11 September 2020

Shimakaze: Fast as the Wind

Shimakaze was an experimental Japanese destroyer, incorporating an extremely powerful high-performance propulsion system and the heaviest torpedo armament of any WWII destroyer. Soon, this deadly and nimble vessel will become available to eager captains in the game as a brand new squadron vehicle!

Briefly: An experimental Japanese destroyer design, equipped with novel high-performance turbines and an overwhelming torpedo arsenal.

Shimakaze, destroyer, Japan, III rank.

Pros

  • Superb mobility
  • Devastating torpedo arsenal
  • Good AA defenses

Cons

  • Only two main calibre turrets
History

Shimakaze was ordered in 1939 as a prototype vessel of the future Type C destroyers, of which 16 were planned for construction. Shimakaze’s basic design was based on that of the Kagerō destroyer, with Shimakaze incorporating a new high-performance turbine and three quintuple 61cm torpedo launchers as well as having slightly larger dimensions and displacement as a result.

Laid down in August 1941, Shimakaze was completed in May 1943, being assigned to the IJN 1st Fleet upon her commissioning. Shimakaze’s early service career was marked by taking part in the evacuation of Japanese troops from the Aleutian Islands in July and August as well as escort duties until the end of the year and into early 1944.

After undergoing brief refitting in March 1944, Shimakaze escorted battleship Musashi and heavy cruiser Maya from Kure to Manila. Subsequently, Shimakaze was once again ordered to Kure to undergo another refit, in which her anti-air armament was increased.

In October 1944, Shimakaze formally took part in the Battle of Leyte Gulf, although she didn’t see any action as the ship was loaded with survivors picked up from the sunken Musashi and Maya. In November, Shimakaze was assigned to escort a troop convoy from Manila to Ormoc, later being attacked by American aircraft in the Battle of Ormoc Bay. Shimakaze was severely damaged during the battle, only to explode and sink several hours later.

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In War Thunder, Shimakaze will join the ranks of squadron vehicles. At first glance, Shimakaze appears to be a typical late Japanese destroyer design, placing emphasis on mobility and torpedo firepower. However, what makes Shimakaze stand out from other Japanese destroyers is the fact that it takes this signature design characteristic and takes it to a whole new level!

Let’s start with similarities first; Shimakaze, like many other Japanese destroyers, is primarily armed with two twin 5’’ (127 mm) turrets, which can both be used against surface as well as aerial targets. Complementing these in the AA role are a total of 14 25mm cannons, split down into one twin and four triple turrets. In this regard, Shimakaze will feel like a regular Japanese destroyer, at least on a surface level.

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Going below surface level however, it’s a much different story. Shimakaze sports the largest and deadliest torpedo armament of any destroyer currently in War Thunder and among the largest torpedo armaments of any WWII-era destroyer historically speaking. Having access to 3 quintuple (yes, you read that correctly - that’s 15 torpedo tubes) 610 mm torpedo launchers, launching the infamous Type 93 ‘Long Lance’ torpedo, one could easily make the claim that Shimakaze’s primary armament aren’t her deck guns, but her torpedoes! As a result, Shimakaze will be a true force to be reckoned with, particularly in Enduring Confrontation battles where her fast, long range torpedoes will truly show their full potential. But be aware - Shimakaze doesn’t carry any additional spare torpedoes, meaning captains will only have a single salvo at their disposal throughout an engagement!

However, a massive torpedo arsenal isn’t the only thing which sets Shimakaze apart from other destroyers - her superb mobility also plays a part in this. Namely, being powered by an experimental, high-performance steam turbine propulsion system, generating upwards of 79,000 horsepower, Shimakaze can reach an astonishing top speed of up to 40.9 kts (75.7 km/h)! This makes her the second fastest destroyer in the game, second only to the Soviet Tashkent. However, in combination with her smaller silhouette and generous torpedo armament, Shimakaze may end up being the deadlier destroyer in the long run.

As a result, Shimakaze is not only a worthy collectors vessel, but also a very desirable addition to any captain’s port with a keen interest in high-speed torpedo warfare. Similarly to other squadron vehicles, Shimakaze can be researched for activity in random battles for squadron players, or purchased for Golden Eagles for everyone else.

Shimakaze will become available in one of the upcoming server updates, so stay tuned!


The War Thunder Team

 

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