Fast Minesweepers (AMD)

Photograph of a fast minesweeper

Naval History and Heritage Command #NH 49821

Fast minesweepers were useful for offensive minesweeping, where the minesweeper swept defensive mines from enemy waters. Both Japan and the United States made use of fast minesweepers.

Japanese constructed a sizable force of fast minesweepers from 1923 to the end of the Pacific War. These were vessels of about 700 tons displacement that were also suitable for convoy escort, and many replaced their minesweeping gear with additional antisubmarine gear during the Pacific War.

American fast minesweepers were destroyers converted to minesweepers by removing some of their armament (usually including the torpedo tubes) and installing minesweeping equipment. They were used extensively to sweep the approaches to landing beaches during amphibious operations. The U.S. Navy considered its fast minesweepers a success, and continued converting older destroyers to fast minesweepers in the postwar era.

Japanese fast minesweepers

W-1 class

W-5 class

W-7 class

W-13 class

W-17 class

W-19 class

U.S. fast minesweepers

Clemson class

Wickes class


Friedman (2004)

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