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WWII Japanese super-sub found off Hawaii (on TV tonite)

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WWII Japanese super-sub found off Hawaii (on TV tonite)

Postby U-5075 » Tue Nov 17, 2009 3:57 pm

http://www.mailonsunday.co.uk/news/worl ... awaii.html

2 photos 2 graphics,

Hunt for the Samurai Subs will be shown today on National Geographic channel at 9pm.
17 NOV 2009

WWII Japanese super-sub found by divers off the coast of Hawaii

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 5:38 PM on 17th November 2009



Two Japanese submarines designed to carry bombers to strike U.S. coastal cities in World War II have been found on the seabed off Hawaii.

They had been captured by the U.S. Navy when Japan surrendered in 1945 but were sunk deliberately the following year after the Soviet Union demanded access to them.

This was because the U.S. had learned a vast amount of information from the submarines and did not want the technological secrets falling into the hands of the Soviets, their former ally.

The Imperial Japanese Navy's I-401 was located in March 2005 by a team from the National Atmospheric Administration but it has taken a further four years for them to find her sister vessel, the I-201.

As the war progressed Japan had become acutely aware of its weakness in surface ships. It therefore decided to concentrate on its submarines and created these underwater aircraft carriers.
Three Aichi light bombers, which could carry an 800kg bomb, could be stowed in a hangar on the deck and they would be launched by a catapult. The aircraft were fitted with floats, which allowed them to land on the water once they returned from their missions.

The Japanese wanted to use the superior I-201 - which could approach the surface of the water, prepare and launch aircraft within minutes - to launch rats riddled with plague as well as insects carrying cholera, dengue fever and typhus.

But with the bacteriological weapons not ready in time, the target switched to the Panama Canal. Japan surrendered, however, before the attack could be carried out.

Dr Hans Van Tillburg, the maritime heritage co-ordinator for the national Marine Sanctuaries in the Pacific Islands, said: 'If you look at a sub like the I-201, it was nothing like anybody had in the Second World War. It had a streamlined body and conning tower and retractable guns.

'It looks more like a Cold War sub. And it predates the cruise missile concept.'

With a crew of 144 it carried enough fuel to travel 37,000 miles and was triple the size of contemporary submarines.


Hunt for the Samurai Subs will be shown today on National Geographic channel at 9pm.

Read more: http://www.mailonsunday.co.uk/news/worl ... z0X9F47tLs
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