Described as the world’s first “modern” destroyer, twenty-four of the class served in the Imperial Japanese Navy. They were built between 1926 and 1933, and despite being decidedly older than some of their adversaries, they remained formidable opponents until the end of the war.
Of the twenty-four vessels, only two survived the war, with eight sunk by submarine, two by mines and many by air attacks. Notably, the Ayanami traded fire with the battleship USS North Dakota during the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, inflicting severe damage, but was then set upon by USS Washington.
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