Mini Subs at Pearl Harbor??

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by dutchman, Aug 25, 2013.

  1. dutchman

    dutchman Member

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    I was watch a TV show about the attack on Pearl. They had a photo from a Japanese plane that showed what looked like a torpedo trail in the water, heading for a battleship. At the other end of the trail was a disruption in the water. They were trying to make the point that it was a mini sub. I guess when they launched their torpedo the weight change often forced the mini sub to porpose and break the surface.
    Now I had heard there was at least 4 mini subs involved in the attack. But I've never heard about them having any real effect during the attack. There was one recovered inside the harbor they think but it was scrapped without any real hard look at it. They think it was a mini sub from Japan, but there was much debris in the harbor. It was just scrap in the way, I don't thinbk they even took photos of it.

    Has anyone any information about the mini subs and what they did at Pearl ??
     
  2. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    The sub that was captured is alive and well at the Nimitz Museum in Fredricksburg Texas. I have picture of it somewhere. I'll see if I can dig it up.
     
  3. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    The crews of the subs were hailed as heroes in Japan and had several artworks done about them. I will see if I can scan some tomorrow.
     
  4. dutchman

    dutchman Member

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    They also said on the TV show that the torpedoes carried by the mini subs were much more powerful then the air drops from the planes. But I think they only carried 2 torps?
     
  5. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    That's correct. 2 torpedoes and they were the entire front of the sub. This isn't my picture, but it is the one at Fredicksburg. You can clearly see the nose of the 2 torpedoes. The whole thing is made to look like it's sitting on a regular I-class sub with the lights of Hawaii in the background.
     

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  6. N4521U

    N4521U Well-Known Member

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    And I believe there was one survivor was hailed as a traitor by the IJN?

    I should stay out of these historical threads!
     
  7. pattle

    pattle Member

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    I think one of these subs was destroyed by a destroyer outside the harbour before the air attack.
     
  8. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    From my brief memory,
    Second lieutenant Kazuo Sakamaki had become the first Japanese POW of the Pacific War.

    There were five mini-subs and ten crew. Two boats successfully entered into the Pearl Harbor but were shot and sunk.
    Other two were also sunk outside the harbor. Sakamaki and his partner Kiyoshi Inagaki(Sgt.) were unable to enter the harbor as their gyrocompass was out of order.

    They gave up mission and decided to return but their boat had been stranded.
    They destroyed the boat and swam to the beach nearby.
    Sakamaki reached but had been captured.
    This news was broadcasted on radio and Sakamaki had been excluded from the scheduled 10 heros.

    Sorry for my clumsy explanation.

    Photo: 9 mini-sub heros.
    9_Gunshin.jpg
     
  9. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    The famous photograph showing the torpedo wakes heading toward battleship row does confirm a mini sub. There is a "back wake" of sorts that was created when the launching torpedos kicked the sub backwards.

    If I'm not mistaken, that particular sub got trapped in the back bay and was later discovered in the wreckage of Navy equipment that had been damaged in a blast and then later dumped at sea.
     
  10. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    ...and Shinpachi beat me to the picture! :) Here is the supposed deployment of the subs.

    .
    Pearl500.jpg
     
  11. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    #11 Shinpachi, Aug 26, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2013
    A nice picture of subs deployment, Chris!

    Yes, Sakamaki's mini sub was carried by I-24.


    As you pointed out, dutchman, the mini sub was so unstable in aiming and shooting torpedos IJN was obliged to develop the human (suicide) torpedo 'Kaiten' in the last stage of war.

    ************************

    Sakamaki wrote a book about his experience after the war and a local TV visualized it in a drama two years ago.

    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ImnKroRrHmg is a short clip inside the mini sub.
     
  12. dutchman

    dutchman Member

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    The mini subs that Japan used at Pearl Harbor. How long could they stay underwater. Without the use of snorkel if they were so equiped???
     
  13. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    There were midget submarine attacks allover the PTO in the opening months of WWII including an attack into Sydney harbour in June 1942

    Australia Attacked - Sydney Harbour

    "The bodies of the four Japanese crewmen from the midget submarines launched by I-22 and I-27 were recovered when these two midget submarines were raised. They were cremated at Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs Crematorium with full naval honours. Rear Admiral Muirhead-Gould, in charge of Sydney Harbour defences, along with the Swiss Consul-General and members of the press, attended the service. The admiral’s decision to accord the enemy a military funeral was criticised by many Australians but he defended his decision to honour the submariners’ bravery. He also hoped that showing respect for the dead men might help to improve the conditions of the many Australians in Japanese prisoner of war camps.

    and 11 June 1942]After the recovery of the two midget submarines a composite was constructed using the bow section of one and the stern of the other. It was decided to use this composite midget submarine to raise money for the Royal Australian Navy Relief Fund and the King George Fund for Merchant Sailors. The composite submarine was first put on display at Bennelong Point, now the site of the Sydney Opera House, and people paid a small fee to see it. It was then transported by truck on a 4000-kilometre journey through south-eastern Australia raising further funds. Eleven months after the submarine raid, the composite submarine was installed at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.

    In 1968, Lieutenant Matsuo’s mother travelled to Australia to visit the spot where her son had died. During her visit she scattered cherry blossoms in the water where her son’s midget submarine had been located and later she presented a number of gifts to the Australian War Memorial.

    In November 2006, part of the mystery of the midget submarine from I-24 was solved when divers discovered the wreck of the submarine off Sydney's northern beaches. We will probably never know if Lieutenant Ban and his navigator, Petty Officer Ashibe Mamoru intended to rejoin their 'mother' submarine or whether they had no intention of returning and simply scuttled their vessel".

    There was also a midget sub attack in madagascar 31 may 1942, in which the Bribattleship Ramillies was extensively damaged

    Imperial Submarines


    30 May 1942:

    About 10 miles E of Diego Suarez. At 1740 (local), I-16 launches Ensign Iwase Katsusuke and PO2C Takada Kozo's midget submarine M-16b to penetrate the harbor.

    At 1710, about 9 nautical miles E of Diego Suarez, I-20 launches Lt Akieda Saburo and PO1C Takemoto Masami's midget submarine M-20b. At 2025, Lt Akieda fires one of his two 17.7-inch torpedoes at RAMILLIES. The torpedo holes the bulge and bottom plating opening a 30-foot by 30-foot hole in the port bulge forward of "A" turret. The battleship's electrical system suffers damage and power is lost all over the ship. The six-inch armor belt above the site of the explosion is displaced and the forward magazines and shell rooms (15-inch main caliber and 4-inch AA) flood. At 2120, while corvettes drop depth charges nearby, Akeida fires his other torpedo and sinks 6,993-ton BRITISH LOYALTY in about 65 feet of water.

    31 May 1942:
    Akieda and Takemoto depart the bay and head NNW. After the midget’s battery is depleted, M-20b is beached at Nosy Antalikely (Antali Keli) islet. Lt Akieda attempts to scuttle his craft, but the charge fails to explode. Both sailors reach shore and contact natives, who arrange transport to the mainland. Akieda and Takemoto head for the recovery area near Cape Amber where I-20 is to wait for two days.

    Iwase, Takada and midget submarine M-16b go MIA. The wreck of M-16b is never found.

    1 June 1942:
    I-18, still carrying her midget submarine M-18b, finally arrives at the recovery area and joins the search.

    Around 1100, Lt Akieda and PO1C Takemoto visit Anijabe village to buy some food. While most villagers are friendly, one contacts the British hoping to get a bounty for his information.

    2 June 1942:
    Amponkarana Bay (12-00S, 49-12E). In the morning. Lt Akieda and PO1C Takemoto are intercepted by Royal Marines' Commando No. 5 after the Japanese had made 48 miles on foot. During an ensuing gunfight both Japanese sailors and one Marine are killed. A watch and a pack of cigarettes with IJN markings are found, as well as a report addressed to the CO of I-20.

    That same day. the body of an unidentified IJN sailor, presumably M-16b's Iwase or Takada, is found on a beach off Diego Suarez.

    Destroyer HMS DECOY arrives with Constructor Captain H. S. Pengelly, RCNC, Fleet Constructor Officer, Eastern Fleet, aboard. Pengelly inspects HMS RAMILLIES and confirms she is fit for sea. however it will be many months before she is again operational.

    3 June 1942:
    After the other mother submarines depart the recovery area, I-20 surfaces and unsuccessfully tries to contact the midget submarines by firing flares and sending radio signals. At 1800, I-20 leaves the recovery area.

    Temporary repairs of HMS RAMILLIES are completed and she departs for Durban.

    9 June 1942:
    Mozambique Channel. The day after sinking Norwegian steamer WILFORD, LtCdr Otani Kiyonori, skipper of I-18 orders midget submarine M-18b jettisoned.

    1972:
    A makeshift monument is erected at the place where Akieda and Takemoto perished.

    10 November 1976:
    The Japanese Embassy erects a plaque at the same place with a text in both French and Japanese that says: "Here died two brave Japanese sailors on 3 June 1942".

    3 July 2001:
    Japan. The Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF ) erects a monument to the four midget crews. Present are the crew of JMSDF training vessel KASHIMA and the ceremony is led by Rear Admiral Yasui Nobuharu.

    Lt ( j.g.) Kanda of HA-13 and his two crewmen were each promoted one rank, posthumously.

    Lt ( j.g.) Ota went on to become navigating officer of the ill-fated I-52 and perished with her in the Atlantic Ocean in 1944.

    Initially, the British thought another Vichy submarine made the attack and, therefore, did not alert the rest of the fleet. As a result, Sydney, Australia received no warning. After emergency repairs, RAMILLIES made for Durban, Union of South Africa where she was docked for temporary repairs from June to August 1942. Later, RAMILLIES returned to Plymouth, England where full repairs were completed from September 1942 to June 1943. In June 1944, RAMILLIES participated in the D-Day invasion.

    BRITISH LOYALTY was later refloated and towed to Addu Atoll where, on 9 Mar '44, she was torpedoed and damaged by German submarine U-183. On 15 Jan '46, BRITISH LOYALTY was scuttled and sank off Addu Atoll.

    The limited remains of Akieda and Takemoto's midget submarine "M-20b" were found about two weeks after the attack sitting upright on a reef within an area of volatile surf. According to historian/author Kimata Jiro, a recent NHK documentary showed the aft section (now completely submerged) in the same location. The propellers were salvaged and are on display at the midget submariners’ grave site
     
  14. dutchman

    dutchman Member

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    I was curious how long they could remain sumerged? If a mini sub had to avoid detection, or wait for a ship to come into a harbor so the sub nets would be opened, what kind of duration would one have before it was out of air. I would assume in shallow water they could bottom the boat and lay in wait??. I've seen figures on range submerged but next time factors.
     
  15. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    Submerging time was 12 hours at longest.
     
  16. Milosh

    Milosh Well-Known Member

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    The crews of midget submarines:

    I-16tou, Masaji Yokoyama and Sadamu Uyeda; I-18tou, Shigemi Furuno and Shigenori Yokoyama; I-20tou, Akira Hiro-o and Yoshio Katayama;
    I-22tou, Naoji Iwasa and Naokichi Sasaki; I-24tou, Kazuo Sakamaki and Kiyoshi Inagaki.

    artf.jpg
     
  17. dutchman

    dutchman Member

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    Thank you Shinpachi that's exactly what I was looking for, I'm working on a problem here and in a week or so I'll post up another question here which should be interesting. Keep a watch for it, I'd like to hear your input.

    Thanks again
     
  18. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    They now have evidence that a mini sub did in fact participate in Pearl Harbor, unleashing it's two torpedos into Battleship row.

    In this famous photograph, you'll see two torpedo tracks, left of center, heading towards the battleship (caught here the moment of impact). There are concentric rings and a "splash" shown at the head of the tracks. Experts have determined that this was not caused by a torpedo bomber, but in fact the mini sub. The "splash" seen is backwards, meaning that it is in the wrong direction for a dropped torpedo and could only be caused by the backward "kicking" of the midget sub during the launching of the torpedoes.

    I will try and look to see if I can find a better photo that shows the launch and tracks better.

    800px-Battleship-row-torpedos.jpg
     
  19. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    You are welcome, dutchman, if I could be of help. :)

    BTW, I have come across an interesting local video.
    JMSDF crew visit the cenotaph of the 9 heros....

    Anybody, any opinion?
    In my opinion, they should not do it carelessly as Japan said good-bye to the prewar army and navy.
    If they can do it with no hesitation, JGSDF also could visit the Yasukuni Shrine freely.
    I am afraid such their innocent behavior often brings unnecessary misunderstandings about our country.
    Sorry, guys, if I am nervous!


    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQSUe4eF-dw
     
  20. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    Oh, nice find, GG! :shock:
     
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