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Japanese midget submarine

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Japanese midget submarine

Postby Feet Wet » Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:47 am

I am doing research for a non-model related project and have hit a bump in the road. I would appriciate input into this discussion.
In 1949 the Navy Club of the USA toured the country, partly as a fund raising function, with a display of World War 2 memorabilia that included a Japanese "Koryu" midget suicide submarine.This tour stopped in at least 3 Maine towns9 I have the newspaper clippings). The description says it is 20 feet long and powered by batteries, with a range of 150 miles, and manned by one pilot. It goes on to say that it carried 1800 pounds of explosive and was expected to ram itself into it's target. It is alledged that this "model" of sub was used "extensively"during the Okinawa campaign until the end of the war and built at Yokosuka. I enclose a scratchy photo fron the Bangor Daily News, dated 7/20/1949.
As one can see, this appears to be more like the sub that kids could buy from the back of a comic book than a real sub. It is not a Type A, B, C, or D " Koryu" Nor is it a Kairyu, which were built at Yokosuka.
I have my suspicitions about this matter, but would like to hear other comments or ideas. Thanks
Jonathan

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Re: Japanese midget submarine

Postby Chuck Chesney » Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:30 pm

I'm sure no expert on the subject, but believe that the Japanese used modified "Long Lance" torpedos, with limited results. They were an act of desperation, because the U.S. Navy had pretty much eliminated the IJN as a fighting force. Okinawa was the peak of the Kamakazi attacks from the air, the one way suicide run by the battleship Yamato (didn't work...was sunk before it got too far from Japan), and the manned torpedos. It was all part of the plan to try and keep the Americans as far from the invasion of the home islands for as long as possible.
Chuck

"The Japanese solders would die for the Emperor, which made them formidable. The U.S. Marines would die for each other, which made them invinceable"...Iwo Jima
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Re: Japanese midget submarine

Postby Bigdave » Tue Feb 28, 2012 1:37 pm

Interesting. 8)
It is way to short and stuby to be one of the Koryu type.
The sail does look IJN though. I will look through my IJN sub book. BD.
David Welch
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Re: Japanese midget submarine

Postby Feet Wet » Tue Feb 28, 2012 2:58 pm

Chuck,
You are absolutely correct about the use of torpedoes as suicide subs. Called Kaiten they were 3 1/4 ft diameter and 48 + ft in lenght. Based on the Type 93 Long Lance torpedo. What was shown by the Navy Club doesn't quite fit the description LOL
Thanks for looking Dave, I hope that you have better luck than I've had.
Jonathan
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Re: Japanese midget submarine

Postby Bigdave » Tue Feb 28, 2012 3:40 pm

It turns out my book only covers the larger subs and not any midget boats. :oops:
I will dig a little deeper though. BD.
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