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Monday, December 21, 2009

Japanese Submarine Typ I-401 Sen Toku

Japanese submarine aircraft carriers (Japanese Submarine Typ I-401 Sen Toku)

During WW2, Japan laid down the I-400 class of Submarine, they were huge boats, 400 feet long, of 3,530 tons, on deck a large 115 foot long by 12 feet in diameter hangar, designed to carry three aircraft with folding wings and tail. An 85 foot long pneumatic catapult launched these aircraft, and a deck crane was available to retrieve them.

The huge hangar door open on the deck of an I-400 class Japanese Submarine, probably this is I-401.

I-401, has just been found off Hawaii. University of Hawaii team finds sunken wartime submarine.
On Sunday the 20th. of March 2005 details of a research team from the University of Hawaii finding the wreck of WW2 Japanese Submarine I-401 were released. On St Patrick's day, the 17th. of March, during test dives off Oahu, a wreck was found, to quote the pilot of the research vessel Terry Kirby:
" We thought it was rocks at first, it was so huge, but the sides of it went up, and up, and up, three or four stories tall. It is a levithian down there, a monster."
Kirby went on to say, the main hull is in good shape, the numbers I-401, clearly visible on the sides, and her AA guns in almost perfect condition.

Japanese float plane on her launch catapult on the deck of I-14

The I-400 class.

I-400 started construction on the 18th. of January 1943 at the Kure Naval Base on Honshu, I-401, and I-402 were laid down later at Sasebo on Kyushu. I-403 was planned to be built at Kobe, but eventually was not laid down. I-404 was laid down at Kure in February of 1944, but was destroyed in a later air raid.

This class carried a 6 inch deck gun, a bridge 25mm AA gun, and a further three by 25mm AA guns mounted on top of the large hangar. Eight bow torpedoes completed her armament.

These giant submarines carried a crew of 145, and each with three Aichi M6AI Seiran float plane Torpedo bombers, the floats detached and the wings and tail folded up.

The last remaining Seiran float plane was restored at the United States National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.

By design, the I-400 class had a range of 37,500 nautical miles at a cruising speed of 14 knots, all in all, a formidible weapon.

The Aichi M6AI Seiran aircraft, three of these were carried by the I-400 class Japanese Submarines.

Submarine Squadron.One.

Made up of I-13, I-14, 1-400, and I-401 , the first two boats had two aircraft each, and the larger two, each had three aircraft. Under the code name of Operation X, it was planned for this Squadron to wage bacteriological warfare against major cities of the United States. This rather bizarre project by means of infected rats and insects was aiming to spread bubonic plague, choleria, dengue fever and typhus over US cities. The ten aircraft carried by the Submarines were the medium for spreading these diseases.

This idea was shelved for another bold plan, to launch a strike against the Panama Canal Gatun locks, and thus disable the canal for months. Again the plan was dropped, and finally it was decided to sail the Squadron off to Ulithi Atoll, and strike the US Naval forces there. I-13 had been sunk by USS Lawrence C Taylor ( DE 415 ) on the 16th. of July 1945, some 540 miles east of Yokahama.

The Japanese Submarines arrive at Pearl Harbor.
On the 6th. of January 1946, the Flotilla sailed into Pearl Harbor with the ex Japanese Submarines flying both the Japanese and US ensigns.

One of the Japanese aircraft-carrying I-400 series: the biggest submarines in the world.

Three Japanese submarines sunk off Hawaii.

1-14, 1-400 and 1-401 were all sunk by torpedo off Oahu on the 31st. of May in 1946. It took but one torpedo to dispose of I-14, the huge I-400 and I-401, each needed two fish to put them down.

Thursday the 17th. of March 2005.

So we move forward almost 59 years to the 17th. of March 2005, and the wreck located off Oahu by the team from the University of Hawaii is that of U-401.

We have gone full circle, the I-400 Class, broke new ground when they were built in WW2, virtual a seagoing small, under water aircraft carrier, with a great potential that was never fully realised. They sailed across the Pacific to Hawaii, only to be sunk, talk of fear that Russian scientists wanted to visit and explore them being the main reason to dispose of them.

Now, much excitement that one of that number has been discovered again, but, what will now result remains to be seen.

Japanese submarine aircraft carriers

In what has been called the "worst disaster in U.S. naval history," the U.S.S. Indianapolis was sunk by a Japanese submarine on July 30, 1945, sinking in 12 minutes, and of the 1,196 men on board, only 316 survived. Two Texas A&M University researchers have located the sub that sank it.

William Bryant, professor of oceanography, and Brett Phaneuf, a graduate student in oceanography, located the sub about three weeks ago in waters about 60 miles off the coast of Nagasaki. Their efforts to locate the sub, named the I-58, have been funded by the Discovery Channel, which will air a special on the project next fall.

The I-58 was intentionally scuttled by U.S. military forces following World War II, Phaneuf says, for fear that Russia might acquire it and other Japanese subs for the advanced technological equipment they contained. In all, 24 Japanese subs were intentionally sunk.

"The area surveyed contained the remains of 24 submarines, the largest collection of sunken submarines in the world," says Bryant, professor of oceanography and leader of the mission.

"In addition, this area contains one of the largest submarines ever built, the Sen Toku I-402, which means 'special submarine.' "

"We had the location of where these subs might be, but it's rare when you find sunken ships exactly where they are supposed to be," Phaneuf explains.

"We were lucky to find one, and it happened to be the I-58." The Texas A&M researchers sent a robotic vehicle to the I-58, which is located 675 feet down, too far for human divers. Photographs and video taken by the robotic vehicle confirmed that it was indeed the I-58, which fired torpedoes that sank the Indianapolis.

In 1941 December 7th, Japanese navy attacked "Pearl Harbor" and World War II beguan then August 6, 1945 at 8:15 am the city of Hiroshima suffered the impact of one of the single most destruction weapons ever used. An atomic bomb was dropped from an American bomber named the Enola Gay. The Bomb caused widespread destruction and many human casualties. A three days later another bomb was dropped on the city of Nagasaki. These two atomic bombs sped up what Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of Britain, believed to be inevitable even before the bomb was dropped, the unconditional surrender of Japan.

The story of the U.S.S. Indianapolis is often called the worst naval disaster ever and one of the darkest chapters in U.S. military history. The ship was on a top-secret mission to carry the materials for the first atomic bomb to the island of Tinian, from where the bomb would be fully assembled for its drop over Hiroshima. After delivering its cargo, the ship was on its return voyage when it was sunk by the I-58.

More Link :
WW 2 naval Action
The Japanese Submarine Force and World War II (Hardcover)