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Thursday, November 26, 2009

PICTURES: The Hunt for Lost WWII 'Samurai Subs'

With more time, military experts say, a fleet of revolutionary Japanese super-submarines could have changed the course of World War II.

Some were designed to launch bombers on kamikaze missions against New York City, Washington, D.C., and the Panama Canal. Others were thought to be twice as fast any other submarine used in the war.
None had the chance to execute their stealth missions against the U.S. mainland or critical targets in the Pacific during the war.

But after the war ended and the U.S. Navy seized and surveyed the vessels, it made a drastic decision: Each submarine was taken off the coast of Hawaii in 1946 and shot down to the ocean floor to keep the
 technology from falling into Soviet hands.
For years since, divers have scanned the depths of the Pacific to recover the subs and their technological secrets but to no avail.
Until now.
A National Geographic Program premiering Tuesday documents a team of researchers' successful hunt for the super-submarines, which have not been seen by human eyes for more than 60 years (ABCNews).

Note : 
In this image, the I-401 submarine is shown. 
The I-401 aircraft-carrying submarine could travel one and a half times around the world without refueling.
(Wild Life Productions, National Geographic Channel)