division, forming part of the escort for the akagi and kaga, alongside the newly rebuilt battleship Kazusa , they would remain as part of the Escort for the first carrier division going into 1941 and the attack on Pearl Harbour.
With Japan's attack on Hawaii and the start of the Pacific War, the remaining Munguro class members would prove their worth 1941 and early 1942, however starting in 1942 their luck would change, on May 4th after the successful capture of Tulagi Island, the fleet would come under attack from American torpedo bombers from the USS Yorktown, Daizen would be hit by one torpedo and two 500lb bomb, along with the Japanese destroyer Kikuzuki, Daizen would sink in the shallow water of the bay with her upper superstructure still visible above the water, on the 7th of May Munguro would suffer damage from a single 500lb bomb while trying to protect the Japanese carrier Shōhō, Munguro even in a damaged state, would manage to recover some survivors from the doomed Japanese carrier before retreating from the area with the Japanese destroyer Sazanami.
Munguro would return to Zipang on the 20th of May and undergoing repairs and a minor refit before being deployed and joining the Japanese first carrier division in preparation for operation MI in June 1942, to bolster the escort fleet for the Japanese carriers, several Zipang destroyers alongside Munguro and Mozu were assigned to both the first and second carrier divisions, with the centerpiece of the escort fleet from the first carrier division being the battleship Kazusa, during the battle Munguro would be credited with shutting down one B26 and one TBF Avenger, but would also sustained minor damage from a near miss from a B26, as the battle turned in the Americans favour, the first carrier division would come under heavy air attack, Mozu would be hit by one torpedo from a TBF Avenger causing her to slow and fall out of formation, the Japanese carriers and Kazusa would suffer heavy damage from us aircraft, however for some reason the American aircraft seem to target the battleship rather than the carriers, this would prove fatal for the Zipang battleship, however this would allow the Japanese carriers and their decimated escort Fleet to escape, however the Japanese Second carrier division wouldn't be so lucky with Soryū being sunk by American aircraft and Hiryū having to be scuttled on the early morning of the 5th due to serious damage
As a result of Japan's defeat at the Battle of Midway and the tide of the war beginning to turning the Americans favour, many resistance groups that have been around since Zipang's capitulation in 1934, began to organise themselves into a much larger resistance Force against the Japanese,, in the past the Japanese secret police had been successful in weeding out supporters of this resistance movement and eliminating sympathisers that still remain in the armed forces and the government, however much to their dismay resistance movement to continue to grow and the attacks on Japanese operated bases and infrastructure continued almost unabated, another problem that the Japanese occupiers had to deal with was the growing civil unrest amongst the public, with the majority of the public growing sick and tired of a war, oppression under the Japanese puppet government, this sentiment also extended to much of the armed forces, starting in 1943 will be the first of many large-scale riots across the entirety of the involving both military and civilian personnel and will only continue to grow larger from out the rest of 1943, the Crackdown on these riots would only further aggravate the populace and in Boldon the resistance movements, and eventually things would come to a head on the 16th of February 1944 when a large-scale riot in the city of Heguri, quickly grew out of control to the point where the police were completely overrun, as a result Japanese officials called in the army to help with the riots however the soldiers and The Superior officer in charge outright refused to fire upon their own citizens, eventually leading to the Garrison of troops joining the riots and helping the rioters to siege the City Hall, the riots will continue to grow out of control in the city the to the point where several Japanese ships that were stationed in Heguri naval Arsenal what order to open fire on the city, however much of the naval Arsenal and the crews of the ships that were stationed there also turned on the Japanese firing upon the Japanese vessels to disarm them and then eventually boarding them and capturing them, Munguro and Komadori had both been damaged earlier in the month and were undergoing repairs at the naval base at time, so there cruise along with many others ended up joining in the riots and helped resistance forces catch of the Japanese battleship Nagato and the Destroyer Hamakaze.
Going into early 1944 with the control of the Japanese beginning to slip, Munguro and a handful of other ships would be the first to openly operate with the resistance, however this number would quickly grow over the following weeks and months as many Zipang ships would return to Zipang, to some coming as Japanese reinforcement only to mutiny as soon as they arrived, while others are simply simply broke free of their units and sailed back to under their own volition, in July 1944 began to make contact with the allied powers particularly the US and Britain, who although hesitant at first, realised that this would be a perfect opportunity in the war against Japan, as a result several resistance ships managed to make it past the Japanese blockade and out into the Pacific Ocean heading for Hawaii, one of the battleships was the leaders of the resistance and the last president of Zipang before the Japanese takeover in 1934, the ships arrived at Hawaii too much suspicion on the 31st of July play for the following days take place between president Franklin D Roosevelt and sir Prime Minister Winston Churchill, considering Britain's historic relationship with Zipang, Churchill was quick to behest their admission into the allied powers, however Roosevelt was much slower the trust, but he would eventually be convinced and so on the 6th of August 1944 the free Zipang resistance under the leadership of gendo kinugasa officially became part of the allies.
throughout the rest of August and September the free Zipang resistance continued to push back the Japanese forces and the few loyalists that supported them, eventually culminating in the Battle of Tajima the final battle and between the remaining Japanese forces and the free Zipang resistance, although the US and Britain they would pledge their support other than few ships and aircraft there was very little in the way of manpower that they could spare, however after the dust settled the process of rebuilding the government began immediately, however one question that came about was one of leadership, since they have not been any free elections since 1934, the question of who to run the government was thrown up into the air, many in the resistance and the populist wanted gendo kinugasa to become the temporary president, at first he refused citing that there should be a free election however even though even though the Japanese occupying force had been completely defeated the threat of Japanese retaliation was still prevalent, so on the 16th of September gendo kinugasa reluctantly became the first prime minister since 1934 that wasn't the Japanese puppet, of course many other many of the positions of the government needed filling since the people who occupied them previously have been Japanese sympathisers, another problem that came out was infrastructure particularly infrastructure have been destroyed during the riots and subsequent fighting, the important infrastructure like airfields, docks and rail yards immediately began to be repaired, while less important infrastructure not essential for the war effort was put aside until the wars conclusion.
Even though by 1944 there were definitely beginning to look their age, the remaining Munguro class would continue to see Active Service, with all three of them partaking in the final Battle of Tajima, shelling Japanese and loyalist positions and preventing the escape of Japanese evac ships, throughout middle and late September Munguro along with the second Destroyer Squadron would operate around the northern coast primarily searching for enemy submarines and scouting for any possible retaliatory surface action, the second Destroyer Squadron would also have the honour of being the first Zipang to work alongside US Navy assets, with them being incorporated into the escort carrier task unit known as Taffy 3, and be a part of this unit going into the Battle of Samar, during the battle Komadori would be the closest ship to The Gambia Bay after she had been hit by 18in shell fire from the battleship yamato, she and her crew would attempt to save the stricken light carrier but her crews efforts would be in vain, with Gambier Bay sinking later that day, Munguro and Johnston had both tried in Vain to protect the carrier with smokescreens, but after the destruction of Gambier Bay both destroyers ended up charging the Japanese Force, Johnston would be quickly taken out of action by the Japanese fire, however Munguro with fire two High explosive shells from her forward main guns and managed to cause a small explosion on the Japanese battlecruiser Kongo, would use this opportunity to retreat from The Superior Japanese Force, Munguro would return to the area on the 26th to pick up survivors from the the Johnstone before reuniting with only two surviving destroyers from the screen
Throughout the rest of 1944 and into early 1945 the remaining Munguro class ships would primarily operate in and around the coastal waters of Zipang primarily searching for enemy submarines and potential retaliatory strikes, in August 1945 Munguro would be credited with sinking the Japanese submarine I-153, however this would be the last time that she would fire upon an enemy in Anger as the war would come to an official end on the 2nd of September 1945, Munguro, Mozu and Komadori being the only survivors of their class, would continue to serve for a short time post-war however by 1948 all three of them decommissioned and scrapped, Munguro would hold the distinction of being one of the most decorated ships in the entirety of the Zipang navy, and her forward most 127mm gun would go on to be preserved in the National Maritime History Museum in 1950
Ships in class: (laid down-launched-commissioned - fate)
Munguro (DDL-8) 1920-1922-1923 - scrapped 1948
Daizen (DDL-9) 1920-1922-1923 - sunk 1942
Hibari (DDL-10) 1921-1923-1924 - sunk 1934
Mozu (DDL-11) 1921-1923-1924 - scrapped 1949
Misosazai (DDL-12) 1922-1924-1925 - sunk 1934
Komadori (DDL-13) 1922-1924-1925 - scrapped 1950