The Mutsuki class (1941) is a rank I Japanese destroyer with a battle rating of 3.3 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.89 "Imperial Navy".
It's the first Destroyer most players will play within the Japanese tree, and its gameplay differs significantly from the Syonan. Ship is very oriented towards a long-range engagements, having the most powerful primary armament and second-most-powerful torpedo armament among its battle rating supplemented by relatively good armour. On the other hand it has only two very weak auxiliary guns and no dedicated anti-aircraft weaponry making it prone in close-range encounters.Overall it's a difficult ship to play, posing a number of challenges to a player.
Survivability and armour
Relatively well armoured and survivable destroyer for its BR, following the typical research path through the Japanese tree this will be the first ship that's not prone to fires and the first one able to survive a single direct torpedo hit (unless it leads to secondary explosion).
Both: It's armor protection and crew count is above average, although the differences between Destroyers in battle rating 3.7 are not high. Protection can be further enhanced with several modifications, although they're standard on all other comparable destroyers.
The biggest issue in ship's survivability is its lack of anti-aircraft armament.It's equipped only with two 7.7mm auxiliary machine guns that are hardly useful even against wooden gunboats and nearly incapable of taking down anything airborne. Mutsuki has to rely on a cover of other ships or time fuze 120mm shells for protection.
With the speed of 62 km/h before any modifications it's the fastest destroyer within its battle rating. Decent speed is supplemented by a good manoeuvrability making it capable of choosing engagements and occasionally even avoiding torpedoes other destroyers would not.
The Mutsuki is armed with four single 120mm mounts, one in the bow, one just aft of the bridge in between the funnels, and two towards the aft. It's comparatively a powerful weaponry excelling especially at longer ranges against its equivalents.
All but the rearmost turrets aim forwards by default, making it relatively easy to hit targets ahead of her with her guns. Additionally, since they are all centrally mounted, it is possible to get all four turrets on target, although when making a turn rear-most turret has to travel over 180° to get a bearing on the target.
Within it's battle rating Mutsuki has both: the highest number of, and the highest calibre of primary guns. It's guns also have a second-highest muzzle velocity. That said though, it comes with a price - its shells are slow to reload, leading to the lowest sustained rate of fire among comparable destroyers. At the same time damage output against warships is not as great as reload time might suggest, although still it's able to one-shot pretty much any boat bar some unlucky hits at full-health units.
Unlike most of the other nations, and typically to IJN rank III destroyers, it lacks armor-piercing shells for its primary armament what can be an issue when trying to deal with higher tiers. Alternative to standard HE is a researchable modification bringing in the Type 0 time fuze HE shells. Dedicated primarily for anti-aircraft duty, while very potent, the low number of fired shells and long reload time make for a hard choice and a very tricky way to protect from airborne attacks.
The secondary armament of the Mutsuki is two type 92 7.7mm machine guns, each with 1940 rounds of ammunition. The mountings are both abreast of the bridge, giving good all around coverage, but no overlapping arcs of fire except for the narrow frontal arc. They do virtually no damage and cannot be relied upon for defence against boats or aircraft.
Note that these are auxiliary weapons, not anti-aircraft, therefore they won't use crew upgrades for anti-aircraft weaponry, even though they are a single-mount machine guns with a vertical guidance of +60 degrees, making them often automatically engage aircraft.
The Mutsuki carries two triple centre mountings for 610mm type 90 torpedoes, along with 6 reload torpedoes in lockers alongside the rearmost funnel. This gives it the ability to reload mid battle. Each torpedo has a 480 gram TNT equivalent warhead, and travels for 7 kilometres at 85 km/h. This gives it the best torpedo count, torpedo speed and damage at its tier and the second best range that can be upgraded to by far the longest range through Torpedo Mode modification that adds 8000 meters for a total of 15 kilometers range, making it capable of reaching opposing spawn area from friendly within nearly all maps played on ship's battle rating. That said though, firing arc is very narrow, forcing her to sit nearly parallel to the enemy in order to fire the torpedoes.
The Ship has an unlockable modification to equip Type 95 depth charges mounted on the Bomb Mortar, however it's a tier IV modification, making for a comparatively difficult unlock. It's the only one of two destroyers within its battle rating to be equipped with mortar, making it a relatively useful, although very situational weaponry.
Usage in battles
Mutsuki is one of the more challenging destroyers in the game, forcing player to rely on positioning, primary weaponry and other teammates.
Her combination of a good survivability with speed and a long-range cannons make for a respectable fighter at range, however an extremely lacking secondaries create a huge opportunities for hostile torpedo boats or aircraft. Mutsuki in essence is forced to rely on friendlies, being best used in formation assisting other ships, using the cover of their anti-aircraft and trying to always keep hostiles at over 2.5km, away from the range of their auxiliary guns firing back.
While maps Mutsuki will fight on include small, narrow passages, those should be avoided for the fear of enemy boats - lack of secondary armament combined with slow, cruiser-like reload time on a primary cannons make for a very challenging task to destroy hostile torpedo boats, and being a destroyer: it has overall a poor manoeuvrability and a large size, making for a juicy target.
Overall Mutsuki has a very steep learning curve, where player simultaneously has to master positioning in warships, leads on various targets at various ranges and a long-range torpedo gameplay.
Pros and cons
- Main caliber guns with a very good firing arcs and shell speed
- Excellent max speed
- Outstanding, long-range torpedoes (in particular after unlocking Torpedo Mode)
- Good survivability
- Very vulnerable from air
- In essence no secondary or anti-aircraft armament
- The longest reload time on a primary guns among comparable destroyers
As the Washington Naval Treaty entered effect, where it substantially limited the quantity of naval weaponry available to the signatory nations, Japan began developing more advanced naval designs to better parry the might of the U.S. Navy.
One such design was the Mutsuki-class destroyers, developed in the early 1920s. Although intended as an improvement over the preceding Kamikaze-class, the Mutsuki-class would become outdated the moment it entered service due to the fact that the even more advanced Fubuki-class was developed in parallel. Nonetheless, Mutsuki-class destroyers still had a prolific service life during WW2, even in the later stages when most were converted into transport vessels.
Mutsuki, the lead ship of her class, was laid down in May 1924 at the Sasebo Naval Arsenal shipyard and was completed in March 1926. The ship was initially commissioned under the name Destroyer No.19, only receiving the name ‘Mutsuki’ in August 1928.
Mutsuki’s combat record began with the outbreak of the Second Sino-Japanese War between China and Japan in the early 1930s. The first battle involving the destroyer during WWII was the invasion of Wake Island. Following the invasion, Mutsuki took part in many more major operations in the Pacific, such as the invasions in the Solomon Islands, New Guinea and Rabaul, while also participating in the Battle of the Coral Sea in 1942.
After undergoing repairs in July 1942, Mutsuki was reassigned to the 8th Fleet and participated in the bombardment of Henderson Field on 24 August 1942. However, Mutsuki met her fate the following day, after an American B-17 Flying Fortress bomber managed a direct hit on the ship’s mid section during the Battle of the Eastern Solomons. Mutsuki sunk on that fateful August day and was subsequently struck from Naval records in October 1942.
- From Devblog
Excellent additions to the article would be video guides, screenshots from the game, and photos.
Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:
- reference to the series of the ship;
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|Mutsuki-class||IJN Mutsuki · IJN Satsuki|
|Yugumo-class||IJN Yugumo · IJN Kiyoshimo|