Stories and BattleHistories of the IJN's Minelayers

12 November 2019

By Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall
with Erich Muehlthaler

Discussion & Questions

(TSUGARU by Yuki Takeshi)

The IJN employed several types of minelayers (Fusetsukan) in World War II, but only five minelayers were purpose-built. They were ITSUKUSHIMA, OKINOSHIMA, TSUGARU, SHIRATAKA and YAEYAMA.

TOKIWA was a converted old armored cruiser with a capacity of over 500 mines.

The SOKUTEN and HIRASHIMA classes were minelaying boats (Fusetsutei) and rated as auxiliary warships (Tokumu Kantei). The TSUBAME, SARUSHIMA, AJIRO and KAMISHIMA classes belonged to the same type.

The HATSUTAKA-class were classified as minelayers, but were actually netlayers (Kyusetsukan) that could perform the minelayer role when required. TENYO MARU was a large cargo ship that was converted to an auxiliary minelayer just before Pearl Harbor.

To the extent of available data, this page will cover movements of 31 of the IJN's Fusetsukan.

Japanese Minelayers: Tabular Records of Movement (TROMs)

(Minelayer Classes link to specifications summaries)

Tsugaru Class

Tsugaru(revised 12/2/2017)

Shirataka Class

Shirataka(revised 9/10/2017)

Okinoshima Class

Okinoshima(revised 7/1/2017)

Itsukushima Class

Itsukushima(revised 4/14/2018)

Yaeyama Class

Yaeyama (revised 11/12/2019)

Tokiwa Class

Tokiwa (revised 12/1/2016)

Tsubame Class

Tsubame (revised 11/5/2019)
Kamome (revised 11/5/2019)

Nasami Class

Nasami(revised 5/3/2015)
Natsushima (revised 11/11/2018)

Sarushima Class

Sarushima (revised 8/18/2014)

Shinko Maru Class

Shinko Maru (revised 6/2/2018)

Sokuten Class

Sokuten(revised 11/2/2015)
Ukishima (revised 8/18/2014)
Shirakami(posted 7/31/2010)
Naryu(posted 7/10/2010)
Kyosai(revised 11/5/2019)
Takashima(revised 10/14/2018)
Saishu(revised 2/2/2017)

Hirashima Class

Hirashima (posted 7/24/08)
Nuwajima(revised 2/2/2017)
Maeshima(revised 12/4/2016)
Niizaki (revised 2/2/2017)
Hoko (posted 8/7/2010)
Ishizaki (revised 4/23/2016)
Yurijima (revised 12/2/2017)

Hatsutaka Class

Hatsutaka(revised 11/11/2018)
Aotaka(revised 4/14/2018)
Wakataka (revised 4/14/2018)

Ajiro Class

Ajiro (revised 5/12/2013

Kamishima Class

Kamishima(posted 11/14/2009)
Awashima (posted 1/9/2010)

Koryu Maru Class

Koryu Maru (posted 1/30/2010)

Eijo Class

Eijo(revised 4/14/2018)
Minoo (posted 2/13/2010)

Ma-101 Class

Ma-101 (posted 4/17/2010)

Tatsumiya Maru Class

Tatsumiya Maru(revised 6/2/2018)
Tatsuharu Maru(revised 12/2/2017)

Koei Maru Class

Koei Maru (posted 10/1/2014)
Tenyo Maru(revised 2/2/2017)

Bibliography of Sources

About the Authors

Bob Hackett is a military historian and researcher. Retired from the United States Air Force and later from the aerospace industry, he resides in Florida.

Sander Kingsepp, a native of Estonia, is also a military historian and researcher. A talented linguist, Sander's translations of Japanese source materials have greatly enhanced these TROMs.

Peter Cundall is a historian and researcher who works in the marine industry. He specializes in merchant ships and resides in Australia.

Questions to the authors concerning these TROMs should be posted on the Discussion and Questions board.